As Valentine’s Day looms and with romance in the air, we can all use some tips to keep things hot and spicy with our partner. If you’re not coupled, no worries. We have some self-love suggestions as well.
Whether you’ve been with your honey a day, a month or a while, it’s important to keep romance and sex exciting and stimulating. You may feel a little anxious about how to satisfy your partner and how to help them satisfy you. Or, you may be concerned that things have gotten a little too predictable. Here are some ideas:
Use your words
Let’s talk about sex, baby. Talk about sex. Talk about what you like and what you don’t like. Use your words, be specific and keep it sexy. “I really would like you to go down on me,” is better than “I like oral sex.” Regardless, talking about sex is important. Openness and honesty about sex is a fundamental part of a healthy relationship. In new relationships, it is the best way to learn more about each other and to develop trust. In longtime relationships, when couples check in often about sexual pleasure, falling into a routine is less likely.
Talk about sex before sex, during sex and after sex. Frequently sharing fantasies and expectations supports intimacy and deepens your connection with each other. It is essential to sexual wellness to discuss and assess where you and your partner are in the moment as it pertains to your sexual desires, needs and boundaries. Having regular conversations about sexual interaction, what’s needed to feel ready for sex and the forms it can take to enhance the experience, are critical to maintaining a healthy and vibrant sex life.
Use new ideas
Try something new. When sex is practiced in the same way repeatedly, boredom sets in. When boredom strikes, irritation begins to rise, and disconnection ensues. Switching it up regularly evokes the spirit of spontaneity, which allows a flexing of the erotic imagination. The more eroticism is engaged, the easier it becomes for couples to play, explore, and expand sexually.
The most obvious way to switch things up is to try some new positions. The Kama Sutra teaches hundreds of intimate positions for our bodies to connect.
If you and your partner are feeling a bit more adventurous, try adding a sex toy, a vibrator or a blindfold, to liven up the exploration.
Use your time
Play before you play. Set intercourse or penetrative sex aside for a sec. Really? Yes. What if the goal of your sexual encounter is literally lovemaking? Take your time to touch, caress, kiss and play. Kiss your partner’s finger tips or nipples. Whisper something they can barely hear, “You’re body drives me crazy.”
Watch a romcom and let your hand linger on their thigh. Don’t rush anything. Savor each other. Foreplay, from kissing to oral sex, helps get your mind and body aroused and ready for penetration. Making love well makes penetration a natural progression rather than the goal. Even when penetration is not on the table, you can still have a very satisfying experience when you take the time to be with your partner, learn more about each other and deepen your connection.
Use all your senses
Sex happens at all levels. The body is a sensory instrument. Use as many of your senses to heighten sexual pleasure and to deepen intimacy with your partner. Your senses include sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Some would argue that thought is also part of this equation. They say the mind is our best sex organ. Keep it engaged and stimulated.
Sensory sex is placing the focus on pleasurable sensations throughout your body and letting go of the pressures that come with an exclusive focus on the genitals. Here are some examples:
sight – wear lingerie, explore cosplay
sound – play soft music in the background, talk dirty
smell – light aromatic candles, use scented massage oils
taste – use whipped cream, try salted caramel flavored lube
touch – introduce an ice cube in your foreplay
thought – describe a fantasy to your partner
Each sense offers its own sensation. Explore each one to see if one stimulates more than the others. From visual, auditory, olfactory to imagination, heightening your arousal by engaging multiple pleasure pathways can boost your sexual wellness, pleasure and intimacy.
Use our store
Visit Bite the Fruit. Big plug here. But, for real. Make a stop at a sex shop part of your date night. Go to a popular, bright and friendly shop. Avoid the dark stores located in the scary parts of town. Come curious and relaxed, prepared to ask questions. Educate yourself on the plethora of options that are available to couples and individuals, either adventurous or timid, expert or novice. Bite the Fruit promotes sexual wellness which encompasses a range of things from self-care, sexual pleasure, body safe toys and products, fetish exploration and so on.
Keep the visit light and fun. Don’t take anything too seriously. Make it an adventure. Get advice on something you’ve always wanted to ask but was afraid to. Try something new.
Use a break
Take a break from sex. What? Yes. Sex can be stressful. Actually, sex is quite awesome. It is the worrying about performance, expectations, unplanned pregnancy, lack of sex, what happens on the third date, one night stands, yada yada, that takes the fun out of sex. Even when we’re not having sex, we’re worrying about sex. So, let it go. Don’t think about it. Plan a day, night or weekend to do something you really enjoy. Make plans with your partner that does not involve the bedroom. Or, call your bffs or bros for a relaxed, happy activity away from your partner.
Shifting the focus away from physical intimacy, either engaging with your partner in a platonic activity or in an activity away from each other, relieves many of the pressures we feel around sex. Then, when you reconnect, energized by your time with friends or quality time together without coupling, you’ll find renewed interest and enthusiasm to focus on intimacy.
Use a professional
Get professional help. If you’ve tried all of the above and it still feels like you and your partner are out of sync, there could be some issues requiring medical intervention or intervention from an experienced sex therapist, psychologist or relationship counselor. You may need some assistance to help rebuild your connection. You or your partner may need to build confidence, learn to express thoughts and feelings or improve sexual skills.
Sex is much more than performance and expectations. Professional support can provide insights on managing anxiety, staying present during sex, penetration phobia, ED, trust issues or other concerns. When the issue seems insurmountable, enlisting a professional could really help. A mutually gratifying sexual experience is achievable when both partners work on their own and each other's physical, psychological, and relational well being.
This could be the best time of your life. Take stock in what you have. Enjoy your alone time. Sit back, relax. Read. Hog the remote. Or, call your buddies for a night out on the town. Stay out all night. You're single. There's no one to negotiate with. Do what you want to do. If you're into self-love, stop by Bite the Fruit. Check out the array of silicone goods designed with you in mind. Get yourself off, any way you want, everyday, twice a day. On Valentine's Day, splurge on a surf and turf at the Prime Rib, feast on tons of garlic bread. Ha! It's your time. It's your body. Do something healthy, get a full-body massage, jog, take a yoga class. Explore who you are. Express yourself. It's your life. As RuPaul attests, “If you don't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”