Getting reunited with yourself and your relationship...
By now, most of us have figured out that relationships are work (and marriage even more so). And we also realize we engage in others romantically because they, and the relationship, are worth it. But, what happens when things begin to dwindle: when one partner shifts in libido and the other doesn't? When one becomes frustrated sexually, but isn't sure how to bring about that conversation? Or, even, what happens when you realize you're bored with your sex-life because you and your partner have done the same three things for (what seems like) years now?
Do you chalk it up to "the honeymoon is over" or "well, that's just how these things go" — Personally, I find those two ideas slightly ridiculous. The honeymoon isn't over and, no, things don't have to go that way. This could all be remedied from some adult sex education: a rediscovering, redefining way to look at yourself, your sexuality, and your sex life with your partner.
No, I'm not talking porn (sorry, fellas!). I'm talking genuine interest in getting to know yourself better so you can let your partner know you better. And if you're thinking, "But I know what I like!" then that's a great place to start! What else exists in the realm of what you like? So you like your skin to be touched lightly by your partner? Why not try a feather or soft paintbrush instead? Do you like massages but hate feeling obligated to return the favor? Splurge on a couple's massage. After all that rubbing, I'm sure you two will be thinking the same thing. Keep it simple; there's no need to bring in the ball-and-gag to explore other options.
Sex education for an adult doesn't always need to be about toys or "mixing it up" — an idea that is now a broken record. It can simply be about taking longer showers to enjoy yourself and your body or taking a dance or yoga class to feel attached to your body and your skin again. It can be research on gender studies and how human sexuality works or it can be holding hands while sleeping next to one another.
Sexual frustration, anger, or confusion are things partners deal with on a regular basis. Outside of communicating these things with your partner, it's vital to know that your sex life begins with you: your body, your feelings, your wants and desires, and your needs and then expressing those things to your partner. Keep in mind, though, they won't know unless you tell them.
My Top 5 Tips for getting re-acquainted with yourself and to better your sex-life:
1. Internet research.
Again, no, not porn. There are tons of online sources that will help guide you into exploration and finding what you like so you can let your partner know. It can be anything from reading more about S&M, learning more about the different genders or orientations, or how to talk to your partner about what you want. Sex education isn't just knowing what goes into where.
2. Go to a sex shop!
Even if you're shy, and even if you're alone. Step outside your comfort zone and notice what you begin looking at naturally. I tend to go straight for the newest toy technology, but even if you just end up browsing for a fancy new bra, maybe that's your intuition telling you that you'd like to wear lingerie more. Visiting a sex shop doesn’t need to be uncomfortable… Unless you run into your parents! In which case, I advise not shopping in your parents' hometown.
3. Don't underestimate alone time.
Giving yourself some one-on-one time in bed is something we often neglect to do once we are in a committed relationship. This is how you first discovered who you are sexually and why shouldn't you continue discovering? Just as you aren't the same person as you were then mentally, you probably aren't the same person you were then sexually, either.
4. Experiment with more than just touch.
Sounds, lighting, even the quality of sheets and whether or not you leave your socks on all play into what is happening. Do you like to hear moaning? Then maybe you like dirty talk. Do you like your feet to stay warm? Then maybe try out some sexy thigh-high stockings or cute knee-high socks.
5. Start with what you know.
My absolute favorite life-lesson in everything! It's completely naturally to want, and even yearn, for more. And you don't have to dive into BDSM to get it. Start slow, communicate honestly about your needs, and, most importantly, have fun! As in all things, a healthy relationship includes a healthy sex life and each relationship is different.
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This article was contributed by Jenn Treado.