How Married Couples Who Have The Hottest Sex 'Reprogram' Their Brains For Passion

Photo: joshua resnick / 
couple kissing outdoors

Many couples make the mistake of thinking that the key to rekindling passion is to find a different partner. It’s assumed that if sex has become monotonous, too-familiar, boring or predictable, then there’s no hope for the relationship.

There’s no longer the element of surprise that makes a new partner so exciting, so it’s no wonder that many couples think about cheating.

But you can rekindle the passion you once had by intentionally, mindfully changing your behavior to “reprogram” your brain and cement the intimate bond again.

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How passion begins to cool

A 2011 study conducted at Stony Brook University in New York State found that it is possible to be madly in love with someone after decades of marriage.

The research team performed MRI scans on couples who had been married for an average of 21 years. They found the same intensity of activity in dopamine-rich areas of the brains as found in the brains of couples who were newly in love.

The study suggested that the excitement of romance can remain while the apprehension is lost.

So, where did the heat go? Sometimes, passion is subsumed by the very act of living your life — and all of the distractions that come with it.

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External and internal distractions all around us

One of the biggest problems facing couples today is an overwhelming number of distractions, both internally and externally that make prioritizing passion almost impossible, so the first step is to identify your distractions so that you can avoid them, for your passion to reveal itself.

External distractions may include your phone, computer, TV, pets, kids, clutter, noise, temperature and even your watch.

Internal distractions include negative self-talk, worrying, judging, stressing, fatigue, inhibitions, unrealistic expectations, and a lack of time. The most precious gift you can give someone is your time without distractions because it’s a part of your life that you will never get back.

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The one thing that is nearly guaranteed to kill your passion

Multi-tasking is a passion assassin that causes brain overload as it can be both an internal and external distraction. A chronic multi-tasking research survey proved that multitasking could have long-term harmful effects on brain function from the Inability to focus on any one activity to feeling rushed all the time.

When the brain jumps back and forth it’s called spotlighting, so if you want to avoid the pitfalls of trying to do too much at once, be mindful and truly present in the moment with your partner, especially when you hug each other.

A six-second hug will elevate your mood with the love hormone, oxytocin, and help relax your body so that you can get into the mood for passion. Your emotions in the brain also adjust your body language and facial expressions to convey passion.

Strive for a singularity of purpose and do one task at a time, because attention itself changes the brain.

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6 ideas to help rekindle the passion in a relationship

1. Create a passion-friendly environment

Create an environment for mindful passion that is stress-free by tidying up your surroundings as this will release the hormone Dopamine that motivates your pleasure and reward center in your brain. Leave your cell phone outside of the bedroom, switch your TV off, turn the clock facing away from you and take your pets out.

Make sure the room temperature is to your liking and set the mood for passion by using your five senses to guide you.

2. Look for visual passion

It’s said that the eyes are the windows to the soul, so gaze into your partner’s soul by looking into his/her eyes and tell them what makes them so loveable to you. With mindful attention to your partner’s facial expressions, you can also experience mirror neurons, a powerful form of stimulation when you both perform the same action at the same time, such as smiling.

When your partner smiles at you, your mirror neurons for smiling fire up, too, creating a sensation in your own mind of the loving feeling emotions associated with smiling.

A brain-scan study conducted at Yale found that when couples held eye contact, their brain activity also synced up.

RELATED: Why Smelling Someone May Determine If You'll Ever Get Along

3. Have a nose for aroma passion

Your sense of smell is your most powerful sense as it is the one that is linked the closest to your memories and your emotions, because of the brain’s anatomy. Experts discuss the science of smell and how scent, emotion and memory are intertwined in The Harvard Gazette.

To ignite your passion, embody your lover’s favorite scents from essential oils and scented candles to fresh flowers and foods. For a playful game, hide a dab of honey or peanut butter on yourself and ask your partner to find it just using their tongue.

4. Talk about aural passion

Intimate communication can lead to passion, especially if you share your desires and compliment your lover, by letting them know how much they turn you on. Making sounds during sex and calling out your lover’s name is a powerful aphrodisiac.

Post-passion pillow talk can create a sense of attachment to make you feel closer, even if it’s casual or humorous banter.

In a 2015 study, psychologists recorded 71 romantic couples explaining how they first met. They found that the amount of the conversation spent simultaneously laughing was positively associated with relationship quality and closeness.

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5. Feed your bond with palate passion

Pleasing your palate through your sense of taste is part of our first basic instinct for food and self-preservation, combined with our second basic instinct, sex, can create memorable passionate experiences.

Feed each other finger foods, like fresh fruits, crudité, shrimp cocktail, sushi, chocolates, and petit fours. Then lick your lover’s fingers provocatively to show them how ready you are for passion.

Taste his/her lips with a passionate kiss that will trigger your brain to release a cocktail of feel-good chemicals, including oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin.

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6. Feel the connection with passionate touching

Different from all the other senses, touch involves our entire bodies from head to toe. According to research by Johns Hopkins, our fingertips have about 3,000 touch receptors each.

The trunks of our bodies have about the same number of receptors as just one fingertip. If you want to spend the night with your hands all over each other, then playing a massage game will quench your appetite for passion.

Take turns giving each other two-minute massages on different areas of your bodies. Also, be specific about how you want to be massaged, whether it’s by your lover’s fingers, hands, lips, tongue, hair, or any other way that you desire.

For example, he may want her to massage his feet between her breasts and she may want him to massage her inner thighs with his mouth. 

Remember, the brain is the largest sex organ in the body and passion is a multisensory experience, so if you leave out just one of your senses, you’re missing out on 20 percent of passionate pleasure.

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Founder of and, Dr. Ava Cadell shares her expansive knowledge on love and intimacy by training Certified Love Coaches all over the world. She is the author of 11 books, including NeuroLoveology, The Power to Mindful Love & Sex. Her latest book is Healing with Loving Solutions to Live Your Life to The Fullest.