Tag Archives: Better sex

4 Tips to Boost Libido

“Keeping the Sparks Alive” Series

For couples in which one or both partners are experiencing low libido, a frequent question is how to boost that libido. Dr. Oz offered a few quick tips:

  1. If you are getting less than 7 ½ hour of sleep per night, your lack of sleep can be affecting your hormones and lowering your libido. Fatigue also adds to the problem.  Go to sleep one hour earlier to help get your body on track. (Preferably, go to bed together.)
  2. If your body mass index or your glucose levels are too high, this also changes your body’s hormones. Excess fat changes testosterone into estrogen. The lower testosterone reduces libido. Work with your doctor on a plan to get your BMI and glucose levels into the normal range.
  3. Consider taking zinc (8 mg/day) to help improve hormone function.
  4. Set one day a week for sex. “Sex begets sex,” says Dr. Oz.

Other frequently mentioned advice includes increasing exercising, reducing stress, and spending more quality time together.

LINKS:
Recently, I shared Which Foods are Best at Boosting Libido.
Read Kissing is all about the chemistry from USA Today for information on the science of kissing.

Photo by Leticia Wilson

Advertisements

Differing Sexual Needs in Marriage

“Keeping the Sparks Alive” Series

Some men feel personally rejected if their wives don’t desire them on a daily basis. This is just one example of differing sexual needs that may catch couples off guard, say couples counselors Matt and Marilyn Stevens of ConnectEd PAIRS.

They  say that for women to be ready for sex, they need affirmation, a feeling of connection, nonsexual touch, intimacy (not the sexual kind but the deeper connection kind), and romance. How often does romance lose out after the honeymoon?

On the flip side, men have other needs to feel sexually fulfilled. These include mutual satisfaction (men want to know they can please their partner, so communicate what pleases you), connection, responsiveness (i.e., eagerness rather than passivity), initiation, and affirmation.

So, if we’re keeping score, affirmation and connection were on both lists. That means all the readers today should find something they respect or appreciate in their partner and communicate it to their partner. Don’t let another day pass without building up your spouse. And work on maintaining a strong connection—listening well, providing support and loyalty to one another, and using touch throughout the day.

Then take a look at the rest of the list and see if you have any room for improvement in the areas your partner needs.

When you married, were you surprised at how different your spouse’s needs were from your own? Next Friday, I’ll share foods and scents that can boost your libido.

LINK:
Keeping Your Marriage Strong Even with Kids

Thanks for visiting Marriage Gems. You can subscribe to ongoing marriage tips via email or RSS feed in the right column. Share with a friend who might benefit.

Blogger Educates Men on Getting Lucky with Wives

Keeping the Sparks Alive” Series

When eight women get together to talk openly about love, sex, and marriage, it can be a very eye-opening experience. Sarah Barton (not her real name) found such value in these discussions with her friends that she opted to make those talks public with the blog, Anonymous8, on the condition that they all keep their identities a secret. Why? For one, they want to be as honest as possible, and for two, many of the women have children old enough to be completely embarrassed by their moms’ candor. The resulting discussions are “smart discussions on taboo topics” on everything involved with love and marriage. Check out the discussions here at Anonymous8 from date night ideas to tips from a woman who needs no sex advice.

Initially designed to be a womens-only forum, Sarah found that quite a few men enjoyed lurking around to hear what women really had to say. The more she heard from men, the more she realized how frustrated some of them are about their love lives, particularly after kids come and their wife’s sex drive and available time falls. As a result, Sarah penned Getting Lucky with the Wife to help men keep their relationships fresh and to learn to communicate effectively with their wives in a way that is respectful and not nagging. This book is aimed at couples in which the husband has a higher sex drive than the wife, and it’s written for husbands who would like to increase the amount of quality sex in their marriage.

Sarah has a background in her “real life” in strategic planning, so the 60-page e-book is more than a quick read; it’s a business book about your most personal business. By following the steps, husbands end up with an action plan they can immediately begin to put into practice.

Starting by providing a knowledge base of a woman’s body, it begins with some education about why a woman’s sex drive can be different and why it doesn’t mean she isn’t attracted to her mate. He can start to understand what’s going on with his wife and then help her understand the importance of sex in his life.

Sarah then helps husbands understand what has worked in the past, whether that’s date nights, helping out at home, increasing romance, etc. There are plenty of ideas on how to change the patterns that occur in many marriages. I think the most important aspect of the book includes tips on how best to communicate with the wife about these matters in a way that isn’t blaming, demeaning or disrespectful. In fact, the husband is invited to tell the wife about the book and the steps he is taking rather than using it as a secret strategy to get into bed more often. It’s about both partners getting more of what they want and nurturing the relationship.

