Maintaining good habits can be a bit of a drag. You decide to eat more vegetables to improve your overall health or get to the gym regularly to keep your heart in good condition. But what if there were a few good habits that resulted in better sex? That’s some serious motivation. It turns out that there are indeed some common habits of couples who have a great sex life, and they aren't that hard to implement in your own life.
Some of the habits are pretty mundane things (exercise), and others are more fun (think lingerie). But they all help you maintain your connection and ensure you have the time and energy to enjoy some grown-up fun on the regular. And that’s an end goal both of you can agree to work toward.
So if you’re looking to take your own sex life to the next level, consider these routines. Communication is a big part of it (what article about couples would be complete without mention of communication?), as is just making time for your relationship amid the sea of distractions that make up modern life. And yes, it isn’t always easy to make changes to your daily routines. But if you’re okay with putting down your phone every night to enjoy more interesting pursuits, then this list is for you.
1Communicate Their Needs About Sex
Unless you're bedding a mind reader, you'll have to open up and communicate your sexual needs to your partner. As Dr. Laura Berman wrote on Everyday Health, "if you don’t tell your wife or husband what you want and need, they won’t be able to give it to you." Berman added that this talking about sex is especially important in a long-term relationship, so that even if things are great now, if issues arise, you'll have the language to talk to each other about it.
2Turn Off The Tech
Relationship expert Andrea Syrtash explained to Good Housekeeping that tech distractions can hamper a couple's sex life because more screen time means less couple time. Part of this is simple time management. "Many women say that there's no time for sex, but admit to checking Facebook an hour before bed," said Syrtash. Even just having a TV in the bedroom can drastically reduce the amount of sexy times in a given relationship. Powering down your phones, laptops, and tablets each night may be a good call.
3Think Outside Of Bedtime
According to the editors at Cosmopolitan, couples who have sex at odd times have a better sex life overall, so following their lead to kick things off "right after work or in the morning" may be the best bet. Waiting until you're both ready to sleep may not be ideal, so it could be fun to experiment with mornings or afternoons. Why not give it a shot?
4Wear Little To Bed
. . . or nothing at all. As dating expert Ken Solin explained in the Huffington Post, wearing ratty sweats to bed may hamper your sex life. But lingerie (or less) can only help matters. In Solin's words,"You want to have more sex? Go to bed wearing the same kind of sexy lingerie you used to wear when you were dating."
5Make The Time
Clinical psychologist Ursula Ofman explained in the New York Post that couples who make time for sex — even scheduling it if necessary — were able to keep their sex lives going strong despite busy lives. “People feel sex should come naturally. It’s true, it should, but we have a very busy culture where there’s a lot of distraction and chronic exhaustion,” said Ofman. At any rate, this could make your Day Planner more interesting to read.
6Touch In Bed
Even when you sleep. A study conducted by psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman at the Edinburgh International Science Festival found that couples who sleep in closer proximity had stronger relationships overall. As Professor Wiseman noted, "94% of couples who spent the night in contact with one another were happy with their relationship."
It’s easy for long-term relationships to become more Netflix than chill. But it's important to keep dating and sharing experiences together. Leah Millheiser, MD, director of the Female Sexual Medicine Program at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, explained to Health that making this time is crucial for a relationship and worth the hassle of securing a babysitter. "If it's too expensive to hire a nanny, ask your friends with kids to watch yours for the night and offer to return the favor," said Millheiser. You and your partner need time to bond.
In the gym. As marriage researcher Terri Orbuch, Ph.D. explained to TIME, activities that increase your heart rate can lead to a positive effect on your desire. “Endorphins from exercise give you an adrenaline rush that boosts arousal,” said Orbuch. This might be a great time to find a new sport you both love.
9Be Open To Change
A study published in The Journal of Sexual Research in 2012 looked at 96 couples and how making sexual changes for their partners affected their relationships. These "transformations" could refer to behaviors such as increased frequency or different positions, for instance. The authors, J. Burke and V.J. Young, concluded that "relationship satisfaction was greater when partners reported making more sexual transformations." In other words, if you and your partner are more willing to compromise and try out new things to please one another, then you're likely on the road to a more fulfilling sex life all around.