Category Archives: Nurture Your Relationship

Sexual intimacy in marriage: Four tips for re-igniting sexual interest

Sexual intimacy in marriage

Due in large part to the proliferation of spontaneous, “no-effort” sexual scenarios in movies and on TV, the prevailing collective ideal of sex in relationships is one of unbidden (but fulfilling) fireworks. Sexual intimacy in marriage seems to be some magical thing that just happens when two people share a mutual attraction. This unrealistic ideal

What Turns Women On? One Wife’s Story

what turns women on?

So many men and husbands want to know what turns women on (and in particular, find ways to seduce and turn on their wife/partner). This makes sense, doesn’t it? They want to give the women they love pleasure, but they also want to feel desired in the process. After all, passion doesn’t feel all that passionate

How to Make a Marriage Work

How to make a marriage work

As the title of today’s blog post suggests, marriage or long-term relationships do indeed take work. Your marriage/relationship isn’t a static, lifeless abstraction that just involves an agreement that you’ve entered into. Think of your relationship as a living entity that arises from the intersecting of two lives. And like all living entities, it requires

Are Mental Health Professionals Biased Against Open Relationships? 

open relationship

My first experience working with couples in open relationships occurred about twenty years ago. At that time, I’d never heard the term polyamory, and my own unexamined biases of what it meant to be in an open marriage or relationship were clichéd and narrow-minded. Since then, I’ve worked with well over a hundred couples who

How to keep sex interesting in long-term relationships

How to keep sex interesting

I’m often asked by couples that are married or in long-term relationships about how to keep sex interesting. For some of these couples, there is a painful lack of intimacy they’re trying to overcome. And for many, they have an enjoyable sex life that just feels a bit ho-hum. Whether you and your partner are

How to Turn Him On: The Role of Seduction in Your Relationship

How to turn him on

In the many workshops and seminars I’ve held for couples, there are certain questions that pop up quite often. One I’d like to discuss today is what many a wife or girlfriend has posited: “I want to learn how to turn him on.” This brings us to the role of seduction in marriage and long-term

How to Rekindle a Marriage That Is Stuck

How to rekindle a marriage

When couples ask me about how to rekindle a marriage or relationship, they are acknowledging that they are stuck in some way. A relationship rut has taken hold, leading one or both spouses/partners to feel bored or frustrated. Long-term relationships and the challenges of domestic life have a way of blanketing us in ho-hum-ness, the

Thinking about My Sex Life: Am I Kinky?

Kinky sex

“I like candle wax dripped onto my body when Jake and I have sex,” Marla said to her friend Anne over lunch. They’d gotten around to talking about their intimate lives, and Marla couldn’t wait to throw that particular grenade. She grinned slyly as she anticipated Anne’s reaction. But the grenade just sat there, unsatisfyingly

7 Days to a Steamy Sex Life: Embrace Your Daring Side

steamy sex

“Javier and I were at home watching a movie one night,” Monica said, “and there was a racy scene in it. A really racy scene.” Javier cleared his throat. He and Monica had been married for eight years and had twin daughters, age four. “So anyway,” Monica went on, smirking, “on-screen the actors were really

Can Jealousy Be a Turn On?

what turns you own?

What do oysters, chocolate, and pomegranates have in common? They are all thought to be aphrodisiacs. But what if I asked you to consider adding a non-food item to the list? And what if it’s something you might think of as a bucket of cold water on the fire of lust, rather than something that

Intentional Love-Making: How to Enjoy Sex

Making Love

“Intention is the core of all conscious life. Conscious intention colors and moves everything.” ~Master Hsing Yun What does it mean to be intentional? And how can intentional love-making help you achieve a better sex life? In a world of competing priorities, never-ending “to do” lists, and rapid-fire gratifications, it’s easy to mindlessly skim through

A Fulfilling Sexual Relationship Starts with Self-Understanding

fulfilling sexual relationship

People feel and act differently when they are turned on. This obvious statement has implications, I believe, for a couple’s sex life and for improving a sexual relationship. It raises the question(s): Who do you become during sex? Who do you become when you’re turned on? Which aspects of yourself do you leave behind when

Spice Up Your Sex Life with Sexual Teasing

spice up your sex life

Teasing Lost and Found—A Real Life Example: Often couples wrongly believe that they have “outgrown” certain erotic activities that were once a part of their relationship. Jessica and Ronnie are one such couple. In a recent Spice Up Your Sex Life workshop, Jessica and Ronnie told me that they “used to do crazy things” while

Considering an Open Relationship? 5 Relationship Tips

Tips for an Open Relationship

As increasing numbers of individuals and couples question the viability of long-term monogamous relationships, consensual non-monogamy (open relationships such as swinging and polyamory) is receiving greater attention from the lay public and professionals alike. While the idea of an open relationship can make some people shake their head in disapproval, it’s important to keep in

How To Seduce Your Man

How to Seduce Your Man

Let’s be honest: some people just seem to naturally exude sex appeal and seductiveness. And then there are the rest of us who have to work on being seductive. The good news is, with intention, effort, and some understanding of the erotic mind, you can make seduction an ongoing part of your relationship or marriage.

