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My husband and I have been married for a year and a half and already we have a dull sex life. We have sex about twice a month. What can we do to spice up our sex life? We watch adult films a few times a year. That sometimes helps, but money is tight and we can’t afford to rent movies very often and not only that we feel uncomfortable renting the movies because we are Christian. We believe that it is ok to use sex aids as long as it is just for us. Can you give some ideas on how to spice up our sex life?

My Answer

There is a wonderful book out by a couple of couples counselors called “Hot Monogamy” that addresses the needs of monogamous couples. It has lots of ideas about how to spice up your marriage and can be found in most self-help sections of your local bookstore. Another wonderful book that might be helpful is, “Sex Matters for Women: A Complete Guide to Taking Care of Your Sexual Self”, by Sallie Foley, Sally Kope and Dennis Sugrue, who was a minister before meeting and marrying his wife of many happy years.

Aside from that, it’s important to understand that our upbringing has a great impact on our sexual attitudes and our ability to be comfortable with our sexuality. Did you or your husband come from a strict religious upbringing? Do one or both of you have some guilt that may make it difficult for you to open up and be fully present while making love? Did one of you experience any sexual trauma as a child? Did you receive negative messages about sex while growing up? All of these things can contribute to sexual inhibitions and/or an inability to open up with your partner. If any of these things apply to either of you, or if you’re just looking for a little help from someone who can guide you (or both of you preferably) toward a more fulfilling relationship, perhaps you should consider speaking to a qualified professional. The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, found at provides listings of professionals through out the country.

Creativity and openness and communication are so important to a healthy sex life with your partner. You can’t keep doing the same thing in the same place and expect it to stay interesting. Try making love in different parts of the house, or at different times of the day. Make a date just for romance and making love. Play little games like taking turns coming up with a sexy story to share with one another, or write it down and give it to your lover if you’re too self-conscious to verbalize it. Sharing fantasies or erotic scenarios helps your partner learn what turns you on. Sharing fantasies is incredibly bonding and fosters trust and intimacy. BUT you must be open and non-judgmental with your partner. If they fear or sense that you are judging them it will lead to further inhibition.

Stay away from “goal oriented” sex where everything leads up to the “big O”. Do lots of touching and kissing, take your time, and don’t just rush to intercourse.

Another way to open up and get to the “purity” of intimate love is through a technique called “Sensate Focus”. I explain it in my book, “How to Tell a Naked Man What to Do”:

When a couple seeks counseling for loss of desire, one of the most effective means of helping them rediscover their passion for one each other is to help them relearn the subtle art of touching because, just as I had realized, far too many people forget how wonderful it can be to just touch and be touched after years of “going all the way.” It generally works like this: For the first week the couple is instructed to take turns each night touching or being touched. The touchee lies passively as the toucher does nothing but softly touch and caress them. The next night it’s the others’ turn. But you can only touch, and you much restrict your touching to every place on the body except the genitals. And equally important, you cannot have sex! For the first week, you can touch each other everywhere but on the genitals.

During the second week, you can begin to touch each other on the genitals, but still no intercourse. In the third week you can perhaps include oral sex to climax, and finally on the fourth week you can graduate to intercourse, but it must still begin with touching.

What this process does is wake up the whole body of feelings and sensations that we grow to rush past in our normal everyday approach to sex. It’s the sexual version of stopping to smell the roses. And many a couple has rediscovered the wonder of one another’s touch and rekindled their desire for one another at levels they never before felt.

A fulfilling intimate life with ones partner takes work, effort, and imagination, but if it’s important you must talk about it together and work on it.

Hope this helps!

Posted in: Ask Candida Archive