Sarah says if sex is important to you, fight for it. She adds that there are many ideas in the book worth trying, and even if only one idea is effective for you to improve your long-term love life, it would certainly be worth the $18 cost of the book. I think the book is an excellent tool for men and women who want to help bridge the gap between the differences in their sex drives and who wish to understand each other better. If this sounds like you, check out Getting Lucky with the Wife (affiliate link). Sarah even offers a 30-day moneyback guarantee if you think it wasn’t effective.

LINKS:
So Cute, So Hard on a Marriagea good post from the Wall Street Journal about the effects of children in a marriage and pre-emptive steps that can help.

Keys to thriving in marriage and how happily married couples can help build and support marriages from StrengtheningMarriage.com.

Considering bariatric surgery? Read about how marriage rules may change after bariatric surgery.

How to Improve and Increase Sex in Your Marriage

“Keeping the Spark Alive” Series

There are many ways to maintain romantic sparks, but many of us are clearly not making time or effort for romance.

I recently reviewed some ongoing survey results at the Crucible Institute, founded by David Schnarch, PhD, author of Passionate Marriage. (The web site offers relationship advice to awaken your passion and feelings of intimacy.) The incomplete survey—which already includes thousands of participants—reported that 12 percent of those surveyed in relationships had not had sex in the last year. More than 20 percent more only had sex a few times in the last year. It’s not that married couples should reach a certain magic number per week, but these statistics show many couples are having major problems in the area of sharing sexuality.

How do we keep from becoming merely roommates, or liven things up if you could use a little romantic boost?

Fill the Emotional Needs Bucket
Reuters reported early this month that three out of ten people surveyed who were in a relationship more than five years say they never receive any compliments from their partners. Recalling that it takes five positive interactions for every one interaction to maintain a positive relationship, couples are certainly missing out on a lot of positivity. (Read the details of the 5:1 ratio.)

Find something each day for which you can genuinely compliment your spouse—whether it’s something they’ve done well at work or at home, a physical quality you appreciate, or another trait you find endearing. Keep in mind, men as well as women like to hear that you are physically attracted to them. While women may receive compliments about their hair or dress, men aren’t likely to get this kind of feedback from friends or coworkers. (That would be a little awkward to hear, “Dude, love that tie, where did you get it?” from another guy.)

Having plenty of physical touch throughout the day, spending 15 minutes each day connecting with one another, and listening to one another will go a long way toward filling each other’s emotional buckets. Be open about your fears and desires, and talk about your dreams for the future.

Fill the Physical Needs Bucket
The obstacle that I hear about most often for romance is being too tired—or even chronically exhausted. Women’s Day reported this month that 41 percent of married women would choose an extra hour of sleep over sex with their husband. (Not so surprising, is it?) With so many dual-career families, child rearing responsibilities, sports and extracurricular activities for older children, daily chores and more, it’s not surprising so many people are drained. Sleep difficulties, especially as we age, can add to the challenge of feeling rested. Couples who go to bed at different times can create additional challenges, because the sleeping partner is not likely to want to wake up for romance once they are asleep.

Suki Hanfling, certified sex therapist, says in the Women’s Day article, if you’ve been dragging all day, “waiting until bedtime to have sex almost guarantees no nookie.” She suggests choosing a time when you’re more awake, such as in the mornings or on the weekend after a nap. Yes, you may even have to schedule sex to make sure it happens.

If your partner is the one who is over-tired, and you are hoping to increase the amount of hanky-panky, figure out a way for him or her to get a nap. If one of you is chronically exhausted, it’s time to consider revamping your responsibilities or visiting the doctor. Avoid telling yourselves that “these are the difficult years when we have young children, and it will get better when the kids get older.” While that may be true to some extent, you need to prioritize your sex lives now, before you lose touch with one another.

Hanfling suggests you don’t have to be turned on to do the deed. A Penn State survey showed even women who had lost their desire said that when they did have sex, they enjoyed it. “Be open to each other’s advances and communicate, in a loving way, what feels good.”

The Woman’s Day article, Put the Spark Back Into Your Marriage at Any Age, has a lot of helpful advice from several experts for couples as they age.

Prioritize–Reignite or Keep Fire Burning
I think it’s important to mention that it’s generally easier to keep your romantic flames burning (or at least flickering) than it is to reignite them once the fire has gone cold. That is not to say that it’s impossible, but you may need to give yourselves more time to get back in the groove. Some couples may need outside assistance to help them reconnect if sex has been long absent from their marriage.