Open Marriage: One Couple’s Journey

Open Marriage

When I first started working with couples some twenty years ago, like many new therapists, I was a bit naïve about the complex and diverse relationship issues that would bring couples to my office. Where my experience lagged, my eagerness to learn picked up the slack. I remember one wife in particular, Louise, who contacted

5 Approaches to Initiating Sex

5 ways to initiating sex

Sex doesn’t just “happen”; it is set into motion by the partner who wants to have sex (the initiator) and then it is up to the other partner (the recipient) to accept (or reject) the invitation. When you or your partner desire sex, one of you must request sexual engagement (unless you both end up

5 Steps to Spice Up A Boring Sex Life

overcome a boring sex life 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

Sex After 50 (Part 2): Stop Standing in Your Own Way

Sex After 50

In a previous Sex After 50 blog post, we examined a particularly damaging attitude that too many older couples hold regarding their sexuality—an attitude that dictates what is considered appropriate/inappropriate for a particular age group. When applied to older couples, the attitude of “age-appropriate” behavior places significant constraints on a couple, constraints that impact not

Sex After 50: Is Better Sex Possible?

Sex After 50

“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” ~ Samuel Ullman For sexual desire and fulfillment to exist, there must be a mindset that encourages and nurtures one’s sexuality. And this is particularly

The Making of a Sexless Relationship (Installment #2)

Making of a Sexless Relationship

This is the second blog post in a series that follows Becca and Hugo, a couple struggling to recapture the sexual and emotional intimacy that once existed in their marriage. You can read the first installment by clicking sexless relationship. Misunderstandings and conflict, and the emotional wounding that ensues, are a normal part of any

The Making of a Sexless Relationship (First Installment)

Sexless Relationship

“The Making of a Sexless Relationship” is the first blog post in an ongoing series that follows one couple through the ups and downs of their relationship as they try to make sense of their struggles with emotional and sexual intimacy. While you may not identify with every aspect of their story, there will likely

Fear of Intimacy? You’re Not Alone!

Fear of Intimacy

Is a fear of intimacy hurting emotional intimacy and sexual connection in your marriage/relationship? For many of the couples I work with, this is indeed the case. Let’s explore how a fear of intimacy negatively impacts relationships and how couples can overcome this all-too-common experience. Overcoming a Fear of Intimacy: A Lesson from Therapy One

Building Anticipation to Spice Up Your Love Life

how to spice up your love life with anticipation

If you are seeking ways to spice up your love life, it’s important to take a moment to understand the workings of the erotic mind—in this case, your and your partner’s erotic mind. A significant percentage of the couples who fall prey to a sexless or passionless relationship frequently seek tangible solutions to pull themselves

Sexual Intimacy and Your Body

Sexual Intimacy and Your Body

(In a recent blog post—5 Blocks to Sexual Gratification—we briefly touched upon the important issue of somatic disconnection. In today’s post, we’ll further explore the issue of why a disconnection to your own body can hurt emotional as well as sexual intimacy. We end with an exercise designed to help you reconnect to your own

Rekindle Sexual Desire by Understanding Your Sexual History

Rekindle Sexual Desire

Sexuality is much more than a physical act or body-based experience—it’s a state of mind and way of being. While influenced by hormones, sexual desire and expression (or lack of expression) are powerfully shaped by your deep-seated attitudes and relationship to your own sexual longings, as well as your feelings about your partner/spouse and his/her

Sexual Intimacy in Marriage: Why Trust Is Central

Sexual Intimacy in Marriage

“Having sex with someone I didn’t really know or care about was easy. It’s when I fell in love that sex became amazing and dangerous at the same time. All of a sudden, trust and the potential for betrayal became relevant.” ~Eric, 33 years old When love becomes part of the relationship landscape, when the

