From Dull to Dramatic: How to Make Sex Exciting Again

[ 0 ] April 2, 2014 |

Whether it be something like a bondage scene out of the 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy, Tantric Sex, or some other spin on your usual ho-hum bedroom activities, take this sex advice and try new things with your long-term partner to put the spark back in your intimate life

News Flash: Recent research suggests that women may get bored with their sex partners faster than men do!

That is, one recent study found that women became bored of porn more quickly than their male counterparts. So now there is speculation that these same patterns may emerge when a woman has sex with a long-term partner. And to complicate matters further, women in general are less likely to experience mundane sex as worth their time. Boring sex is generally not a woman’s cup of tea, and she’d probably prefer to spend her coveted free time catching up on emails, or knocking something off her endless To-Do list. I suspect that these peculiar characteristics are evolutionarily motivated – these same traits probably translated years ago into supporting a woman’s successful reproduction. But in the 20th century, these tendencies can easily make trouble for a woman.

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Let’s face it – most people don’t want sex if it’s not worth wanting.  But at the same time, it’s quite challenging to keep sex interesting enough to want in a long term romantic

In my psychotherapy practice, I so often hear couples lamenting that their fading sex lives, longing for the kind of sex that makes them feel vital and alive. Oftentimes these couples enjoyed very pleasurable sex when the relationship was newer. One of Mother Nature’s tricks to ensure that our species would thrive is to make new partners particularly compelling and sexually exciting for mammals. Sadly, more often than people would like to admit, women and men find themselves having to choose between fidelity to their mate or fabulous sex. For many people, that’s a truly aversive decision.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The problem is, when we are falling in love with a new partner, sex automatically releases an ecstatic neurochemical brain bath which makes us feel sexually euphoric, vital and alive. With a long-term partner, as time passes, those particularly magical brain neurochemicals that make your lovemaking feel intense have dissipated. At that point, you have to create passion the old fashioned way – with determination, effort, and a willingness to take risks. Like the saying goes, anything worth having is worth fighting for. “Doing new things” is the catch phrase sex therapists use for remedying this problem. That’s not bad advice, but to really take your sex life to another level, increased vulnerability and openness probably have to be part of sex. Bondage and domination play (B&D) and tantric techniques can help create these feelings, and are thus two ways that couples in long-term relationships can make dull sex dramatic again.

eye-contactB&D became a household word when the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy took the publishing world by storm. Romance novels depicting dominant men have always been favorites among women – but an extraordinarily popular bestselling novel with blatant sexual content is a relatively new phenomenon. Yet as a sex therapist, I was not at all surprised that women flocked to purchase a book depicting sexual bondage and dominance. Such themes of female vulnerability and submission are extremely common aspects of women’s fantasy lives. In spite of themselves, many women flock to men who are socially dominant “alpha” types but who are probably not the best relationship partners. Again, I interpret this predilection of women through and evolutionary lens – it is traditionally the dominant males who are best suited to protect a woman and her children if the going gets tough. So of course women’s instinctive sexual bodies are still responsive to these stereotypical masculine characteristics, even if her mind suggests otherwise. No big surprise here. So ladies, why not capitalize on this innate tendency of yours?

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In my therapy practice, I coach men and women who are curious about bondage and dominance to start with small steps first, adding intensity when it feels right to both partners. She may want to identify a few scenes in the 50 Shades trilogy for her partner to read and mimic. He may want to tie her to the bed with neckties or scarves that won’t hurt her, but just give her the sensation of being restrained. He can then tease her with his hands or tongue, or engage her in sensation play with feathers, ice cubes, or whatever else is handy. He can give her commands that he knows she will enjoy to give her an additional thrill of being dominated.  If this sort of sex play is appealing, a couple can then get books on ways to further intensity these methods of sex play.


Dr. Marianne Brandon

Tantric sex, on the other hand, offers a different path to intense sex play. Vulnerability is a key aspect of tantric practice. Men and women achieve this by deliberately opening their hearts and bodies to their partner, rather than the use of power play as described above. In Tantra, couples take the time to feel their love for their partner, and amplify that feeling of love before making love. They then set the intention of “channeling” love through their eyes, fingers, voice, and body. Sex becomes love-making in the truest sense of the world.  In fact, couples seek to love the God and Goddess within their partner – thus bringing a feeling of spiritual ecstasy and worship to their intimacy. Most serious tantric practitioners train for decades in groups and alone with these techniques. They are like meditative practices that can be developed more fully with time and attention. But you can easily obtain an introductory book on Tantric Sex for you and your partner to experiment with. In this way, you can learn to use your open heart as a path to more ecstatic lovemaking.

In sum, B&D and Tantra are two ways that couples struggling with sexual boredom can learn to intensity their love-making and create more exciting intimate encounters. I believe these techniques are particularly important for men and women in long-term relationships who feel strongly that maintaining sexual intimacy is an important part of their connection. Interestingly, people often describe both these types of sex as “spiritual”, probably because of the level of openness and vulnerability inherent in their practice. I tell my patients that eventually, if no-one exerts effort, what happens naturally in a long-term relationship is boring sex. But these techniques can help you maintain the intimate sexual connection you long for as your relationship ages.

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Category: Intimacy, Relationships

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About Dr. Marianne Brandon: Dr. Marianne Brandon is a clinical psychologist and Diplomat in sex therapy through AASECT. Dr. Brandon is Director of Wellminds Wellbodies LLC in Annapolis, Maryland. She is author of Monogamy: The Untold Story and co-author [...]
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