The internet is full of bright ideas, helpful hints and strongly worded directives all promising the one secret to better sex. These range from the obvious — be sure to make dates, don't forget to take risks — to the more obscure or at least less readily available — redecorate the bedroom, spend nights away from home regularly. But marriage and family therapist Esther Boykin thinks it's simpler than all of that. "If you really want to heat up your sex life tonight, let go," she tells Bustle. "The greatest part of sex in a committed relationship should be the emotional intimacy that it celebrates and creates."
So the secret here is straightforward: "Stop seeing sex as a prize or the end result of a good day together," she says. "Sex can, of course, be a celebration of your love and intimacy, but it is also an effective means to creating that closeness." In other words, be sure to make time for intimacy no matter what, and don't worry about what else is going on in life. If you can be present and let yourself enjoy your time with your partner, you'll can create incredible emotional intimacy.
"Our bodies are as skilled at expressing love and affection as our words," says Boykin. "Let go of your self-consciousness or the annoying thing your significant other said this morning, and focus on how it feels to connect in a way that doesn't require so much thinking."
Boykin isn't saying that you should avoid looking at things head-on with sex: "I'm not suggesting you use sex as a way to avoid conversation or to gloss over real relationship issues." This is all about showing your love and affection for your partner with sex, regardless of what is going on. "If you are in a healthy, loving relationship with someone, sex can be an amazing way to express love and passion," says Boykin.
Nothing Has To Be Perfect
Rather than aiming for perfection, it's best to just go for tenderness, connection and honesty with your partner. "Let your sex life be less 'perfect' and focus instead on the physical and emotional experience of being open and connected to someone you love," says Boykin.
"Your partner doesn't care what you wear or if you shaved — they are turned on by your attentiveness and desire for them," Boykin says. "Allow yourself to be fully present and expressive, verbally and physically, about your pleasure." It's important that you don't allow yourself to get totally caught up in anything negative and instead just let yourself enjoy.
Just Have Fun
"When you bring back the uncensored fun of sex with each other, you are guaranteed a good night," Boykin says. Get out of your head and just be present with your partner. It's necessary to set aside expectations here — and be ready to find out where this might take you.
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