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Want To Spice Up Your Sex Life? Here's How, According To Experts

Krati Mehra
October 27, 2023
Krati Mehra
By Krati Mehra
mbg Contributor
Krati Mehra is an empowerment coach, host of Experible podcast, speaker, and writer. She has a Masters from University College London and a Bachelors in Psychology from Panjab University.
October 27, 2023
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Long-term relationships are a beautiful part of our lives, but with the reliability and trust that comes with such intimacy, so too comes predictability. Like any aspect of a relationship, the sexual side of our relationships change with time, and what was once hot and heavy can be reduced almost to a habit or another chore to tick off the list. 

As much as we need the security of steady love, we also like to feel attractive—like we're still alluring enough to excite our partner, even after many years of companionship. More importantly, a healthy and fulfilling sex life is integral to the emotional and physical bonding between partners.

When the sexual aspect of a romantic relationship hits a slump, spicing things up in (or outside) the bedroom can help rekindle that old flame.  

Why it's important to prioritize a fulfilling sex life

Prioritizing a fulfilling sex life is not simply about caring for different relationship aspects; Satisfying sex establishes a synchronicity between two individuals. It guards the shared trust and understanding, ensuring the longevity and resilience of the romantic bond. 

Results of a study1 published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin indicate that the shared moments of passion, even ones limited to cuddling, kissing, and caressing, create deep feelings of love and affection. 

"A healthy and fulfilling sex life helps create a deep emotional connection, nurtures intimacy, and builds a unique bond that is both private and profound," explains psychology expert and life coach Bayu Prihandito, adding, "Couples who maintain a satisfying sexual relationship exhibit better communication, reduced stress, and a heightened sense of overall well-being."

Research2 also shows that healthy sexual relationshipd create a safe emotional boundary for sharing desires, preferences, and concerns, leading to open and honest communication—another pillar critical for healthy relationships.

"Pleasure and orgasms release oxytocin, the 'love' hormone, which not only bonds us to our partner but also reduces stress," notes sex and relationship therapist, Leigh Norén. This biochemical process creates a positive feedback loop, enhancing trust in the relationship. 

A satisfying sex life can also create a fertile ground for healthy conflict resolution, cementing and safeguarding the shared understanding and trust between the two people.

And, as confirmed by several studies3, a satisfying sex life also enhances the health and wellbeing of both people. "Regular sexual activity can positively affect physical health, from improved heart health to reduced pain sensitivity," psychiatrist and professor Ryan Sultan M.D. tells mindbodygreen.

How to tell it's time to spice things up

Despite the impact that gratifying sex has on both individual wellbeing and the health of a romantic relationship, sometimes even the most loving relationships can fall into a sexual rut

"It's when sex becomes a routine rather than an exploration, a task rather than a joy," remarks Prihandito. And this can happen for a number of reasons—lack of privacy, work or life stress, health issues, or a temporary shift in priorities—but a sexual rut can become an indicator of more significant problems when there is an underlying emotional disconnect or unaddressed conflict between partners. 

"Sexual issues become red flags when accompanied by emotional withdrawal, lack of communication, or unresolved conflicts. Sex is often a mirror of the health of the relationship. If the reflection reveals disconnection or discontent, it's a clear sign of deeper underlying issues that need your attention," says Prihandito.

According to licensed marriage and family therapist, Veronica Cisneros LMFT, if a couple has always struggled with physical intimacy, or if there are resentment and unresolved conflicts negatively impacting the emotional connection, the bedroom problems may be symptoms of a more significant issue.

"A good way to determine this is if one or both partners are guilty of using criticism, contempt, defensiveness, or stonewalling in times of conflict. These are what the Gottman's call the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and they're Gottman's predictors of divorce," she adds. 

However, if the relationship is generally healthy, with both partners feeling emotionally connected, it may simply be time to revitalize their intimate moments. 

