A romantic relationship is very much like a plant—it requires watering. For couples, that watering comes in the form of time spent together, talking and listening to each other and, last but certainly not least, having sex. Think of great sex during marriage as the glue that holds you two together. If you feel like you and your partner have lost a certain spark and aren’t having as good of sex as you once did, the good news is that there’s almost always a solution. The key is in finding out what obstacles are in the way of you having a good sex life in marriage.
Here, we asked sexperts to weigh in to help reignite your romantic spark and have great sex in marriage.
Wanting to be “good in bed”
No one strives to be bad in bed, but placing too much pressure on yourself or your partner to be especially good in bed might distract and take away from the task at hand. “There is so much more than sex than good technique or having an extended repertoire of bedroom moves,” explains Cath Hakanson, nurse, sex educator and founder of Sex Ed Rescue. “Good sex is all about intimacy, so, when the connection is there, you likely spend more time focusing on pleasing each other than on what move to do next. It just flows naturally and can end up being pretty mind blowing sex.”
Thinking it is all about you
It’s great that you’re comfortable with your sex life and know what you need to get off, but don’t forget about the needs of your partner. “Remember that great sex in marriage is about the relationship and connection between two people,” says Hakanson. “One-sided sex is okay occasionally, but it isn't going to last, as the other partner is inevitably going to feel neglected and possibly even unfulfilled.”
Being uncomfortable with your body
When you’re so self conscious about your lack of a six pack that all you can think about during sex is your S.O. trying to remove your shirt, it’s pretty impossible to enjoy what’s going on. The same goes for your private area. Believe it or not, most women are unhappy with how their lady bits look. Hakanson explains that many of us were given negative messages about this area growing up, and society gives us many negative messages as well. “It’s important to know that they all look pretty much the same, but there is also a lot of variety,” she adds. “Relax and accept the vulva you have—and don't be shy about sharing it with your partner.”
Expecting your partner to read your mind
If you want your partner to do something or stop doing something, the best way to see that this happens is to tell them. “Persisting in wanting your partner to read your mind is a set-up,” warns Claudia Six, Ph.D., clinical sexologist and relationship coach. “You have to open your mouth, be vulnerable and speak to your lover. Vulnerability is part of what makes sex good.”
Being a perfectionist
You might be type A in your regular life, but during sex, it’s best that you let loose and go with the flow. “Being attached to things happening a certain way—having it like on your first night together (although that doesn’t always go so smoothly) or on your wedding night—is a sure way to prevent it from being perfect,” says Dr. Six. “The best sex, just like a lot of things in life, happens when you’re open and go with whatever is happening in the moment.”
There is a plethora of medications and substances out there that can cause sexual dysfunction, from antidepressants to amphetamines—even alcohol and marijuana. Additionally, some birth control varieties can cause your libido to plummet. “If you or your partner is on a medication that reduces your libido or makes it very difficult for you to orgasm, talk to your doctor about switching to one that doesn’t impact your sex life negatively,” says Dr. Six.
Fighting and tension in your relationship
What happens outside the bedroom is as equally important as what happens inside the bedroom. “Great sex during marriage really only happens when you like each other, so if you are both fighting over an untidy house or money, it is going to be very hard to connect in the bedroom,” says Hakanson. “You need to be able to like each other, so try to resolve issues and not let them last or they will carry through to the bedroom, and have a negative impact on your life.”