3 Couples Share Ways to Spice Up the Bedroom

ways to spice up the bedroom

When couples ask “experts” about ways to spice up the bedroom, have you ever wondered where their sex advice is coming from?

Are the experts secretly sharing what works in their relationship? Is their sex advice research-driven or theoretical in nature? Or is it a piece of relationship advice given to a couple they worked with in the past that seemed to help them?

It’s important to note that while there certainly is an element of science in human sexuality, it’s not the type of science where you can mix chemicals in a beaker and get the same result every time you run the experiment. Which means that human sexuality is an art, too. And this further means that learning about what works or doesn’t work for others might or might not be relevant to your own relationship. But you won’t know until you consider it.

Ways to Spice Up the Bedroom: Learning from the Wisdom of Other Couples

In today’s How to Spice Up Your Marriage blog post, you’ll hear from couples just like you. Couples who have found ways to turn a sexual rut around. What shouldn’t get lost is that you’re not alone. In my couples counseling practice, many of the couples struggle to keep their sex lives exciting. Some have struggled early in their marriage or relationship to connect sexually. And for others, a satisfying sex life buckled under the stresses of life and the daily grind of domestic life.

Love doesn’t always neatly lead to meaningful sexual intimacy. Sex is imbued with taboo, hidden (often unconscious) agendas, emotional conflicts and insecurities. And, because of this, sex is the playing field that can bring us intense sensual joy and connection as well as painful self-consciousness and emotional wounding.

Let’s turn our attention to what has worked for these couples.

1. Take it out of the bedroom

“The first thing that comes to my mind when I’m asked about ways to spice up the bedroom is, ‘Take sex out of the bedroom!’ Robert and I watch TV in the bedroom, we pay bills there, we’ve had some of our biggest fights there. So for me, there are many associations to our bedroom that have nothing to do with sex!” ~Maria, married for eleven years

For Maria, changing the environment is important to infusing her sex life with some spice. And she makes an important point for all of us to consider: when you think of your bedroom, what associations come to mind? For some of us, our bedrooms are places that aren’t conducive to sex, romance and sensual pleasures. I worked with one couple who discovered that they felt most sexually free while making love in the guest bedroom. They’d playfully joke during the day, “Hey, I’ll meet you in the guest bedroom tonight if you’re game!”

And another couple I worked with had a very special location for having sex: In their car in the garage! When they were younger some of their wildest sexual experiences together were in cars but now that they are in their early 70s they were concerned about getting caught in public so they found a safe compromise.

2. Toy story

“It’s always taken a lot of stimulation for me to get in the mood. Even when I was younger, I remember my girlfriends telling me about the mind-blowing sex they were having and how incredible their orgasms were. I always felt left out. But in my thirties I got my first vibrator and all that changed. The problem was trying to introduce a vibrator into my sex life with another person. Sometimes my lover was into it and sometimes he saw it as a failing grade for his sexual prowess. But then I met Javier. He is totally into me using a vibrator and I taught him how to use it on me. It makes him sexually crazed and that feeds me sexually!” ~Andrea, with her partner for six years

I’ve worked with couples who love to incorporate sex toys into their love making and others who have absolutely no interest. For some, it enhances pleasure and variety into sex, and for others (men in particular) it can make them feel like they’re sexually inadequate if a vibrator or dildo brings their partner great pleasure.

For Andrea, the physical stimulation a vibrator brought her could not be replicated by any lover she had. And once she found a partner who loved what a vibrator did for her, the sexual sparks between them really intensified. And, as Andrea stated, “The vibrators of today are remarkable. There are different settings depending on what your body needs. The advances in technology have made my sex life remarkable!”

So whether it’s out of necessity in order to enhance your body’s sexual arousal or to bring variety or a level of eroticism needed for spicing things up in the bedroom, you may want to do some research about the different sex toys available.

3. Ramp up the foreplay

“I like to take it slow. Extended foreplay is the biggest sexual turn-on for me. So I need my lover to be patient and enjoy lots of teasing and foreplay before having intercourse. And there are times I don’t even need intercourse.This was a real problem for my first wife. We’d had such fights because she wanted to ‘get it over with.’ I ended up feeling like there was something wrong with me. It was one of the main reasons we split up.” ~Johnathan, divorced after five years of marriage

There was nothing wrong with Johnathan. Or his ex-wife, for that matter. They were just incompatible sexually and this unfortunately led to significant marital conflict. Our sexual interests and tastes vary. For some, sex starts intensely, with little warm-up. For others, a slower warm-up with lots of foreplay is best.

So in seeking ways to spice up the bedroom, is it possible that increased foreplay (and maybe a greater variety of foreplay) is what’s needed?

Foreplay can help individuals with lower libidos get turned on sexually, and seductive foreplay can also help couples bring a slower, more attuned form of sexual engagement into their love-making.


Communicating your sexual needs and what you’d like to try with your spouse/partner is the first (and often most important) step in finding ways to spice up the bedroom. But remember, any attempts to spice up your sex life should occur against a backdrop of emotional safety.

Sexual intimacy involves significant emotional vulnerability and risks. Nothing shuts down sexual exploration and fulfillment more than anticipating criticism from your spouse/partner. Sharing what you each need from one another in order to feel emotionally secure is the first step in learning how to spice up your marriage or relationship. And these conversations should be ongoing.

Here’s to spicing up your relationship!

Dr. Rich Nicastro