Signs of a sexual rut

A sexual rut happens in most long-term relationships where comfort and familiarity can dull the sexual spark. Signs that it may be time to spice things up:

  • Complete absence of any and all sexual exchange between the partners
  • An increasing disinterest in sexual intimacy from both parties and lengthening intervals between sexual encounters
  • Post-sex, there is a sense of dissatisfaction, whether sexual, emotional, or physical
  • There is a lack of spontaneity. Like any other regularly scheduled chore, it happens on the same day of the week, at the same time, and in the same place, most probably the bedroom
  • Even as you get intimate, there is an emotional distance with little to no eye contact, shared laughter, tender attentiveness, and no lingering post-coital
  • The intimate experiences lack novelty. It's the same position every time. The progression and pace are uninspired, leading to an encounter that feels almost scripted
  • You're not fully present during intimacy, with your thoughts straying towards daily chores or future plans
  • You are having erotic fantasies about someone other than your partner
  • A decline in relationship satisfaction accompanied by a noticeable emotional distance
  • Sex happens not out of an active desire, but as an obligation or to keep up the facade of normalcy
  • Frequent reminiscing over past sexual encounters and longing to repeat the experience
  • No open, exciting discussions around sexual desires, fantasies, and needs
  • You feel unattractive and wonder if your partner is still invested in the relationship

How to spice up your sex life

Let's dive into some creative solutions to spicing up your sex life. To some extent, each method requires stepping away from your comfort zone. However, the strategies are also respectful and suitable for a loving relationship.


Open and honest sexual communication 

A 2019 study4 from The Journal of Sex Research shares that communication about sexual matters is vital to cultivating and maintaining a healthy sexual dynamic. Often, sexual issues happen because the couple is reluctant to openly express their sexual needs.

Sexual communication involves sharing sexual preferences and boundaries, desired sexual activities, and past sexual experiences. When partners are convinced they can safely talk about sex and related experiences, good or bad, with each other, it positively impacts sexual and relationship satisfaction.

"Make time to talk openly and honestly about your sexual desires, needs, and fantasies. Pay attention to any insecurities or fears you have about communicating. This open dialogue is crucial for understanding what you and your partner need to feel fulfilled in the bedroom,” Cisneros advises.

And as sex and relationship coach, and professor of sexual and relational communication Tara Suwinyattichaiporn Ph.D., notes, sexual communication can also help when age begins to interfere with performance. "Talking openly about desires and when they change can create a better understanding of each other's sexuality," she says.


Explore different positions

"Just like you add various spices to keep your meals exciting, you need to do the same for your sex life," says Cisneros. Forget about missionary, experiment with different sexual positions—it will break the monotony and help you escape the sexual rut. 

Certain positions can allow for deeper penetration, clitoral and prostate stimulation, and G-spot engagement, leading to heightened pleasure during sex. The more challenging positions will allow you to explore your partner's body as if for the first time. This heightened physical awareness may also lead to renewed feelings of closeness and intimacy. 

As you plan new positions to try, the vibe between you will shift. It will have an element of anticipation, excitement, and playfulness. It will go from routine to thrilling. 


Dive into the world of BDSM

To really shake things up and add new, intriguing layers to your relationship, try BDSM. Contrary to popular belief, research shows that those who enjoy BDSM are socially well-adjusted. BDSM also has a positive impact on relationship satisfaction.

It is an exciting way for partners to explore their limits and boundaries, venture into new sensual territories, and experience a level of physical and psychological stimulation that's very different from what you get from traditional sexual activities. 

Due to its nature, to indulge in BDSM, couples have to trust each other and communicate actively. There is an intentional vulnerability to BDSM, deepening the emotional connection between the partners. As you explore new fantasies, scenarios, and avenues of sexual expression, the romantic bond between the two people comes alive with excitement and a pulsing anticipation that can completely reinvigorate the relationship.  


Try a new location

You can switch things up by having sex in a location other than the bedroom. For your next intimate encounter, consider booking a hotel room. You could also have sex in your car or in different places in your house. 

For an added thrill, you can try sex in a public place. As long as you're safe and not at any risk of getting arrested, the element of danger can make things very exciting. 