What Affairs Teach Us about Sexual Passion and Desire

Sexual Passion and Desire

According to a recent MSNBC/iVillage survey of 70,000 people, around half the respondents said that they’ve been unfaithful at some point in their lives. Clearly, infidelity isn’t an anomaly involving just an unlucky few. Other studies suggest that approximately one-third of married men and one-fourth of married women have strayed—and approximately seventy percent of marriages

5 Sex Tips to Spice Up Your Marriage

Spice Up Your Marriage

As a relationship matures and evolves over time, sex (and sexual intimacy) will bounce around on a couple’s priority list. At times, sex will exist in the foreground of your union where it is experienced as a vital part of the overall marriage or relationship; while at other times, sex may recede into the background,

Intimacy in Marriage: Is Sex Deepening Emotional Intimacy?

Intimacy in marriage

Say the word “sex” to twenty different people and you are likely to get twenty different reactions. Why is that? Sex is an emotionally-charged experience with few rivals—sex and sexuality are not neutral phenomena, devoid of meaning. In fact, it is the psychological/emotional meaning that sex is imbued with (a meaning shaped by unconscious beliefs

Tips for Greater Passion and Sex in Marriage

Sex in Marriage

New relationships are often infused with passion—an emotional intensity and a sexual charge that creates a blissful orbit around a couple, bathing them in euphoria and excitement. Connecting moments—in and out of the bedroom—seem to automatically happen during this initial phase of the relationship. But as a relationship matures, something starts to shift. Over time,

5 Reasons Why Married Sex Can Be Amazing

benefits to married sex

You might have read about—or personally experienced—the challenges some married couples (or couples in long-term relationships) face when it comes to keeping sexual desire and sexual passion alive. The newness of a relationship clearly brings with it certain perks, one being the euphoria and excitement that seems to envelop every aspect of our life (including

The Power of Learning How to Feel Sexy

Learning how to feel sexy

We’ve been talking a great deal about sex, passion and sexual intimacy here at How to Spice Up Your Marriage, but in today’s post, I’d like to shift gears just a little and talk about the importance of feeling sexy even when sex isn’t necessarily on the agenda. How do you define sexy? Do you

Better Sex in Marriage: Trust and Vulnerability Are Key

Better sex in Marriage

What steps can a committed couple take to have better sex in marriage (or in a long-term relationship)? This was the question that led the couples at the intimacy workshop into a two-hour discussion about how marriage impacts (for better or for worse) sexual passion and fulfillment. And the consensus for many was that marriage

Better Sex In Marriage Through Variety

Better sex in marriage

“When I told Maria that I wanted sexual variety, she gave me a horrified look,” said Liam, Maria’s husband of seven years. “I think at first she thought ‘variety’ meant I wanted other sexual partners.” He shook his head and smiled. “Once she realized I meant variety within our sex life, she calmed down and

Keeping Emotional Intimacy Alive After the Orgasm

Intimacy in Marriage

Orgasm. You may be thinking that this powerfully-charged word says it all, that orgasm is the whole point of sex. But if you’re married or in a committed relationship and leap out of bed after your orgasm, you’re missing an important opportunity to nurture your marriage/relationship and you’re neglecting a rich facet of intimacy and

How To Spice Up Your Sex Life: Why Variety is Key

How to spice up your sex life

When it comes to steamy, fulfilling sex, the last thing you may want to hear is “Research shows…” But let me assure you, you’re going to want to hear about this research. Using novel experiences to spice up your sex life Scientific studies verify that when people try new things, the pleasure centers of the

Emotional Intimacy and Security: The Foundations of Sexual Intimacy

Building Emotional Intimacy

Great sex involves much more than physical attraction; and a fulfilling sex life goes way beyond good sexual technique. It’s not that physical attraction and technique aren’t important–they are, of course, but they are only part of the sexual puzzle. Meet Joan, a wife who didn’t want sex with her husband Joan and her husband

Spice Up Your Relationship With Great Communication

spice up your relationship with communication

Great sex starts with great communication. “It’s no surprise that the more my husband and I talk about sex, the better the sex is. I don’t know why it took us almost ten years to figure this one out!” ~ Pamela, married thirteen years to Ed Sexual intimacy and fulfillment start with your own self-understanding:

Emotional and Sexual Intimacy: Nurturing the Emotional Components of Sex

sexual intimacy emotional intimacy

Sex is physical, and obviously your body takes center stage during sexual activity. Sex is inherently a multidimensional sensory experience, with all the senses stimulated and alive at different times during the sexual experience: Touch and a wide range of physical sensations; The scent and smell of your lover; Taste through kissing, licking and oral