There’s a lot to be said for the familiarity of a long-term relationship. It’s great to have someone you can rely on; someone you can let down the artifice with and just be. However, unfamiliarity and artifice are two major factors for sexual attraction. Human beings like variety and crave newness — two things that can feel hard to come by in a long-term relationship.
That’s not say that everyone in an LTR is doomed forever to a lackluster sex life — in fact, a new study just proved that's not the case. It just means long-term couples have to put in effort at recreating that artifice and newness in relationships. For some couples, that might mean opening things up and being “monogamish” or even polyamorous. But plenty of couples are committed to monogamy and are looking for ways to bring some newness back, even with one partner who has been around for a long time. That’s where sexy date nights come in.
“Research from psychologist Charlotte Reissman found that couples who engaged in an ‘exciting’ activity each week for 10 consecutive weeks were happier than couples that participated in ‘pleasant’ activities,” Logan Ury, TED Resident and dating and relationships expert, tells Bustle. “Whats’s an exciting activity? Something that both partners are willing to participate in and something different from their everyday life.”
I don’t know about you, but I think sexy dates nights definitely fall under the “exciting” category. But everyone has their limits for how exciting they want their dates to be — and how much “sex” they want in a sexy date. With that in mind, here are nine sexy date ideas in ascending order, starting with very low key and ending in hot and heavy.
1Take A Dance Class
Dancing is a classic way to get close to your partner, no matter how long you’ve been together. Pick a type of dance that you don’t know how to do yet and take a class. Bonus for traditionally sexy dances like salsa or tango.
2Go To A Burlesque Show
Burlesque has made a major comeback in the past 10 years, and for a good reason. It’s sexy without being too explicit, funny, and body positive. Find a burlesque show or cabaret in your area, get dressed up, and go enjoy some sexy, fun dancing.
3Attend An Erotic Storytelling Event
Live erotic storytelling may be more of a bit city thing (or even just a West Coast thing) but if you can’t find a live event nearby, you could always have your own private show with the Bawdy Storytelling podcast. Bawdy Storytelling is real people telling real, unscripted sex stories. Listen together at home or get even more creative and get dressed up, go in public somewhere, and listen on headphones.
4Head To A Local Makeout Spot
One of the fun things about being a new couple is finding places to get it on. Act like a teenager and head to a local make out spot. If you choose to do more than make out, I won’t tell anyone.
5Take A Sex Shop Field Trip
Curious about sex toys? Or maybe just want to update your current collection? Take a date to your local sex shop and pick out something fun that you can both enjoy.
6Get A Room — Literally
There’s nothing like a night in a hotel to encourage sexy fun! Pick a hotel in your area and commit to spending the night focusing on each other’s pleasure. It’s also a great opportunity to try out new toys.
7Get Down At A Club
Remember what it felt like to dance with someone new at a club when you were single? Recreate that scene with your partner. You don’t have to pretend like you don’t know each other, but it certainly doesn’t hurt!
8Have A Porn Party
I would love, love, love to recommend a live porn show — and if you’re in a city that Dan Savage’s HUMP! Festival visits, go do that. (And it’s in so many cities now! It’s even going to be in my hometown of Burlington, Vermont!) But if you’re not, there’s plenty of porn out there. Have your own porn screening in your house and see how long you can go before you’re trying out some of the moves you saw onscreen.
9Go To A Sex Party
Finally, for couples that are feeling particularly adventurous, check out a sex party in your area. You don’t have to have sex with other people if you don’t want to — although obviously that’s an option. It’s totally cool (and recommended) to go to your first sex party to watch and mess around only with each other. A good party will have clear rules about consent and accepting “no,” so don’t worry about hurting anyone’s feelings.
Ultimately you and your partner get to decide what "sexy" means to you. Take this list as a jump off point for getting a little bit of that unfamiliarity back in your love life.