Passionate Love-making: 3 Ways to Rekindle Sexual Desire

passionate love making

How can the same couple who was once driven by sexual passion and couldn’t keep their hands off each other morph into a couple who rarely has sex, and, when they do, it’s mainly because they view sex as an obligation that “should” occur?

Anyone in a long-term, committed relationship knows about the challenges of keeping the fires of sex and passion alive. Of course, not all sex needs to be passionate in order for it to be meaningful. Many of the couples I work with have to schedule sex (or it won’t happen—and many report sexually satisfying experiences despite the planned aspect of it. And still for other couples, their sexual energies may have always hummed very quietly, and this low-passion union works perfectly well for them.

The truth is, we all have different sexual rhythms and desires; There is no one-size-fits-all sexual intimacy script that will work for everyone. Where couples seem to get into marital/relationship trouble about sex is when their sexual rhythms and desires clash (for instance, one partner wants more frequent sex or a particular type of sex, while the other partner is content having very little sex or engaging in a limited number of sexual activities).

Sex and Marriage: 3 Ways to Rekindle Passionate Love-making

Your sexual desire doesn’t exist in a vacuum where it lies dormant (unaffected by life circumstances), awaiting to attach itself to the next attractive person who crosses your path (though it may feel like this has happened at times). There are many factors that impact one’s sexual and erotic desires and inclinations, including: biochemistry, culture and societal messages, personality, developmental and sexual history, current psychological and emotional state, as well as current life circumstances.

After reading the above paragraph you might feel a bit overwhelmed by the complexities of our sexuality and sexual lives. The good news is despite these complexities, there are some straightforward things you can do to take charge and spice up your sex life.

1) Access your sexual-self

Rather than thinking of sexual desire as something that is stirred within you (and an experience that is somewhat separate from the rest of you), it can be helpful to think of yourself as a sexual person—even though you may not always feel sexual or may have some difficulty getting into the mood for sex. We all have different sides to our personality that get stimulated depending on the circumstances of our life (the confident boss; the loving parent; the compassionate friend; the passionate artist/performer); and part of who you are as a person includes being sexual. Connecting with your sexual-self (starting with thinking of yourself as sexual) can go a long way in awakening desire.

2) Learn what you need to shift gears

As I mentioned above, different circumstances have a profound impact on which aspects of our self get evoked. And, for many, there are certain conditions that keep our sexual-self dormant and clearly out of sight. Understanding and creating the particular relationship conditions that will allow your sexual-self to awaken is an important step to rekindling desire. But don’t be passive about waiting for the right moment—couples need to actively create a space that is inviting for each other’s sexual-self.

3) Foreplay throughout the day

Teasing and anticipation can be powerful aphrodisiacs. And there is no reason why both of these cannot happen throughout the entire day (or week!), even when you and your spouse/partner aren’t together. Teasing and risqué text messages have become the norm for many couples wanting to ramp up their sex lives. Innuendo between you and your partner while out with friends, or sensual touch while out shopping together, can set the stage for what happens later when you both are home alone. In short, change your mindset about foreplay and see it as an experience that transcends what happens in the bedroom.

As you read through the above three points, remember that keeping passion and sexual desire alive requires ongoing work and a shift in your mindset. Be patient with yourself (and your partner) as you attempt to set up the conditions that allow meaningful sex to enter (or re-enter) your relationship.

How to Spice Up Your Relationship Action Step:

A few minutes each day (or once or twice each week if that feels more realistic), plan to connect with your sexual-self (even if you do not plan to have sex that day). This can occur while driving in your car, waiting in line at the grocery store, talking with a friend, or getting the necessary tasks of your job done.

Throughout the particular activities of your day, stop for a moment and remind yourself that you are a sexual being. Remember what it feels like to feel sexual, to feel sensual. This self-connection can go a long way in transforming your mindset about sex from a chore that “should” get done to an intimate experience you’re looking forward to– one that expresses an important part of who you are.

(Featured [top] image credit: “Couple Watching Sunset” by Steelight under CC BY-ND 2.0)