Having your sex drive drop — or your sex life drop— is a big fear for a lot of us, even those in happy relationships. Especially with recent research showing that women in long-term relationships experience a drop in their sex drives more than single women, it can be difficult to wonder how to keep the sex alive. As someone who has a lot of great sex with my partner and a really fulfilling sex life, I still worry about the impact on our sex life when we move in together. It's weird, because it's like when things are really good, you start worrying about what will happen if that changed.
"When we get to the comfortable, stable place of knowing we have 'secure' status with someone else, it's common to lose the playfulness that got you together in the first place," Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure, tells Bustle.
And when the playfulness goes, the good sex goes. so it's really important that you make a pre-emptive strike. For me, it's about making a concerted effort to keep up all the great parts of our sex life. Not because it needs to change, but because I want to maintain it how it is. It's better to work on keeping it from fading then to end up in a sex rut you have to dig your way out of.
So how do you keep it from fading? Well, experts have some ideas:
1. Flirt Your Ass Off
Don't let it stop. "Couples who stop flirting are couples who stop anticipating," Certified Relationship Coach Chris Armstrong tells Bustle. "Things go blasé and what was once an unpredictable stroll is now an expected lull." And it's something you shouldn't let go off, because not only does it have that amazing nostalgia of when you were first together, but also because it keeps you connected now.
"Flirting keeps the playfulness and banter alive," Levine tells Bustle. "It keeps the energy flowing between two people so they are plugged in, making sex more 'electric' rather than feeling like a fuse blew and you're disconnected."
2. Keep Up The Physical Contact
Physical contact is really important — and it's about way more than sex. “Rather than setting rigid expectations, I think it's more effective to make that time about physical connection,” , sex and relationship coach Charlie Glickman, PhD, tells Bustle. “It could be a back rub. It could be brushing your partner's hair. It could be cuddling and talking. And of course, it could be about sex. But if you require it to be sex, you don't leave any room for one or both partners to need some other kind of physical contact.” Keep the other touching alive and it will help the sex follow.
3. Don't Let Living Together Get Too Roommate-y
My fears seem to be warranted. Lots of experts warn that something like moving in together can have a negative impact on your sex life. So make sure you're aware of these transitions and make extra time and effort during them. “It’s important to maintain the health of the relationship and not become complacent, too comfortable, or too set in our routines once we live together,” Ravid Yosef, dating and relationship coach at LoveLifeTBD.com, tells Bustle. “While the fire won’t always burn as strong as it did in the beginning of your relationship, it doesn’t have to dim either. That’s when you lose interest in one another and seek outside stimulation.”
4. Take Time To Miss Each Other... And Let The Anticipation Build
Do you know those couples who spend every waking second together, so much time that you wonder what they can even talking about? Don't be that couple. “Keep your own hobbies and interests and don’t be home all the time,” Karenna Alexander, a NYC matchmaker and dating coach, tells Bustle. “Your [partner] needs to appreciate you and miss you for that spark to stay alive. That spark is so important when living together... Everyone wants romance and excitement in their life.” That separation helps inject some want and desire into your relationship, which is always great for the sex life.
5. Don't Forget The Basics
One of the reasons sex can fade is that you've been together so long you get complacent —and forget the basic building blocks of sex. Communication, responsiveness, and awareness are not things that you can just leave behind. You need to keep talking. "[Couples with healthy sex lives] have awkward conversations," sexologist and relationship expert Dr. Nikki Goldstein tells Bustle. "Often people can have sex but are scared to talk about it out of fear that might offend their partner or it might be awkward. In order to have a healthy sex life you need to have sometimes awkward conversations about what might not be working in the bedroom or what you want more or less of." And just because you've had them before, doesn't mean you don't need to have them again.
It's totally normal to have fears about your sex life changing or fading. You don't want to lose the spark you have now and have it affect your relationship. The good news is, there are ways to keep it going. Just take the time and make the effort, and you can keep it alive.
Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; Giphy (5)