Question. Are you getting the sex you want? Let's be real. No matter what your relationship looks like, chances are you’ve experienced periods where sex has been a bit blah. This is normal (read that again!). In life, we experience ups and downs, settle into routines, and go through times where our focus is in another stratosphere completely. Our sex lives are no different. Whether you’ve been with your SO for decades, months, or weeks, it’s possible to find yourself getting caught in a bedroom rut.
TL;DR: Life is short. You deserve mind-blowing sex. Ready to re-discover the spark? We have a few ideas to help get you there.
At Playground, we like to say communication = lubrication. Prioritizing communication with your significant other is arguably the most important thing you can do for your sex life.
We get it—easier said than done right? Talking about sex can be hard for many reasons. Firstly, it’s one of the most intimate parts of our lives. Second, a lack of education, research, and resources have shaped a society that’s seriously stumped on sexpectations.
Movies, shows, and books often glorify sex in ways that just aren’t realistic. Apparently a little wham, bam, thank you ma’am is all it takes for a woman to orgasm these days? We’d love to know who this woman is, where we can find her, and what her secret is STAT. (Spoiler: she doesn’t exist.)
Remember when SATC’s Samantha Jones said “Men aren’t that complicated. They’re kind of like plants.”? We do—and the sentiment holds true. Don’t overcomplicate it! Passionate sex doesn’t have to involve spontaneously ripping each other’s clothes off, hiring a dominatrix, or building a high-tech sex dungeon (hey, unless that’s your thing!). It’s important to realize that sex can be very different in every single relationship, and ultimately, the goal is for you and your partner to have great sex.
So how do we define great sex anyway? Easy! It’s any type of sex you want that makes you feel good.
That’s why communication and having a growth mindset is essential. When the moment is right (we recommend bringing it up outside the bedroom) ask your partner what they enjoy most or what their favorite sexual experiences with you have been. Not only will this give you an arsenal of information to use down the road, but it opens the door for you to express the same desires right back to your partner.
Once the floor is open and both parties are ready, make it fun! After all, you are talking about sex with someone you enjoy doing it with. Consider it foreplay!
- Don’t: bring it up before they’re leaving for work
- Do: turn it into a game of truth or dare that evening
- Don’t: look at it like a one-and-done conversation
- Do: send each other texts at random when you think of new questions (or sexy scenarios you’ve been fantasizing about)
It doesn’t matter how you choose to get your message across, what’s important is that both partners are present in the conversation, receptive to other’s wants and needs, and ready to put in the effort.
Try something new 💫
Our brains are wired for novelty—research shows that enhanced happiness is directly linked with new and diverse experiences. So, anything your brain perceives as new will cause the release of dopamine, that feel-good chemical in your brain commonly associated with eating our favorite foods, engaging in vigorous exercise, and of course, having sex. What does this mean for your sex life?
Variety is a surefire way to boost everyone’s mood—and any type of switch-up in the sack will do you good. We’ll say it again: even the absolute best sex lives can feel monotonous! Diverging from the expected in any way, big or small, can have a huge impact and will help you and your partner feel more comfortable with trying new things (and openly talking about it).
Especially in long-term relationships, what was once a thrilling adventure can feel less exciting if it’s continuously repeated. It’s common to find ourselves automatically gravitating to what we know they like or, ahem, what simply gets the job done. But drawing from the same playbook you always have before won’t cut it if you actually want to bring play back into the picture.
Now where to go when you’re low on new ideas?
Do your homework 🤓
Don’t worry, after this homework you’ll actually want to be given a D.
Look at it this way: you wouldn’t show up to your calculus final never having cracked open the book, would you? (Don’t answer that.) Lucky for you, this final is less about math and more about anatomy. And like most things in life, being prepared will give you a better outcome than just winging it, so keep this in mind before that next exam.
We live in an age dominated by readily-available media—today more than ever. Really though, if thousands of people could teach themselves how to bake sourdough bread from scratch amidst a global pandemic from watching a few how-to videos, you can BET the internet has relevant intimacy tips that haven’t yet crossed your mind! Just remember to be ultra-conscious of where you choose to seek this information from. One way to start is to think about how you already consume your favorite media. There’s plenty of intimacy educators on Instagram, OB/GYNs on Tik Tok, and sexuality podcasts that can be a constant source of education and inspiration. Adding these into your daily or weekly feed can drastically improve your knowledge on the subject—and surely spark some sexy ideas along the way.
P.S. While this can be a rewarding exercise done alone, consider asking your partner to be your study buddy next time—you never know what might come up ;) Is there something specific you’ve always wanted to try that you haven’t discussed with your partner? Try sending them a link to a podcast with a note about how turned on you are fantasizing about doing this with them, or how you just learned about this and are curious to try it. Even better, play it in the background next time you’re doing something together. Whether you’re cooking dinner or on a road trip it’s a super easy way to break the ice and get the conversation started.
Foreplay: any time, any place 👀
It’s only human to fall into routines. But sometimes, this means we aren’t always giving our sex lives the care that it needs to thrive, and we can forget what it’s like to let ourselves have a little fun. Remember: sex and intimacy don’t start in bed. The earlier you plant those sexy thoughts in each other's minds, the more excited you’ll be once the bedroom fun begins.
An “accidental” booty graze in the kitchen? Foreplay. Picking up their favorite dessert for no reason? Foreplay. A come and get me look in the middle of the grocery store? Foreplay!
Be open and genuine about your intentions, and don’t forget about the power of body language. While expressing yourself in conversation gets the point across, sometimes all it takes is a brief glance, wink, or phrase from the past that will let your partner know they’re at the forefront of your mind. This will get their wheels greased (or lubed, rather) for your next intimate rendezvous.
Intentional conversations, new experiences, a little extracurricular research, and thoughtful foreplay are sure to lift you out of any rut. Remember, it’s never too late to start exploring, learning, and discovering. Now go forth and get some!