I found this article in Men’s Health. Rob was previously commenting on getting along sexually and getting the woman in your relationship to buy into having sex with you. This article explains it better than I did. I offer it as another guest post and commend it to your reading.
Blessings on you and yours
16 Tricks for Hotter Monogamy
Most couple reaches a point when the wild lust of exploration becomes a distant, exotic memory. Some of us, when the frisson fizzles, turn elsewhere for passion. Others remain faithful and figure boredom is the price we pay for love. Or you could reclaim the wildness of your first months.
The road to hotter monogamy is simply a matter of mind over monotony. It begins with a pledge to resist the cliché that familiarity breeds lower temperatures, a decision that you will not be doomed to a bleak future of ho-hum, twice-a-month slap ’n’ tickle, and the determination to bring the same appetite for excellence to exalting your partner’s body that you bring to every other arena of your life. Ready to bust your rut and rekindle your sex life? Here are 16 ways to keep the home fires burning.
Love Less, Want More
Energy often fades with time because we grow to love each other too much. Yes, too much. Forget all that treacle about how sex is enriched by attachment. If it were, why are you still flashing back to that tall chick from Dayton who slipped into your dorm room freshman week at Yale and Eli-ed your bulldog?
No, lust can actually be doused by caring. Once we become fully human to each other, the selfishness that arousal requires is often gentled by affection. Now, make no mistake, full-spectrum love is the grand prize of life. So the secret is to build an attachment that is both sacred—as in the sappy hearts-‘n’-flowers stuff—and profane—as in the missus welcoming you home by reenacting the Phoebe Cates—emerging-from-the-pool scene from Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
That requires two strong-hearted and self-defined people. That requires the vigorous, independent, self-reliant love of two self-actualized individuals, not the needy codependent love of one mouse for another. There has to be space between you across which a spark of hunger can arc.
In Fact, Feel Free to Hate Your Beloved
What person in a long-term monogamous relationship isn’t driven nuts by something about his or her partner? Shrinks say this is because we resent our attachment to our partners, and the anger is a way of declaring our autonomy. A couple who stay hot for each other neither deny this anger nor give in to it. They acknowledge it and move forward, trying to soften it with kindness and consideration but without shame for the feeling.
Every 2 weeks or so, when you’re watching television together, take her feet in your lap and go to work, massaging away the worries of the world. Note: This is not foreplay; it’s caretaking. If she feels cherished, she’ll get bountiful with her body—maybe not tonight, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not even this weekend, but much more over the course of a life together than she would if her feet went forgotten.
In the same way that nations and teams are united by events in their history, so too are monogamous couples inspired by great sexual moments in theirs. Just as the Fourth of July is an occasion of American pride, and Game 6 will forever thrill Mets fans, so will your memories of that weekend in Santa Fe or that artful quickie at Cousin Julie’s wedding give your sex life the feel of a great unfolding story.
A sex life needs an album of greatest hits, sessions that stand out from the hundreds of garden-variety get-togethers. How these landmark hookups achieve their vividness isn’t important. It can be their intensity, their location, the props involved, the food, or the music that was the score. If you don’t have such epochal events in your past—or they’re all too far in the past—get to work.
Root, Root, Root for the Home Team
One of the benefits of longevity in a partnership is the chance to enjoy sexual traditions. But be sure to think outside the narrow Valentine’s Day—wedding anniversary—Father’s Day box. Consider annual sporting events as occasions. Have your own post parade on Kentucky Derby afternoon, complete with his-and-hers mint juleps by the bedside in case anybody gets thirsty in the backstretch.
Surely, Game 1 of the World Series deserves a sexual salute. (There is a position in which both partners can see the tube.) On Election Day, celebrate democracy and America by shedding your grace on each other.
Say “I Understand, Baby” and and “Is There Anything I Can Do for You, Doll?”
If hundreds of leading universities ever did such studies, they would show that a woman who feels respected and supported is far more likely to reenact the Jessica Lange—Jack Nicholson fandango from The Postman Always Rings Twice than is a woman who feels her man is an insensitive, self-absorbed jerk. Never argue about the validity of her feelings, even when they’re totally bogus; just acknowledge them.
Of course, you can disagree with her (see above), but be careful to either actually honor her feelings or, if that’s impossible, do a damn good job of acting as though you do. Moreover, though to ears deafened by political correctness, words like baby and doll sound condescending and sexist, to most women in relationships, they sound like love.
Rely on Your Bodies
One of the misconceptions about passionate sex is that it derives from the rest of a strong relationship. A couple who listen to each other, respect each other, and share feelings are, according to conventional wisdom, better able to send each other soaring. But this is another of those chicken-and-egg deals.
Good sex can help create intimacy as surely as it can spring from it. Our culture tends to disrespect the wisdom of our bodies and defer to the far less dependable wisdom of our minds. But our bodies and hungers can connect two people in elemental ways, making them susceptible to each other’s spirits. Submitted for your consideration: As surely as a vigorous sexual life is a result of a good relationship, it’s also a prerequisite for one.
Let Sex Heal
Sometimes when you get mad—no, make that when she gets mad—sex is deliberately withheld, as a punishment for perceived slights. Bad plan. This weaponizes lust. Your sexual loyalty to your partner has to be stronger than some small oversight, like neglecting to call when you were going to be late. Moreover, sex can be just the medicine you need. Touch helps you work your way back to each other. Our hips and hands are sometimes smarter than our brains.
