When it comes to marriage, the common dream is that you die peacefully in each other’s arms via spontaneous romantic heart failure at the ripe, old age of 100, having led a life together that was full, and warm and loving.In reality, things are usually much different, and one of the biggest things that guys seem to struggle with when it comes to marriage — if pop culture and Google searches are to be believed — is married sex.
So how do you make married sex … well, sexy? How do you make it fun, spontaneous, naughty and exciting all in one? The truth is, there’s no single answer. Every couple is different, and different things will work for different couples.
To help narrow it down, here are 5 generalized tips for amping up the sex in your marriage — both in terms of quality and in terms of quantity — to keep your life as a husband a happy one.
Be a Better Husband Around the Home
What’d you expect, a suggestion to buy a sex toy? The real hack to having more sex is being someone your spouse wants to have sex with. That starts with showing them you care about the marriage by taking on your fair share of responsibilities.
Letting her know you see what she does, and thanking her for doing the laundry or cooking a good meal, as well as doing it yourself, makes her feel connected to you; you’re partners. That brings her close to you.”
There’s nothing less sexy for many people than watching the person they married turn into someone who expects them to do everything around the home. Even if you’re the primary (or sole) breadwinner, putting in a concerted effort to pull your weight on the homefront can make a huge difference in how sexy you seem.
After all, women find lots of non-sexual things sexy, and a guy who takes care of basic chores and responsibilities ranks high on the list.
Lower Your Spouse’s Stress Levels
One of the biggest drains on a couple’s sex life can be stress. Not only is stress a bad sign about how the rest of your life is going, simply being stressed can drastically lower someone’s sex drive. That’s because stress impacts your hormones — and can seriously inhibit the hormones that help regulate arousal. Meaning, any potential for getting turned on is already nipped in the bud when you’re super stressed out.
Making stress reduction a priority in the marriage can not only help those feelings of arousal flow more freely, but your spouse will be more likely to appreciate your focus on helping them get unblocked.
“A married guy helping to reduce his wife’s (or spouse’s) stress levels can have a big positive impact on their sex life, and enjoy secondary gains by deepening the established marital trust,” says Dr. Fran Walfish, a Beverly Hills-based couples, relationship and family psychologist and author of “The Self-Aware Parent.”
“When your spouse feels safe, cared for, and trusts you she opens her body and soul to you in deeper ways, including sexually. She wants to be closer and more intimate with you.”
Quality Time in the Bedroom
Despite feeling that sex should be organic and spontaneous, sometimes, busy schedules take over. The reality is that sometimes, you just have to buckle down and put time aside in your calendar for sex.
“We schedule everything in our lives, and just because something is scheduled doesn’t mean that parts of it can’t be spontaneous,” says O’Reilly. “Just as food doesn’t magically appear in your mouth (you have to plan to cook, order in or go out to eat), but you can still switch from Thai to Chinese at the last minute, so too can you balance planning and spontaneity in your sex life.”
That doesn’t mean you set an agenda with minute-by-minute plans for what you’re doing. Instead, it just means you recognize that without some concerted planning effort, it can be easy for sex to slip by the wayside when other, seemingly more pressing demands are piling up.
“You might take turns scheduling sex or plan to have sex on a specific day, but leave the specific window of time more flexible,” points out O’Reilly.
Make Yourself Feel Desirable
Of course, it’s possible what’s holding your sex life back is your own feelings of not being sexy. “If you feel body shame and worry that your partner judges you during sex, it will cause performance anxiety and distract you from the moment,” says sex educator Kenneth Play “If you have body image issues, you’ll be worried about positioning yourself in ways that are more attractive, or sucking in your belly or the light being too bright — which will all detract from your ability to actually focus on the sex.”
Dealing with enough experiences like that would make anyone associate sex with frustration, embarrassment or awkwardness — and then start finding excuses to avoid it. If that’s the case, it might be time to start working on your own self-image. That might mean working out and getting back in shape, coming to terms with how you look and loving it regardless or a combination thereof. But being able to feel genuinely good about yourself can definitely have a big impact on your sex life.
“If you’re more confident in yourself and have good self-esteem about your body image, you’ll be able to focus on having sex with your [spouse], your mutual pleasure and connecting,” adds Play. “Also, confidence is just sexy.”
Change Your Expectations
At the end of the day, perhaps the biggest impact you can have on your sex life is to work on accepting it as it is, and resetting what you’re expecting out of it instead of struggling to change it to meet your expectations. It’s normal for a couple’s sexual habits to change over the course of a marriage. Unfortunately, expecting things to stay the same over the course of years and decades just isn’t realistic.
Sure, if you’re in a slump, there are lots of things you can do to make things more exciting or more romantic, but you’ll never be able to perfectly recreate the sex you had when you just met — and that’s normal!Recognizing what your marriage does bring to the table, and not frustrated by what it doesn’t, means you’ll be able to appreciate what you have a lot more instead of trying to make it match up with an unrealistic standard.