10 Sensual Ways To Keep Intimacy Alive In Your Relationship

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10 Ways To Keep Intimacy Alive In Your Relationship

Whether you are in different states or locked in a small apartment together, you can influence your sexual relationship.

Despite the health crisis, you can still use this time to learn how to keep intimacy alive in your relationship.

Many couples are using this time to create lifelong memories by connecting through play, fun, and laughter.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Vulnerability Leads To A Long-Lasting Relationship (& 4 Ways To Turn It Into True Intimacy)

Some couples still act like newlyweds, despite years of marriage. Other couples literally prefer to risk their life going to a job they hate, rather than be stuck at home with their spouse.

And yet, other couples are forced to be apart due to work or quarantine for safety reasons.

Which couple do you want to be? Can you be that couple with your partner?

Regardless of which couple you are now, doing the following things, consistently and frequently together will transform your relationship.

Here are 10 sensual ways to keep intimacy alive in your relationship.

1. Listen to each other.

Ask your partner what went right that day, week, or month. Find out why, without interrupting, dismissing, or arguing.

Understand through their perspective why what they're sharing is important to them. Ask follow up questions if you’re confused or disbelieving to give your partner a chance to enlighten you, rather than assuming anything.

2. Respond to each other.

When your partner asks you about your day, acknowledge it. Thank them for asking and give them an authentic answer as kindly as possible, talking to them as though they are hiring you for your dream job.

Be engaged, make eye contact, find humor in the situation if possible, and explain your answer as though they know the backstory. Finally, when finished, ask them about their day.

3. Respond to all verbal and non-verbal communication.

Think of playing a fun game of volleyball. Notice who begins, assess how you take turns, joke, talk smack, or even compete. Are you set up to hit the ball (i.e., were you asked a genuine question?), does it go over your head (confusing), is it spiked (aggressive)?

How do you set your partner up to hit the ball? How do you decide if you will hit the ball (respond), spike the ball (attack back), catch the ball (i.e., call a time out), keep the ball (decide to not play anymore), or hoard the ball (refuse to respond and leave to go play with others)?

4. Build anticipation by taking turns making up your own games.

Make a no-orgasm week but see how turned on you make your partner and yourself through just foreplay. Kissing, touching, massage, rubbing, licking, biting, breathing, and toys are allowed. But not orgasming.

Or, only penetrating sex allowed after five mutual masturbation or oral sex orgasms. Foreplay is often the best part of sex for many women. Teach her body to desire your touch. Teach her you’re there to make her feel good — not just use her to feel good yourself.

Then, make up your own game and rules. Make sure you communicate them and you both feel they are fair.

5. Ask your partner, "How would you feel about... ?"

Dr. Willard Harley, the author of His Needs, Her Needs, recommends couples check in with each other before asking them to do something they don’t like. The implication here is to ask, versus assume or demand anything.

6. Gift your partner with a massage.

Offer to give your partner a 30-minute body massage. A candlelit, clean room with fresh sheets (or a massage table) is inviting. 

Clarify there won’t be any sexual touching during that time, unless they initiate it. Let them know you just want them to relax and feel good.

Use scented massage oil or coconut oil from your kitchen. Do your homework on types of pressure to use. The final touch is to burn some incense or have a music playlist to set the mood your partner would most enjoy.

RELATED: How To Give A Good Massage In The Comfort Of Your Own Home

Your partner could be super turned on without even being sexually touched. It may or may not lead to sex, but massage does reduce stress and increase intimacy.

Make sure you clarify massage is for enjoyment with no strings. Discuss the massage terms, so it doesn’t lead to any misunderstanding. This way, you can be appreciated and your partner can truly accept your gift of touch.

7. Kiss often.

Create rituals for good morning, good night, goodbye, hello, walking past each other, etc. as working kisses into the day increases sensuality.

Kiss real kisses, the kind where you share breath and know each other’s taste. As a plus, they will leave you feeling excited and turned on.

The whole point is to increase desire and sex drive, and yearn for each other’s touch — not just to have an orgasm. Notice and enjoy the sensations you have. Tell your partner they just turned you on when they do.

8. Touch when you’re around each other.

Sensual couples and couples in love want to be touched. They crave their lover's touch. On the flip side, couples who feel alone, ignored, resentful, unappreciated, or exhausted want to be left alone.

If you’re reading this and your partner doesn’t want to be touched, ask them, “What can I do to make you feel more loved?”

Support, attention, and help are like an aphrodisiac. It’s a statistical fact that men who help with housework and childcare have more sex.

If you’re reading this and don’t like to be touched, think of the most erotic moment you’ve had in your life… And if that man or woman came up and touched you how you wanted, would you say no? Why not?

What did that person say or do that made you desire their touch? Share those turn-ons with your partner next time, instead of saying "no" or turning away.

9. Share your erotic fantasies with one another.

Discuss what turns you on and talk about your favorite memories. Listen to sensual music together, and share that thing you’d really love to try but are a bit shy to ask about… The fantasies you think about when you masturbate.

The truth is, you’re in charge of your sexuality. Everyone has their own preferences, and communicating your wants and desires gives your partner the opportunity to please you — and reciprocate!

If your sex drive is higher than your partner's, talk about what it means to each of you and how you will navigate saying "yes" or "no."

Dr. John Gottman, a marriage researcher and therapist, says to ask your partner, "What else would you like to do?" Partners who handle rejections this way are more likely to stay connected.

10. Embrace your aloneness.

As counter-intuitive as it sounds, make time to be alone. Enjoy your time alone. Go to another room or take a long bath. Put on headphones intentionally with agreements around when to interrupt versus respecting that time.

Reconnect with your friends. Practice mindfulness, which is essentially being in the moment. The past and future can rob you of the present time — so guard against depression and anxiety.

The best sex happens when you’re looking forward to it. You're curious, anticipating, and wondering what will happen. Adding sensuality to your relationship outside the bedroom creates it organically inside the bedroom.

RELATED: How Self-Awareness Can Improve Communication & Positively Impact All Your Relationships

Laila A. Daniel, MA is a licensed clinical mental health counselor in Fayetteville, NC. Email her if you’re interested in telemental health counseling.