5 Steps to Spice Up A Boring Sex Life

overcome a boring sex life

Dictionary.com defines a rut as “a fixed or established mode of procedure or course of life, usually dull or unpromising.”

At times we’ve all felt like we’re just spinning our wheels with little-to-no forward movement. For some of us this might occur in our efforts to become healthier or lose weight. For others a particular rut may exist in their career, where they feel stuck and have to repeatedly engage in uninspiring tasks. Others might feel stuck in their search for a spiritual framework that brings meaning to their lives, and for some, a staleness may have settled around their creative pursuits.

We all slip into ruts in some area of our life.

And then, of course there are the relationships ruts that are all-too-familiar to many couples—that ho-hum dullness that seems to creep into our relationship at times. For others, this rut can become all-encompassing, settling over all aspects of the relationship to such a degree that the vitality that once held the couple together seems lost.

Spice Up Your Boring Sex Life: Identifying and Undoing Sexual Ruts

For too many couples, sex is one area of the relationship that is particularly susceptible to growing stale. Understanding why this is the case can go a long way toward improving your sex life.

Sexual ruts (as well as relationship ruts) occur because of repetitiveness and predictability over time. The analogy of food is apropos here: while you might really love a particular kind of food, if you have it too often, it may start to bore you. Similarly, if sex always occurs in the same way, the predictability and sameness that may offer you emotional comfort can also start to squeeze the vitality out of the erotic experience.

If there was an equation that could capture the dynamics of a sexual rut, it might look something like:

1) Repetitiveness/Predictability + Familiarity + Time = Potential for Sexual Rut

Now here’s where things get a bit complicated….

The same equation that can foster sexual dullness is the same equation that also leads us to feel emotionally safe with our partner. The dynamic of feeling secure with your partner is predicated on patterns of repetition, predictability and familiarity. All of these contribute to us knowing the other more fully and feeling emotionally grounded in the stability of the familiar.

2) Repetitiveness/Predictability + Familiarity + Time = Potential for Emotional Security

It’s important to consider both of these equations because if the scales of the predictable and familiar are tipped too much in an effort to shake things up and pull oneself out of a sexual rut, then the level of emotional security needed for sexual exploration may be compromised. While some level of anxiety can be an aphrodisiac depending on circumstance, too much change (too much unpredictability and unfamiliarity) can make your partner feel unrecognizable to you, thereby creating a level of relationship insecurity and anxiety that triggers our survival instinct, an instinct that will quickly override our sexual instinct.

To lift yourselves out of a rut (or to prevent one in the first place), the numbing impact of repetitiveness, predictability and familiarity need to be addressed. In short, you and your partner need to find ways to become less predictable without compromising the foundation of security that your relationship or marriage rests upon.

5 Steps to Overcoming A Boring Sex Life

1) The first change has to do with how you think about sex, as well as your perception of yourself as a sexual being. Connecting with your own sensuality and giving yourself permission to feel like a sexual person is an important part of this process. Try moving and positioning your body in ways that make you feel sexy and feel the sexual energy that exists within you.

2) Too many of the couples I work with focus more on the act itself (“let’s try a different sexual position”) without first giving attention to the ways in which they approach each other sexually. Consider this the seduction phase of a sexual experience. A big part of the problem for many couples is that they schedule sex and expect sex without any attention given to seducing each other into wanting sex. If little attention is given to what precedes the actual sexual act (including kissing and foreplay), then it’s time to add some variety to this phase of the sexual dance.

3) Do you and your partner talk about sex? Do you discuss what turns you on, what gets you in the mood to be sexual and what shuts your sexuality down? Communicating about sex is first and foremost about self- and other-discovery, as well as sharing what makes you each feel safe enough to share your deepest desires and sexual yearnings. If there are old internalized scripts that inhibit you and your partner from talking openly and explicitly about sex, sharing what these inhibitions are and where you learned them can be a powerful conversation that can open you both up to greater sexual expressiveness.

4) Some couples find it arousing to vary the locations where they have sex. Depending on the location, this can add a dash of forbiddeness and excitement into the sexual mix. Again, it’s important to balance your level of security with something you might find provocatively and sexually exciting.

5) And, finally, there are the actual sexual acts that occur (it’s important to note that if you only focus on varying the sexual activities you engage in, you are missing out on other important dynamics that can help you spice up your relationship sexually; see 1-4 above). Is there a particular sexual maneuver or sexual toy that you’ve been wanting to try but are hesitant to share with your partner?

If it feels like you’ve exhausted your sexual repertoire, are you each willing to educate yourselves on the varied sexual techniques that exist? One client I worked with fantasized about her husband spanking her lightly as part of their foreplay. She was afraid that he would reject her, so for years she kept this fantasy from him. When she finally asked him, he was eager to experiment and comply with his wife’s request. It turns out that mild BD/SM elevated their sex life, and over the next year they each read about other ways to bring themes of power and submission into their bedroom.

Remember, there is a delicate balance between sexual novelty and exploration while trying to remain emotionally grounded in the familiar. This balance is unique to each couple, and finding what works for you and your partner might involve some trial and error, but during this process, open communication about what is and isn’t working should be the norm.

Finally, it’s important to note that seeking ways to elevate your sex life should be fun and should occur against a backdrop of sexual playfulness. If this exploration becomes too serious and is approached with a rigid, pressured, no-nonsense mindset, then the entire adventure around sexual excitement is likely to stall right out of the gate. Yes, the sexual part of your relationship is important, but the journey toward sexual fulfillment is best approached with flexibility, playfulness and a mutual openness to what might unfold between you and your partner. When this mutually playful exploration is shut down, the erotic energies that exist within each of you are likely to retreat or to lay dormant.

(Featured [top] image Young Woman Yawning” by David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)