Here's a causality dilemma for you: Which came first, the relationship or the sex? Some couples originate as a lusty, post-wedding, one-night stand that just keeps going, while other couples wait to copulate until it's post-their own wedding. (Hashtag gasp.) Whatever your desired order of events, the sex is necessary to the relationship. Sex can make or break a relationship, so if you're in a long-term one, you've got to know how to keep your sex life exciting.
Is it easy to get riled up over a new and exciting body in your bed (as long as you are consenting)? Affirmative. Is it easy to get riled up over a body that you have been sleeping in ratty T-shirts next to every night for four years? Negative. Married? Double negative. You and your partner could probably F each other with your eyes closed.
Because you obviously love your partner and want to make your relationship work, Elite Daily spoke to clinical sexologist Dr. Dawn Michael of TheHappySpouse.com to find out the secret to keeping the sex hot in your long-term relationship.
Make Sex Your Number One
Sex for president, 2020. The number one way to keep your sex life exciting is in fact by making it a priority. Putting an emphasis on sex, no matter how long you've been with your partner, is the best way to keep things hot in the bedroom... or wherever (because you should be doing it lots of places).
"Make [sex] a priority in the relationship or it will eventually fade," says Dr. Michael. "It happens to most couples at some point in a long-term relationship, but for those that make it a priority, it does not."
It sounds so easy, but it can be oh so hard. (See what I did there?) It's easy to get lazy about things that take far less time and are far less messy, like taking out the recycling, flossing, drinking eight cups of water a day, etc. The good part about making time for sex is that it is actually enjoyable. And Dr. Michael doesn't just mean doing it every night before bed — she means making a concerted effort to make your sex life as important as your work life.
Breaking bedroom habits is good for your lackluster libido, just like breaking french fry habits is good for your almost-svelte bod. Which brings me to...
Spice Things Up Like It's Taco Tuesday
Once you've prioritized sex like it's the third party in your relationship, there are actual exercises you can do to keep things in the bedroom hotter than Cholula. (Disclaimer: I'm not suggesting you bring actual hot sauce into the bedroom because, ouch.)
Dr. Michael recommends intimacy exercises that you and your partner can take part in together. "Explore fantasy together. Just talking about it can be mentally exciting for both," she explains."Take the time to ask and listen to a fantasy your partner may have. You don't even have to act it out, but if you want to act parts of it out, then do."
Talking about a fantasy sounds really hot to me. Maybe do it out at dinner on actual Taco Tuesday (quietly) or on a walk in public (so hot). Dr. Michael also recommends using an OG blindfold to change things up as well. Then you can actually challenge yourself to see if you really can do sex with your eyes closed.
"Take turns being in charge and exploring how each feels," she says. "Initiate sex equally. Talk dirty to each other throughout the day by sending a text or a quick phone call."
Whoever doesn't usually initiate sex should do the damn thing, like, tonight. That's a simple step you can take to switch things up.
Don't Assume You'll Always Have Desire
You and your partner are no longer hormone-stricken 15-year-olds (hopefully). Dr. Michael says that when couples assume they'll simply always have desire for each other, they get into big trouble. "Just as the same meal gets boring over the years, so does the same sexual routine," she explains. "That is why you have change the routine up, add the spice to it, and even change the time of day that you have sex."
As with most things in life, desire is something that you're going to have to create sometimes. This is where the creativity comes in, so thank your liberal arts degree "arts" requirement. Try the tiniest, cutest "I want you" text in the middle of the day to your person. That simple stray from your routine will lead to new kinds of desire. Plus, a sexy text makes the work day go by verrrrrrry quickly.
"Desire is not always going to be there," she says. "So it is important to create the desire, make the time, and have a special place to have sex. Change up the routine as well."
Worried a sexy text is too outside the norm for bae? "As people mature, so do their sexual desires and thoughts, even how they feel sexually or how their body responds to touch," says Dr. Michael. So check back in with your partner. I'm pretty sure they will open your sexy text with open arms/legs/everything.
The biggest takeaway from Dr. Michael's advice? The secret to keeping your sex life hot is prioritization. You and your partner's sex life is allowed to be high maintenance. Tend to your sex life the same way you'd tend to your garden, because the couples who stay together make time to put actual effort into sex together.
True love is mushy and gushy and adorable, so don't let a lack of sex ruin the thing that is so darn hard to find. You don't want to be back on Tinder swiping away for mediocre sex, so prioritize. Commitment to sex + bae + you = the best kind of threesome there is.