Restart your relationship

Act as if you are once again courting your partner. Rekindle the sexual spark by returning to a time in your relationship when each day was about some new, exciting discovery. There was flirting, teasing, and the thrill of anticipation. 

"At the beginning of a relationship, we passionately and intensely pursue our partners to attract them," couples therapist Kimberlin Shepard, LMSW tells mindbodygreen. "If you once wore lingerie all the time, dig it back out! Plan date nights. Get all dolled up, go out to drinks, dinner, or a movie, and then come home and have steamy, hot sex," she adds.

Engage in playful banter and give lavish compliments. Remind your partner that to you, there is no one more attractive. Rebuild comfort by showing physical affection and indulging in non-sexual touch.


Watch erotic movies together 

"Taking inspiration from pornography or erotica can be a great way to spice things up," says Norén. As you sit through an erotic movie, you will feel yourselves getting aroused, and as the film progresses, the sexual tension will escalate. When you turn off the TV, the tension will be released in an explosive, passionate, and fiery union.


Use sex toys

Studies indicate that using vibrators can enhance sexual satisfaction for both partners. For men, vibrators can also boost sexual performance, while for women, they make it easier to orgasm

There are a variety of other sex toys available on the market that can enhance sexual experiences. The toys can be part of BDSM practices or role-playing scenarios. Apart from fun and excitement, planning the use of sex toys also leads to more focused sexual communication.


Try a sensual massage

Sensual massage can be a powerful tool to reconnect with your partner physically and, once again, explore their body with intent and focus. The stroking touch not only soothes but also stimulates. 

Soft music in the background, sweet-smelling incense, dim lighting, and no interruptions can combine to create a sanctuary free from all stress and distraction, and suddenly, your world narrows to your partner and the pleasure you can share. As you massage your partner, it reminds you of how much you've always enjoyed caring for them, and you will be mentally relieving fond memories.


Play sex-related games 

Bring fun back to your relationship through games focused on sex. 

As you try to reestablish your sexual connection, begin with moments of friendship and shared laughter. It will remove all the stress and maybe even inhibitions if you're playing strip poker or sexual truth and dare. You can also try couple's cards, board, and dice games easily available on the market. 

"Create small challenges or dares for each other to make it exciting. Ask your partner to identify things you are currently doing that drive them crazy in the bedroom. Ask them what feels good and what they want more of," Cisneros advises. 


Wear lingerie

A visual and tactical stimulant, lingerie can reignite passion in a relationship. It creates anticipation as it teases and tantalizes your partner.

Wearing lingerie can make you feel confident and alluring, making it easier to be bold and not only ask for what you want sexually but also deliver on your partner's expectations. It is more than just a piece of clothing; It's symbolic of your commitment to making things better and an invitation to a deeper sexual connection.


Practice spiritual sex

A way to completely step away from your usual practice is by combining sex with spirituality. It will enhance emotional and sexual closeness and elevate your connection to something sacred that demands respect and careful nourishment.

You can practice spiritual sex by cleansing the sexual environment. Begin by removing all clutter so energy flows freely, light incense to create positivity, use light colors for the bedding and, if possible, also for the walls and the decor. Let the natural elements, like sunlight and fresh air, enter the space.

Initiate intimacy by anointing each other's bodies with oil. Make sacred vows and renew your commitment to each other. Indulge in mindful lovemaking with steady eye contact. Move at a slow, gentle pace. Touch each other with reverence. Together, these steps will add more emotional depth to the sexual exchange, forging an emotional bond that goes beyond the physical act of love.


Merge creativity and adventure with sex

Infuse elements of spontaneity, adventure, and novelty in your sexual moments.

Engaging in activities that raise adrenaline levels, like bungee jumping, roller coaster rides, or even workout challenges, can mimic the physiological arousal of sexual excitement, and when you experience them together, they increase the sexual attraction between a couple. Sex that follows such events is usually more heated and exciting. 

