• Karen O'Moore

Bring back the passion

One of the biggest sex myths is that sex will take care of itself. But after the first year, you have to put as much effort into your sex life as you do choosing the right dress or tie. Your biggest sex organ is your brain, not what's between your legs!

1. Be aware of your partner’s needs. Most people with great romantic lives have them because they are more concerned with pleasing their partners than with pleasing themselves. It is about giving them a beautiful massage, full of gentleness and awareness, with no expectation to receive anything in return. It is about setting a sacred space, to allow them to relax and surrender. By being a giving lover, the pleasure will come back to you many times over.

2. Acknowledge small acts of romance. It is usually the little things that make a big difference: little kisses, pulling out chairs, taking one another’s arm as you stroll to the movie theatre. Letting your partner know you like these actions, will keep them coming.

3. When you get a romantic idea, share it. Perhaps you want to do something totally unusual, or maybe there is an adventure you have always wanted to have with your partner. Doing new things helps increase your bond and your romantic intimacy. Give each other permission to communicate these ideas with each other and with no judgement (and if you receive a no, remember it is not personal and keep being open to sharing).

4. Think of one thing that would make your romantic relationship better. And ask your partner to do the same. Compare notes and then just do it. You will both be smiling afterwards. Stop complaining about what you're not getting and start creating what you want.

5. Be demonstrative and show that you care. All the words in the world cannot convey what is communicated in a deep and passionate kiss. Light affection like caresses and holding hands actually deepens a relationship and should always be a part of your connection.

6. Appreciate the gesture, even if the timing is off a little. If you rebuff your partner, it may be a while before he or she tries again. If you aren’t in the mood at the moment, give your loved one a little kiss and say you will be ready later, or promise a ‘love date’ for another day (soon). That way your lover has something to look forward to.

7. Be sure to talk about sex, and what does and doesn’t make you comfortable. Those couples who communicate about sex have more satisfying romantic lives. Appropriate boundaries make you feel safe, and you can always change your mind. Give yourself permission to get what you want. Claim your right and give a voice to your needs. Being sexually satisfied and feeling wanted by your partner is a legitimate and healthy part of a relationship

8. When time has passed. If it’s been a while since the two of you have exchanged affection, you may need to spend a few nights just cuddling and feeling close. For many, that is just as intimate as sex. If you've lost confidence outside of the bedroom then that will translate to your time between the sheets. Don't put yourself in any type of sexual situation where you may set yourself up to fail. If you don't feel like sex then don't have it. Learn to read your own psycho-sexual messages, gain some confidence by getting to know your own body on your own and learn how to bring yourself to climax and practice, practice, practice! When you know your own body you'll feel more confident because you're in control. Get in the groove. Your desire is affected by so many things; if you're tired or stressed you're not going to feel like sex. Your arousal cycle is pretty simple - first you feel desire, then you begin to get aroused which is then followed by orgasm. But all is not lost if you're not even at stage one, you and your partner can restart things. Breathe deeply and slowly together so your bodies are in tune, and then move onto kissing - this will pass testosterone on between you through the salvia which gives a big man-sized dose of desire to help get you in the mood.

9. Feeling the bond with the one you love is very powerful. It will make kisses deeper and lovemaking more passionate, and it will make you feel much better about life in general. When chatting to each other, listen with full awareness and keep eye contact. Talk with your partner, not at them. One of the reasons many women shut down sexually is because they don't feel their emotional needs are being met. To improve your relationship, it can actually be healthy to have a good argument, as it's a chance to communicate the things you don't normally mention. In the heat of things, try not to criticize your partner though, instead confront the main issues and try to resolve them. And remember to use ‘I feel’ statements, not ‘You’.

10. Get creative with your sex life. Find new ways to put some fun, energy and excitement into your relationship. Have sex in different rooms of the house. Try different positions. Don't feel shame or fear when asking for what you want. Give yourself permission to explore each other's fantasies any way you can. Don't be afraid of trying something new; get a fantasy box where you and your man put in five suggestions from doing a strip tease to a new position. When it comes to picking one, if either of you say no to something then don't take it personally, try another and go for it! However, bringing a third party into the bedroom is generally not the answer.

Diagnose the problem. Examine your lifestyle and make sure that you are carving out time to have sex with your partner. Sexuality is a pattern; something that needs to happen on an ongoing basis or else other things will crowd it out. Like the old adage: Use it or lose it. Figure out how sex got moved down the priority list. One of the biggest mistakes that couples make is when they have children, they stop being friends and lovers because they've become moms and dads. Being a parent is just one of the roles that you play, and neglecting the role of partner and lover is a huge mistake. It's possible you may need to spend less time at the office or learn to say no to other commitments. Put your sex life on project status. Make a conscious decision to recommit to each other and move sex higher on the priority list. Physical intimacy in a relationship deserves a lot of attention. You can start by making small changes. Put your kids to bed earlier, don't fall asleep on the couch and go to bed at the same time as your partner.

Trust the love that you feel and the person who is giving it to you. Couples who gently explore each other romantically have a connection that can withstand the test of time.

Karen O'Moore March 2014


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