For many in long-term relationships, life doesn’t include a lot of springs squeaking in mattresses — you know, the really good kinds of squeaks.

Dr Kat — Kathleen Van Kirk, MA, DHS — sexologist and marriage and family counselor, offers some ways to help get those springs making their happy noises again, along with some other ways to perk up your sex life.

How to reboot the romance in your long-term relationship

Simple and surprising ways to reboot the romance
First, these four suggestions that can help lead to making some mattress music:

1) Allow the, “Honey, I’m off to work and I’ll see you this afternoon kiss” to linger. Throw some tongue into it, cup an ass cheek or fondle a breast under the shirt and over the bra (or even just over the shirt). If the kids are having breakfast, excuse yourself to go out to get the morning paper together for a little grope. So what if the neighbors stare?

2) While running errands together, pull off the road for a few minutes of fondling. You’re adults. As long as you aren’t blocking traffic, the police probably won’t give you a second glance.

3) If your partner is taking a shower, offer to hop in and wash his or her back. Get a bottle of the yummiest smelling body wash you can find and surprise him/her with it as you lather up.

4) Offer your lover a foot rub before he or she gets out of bed in the morning or right before falling asleep. It might not lead to a romp right then, but it sure sends a message of love.

3 reasons why eye contact creates better sex
He looks down, she glances up, both of them gaze in just about every direction during sex. But eye to eye? Too often, it doesn’t happen.

“I am not advocating that everyone all the time has to maintain a deep ‘soul-gaze’ sort of lock on their partner, but I do suggest that you examine your comfort level with this issue and try to make some eye contact with your partner on a regular basis,” says Dr Kat.

Why?

1. It helps partners connect energetically. Feeling joined by more than just touch or sex toys helps couples deepen their relationship and increases emotional intimacy.

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2. Eye contact is a great form of non-verbal communication during sex. You can use it as a check-in with your partner to communicate what’s working and what isn’t.

3. Vulnerability is a helpful thing. People experiencing discomfort looking their partner in the eye can view it as an indicator they might feel too exposed or vulnerable. Many avoid vulnerability, but revealing ourselves (inside and outside) to a partner is what deepens relationships.

“There is nothing to fear but fear itself, and when you get over the fear of looking your partner in the eye during sex, there’s only better sex to be had,” says Dr Kat.


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