Ways to Spice up the Bedroom for Him

ways to spice up the bedroom for him

Couples in long-term marriages or relationships are curious about spicing things up in the bedroom. In other words, they want a little more sexual passion and a bit more excitement because love-making has grown a little stale. While the repetitiveness of our marital routines offer us a great deal, such as deepening trust (a trust that is built on familiarity), these same routines can also slowly dull the edges of passion. You’re not alone if this has happened in your relationship.

Recently a wife turned to me while pointing her finger at her husband as she asked about “ways to spice up the bedroom for him.” Her husband Bernie looked totally shocked by her directness. But then she continued with a message that captures something important:

“I don’t know if all couples struggle with this or not, but Bernie and I are just so different in certain ways. And these differences follow us into the bedroom. What gets me going sexually doesn’t always work for him, and the reverse is also true. But we keep approaching each other with what we like rather than fine-tuning our approach to what turns the other on sexually…”  ~Darla, married fifteen years

Ways to Spice Up the Bedroom for Him

Let’s start this discussion with looking at Darla’s message. She’s identified something important, something that too many couples miss.

If you want to spice up your marriage or relationship sexually, you need to discover (or rediscover) your partner’s erotic leanings. You need to learn how to turn on your husband or wife (or partner). This occurs in a number of ways:

1) Directly talking about sex (What turns you on sexually? Do you have any sexual fantasies that we can explore during sex?);

2) Being attuned to how your partner responds to different touch or sexual acts;

3) Experimenting with new sexual scenarios to expand your erotic repertoire (e.g., role-playing; including sex-talk during sex).

Erotic Rule of Thumb #1: Communicating your sexual needs and rewarding sex go hand-in-hand. Frequently we avoid talking about sex because in doing so we make ourselves emotionally vulnerable and open ourselves up for getting hurt by our partner. Keep this in mind. When your partner tells you what s/he likes sexually, this transfer of information is occurring against a backdrop of increased vulnerability.

When couples don’t communicate about sex in these honest, sensitive ways, their sexual connection may suffer. In short, love-making isn’t that fulfilling and the emotional connection that is fed by sexual intimacy isn’t fed. Too often, couples have less sex because of these sexual mis-attunements rather than readjusting to what each needs in the bedroom. As Bernie shared about his sex life with Darla:

 “Our sex life became just so-so. At some point, I think we could both take it or leave it. And we started leaving it more and more.”

In order to turn on her husband, Darla needed to place her erotic leanings on hold so that she could see her husband more clearly. As long as her own desires were the only things guiding her, she’d continue to miss opportunities to turn Bernie on.

Erotic Rule of Thumb #2: See your partner as a separate person rather than as an extension of your own sexual desires and needs. To do so, we have to get out of our own way by not assuming that what turns you on is what fuels your partner’s sexual desire.

Two Pathways to Discovering How to Turn on Your Husband

When Darla turned to me and asked about ways to spice up the bedroom for her husband, she was seeking a universal truth – an erotic truth that applies to all men. For instance, the assumption that men get aroused sexually by visual cues is quite common. If this is true for your husband/partner, then dressing in sexy clothing or lingerie would appeal to his sexual appetites. Watching erotica together would also tap this universal erotic truth.

What I’ve learned as a psychologist is that this type of one-size-fits-all approach to relationships frequently falls flat. When it comes to the psychology of the human mind (which includes the erotic mind), exceptions to the generalizations we make about people are actually quite common. This doesn’t mean that Bernie wouldn’t like to see Darla dressed in something provocative. But the danger is that if Darla assumes that this is a guarantee to drive her husband sexually crazy (because of the generalization that all men are visual) and then it flopped, she may personalize Bernie’s lack of arousal and conclude that he must not be into her since “all men are supposed to like that kind of thing.”

Erotic Rule of Thumb #3: While generalized beliefs in what men and women find arousing may apply to your partner, your chances for success are better if you discover the particulars of your partner’s erotic longings.

 At one point in our meeting I turned to Darla and asked, “During your sexual history with Bernie, have you noticed his different reactions to what you do and how you approach him sexually?”

Darla had to think about this for a while before she came up with an answer. And then she said, “I think he likes it when I talk dirty to him. I remember doing that a while ago and he had an orgasm right away. I remember that he was embarrassed about finishing so quickly…”

Bernie looked sheepish at this point, like his quick orgasm was something to be ashamed about. In fact, it was his embarrassment that overshadowed something important that happened during sex that day. Darla had discovered a powerful aphrodisiac that could be used to spice up their sex lives. But “dirty talk” was abandoned so that Bernie could save face.

The goal of our work was to get Darla to use what she discovered about her husband in a way that could enhance sexual passion. She would learn to titrate her provocative talk just enough to keep Bernie sexually aroused without peaking too quickly.

This wasn’t some universal truth about men and sex that she discovered. What she said during sex on that day had a particular erotic meaning for her husband (the sexual talk that drove Bernie into a sexual frenzy had provocative, taunting/playful elements to it). This discovery came out of an organic moment that unfolded without conscious thought. When this occurs, we must grab hold of what is discovered and learn to cultivate it and integrate it effectively into our sex lives.

So if you are looking for ways to spice up the bedroom for your man (or woman!), you may want to open up conversations about sexual longing and desire that you’ve been shying away from. And you may want to revisit your sexual history and cultivate what has been sexually charged for your partner.

Wishing you and your partner a fulfilling sex life!

Dr. Rich Nicastro

(Featured image courtesy of Photostock at FreeDigitPhotos.net)