11 Ways To Have More Romantic Sex, From Sexuality Experts
Sometimes, you want sex that goes beyond the physical: sex that's full of powerful emotions, simultaneously intense and tender, almost spiritual. Not just two bodies intertwining but also two souls.
Sexual romance is the experience of expressing feelings of love, passion, and care through erotic touch. So, to have more romantic sex, you'll want to find ways to communicate how you feel about your partner through your sexual actions.
With that in mind, here are a few ways to make sex more romantic, from sexuality experts:
Learn what your partner finds romantic.
"Romance is relative," sex and dating coach Myisha Battle, M.S., recently told mbg. What you find romantic might be different from what your partner finds romantic, which might be different from what the next person finds romantic. So, take time to actually ask your partner what sexual romance means to them, specifically.
This conversation itself can be fairly steamy. On an intimate date night, ask them about what intimate, passionate sex looks like to them. Ask them how they like to be touched and held. You're sure to enjoy the conversation that follows, and whatever else comes after that. "Talking about sex when you're not having it can actually increase the quality of the sex you have tremendously," Battle adds.
Then, deliver on whatever desires they shared with you. Not only will you be giving them pleasure in the exact way they like it, but they'll also know you were really listening to them and care about making them feel good.
Get to know your partner's inner world.
Sexual romance starts outside the bedroom. Because romantic sex is all about showing how you feel through sexuality, you first need to actually nurture that connection.
Take time to actually get to know your partner: their hopes, dreams, personal challenges, fears, and desires. Spend quality time with them, getting to know their soul well, from their adorable little quirks to their most amazing, awe-inspiring qualities. When you can truly appreciate how wonderful your partner is, you'll be better able to convey genuine adoration for them in bed.
Create a romantic environment.
One of the simplest ways to cultivate sexual romance is to physically set the right scene for your intimate activities, according to certified sex therapist Michelle Herzog, LMFT, CST. She recommends taking the time to create a romantic, sensual environment by attending to the five senses in your space.
"Getting creative with sensory experiences like incorporating sultry scents, listening to sexy music, and so on can expand your sexual experience," she recently told mbg. "Consider bringing in softer lighting and make sure that the space is clean and free of things like pet hair [or] clothes all over the floor to enhance the sexual space and make it free of distractions."
Gaze into each other's eyes.
Eye contact can instantly make sex more intimate, according to AASECT-certified sex therapist Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW. "Eye gazing can promote feelings of safety and attunement."
Aim for sex positions that allow you to face each other, and even better if you can be close enough to really gaze into each other's eyes throughout the act. Really try to see into your partner's soul and see them fully.
Kiss them in places other than their mouth.
Lay soft kisses all over their body, especially in the more tender and vulnerable places. A kiss on the back of the hand, the forehead, the shoulder, or the inner thigh—delivered oh-so-gently—can make the heart flutter and swell.
Likewise, sometimes even the simple act of holding your partner's hands during sex can make the experience all the more romantic. Interlock your fingers with theirs as you gaze into each other's eyes and melt into each other.
Try the yab yum.
The yab yum, also known as the lotus sex position, is a classic Tantric sex position for a reason: It's incredibly intimate and involves creating a deep, spiritual connection between partners. One partner sits upright on the ground or bed, and the other sits on their lap and wraps their legs around the base partner. From there, sex and relationship coach Prandhara Prem, M.A., recommends engaging in circular breathing together: as one partner breathes in, the other breathes out, creating a "circular flow" of energy exchange between you.
"The other breathing that you can do is breathing together in and out at the same pace," Prem also shared with mbg. "This gets your heart to beat at the same rate, thereby allowing you to be more empathetic with each other and know what the other is feeling."
Be romantic in your day-to-day life.
In general, if you're actively cultivating romance in your daily life, you'll find that romance translating more easily into your sex life.
"Being romantic involves creating a sense of passion, anticipation, and excitement within a relationship," clinical psychologist Carla Marie Manly, Ph.D., recently told mbg. "Romantic partners don't need to be a specific personality type; they can be introverts, ambiverts, or extroverts. A romantic partner, however, does need to be attentive, thoughtful, willing, creative, and considerate of [their] partner's secret (and not-so-secret) longings."
Try showing affection for your partner more actively by planning special experiences for them, kissing them passionately at random moments, writing a love letter, or other romantic gestures.
According to research by John Gottman, Ph.D., and Julie Gottman, Ph.D., psychologists and founders of The Gottman Institute, cuddling is strongly correlated with a good sex life. "Ninety-six percent of the non-cuddlers said they had a bad sex life," John told mbg in a recent podcast episode, referencing a survey they conducted of some 70,000 people across 24 countries.
So, cuddle more often in your day-to-day lives. You might even consider getting more creative with your cuddling positions. (See also: spooning sex.)
Continue showing care for your partner after the sex is over, so they know the intimacy you've just shared extends beyond just the sexual realm. "If one of you goes to sleep right away or puts on your clothes to leave, you're overlooking an important step, and doing so can lead to feelings of rejection and disconnection," trauma-informed relationship coach Julie Nguyen writes at mbg.
Aftercare refers to checking in with each other after a sexual experience to reconnect and make sure you both feel good about it. "Intentional aftercare gives you time to reflect on what just happened, validate each other's feelings, and clear up anything that you weren't able to mention during sex," Nguyen explains.
Say what you're feeling.
If you want a sexual moment to be more romantic, sometimes it's as simple as saying what's on your mind. This isn't about whispering sweet nothings but rather opening up to be truly vulnerable with your emotions. How does your partner make you feel? What do they mean to you? What do you love about them—their personality, the way they look, the little things they do that pull you in? Let them know, right there and then in the middle of the act.
The more ways you can find to communicate your feelings for your partner during sex, the more romantic your sexual experiences will be.
Kelly Gonsalves is a multi-certified sex educator and relationship coach helping people figure out how to create dating and sex lives that actually feel good — more open, more optimistic, and more pleasurable. In addition to working with individuals in her private practice, Kelly serves as the Sex & Relationships Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and she’s been trained and certified by leading sex and relationship institutions such as The Gottman Institute and Everyone Deserves Sex Ed, among others. Her work has been featured at The Cut, Vice, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and elsewhere.
With her warm, playful approach to coaching and facilitation, Kelly creates refreshingly candid spaces for processing and healing challenges around dating, sexuality, identity, body image, and relationships. She’s particularly enthusiastic about helping softhearted women get re-energized around the dating experience and find joy in the process of connecting with others. She believes relationships should be easy—and that, with room for self-reflection and the right toolkit, they can be.
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