Sex in a long relationship

Sex in a long relationship very often needs a conscious re-awakening. Starting at the beginning when things have become lacklustre and routine can mean concentrating on four A’s. They may not be the words you would expect in a description of foreplay but keep them in mind…

Appreciation… In a long relationship it can be all too easy for couples to take each other for granted. It’s wonderful to rely on your partner but how often do you let them know you have noticed them and how attractive you find them. Vocalise how much you appreciate their opinions, their support, the things you share together. We all want to feel valued and special and a relationship can flat-line if we feel just part of the furniture. It’s very easy to complain and be negative. Take responsibility for making five positive comments every day. Show your gratitude with a loving gesture and an admiring look. Give a compliment with a smile. Reminisce about the romance of your early relationship and describe what it is that you still love about them. Lighten up and laugh together and reignite the fun

Attention and Availability… In busy lives work, children, family, friends and social media can get the lion’s share of your attention. There is the danger of seeming rushed, defensive and unavailable with the message that the relationship is low in priority. Bridge the gap! Send a text to tell them they are in your thoughts. It is much easier to reach out and initiate when you feel connected and relaxed. Are you really listening to each other with curiosity, concern and tenderness? Remember how it felt to be paid attention, to be wanted, when you first met. Try looking at each other and making eye contact when talking and switch off the TV and those screens for a while. Eat a meal face-to-face at the table and show interest. Flirt! Move conversation out of the mundane into feelings

Affection… Human beings are hardwired to need physical touch. It releases oxytocin and increases a sense of connection and wellbeing. It builds trust and strengthens bonds. It reduces feelings of stress and is even said to have a positive impact on the immune system. What’s not to like? And yet, in a long relationship, we can sometimes not pay enough attention to making it happen. Get in the habit of ‘simmering’: ie thinking about initiating sex with your partner and imagining what you might do to raise the temperature. A squeeze says I feel close. Link arms and hold hands – even incidental touch can become a form of foreplay. A lingering kiss at breakfast can contain an invitation for the evening. A warm hug on greeting can hold a promise. The cuddle on the sofa can become more sensual. An offer to massage those tense shoulders can end up a ‘full body’. Get in the shower together. In the words of the song

(thanks, Ella Fitzgerald)

Kathy Rees


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