The healthiest relationships are ones in which both you and your partner can work as a team to constantly grow together and improve different aspects of the relationship — including your sex life. No matter how good your sex life already is, if you're willing to put in a little effort and try out some new ways to have hotter sex with your partner, it can be even better. Wanting to take your sex life to the next level doesn't mean your current sex life is bad; it simply means you think the ~sexy~ potential for you and your partner has no limit (and what's more flattering than that?). So what's the key to having hotter, more intimate sex with your partner?
"The best way to take your relationship to the next level is through emotional vulnerability," Shirani M. Pathak, licensed psychotherapist and founder of the Relationship Center of Silicon Valley, tells Bustle. "When you allow yourself to be emotionally vulnerable with your partner from an authentic place, your bond grows to new levels. This emotional intimacy is the foundation for really hot sex in ways that will blow your mind. You'll be able to share not only your fears, your worries, your concerns, you will also be able to share your fantasies, your desires, and what gets you extra hot and excited in bed."
Aside from having that emotional intimacy and sexual comfort level with your partner, here are seven practical tips to take your sex life to another level (even if it's already scorching hot).
Manual and oral stimulation are great, but there's no harm in accepting a little extra stimulation via powerful vibrations from a couples sex toy. Even if you've been with your partner long enough that they know *all* the right buttons to push, adding sex toys into the mix can only make things hotter. Plus, taking a trip to the sex shop together to pick out a toy (or more than one!) will feel like a fun, sexy adventure for you and your partner.
"When you try new things together you are creating shared experiences that are new and exciting," dating coach and licensed marriage and family therapist Pella Weisman tells Bustle. "That shared excitement is a way to have both closeness and stimulation, which is a great combination for sparking things... up."
2Switch Up Your Routine
When you're in a long-term relationship and both of you are busy with work, hobbies, and friends, it's easy to fall into a sexual "pattern" where you tend to have sex only at specific times. But if you've been feeling like you're stuck in a sexual rut, one of the easiest ways to make things feel new and fresh again is to switch up your routine and have more spontaneous sex. Or, if you want to *really* commit, try having sex every single day for a month to stoke the sexual fire.
"Have sex nightly for a month, no matter what," Dr. Cristina Bosch and Dr. John Robinson, The Sex Docs and owners of The Hormone Zone, tell Bustle. "Once you start having intercourse and simply bond with your partner sexually and intimately, then libido and desire will be enhanced. The best way to make this happen is to just make it happen! It will bring you closer, improve your self-esteem, you will feel wanted and loved and appreciated more than ever, and it will spark your creative energies."
Masturbation is not just for single people. There are all kinds of benefits of masturbating while in a relationship: it lets you have some much-needed "me time," helps you stay in tune with your own body and desires, and will make you crave more sex *with* your partner, too.
"When couples get into a relationship, the idea of masturbation falls by the wayside," Cook says. "'I have a partner, so why should I have to masturbate?' is a common gripe I've heard from folks. The negative about this is that you are putting your pleasure into the hands of another person, and over time that will erode your personal connection with your own pleasure. Make sure that you are taking time to honor your body through masturbation or relaxation so you can always check in with how you are currently receiving pleasure and then tell that to your partner. They can't read your mind, and you being in touch (literally) with your pleasure will foster deeper intimacy in your relationship."
4Discover Shared Fantasies
Even if you're super comfortable with your partner, it can be scary or awkward to bring up any fetishes or kinks you want to explore. Instead of having a high-pressure conversation about what fantasies you'd like to explore, consider trying out an app or website specifically designed to help couples discover and communicate about their fantasies.
"Instead of just suggesting new toys or activities, which can make people feel uncomfortable or even guilty if they say no, simpatic.us lets couples explore shared intimate interests, desires and fetishes without having to suggest those things to a partner — thereby avoiding rejection, fear of rejection and judgement," Derek Newton, Founder of simpatic.us, tells Bustle. "So if, for example, one partner wants to play teacher/student and the other is not interested, they never know their partner was interested. They don't feel bad for having said no and their partner does not feel... rejected."
5Focus On Foreplay
When you've been with someone for a long time, you can get so good at getting each other off that sex becomes more of a science than an art. There's nothing wrong with a quickie every now and then (because quickies can be super hot), but focusing on foreplay can be a way to get back to your sexual roots with your partner. Instead of getting straight down to business, spend quality time focusing on foreplay: set aside time just to kiss and caress each other rather than going from zero to 100 and only focusing on the end result (aka an orgasm). You'll feel more connected, plus it's like a fun TBT to the beginning of your relationship, when things moved slower — but were still mega-exciting.
6Try Sensory Play
If you're looking for a totally new way to tease your partner, consider trying sensory play. It's a way to heighten your sense of touch by removing one or more of your other senses — so you can be hyper-focused on the way your partner is making you feel.
"Sensory play is the practice of removing one or more of your senses to increase the sensation of the remaining senses in the bedroom," Kenna Cook, sex educator and pleasure professional at O.school, tells Bustle. "This means using blindfolds or headphones to block out noise and light while your partners caresses your body. Removing sight and sound from an intimate experience heightens your sense of touch."
7Think About Sexuality, Not Just Sex
The most important tip for taking your sex life to another level? Remembering that sex is about so much more than just making each other orgasm.
"If you want to keep things exciting, then get involved in your sexuality, instead of just sex," Bosch and Robinson say. "This means focusing on the needs, wants and desires of your partner and then being honest about your needs. Sexuality comes through your openness about yourself, your sense of self, your self-confidence. There is nothing more sexual than that. It is what creates a dynamic interplay of intensity and attraction for your partner."
How Can You Avoid A Boring Bedroom?
If you feel like your sex life has taken a turn for the boring, there's nothing to be ashamed of. Even the most sexually compatible couples can fall into a rut — what really matters is that you're both willing to communicate and work together to bring more fun and excitement into the bedroom.
"People get bored in the bedroom because they have a limited view of what sexuality and sex is all about," Bosch and Robinson say. "If you believe that great sex is only about how hard and fast you can do it, then you are missing out on the multiple layers of fun that can develop in any good relationship."
And even if your sex life is already mind-blowing, it's never a bad idea to try something new — it might just be the missing piece you needed to take your sex life to another level.