Believe it or not, there are some seemingly harmless habits that can undermine your sex life. Some of them even take place far away from the bedroom. In fact, the things therapists wish you'd stop doing before intimacy include a few habits you might not even notice. Paying more attention to these little behaviors just could help your love life over time, though.
Really, plenty of people struggle to get in the mood when the time is right for intimacy. So many folks are stressed and overworked to the max most days. Sometimes, the only thing you want to do in bed after a long workday is sleep.
But for most couples, it's worth a little effort to keep the spark alive. Overall, "sex seems not only beneficial because of its physiological or hedonic effects . . . but because it promotes a stronger and more positive connection with the partner," as the authors of a 2017 study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin concluded. It's about feeling closer with your SO and honoring the relationship, at least for a lot of people. So if you want to keep the rest of the world from infringing on your sex life, keep reading.
1. Following A Routine
When you've been with one partner for a while, it's easy to just stick with what works. But keep experimenting anyway. "Trying something new can add fun and excitement to your sexual relationship: a new position, sexy music, romantic lighting, colognes, lotions, lubricants . . . the possibilities are endless," said sex therapist and psychotherapist Kelli Young in Reader's Digest. Rose petals, anyone?
2. Skipping Foreplay
There's a lot to be said for couples who take their time. "Foreplay is really important for most women because we tend to take a longer time to get into the mood," said sex therapist Dr. Susan Block in She Knows. In many cases, foreplay makes the whole experience better for everyone.
3. Staring At Your Phone
Try to break the smartphone addiction and focus more on the relationship. "If you struggle with compulsion, put the phone out of sight," said Katherine Hertlein, Ph.D, in Men's Health. Perhaps banning phones from the bedroom entirely will boost your sex life.
4. Holding On To Stress
Transferring from regular life to your intimate life can be tricky for a lot of people. After all, carrying stress can tank your sex drive, as explained in WebMD. That's why a de-stressing activity can be so important. Some yoga, deep breathing, or even a quick walk around the block can help you unwind.
5. Flipping Off The Lights
Leave the lights on. "For some, this idea is terrifying, but when you share that vulnerable space with your partner, you are helping to deepen your bond," said sexologist Megan Stubbs in Business INSIDER. If the overhead light is a bit too harsh, consider lamps or candlelight.
6. Snacking Too Late
Continuing to graze after you're already full might have a negative effect on your libido. There's a way to reframe late-night snacks, though. "Think about sex as your dessert," said Dr. Rachel A. Sussman, LCSW, in Good Housekeeping. "If you eat lighter, there's a really good chance that you're going to have more energy and want to have sex later on that evening." Or, just wait until after sex for snacks. There's no downside.
For many people, there's kind of a sweet spot when it comes to drinking and sex. A glass of vino can put you in the mood, but a second or third glass might just put you to sleep. In fact, too much alcohol can dampen your sex drive, according to the independent charity Drinkaware. Knowing how to moderate your intake is pretty important. Hopefully, though, these tips will help you and your partner enjoy sex more than ever soon.