Let’s face it– long-term relationship, hot sex and attachment do not form an ideal threesome. Why? Well, this is how we are designed as humans. However, it turns out there are ways to outsmart our beloved Mother Nature…

Perhaps you have been together for some time and you feel the routine creeping around the corner. It is completely understandable that you want to feel the passion that was there at the beginning. Well, the bad news is that quite often it is not possible. This does not mean that you have to look for a new partner to feel the heightened sexual energy again. Quite the opposite! There are a few strategies to reverse declining desire in a long-term relationship and make sex great again.

So how do you make desire last in a long term relationship?

1. Have realistic expectations

In the initial stages of any sexual relationship, usually, lust and desire to take the lead. Many people think that this chemistry will stay with them forever. You can imagine how disappointed they are when after a couple of months, or 1.5 years in some cases, it kind of wears off. They start thinking something burned out between them. The truth is, it just… normalised, which is actually a good thing!

New relationship energy is amazing. However, to some people, it might be quite draining, both mentally and physically. If this state would last longer, some of us would simply run out of energy to function. Not to mention abandoning our hobbies and friends. And yes, being high on love might be pleasant, but for the human body and mind, it is also extremely exhausting. So enjoy the high but prepare for the normal.

2. Solve conflicts immediately

As they say, you should never go to bed angry, and unresolved conflicts are real libido killers. If you find some of the issues and disagreements are too hard to ignore, it is in your (and your sex life’s!) best interest not to allow the problems to build up. Animosities that are not addressed on time quite often cause mutual resentment. It is hard to focus on desire when all your energy goes into avoiding confrontation.

3. Learn each others’ languages of love and speak them fluently

Many couples fall into the trap of automatically saying “I love you”, often to the point that it becomes meaningless. If you hope that these two words (or the time-saving heart emoji in the text message) will do the trick, you are probably not familiar with the concept of 5 Love Languages. As it turns out, people can express their love through words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, quality time or physical touch. It is about time to learn your partner’s love language and become fluent in it. They should do the same, of course! It is much easier to focus on desire in your relationship when everyone feels loved.

4. Give each other a little independence

Falling in love often makes us want to be one with the other person. Yet, when we spend all our free time with them, we start to have less space for things that are just for us. According to Esther Perel, creating a little distance helps rekindle desire in otherwise stagnant relationships. Make effort to give yourself and your partner some alone time, have hobbies and connections outside your relationship. But also try to see the other person in their element, doing something they are passionate about. You will soon discover that this decreased familiarity makes them more attractive, both sexually and romantically.

5. Plan sex

Do not buy into the idea that only spontaneous sex counts. Of course, at the beginning of the relationship, most of the sex kind of just happens. You see your partner, you catch the whiff of their scent and you are ready for some action. But the longer you are together, the chances for spontaneous sex become lower. As I mentioned before, this does not mean something burned out. Most likely you are coming out of the hight. So do not give up on your sex life just yet.

Instead of sitting around and hoping for the desire to come back, take matters into your own hands. Have you ever heard about responsive desire? It is the concept introduced by dr. Emily Nagoski in her book, “Come As You Are.” This type of desire occurs as a response to sex or erotic stimulation but does not proceed it. Besides, planned proves to be as satisfying, as the spontaneous one. So it is worth putting sex on your agenda. But do not forget to show up for it!

6. Play games

Playing games not only brings a breath of freshness to the relationship but is also fun. To spice things up, pick up an erotic board or card game. Especially if you suffer from a temporary crisis or total lack of sexual creativity. It is much easier to introduce a bit of naughtiness into your sex life when everything has already been designed and planned, and the only thing you need to do is… to start playing.

For a short session, choose “Foreplay in a Row,” which is the adult version of popular “fours”. But if you are in for an erotic game that lasts weeks or even months, “The Lovers” (available on eBay or Amazon) will fill your days with sensual tasks. Allow the excitement of little competition to boost your libido. Especially since with erotic games there are no losers whatsoever.

7. Don’t buy into someone else’s version of a perfect sex life

It is not true that sex is only wild and passionate when you are young and single. As it is not true that it is gentle, predictable and rare once you have been together for a while. These are all stereotypes that might cloud anyone’s joy of sex. Remember there is no ideal number of intercourses per week, no ideal penis length, no benchmark of how long you should last in bed. Ignore stupid sex statistics. You, not them, are in charge of creating your unique sex life. It needs to suit and be fulfilling you and your partners. This is all that matters.

So do not listen to “sexperts” from glossy magazines or people on the internet bragging about their sex lives. Celebrate and cultivate what is satisfying to you. Instead of setting sexual goals, enjoy sex in your relationship by focusing on the pleasure it brings. Just changing your attitude and taking some pressure off yourself can be extremely helpful!

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Natalia Grubizna – sex blogger, pleasure educator and sex toy reviewer. She works with individuals, facilitates group workshops and advises organisations within the sexuality field, mostly within Polish-speaking communities. Natalia is 2016 alumni of Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture and Society and a firm believer in the power of informal, peer-led sex and relationship education.


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