Dating is fun—especially in the flirty, passionate beginning of a relationship. But eventually, life settles in, and between the kids, family, work, and finances, you might forget all about that fire.
It’s perfectly natural—for most people, this passion plunge occurs between one and four years into cohabitation, and women experience it more than men. But that doesn’t mean you have to take the situation, um, lying down.
Keeping in mind all the physical and emotional perks of frequent sex—the cardiovascular benefits alone are impressive—it’s well worth it to make the effort to keep the home fires smoldering. Here are some ways to do just that:
Keep on moving. The benefits of exercise are endless. In the sex column, studies show that people who exercise more get more action in the bedroom—and they’re more satisfied when they do. They also have more stamina and higher levels of self-confidence, which benefit sexual experience.
Banish bad habits. Feel the need to reach for a cigarette? Resist. Smoking compromises the flow of blood to the genitals, which inhibits the ability to reach climax for both men and women. The same goes for alcohol. If you’re going to drink, keep it to a minimum—you may feel more relaxed and loose, but too much can prevent you from becoming aroused.
Free your mind. There’s no room for stress in the bedroom—it can kill the mood. Adrenaline and cortisol, two hormones associated with stress, can interfere with levels of sex hormones. If you find yourself too frazzled to enjoy sex, do your best to identify and tackle the source of your stress so your mind can be free to focus on the moment.
Fake it. We don’t mean that! When you’re too tired to think about getting busy, settle for some PG cuddling. Research shows that it can spark your sex drive.
Prioritize the relationship. At the end of the day, being able to put aside deadlines, stressful issues, and whatever else gets in the way of a healthy sex life can go a long way toward supporting your relationship. Take time on a regular basis to focus on each other; go away for a night or carve out time for a date. Your relationship—and your sex life—will be better for it.