I should start by admitting I am by no means an authority on relationships and sex. I am merely a woman armed with a laptop and (hopefully) nothing to lose. Usually I write about fashion, but today I'll be writing about another F word — you know the one I mean.
My boyfriend and I have been together for five years and lived together for two, and while in the big scheme of things it's early days, I can honestly say we've maintained a consistently healthy sex life. You could call it luck, but I do think there's a handful of things we've done along the way that's kept us from falling into a rut.
Obviously, every couple is different — what works for us may not work you. But in the spirit of laying it all out on the table, read on for the seven things I believe have made all the difference.
1. Lingerie, All Day, Every Day
Wearing lingerie makes me feel really, really good, so I don't save it for special occasions. Before you roll your eyes, it has nothing to do with pleasing my partner and everything to do with pleasing myself (I mean, obviously he likes it, but that's an added bonus). What a black lacey set is for me, is a red lipstick for someone else. It gives me a quiet confidence boost and makes me feel like being spontaneous.
2. We Take it Outside the Bedroom, Regularly
I would say we have sex out of bed more often than in it. Before I continue, I'll be straight up — having sex in places other than bed isn't always rainbows and orgasms. I mean, the driver's seat of a car? Give me a break. Unless your car is in fact a spacious bus, it ain't easy. Against the car though? Yep, it's good. As is our kitchen, backyard, the hallway, behind the front door, in the crawl space . . . Doing it somewhere new adds an extra level of excitement and can also lead to trying new things — it forces you to get creative.
3. We Use Time Apart to Our Advantage
I'm just gonna say it — I'm into sexting. We did it a lot in the early days of our relationship and while over time it's taken a backseat to panic texts about whether we've paid rent or deciding whether to have salmon or chicken for dinner, that component of our relationship isn't dead. Nights apart are the perfect excuse for foreplay via text. It's fun and builds sexual tension, which even after five years, makes us want to tear each other's clothes off.
4. Dirty Talk Is Our Friend
I'm not saying every single time we have sex I turn into a little demon, but more often than not, there's dirty talk involved. If you do this already, you'll know why. If you don't, I definitely think you should try it. Doing it and hearing it is a turn on — it's as simple as that.
5. We Slow It Down — Quickies Are Hot, but There's a Time and Place
One of the benefits of being in a long-term relationship is that you learn exactly what each other likes. The downside is that it can lead to get-in-get-out kind of sex. Quickies do serve a purpose and we certainly have them, but it's important to also take it slow and enjoy foreplay (which can sometimes be the best bit, by the way).
6. We Talk About Sex When We Aren't Having It
Talking about sex is a big thing for me. Just like you evolve professionally and personally, your wants and needs in the bedroom also evolve. Voicing what turns you on and what doesn't and things you want to try is so important. If I want him to do something in particular, I make sure I verbalise it. Hoping your partner will read your mind isn't a good strategy.
7. Toys R Us
While there isn't a ginormous dildo under our bed (if there's one under yours, great!), we have done the whole tie each other up thing. This isn't for everyone, but if you feel like you want to experiment, a vibrator, a blindfold, or some handcuffs will never lead you astray.