Remember Pitcher Greg Maddux at His Best
Okay, maybe the future Hall of Famer isn’t the sexiest image of all time. But this will help: Change speeds and change locations.
Use Your Tongue
Though we’re uninhibited about things we’ll do to each other, we’re often sheepish about talking about the things we just did. Happy monogamy requires that we get over our shyness and speak freely about what we like and don’t. Sure, we have to put things gently, but we have an obligation to be our own advocates, to tell the truth. Death to prissiness! Be a role model for her. Ask her what she likes and, ahem, likes less.
Now, you have to be prepared to learn that she actually hates the Nigerian Swirl that you have been deploying with such smugness for all these years. But that’s a small price to pay if suddenly everybody’s being candid and sexual yeas and nays are flying all over the room. Two people can love each other very much, but if there’s no frankness about what they dig and what they don’t, there’s little chance that sex will grow richer and deeper and hotter.
Speak of Her Glories
Make sure she knows how beautiful she is and how sexually skilled she is, especially if she isn’t—sexually skilled, that is. All women are beautiful, and people often grow into expectations.
Set Sex Free
In the early days of a partnership, the word sex usually means that some body part is inserted somewhere, and it most often includes at least partial nakedness. But as time goes by, the couple who would keep things exciting takes sex out of the bedroom and broadens its definition to include all kinds of touching. Now, this is no call for just cuddling; a man’s entitled to want everything he wants.
But expand your physical life together to include all the ways a man and woman might touch/endorse each other: a quick make-out session in the laundry room, a supportive shoulder squeeze on the way out the door, a fondling here, a grope there, a caress, a head in a lap, a pinch of an ear, a tender tap. When touch is set free from the ghetto of orgasm, the purposefulness of intercourse drifts through every cove of our connection. This validation turns kittens into tigers, once the kids go outside to play.
Use the Whole Field
If you’re Joe Suburb, that’s not a deck behind your house; it’s an arena. One redwood chair, one lap, maybe a leaf tarp if modesty requires, and—presto!—you’ve got yourself an autumnal invigoration, complete with crickets and intimations of first frost. And your car is more than transportation; it’s a time machine back to the thrill of high-school hallelujahs.
Get Over This Mood Thing
Monogamous relationships often founder because one partner feels free to demur because she’s not “in the mood,” leaving Mr. Faithful, who has, alas, “forsaken all others,” with nowhere to turn with his need. “The mood” is greatly overrated, and if a couple is going to stay happily monogamous, there will have to be some sex had by people who are not exactly “in the mood.” This doesn’t mean that a partner can never demur. A throbbing headache gets you a pass. So too does violent nausea. Or if you’ve received news of a loved one’s death within the last half hour or so or been treated disrespectfully by the petitioner within the last 3 or 4 hours, take a pass all you want.
But not being “in the mood” is death if you expect to keep a relationship warm and energetic. Just like the Highlander, your physical relationship needs some routine maintenance. You go to work when you’re not “in the mood.” You go to the gym when you’re not “in the mood.” When we accept a person’s promise of monogamy, we take on a duty. Come on, take one for the team.
Be a Beast
The hectic pace of life is centrifugal, urging a man and a woman away from each other into separate orbits of less important obligation. But in couples who remain durably warm, Tristan and Isolde always find their way back to each other, if only for a refresher moment every now and then. Make a habit of breaking out of the routine interactions of coming and going by every so often focusing powerfully on her and telling her you love her. Hold her strongly by the arms and command the rest of the world to recede.
There’s a bubble around the two of you, and all that matters in this instant is your fierce love for her. Don’t just say it; add a whisper of growl. You love her like a wolf. Yeah, yeah, sure, your love is deepened by her character and kindness and wit, but its origin had nothing to do with her traits. And yeah, yeah, sure, she’s a good mother, a great cook, a loyal friend, but guess what? Passion doesn’t need a reason. It just is—like the wind in west Texas. Don’t actually say any of this stuff about wolves or west Texas; you’ll frighten her. But if your attitude asserts the wildness of your taste for her, she’ll feel safe.
In the end, the most powerful sex secrets aren’t in technique, in learning to use your fingers like a French flutist or your tongue like an Asian lizard. The secret to keeping the pepper in your pas de deux is to stand up for the primacy of physicality in your life together, resisting the cultural conspiracy that dis-respects your taste for each other and tries to make it a bit player in your passion. Your longing for each other can enrich all of your feelings.
If we lived in a less cynical age, a fellow might argue that monogamy is your best chance at a fevered sex life. A fellow might argue that though it is deprivation of a kind, it’s also an invitation to develop expertise, a chance to take pride in knowing that a certain whimper means “just right,” and that she prefers feathery in the morning but fortissimo at night. A fellow might feel lucky to recognize a certain cadence of hips and offering of lips. A fellow might be glad that she knows his secrets.
Monogamy isn’t beanbag. It takes discipline and love and energy and is best not tried by nonserious men. But done right, the conspiracy of just two is sanctified by its focus, made big and bold and daring by the sheer size of the bet.
All the chips on one number. How’s that for exciting? Spin the wheel.