Similarly, you can break the mold of predictability and routine through creative activities like sex paintings and by drawing temporary tattoos on each other's bodies.


Try the sexual thrill of role-play

We all have characters we love and wish to emulate, which can be the key to adding some adventure and excitement to your sex life. As part of role play, we can assume a persona that either excites us or our partner, create exciting scenarios, and meet up with our significant other as if for the first time. When you shed your actual identity, you also leave behind your inhibitions and the stress that is so much a part of your daily life. Pretending to be someone else creates a sense of safety, allowing you to enact fantasies you've never shared with your partner. 

This form of imaginative engagement helps partners see each other in a new light, discovering aspects of one another's character that adds new dimensions to their sexual attraction. The thrill of being someone else adds to the sexual tension, making intimacy more charged and exhilarating. 


Experiment with temperature play

Temperature play is an erotic practice that uses heat or cold to stimulate the body. It is a form of sensory play that introduces a variety of new physical sensations to sex. You can use heated oils, ice cubes, and massage candles. Specially designed toys are also available; these toys can be chilled or heated. 

Switching from cold to hot can surprise the partner and stimulate nerves, increasing sensitivity. Such sexual play requires mutual trust, communication, and an open mind. These create a sense of shared adventure and exploration by leading the couple away from their comfort zones. 


Combine food and sex

As part of foreplay, enhance the sensory experience by using edible items. Your items' different tastes, textures, and aromas can stimulate the senses and add a layer of excitement and freshness to a sexual experience. 

During the act, you can feed each other and experiment with temperature using chilled fruits or warm chocolate. You can also use edible underwear or paint. Such erotic practices encourage partners to be fully present as they engage with their partners and create some exciting new memories.


Create a sexual wish list

Create a list of sexual things, fantasies, kinks and experiences you want to explore. It can be anything from trying a new position, location, or toy to something more adventurous like role-playing, temperature play, or joining a nude retreat. The act of discussing and creating the list can be pretty arousing. It will improve communication and shift each partner's perception of their relationship and each other. It will also introduce new and exciting possibilities for their future together. 

On a more practical level, a sexual bucket list can serve as a roadmap that will create momentum and keep you going on this journey to a better sex life.


Try sensory deprivation

In sensory deprivation sex, by restricting one or more senses, you amplify the pleasure received from the senses that remain active. For instance, if you blindfold your partner and deprive them of visual stimulation, they'll fully tune into their environment and what they can feel happening to and around their body. Every touch will be unexpected, heightening the thrill and anticipation. They will feel each whisper, kiss, lick, and stroke more intensely. While they're blindfolded, you can also use objects like oils, feathers, or toys like vibrators to stimulate your partner. It will keep them on tenterhooks, trying to guess what will follow. 

"It's a journey of rediscovery, where vulnerability meets creativity, and intimacy is reimagined," says Prihandito.

Through sensory deprivation, you can ensure your partner's attention remains centered on you. Use tools like blindfolds, headphones, and restraints to limit your partner's sight, sound, or movement, adding excitement to the encounter and fostering a deeper trust between partners. 


Indulge in extended foreplay

Foreplay involves exploring your partner, expressing your desire for them, and building sexual tension, all adding more nuance to intimate moments. It is all about affectionate exchanges, sharing desires and fantasies, making out, and going only so far and no more. It prepares the body and mind and sets an emotional stage for a deeper sexual connection. This lazy exploration helps in understanding what excites and pleases each partner.

"Remember, not all forms of physical intimacy lead to sex, but they can create an atmosphere of sensuality. Cuddle, hold hands and exchange massages. This physical closeness can create a natural segue into sexual intimacy," Cisneros tells mindbodygreen.

Extended foreplay can go on for days, whipping the partners into a sexual frenzy. It can include sexting, teasing with seductive lingerie, 'accidental' touches that are anything but, raunchy messages, and dirty talk. The couple can also indulge in erotic games. This prolonged phase of intimate interaction makes partners more receptive and responsive during the act. It allows you to savor each moment and revel in the undercurrent of attraction and arousal.


