Familiarity and sexual boredom in a long-term relationship can cause people to stray. At handbag we have the solution: learn to play with your partner instead of playing away
So it’s finally happened. Whether it’s stepping over his smelly socks for the third day on the run, or timing your weekly sex session to be over before ‘Desperate Housewives’, one day you’ll probably wake up and realize the spark has gone out of your relationship. Should you meet someone at this point who seems to relight that spark, you could be on the road to an affair.
One in six people now admit to having an affair, and around half of marriages end in divorce. The question you have to ask yourself is, do I really want to jeopardize this relationship, and risk all the pain an affair involves, just because bedroom boredom has set in?
If the answer is no, and you’re looking to spice things up without gambling on your relationship, follow our guide to having an affair with your partner!
Let’s talk about sex, baby…
To improve your sex life, communication must come first (so to speak). Use positive comments rather than negative criticism, talk about what you like and dislike about your sex life. To do this, you will both have to turn away from the TV, magazines or the PlayStation, and really listen to each other.
Many sex problems spring from one partner having a higher sex drive (usually – but not always – the man). Scientifically, this stems from increased amounts of testosterone in men. Emotionally, for many women, it can also stem from what they feel is a lack of intimacy in other areas of their lives. Women may want to hug, hold hands and kiss sometimes, whereas some men just want the act itself.
Worse still, one sex therapist, Helen Crohn from Vibratorguru.com, suggests, ‘When some couples can’t agree why they’re not having as much sex, they come up with totally different excuses for it.’ You have to get past the excuses, which is where mutual communication comes in.
Dr Patricia Love (yes, it’s really her name) is a therapist who has helped over 12,000 couples with sex and relationship problems. In her book ‘Hot Monogamy’, she sees intimacy as ‘communicating on a personal level’. For many people, and women in particular, it is lack of intimacy that can turn your sex life into something of a chore. And we all know where this can lead…
Practice makes perfect
Good sex does not come naturally (especially after a long time together). Without communication, both partners can spend years doing things their partner hates. Give clear, specific messages and plenty of time over to foreplay. Tracey Cox, of ‘Would Like To Meet’ fame, has this to say about foreplay: ‘Happiness isn’t a destination; it’s a means of travelling.’ This old saying can be applied to foreplay. Rush through the ‘travelling’ and you might find the destination isn’t quite as exciting as you’d expected. Lavish attention on the whole body and you can’t help but take your time.’
Variety is the spice of life!
Once you and your partner have made your likes and dislikes clear, it’s time to start working on sexual variety. There is a wealth of lovemaking techniques to try, and plenty of books, guides and sex toys to help you. So now you know what each other wants, go out and buy them!
Romance can lead to who knows where!
Whatever happened to romance? After several years together it’s hard to keep up the good habits you were so keen on in your dating days, but never say never! Okay, so the initial feelings that were so wonderful in the beginning never usually make it past a year and it’s tough to feel romantic when experts like to point out that this ‘infatuation’ with one another is actually a chemical reaction. After a while, his skinny legs and your 40-a-day habit only lead to wandering eyes… suddenly Brian in accounts looks more appealing…
But! Remain vigilant and be prepared to take the bull by its horn (quite literally!). If you are really serious about keeping the marriage flame flickering, then make it your mission to bring romance back into the home. One expert, Dr Arthur Aron, spent a shocking 20 years researching the subject of infidelity and (eventually) concluded that the recipe for lasting romance is ‘knowing that that person loves you’. Romance does not have to cost anything – start by doing little things that you know will make them happy. Habit can erode these romantic gestures, which is another reason people turn to affairs. For many women, coming home to find their dinner unexpectedly cooked for them can be the biggest turn-on of all.
Learn to love your body
Images of so-called perfection in the media can leave the average person (usually women) feeling miserable about her own body. If the years, children and chocolate bars have taken a toll on your body, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy hot sex. Your partner has most likely got their own love handles to worry about, and unless you are really willing to shed those pounds (and shaping up together can spice your love life up more than you might think!), you have to learn to live – and love – with them.
Sensuality and passion
Strangely, the more familiar you are with someone, the more likely you are to hold back. True sensuality and passion require intimacy, trust and removal of inhibitions. With better understanding, you and your partner can start working on the five senses: sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste. If just thinking about these possibilities gets you heated, you’re probably nearer to hot monogamy than you think.