A long-term relationship can be a beautiful thing.
The sense of stability, the in-jokes, the knowledge that you’re with someone who really gets you. However, LRTs are not without their downsides. One of the biggest issues faced by people who have been together for years (or even decades) is a boring sex life.
Boring sex sneaks up on you. You usually can’t pinpoint a moment when things got a little dull in the bedroom, because it happens gradually. Things aren’t as exciting as they used to be, when you first got together and were learning each other’s bodies. You might even start to worry that you’re doomed to have mediocre sex for the rest of your life. I’m here to tell you that the spark can be recaptured. In fact, your sex life can be even better than ever.
How Does Sex Become Boring?
When I was younger and first exploring sex, I couldn’t believe that it could ever become boring. I’d heard that some married couples who only set aside one night a week for sex. And that some almost never had sex at all!
Then I found myself… rarely having sex. It wasn’t that I lost my sex drive. Sex had just started to feel like another thing to make time for, rather than something to look forward to.
Most experts believe that sex becomes less exciting in long-term relationships because humans crave novelty. We always want to try new restaurants, new flavors of Oreos, and new things in the bedroom. When we’re in a long-term, monogamous relationship, sex can start to feel like the same old thing.
In my experience, a craving for novelty isn’t the only reason for boring sex. Humans also like to be efficient. We learn the best or quickest way for one or both partners to get off. Then that’s what we do, every time. Sex starts to feel like a race to efficiently get an orgasm, and then get back to daily life.
So how do you break out of the routine and get back to having the sort of amazing sex that you had when you and your relationship were younger?
#1: Talk About It
The best way to improve your sex life is to talk about it. I know, it can be hard to talk about sex. Even with someone you’ve been with for years and had plenty of sex with. Especially for those of us assigned female at birth, there’s a taboo around for what we want in bed.
Choose a time when you’re both in a good mood and have time to talk. Ask if they feel like talking about your sex life. I don’t recommend leading with “Soooo I feel like our sex has gotten pretty boring” unless 1) you suspect they’ve been feeling the same way, and 2) they have a good sense of humor. You don’t want to put your partner on the defensive!
If you feel like it could be hard to bring it up naturally, look for a good opportunity. For instance, turn to your partner after you’ve just watched a particularly steamy episode of something on Netflix (or an episode with an awkward sexual encounter!) and use that to segue into discussing your own sex life.
#2. Figure Out What You Might Like to Try in Bed
Ok, so maybe you know you’re having boring sex, but you don’t know what would make it better. It’s like when you’re hungry and you don’t know what you want to eat. You have to sit there and talk through all the different takeout places in your neighborhood until something sounds good.
If you and your partner draw a blank, or are shy talking about your secret desires, don’t worry. You can actually find a check-list of different sex acts and kinks. Print up a copy for each of you. Then go off into separate rooms to fill them out. You may even want to set a date to discuss your lists a few days from now. That way you have time to think about it (and Google any things you’ve never heard of before…).
These lists usually have three boxes, something along the lines of Yes, No, and Maybe. When you compare your lists, throw out anything that either of you has said “No” to. Anything where you both said “Maybe” should go, too. Anything where one or both of you said “Yes” is open for discussion and experimentation!
#3. Get to Know Each Other’s Bodies All Over Again
Chances are when you got together, you had a talk about what you did and didn’t like in bed. Maybe you figured it out together. However, in the intervening years, things might have changed. Approach each other like new lovers, and have fun exploring each other’s bodies!
Depending on the amount of time you have, you might want to take turns exploring each other in a single session. Or dedicate one night each where one of you gets to be the sole focus of exploration.
The goal of this session is not an orgasm — although that could happen! The goal is to explore sensations and get ideas for foreplay, and potentially intercourse. Use fingers, lips, and tongues, soft touch, firm pressure, and even consider incorporating some props. A bullet vibrator is a fun toy that can be used on people of all genders and can make for some exciting exploration.
You might be surprised not just what you discover about your partner’s body, but also about your own body!
This is Just the Beginning
You hopefully have a long relationship ahead of you with your lover. These few steps are just the beginning of rediscovering your passion for each other and having a fun and exciting sex life. Boring sex isn’t inevitable. In fact, the confidence that comes from being in a loving and established relationship can be a great foundation for all kinds of exploration. Have fun!