Establish a deeper emotional connection

"Strengthening emotional intimacy can enhance the connection in the bedroom," says Sultan.

Repair your sexual relationship by rekindling your emotional bond. Make yourself vulnerable. Allow your partner to see into your heart by openly and honestly sharing your feelings, hopes, and dreams for their future as a couple. Invite them to speak their mind and share their feelings. Listen attentively and with curiosity. Ask open-ended questions to draw them out. 

Show them appreciation for the love and laughter they have brought into your life. "Regularly expressing gratitude can create a positive emotional environment, which can be incredibly freeing sexually," shares Cisneros. 

You can even revisit your old haunts and recreate moments of emotional significance to your partner. Emotional closeness will allow for a more relaxed and intimate exploration of each other's bodies and desires, leading to a more satisfying and adventurous sex life.


Work with a professional

If none of the strategies proves helpful or seems to not be to your taste or violate any of your boundaries, it is best to work with a sex therapist, counselor, or coach. It is especially helpful if your partner resists attempts to improve the relationship.

Besides providing tools, techniques, and guidance to repair your sexual connection, an experienced professional can help you identify if the sexual rut is pointing to a more profound relationship issue. 


How can I spice up sex after 12 years?

Predictability can be an issue after 12 years of togetherness, but the couple also has a lot of shared happy memories and experiences. Revisit those memories and recreate emotionally significant moments. Explore new fantasies, positions, and locations to reignite the sexual spark. Consider integrating elaborate rituals like BDSM practices and role play into your sex life for added excitement.

How to last rounds of sex?

As we age, it becomes difficult to last for several rounds of sex. Stamina can undoubtedly be a problem, and sustaining an erection can be difficult. In such cases, one can try something other than vaginal intercourse. Consider positions that can help manage arousal levels. Indulge in prolonged foreplay and use stop-start techniques.

How can I get my fun back in sex?

To make sex fun again, focus more on the journey than the final act. Experiment with sex toys, locations, pace, and positions. Indulge in extended foreplay. Enhance anticipation through sexting, teasing and talking dirty to each other. Go on dates and recreate happy memories from the past. Reaffirm your mutual attraction.

How to spice up sex after 50?

To spice up sex after 50, talk to your partner and together explore new avenues of sexual pleasure. Try different intimate activities and positions that accommodate physical comfort, and after consulting a doctor, consider taking supplements to help with performance.

How to spice up sex after baby?

Life changes drastically after having a baby, so it's essential to be kind and considerate to each other. Remind one another of the attraction and love you share. Do something small every day to be intimate with your partner and gradually work up to more extended periods of sexual intimacy.

How to spice up sex after 60?

Create new experiences together. Take good care of your health and use sexual positions that feel good and accommodate your physical limitations, if any. Keep the communication channels open and discuss your desires and fantasies, and if there is something you can safely explore, go for it. Indulge in non-sexual touch to maintain a healthy connection.

How to spice up sex after 40?

As life picks up pace and creates added stress, sex can hit a slump; to correct that, it is vital to communicate with each other actively. Discuss any fantasies or unexplored desires that you may have. Consider introducing kink into your intimate moments. Spend quality time together and actively nourish your emotional connection. Seek help for sexual wellness if necessary.

How to spice up sex after married?

Once you're married, you no longer have to steal moments, and the thrill of the chase is gone. Keep the sexual spark alive by constantly reminding each other of your love and attraction for one another. Communicate openly about sexual needs and fantasies, set aside dedicated time for intimacy, and be adventurous in expressing your desires. In both private and public, show non-sexual affection to each other.

The takeaway

Spicing up your sex life is important for keeping the spark alive in long-term relationships. Try different strategies, explore other practices, and experiment with toys, and if the issue persists, there's no shame in reaching out to a professional.

Most importantly, remember that it is never too late to reaffirm your attraction and shared desire, rejuvenate your sex life, and, in doing so, rediscover the old joy and exhilaration of your relationship.

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