There are peaks and valleys in every long-term relationship. If you and your partner are going through a dry spell—sex has become inconsistent, or no longer valued in the relationship—it may be time to get things back on track.
How do other couples keep things hot in the bedroom? Here, we spoke with leading sex therapists to find out what they say are the top 10 habits of highly sexual couples.
THEY EMBRACE IMPERFECTION.
Life isn’t perfect, and neither is sex. “Couples who have a lot of sex don’t look for the perfect situation, like being on vacation when your kids are not with you. In daily life, work stress, family stress, and home stress of all kinds come into play,” says Holly Richmond, Ph.D., a licensed sex therapist and marriage and family counselor. “Couples who have a lot of sex take advantage of less than perfect moments.”
THEY AREN’T ALWAYS SEXUALLY SELFISH.
While it’s easy to get lost in the desire to feel pleasure, sex is more likely to happen when both parties aren’t so selfish. “Highly sexual couples aren’t self-centered. It’s not all about one person or the other,” says Kristie Overstreet, Ph.D., clinical sexologist, psychotherapist, and founder of TherapyDepartment.com. “These couples listen to what each other needs especially when it comes to sex. They are in-tune with each other’s sexual arousal and they deliver.”
THEY’RE COMFORTABLE IN THEIR SKIN.
Having more sex can come down to loving yourself, all of yourself, before making love to someone else. “Those who feel comfortable with their bodies don’t get hung up on how their bodies look, feel, or smell to one another,” says Overstreet. “They feel at ease with one another which allows them to take advantage of every opportunity to be sexual.”
THEY TRUST EACH OTHER.
One key trait that highly sexual couples have in common also contributes to successful marriage: trust. “You can’t be a highly sexual couple and have trust issues,” Overstreet explains. “Trust and intimacy are in tandem and you can’t have one without the other. These couples have worked through any trust issues, so this is one less barrier to their intimacy.”
THEY DON’T RELY ON BEING IN THE MOOD.
Couples who get busy frequently don’t rely on being “in the mood,” because that might be something they rarely feel, especially when kids or a busy work schedule are in the picture. “If you’re not in the mood, sometimes a little foreplay can get you there,”says Richmond. “This is especially true for women, for whom arousal often precedes desire.”
THEY’RE EAGER TO HAVE FUN.
Couples who’ve been together for a long time may feel the sexual spark beginning to fade, especially if their bedroom time turns into a predictable routine. “Sexual couples have fun. Sex doesn’t have to be super sensual,” says Richmond. “Sex can be fun and flirty. There can be laughter. Sometimes the natural way to have sex is funny and fun – give into that.”
THEY ADMIT WHAT TURNS THEM ON.
No matter how many times you’ve had sex with your partner, it can sometimes be hard to voice what it is that turns you on, or even what you’d like more of. “One thing highly sexual couples do is during sex and physical intimacy, they are verbal and open. Well before sex, tell your partner something personal, something intimate about how you are feeling,” recommends John Robinson, NMD, who specializes in sexual health and hormones. “It could be about anything. Just show that you are open. This starts the sexual communication immediately.”
THEY HAVE SEX TO REKINDLE CONNECTION.
Since relationships can fall stale, having frequent sex can bring back the sense of commitment and even the strong bond the two of you have built over time. “Highly sexual couples see sex as a way to simply connect, even if it is for a short while,” says Robinson. “See what happens if you simply commit to having sex every day for a week, no matter what. No excuses, just do it, and see how that starts to improve your level of intimacy, your self-esteem, and your personal bond.”
THEY’RE NOT OPPOSED TO QUICKIES.
Finding time for sex may start to make the act of getting down and dirty with your partner something that feels like a chore. “Highly sexual couples take advantage of the ‘quickie,'” says Richmond. “Sex doesn’t have to be 20 or 30 minutes. A quickie can be very hot and passionate and can feel great.”
THEY HAVE MORE IN COMMON THAN SEX.
Having a mutual love for getting it on isn’t all that sexual couples have in common. “Sharing hobbies and interests—hiking, adventure, travel, and the like—helps to maintain long-term sexual passion,” says Robert Weiss, LCSW, and author of several sex-focused books including Always Turned On. “Highly sexual couples also tend to share core values and belief systems. In a general way they tend to be on the same page with things like religion, politics, finances, education, and the like.”