If you’re looking to open up communication about intimacy, I recommend reading Hot Monogamy together and taking the surveys together. At a minimum, start the conversation (without blame) about how you miss being with your partner the way you used to be.

What will it take for you to keep the romantic sparks going in your marriage, or to reignite them if they’ve gone out? Are you and your partner open to reevaluating your priorities and lives to make sure there’s some time for intimacy?

Related Link:
Help for the Sex-Starved Wife, this Time Magazine interview with Michele Weiner-Davis shares invaluable information for women who have a higher sex drive than their husbands.

Read Refinding Intimacy from Anonymous8’s blog about the dry spells that most couples go through. Guest poster Julie Sibert says, “After all, it’s not ‘sex’ that mows the yard, signs the permission slips or feeds the dog.  Sex seems like such a ‘negotiable’ – and everything else that ‘has to be done’ screams a bit louder.  The irony to it all is that nurtured sexual intimacy actually better equips a couple to ‘do life together.'”

Photo credit: ©PhotoXpress.com

Banishing Boredom from the Bedroom

Today I’ve had the awesome opportunity of posting a guest column for Alisa Bowman at ProjectHappilyEverAfter.com. Alisa is a talented published writer who has shared honestly and openly about her challenging marital journey from desperation to happiness. The post is about keeping that spark alive in the marriage bedroom–now, who couldn’t use a little more pizzazz in that area?

Find the Key to a Passionate Sex Life

A common complaint for long-term married couples is boredom in the bedroom. Yes, new love can be titillating, but having only one monogamous partner doesn’t mean your sex life shouldn’t be entirely fulfilling. In fact, allowing one partner to fully know your sexual needs, preferences and wishes can be ultimately much more fulfilling than having multiple partners. In the book Hot Monogamy—which lives up to its promise of offering “essential steps to more passionate, intimate lovemaking”—author Dr. Patricia Love gives some simple-to implement tips.

  1. Deepen your emotional intimacy.Be honest. Be vulnerable. Be personal. Be real. Sex is never boring when you are intimately connected.
  2. Vary the amount of time you set aside for sex.Sometimes a quickie is just right, especially when it results from spontaneous desire. Often, the routine half-hour, before-bed lovemaking session is perfectly fine. These standbys are necessary with the busy schedules most of us have.
  3. Take your time.Sometimes—perhaps once a month—try to set aside time for a leisurely time period (maybe an hour or more) during which you can share massages, creative sensuality, sharing of fantasies, or slowly pleasing one another. Dr. Love suggests adding 12 leisurely lovemaking sessions each year could improve your sex life more than most any other change. Once a month sounds fairly doable, don’t you think?
  4. Get comfortable talking about sex with your spouse.The willingness to talk about sex, your desires, what you want and don’t want from your lover is critical to your sexual satisfaction. “More than any other factor, your ability to talk freely and honestly about sex is the key to a passionate sex life,” says Dr. Love.
  5. Improve your body image. Accept yourself just as you are. If a low body image is keeping you from fully participating in or enjoying sex, talk about your insecurities with your spouse. Work to build confidence, which is sexy in any body. Read Loving a Woman’s Body for feedback from other couples. Dr. Love provides some very specific tips to overcome low body image in Hot Monogamy.
  6. Understand that differences in sexual desire do not mean your partner is rejecting you. Most couples have one more highly sexed partner (generally the man), and higher testosterone levels are one important reason. Compromise and communication help overcome these differences.
  7. Add romance to your daily life, particularly if you want your partner to become more interested in sexual intimacy.  If you don’t know how to do that, simply ask your wife or husband for his or her top 10 suggestions! She or he will be more than happy to share.

Boredom outside of the bedroom can be just as deadly. Research shows conflict isn’t the only cause of divorce; boredom can kill a marriage. Being bored reduces closeness and slowly decreases marital satisfaction. Find shared fun activities and new adventures to keep your relationship exciting.

Ask your spouse what one thing she or he would like to improve about your sex life, or take the quiz in Hot Monogamy together to find specific areas of improvement.

Man Up/Woman Up: How To Have Curl-Your-Toes Sex

 Today, I’d like to refer you to a great web site for an article about improving your sex life. Author Corey Allan, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist, a straight-shooter, and an entertaining writer.

Check out his web site at Simple Marriage, and read the article How To Have Curl Your Toes Sex.