15 Secrets Of Seriously Sexually Satisfied Long-Term Couples
Ahhh, the joys of a long-term relationship: Comfort, loyalty...and a sort-of-stale sex life. Not so fast. Staying together for the long haul doesn't necessarily mean action in the bedroom has to suffer. In fact, knowing each other so well can actually make things even hotter in that arena. Need proof? We spoke to real couples, all of whom have been together for 10 years or longer, and rank their sex lives very highly. Lucky for you, they were willing to share their secrets.
Secret #1: Put it on the calendar
"My husband travels a lot for work,” says Marianne*, 39, who has been married for 15 years, "so we 'bookend' it. We have sex before he leaves and right when he gets back." Chet* and Tina*, 49 and 47 respectively, who have been together 16 years, also schedule sex when they have to travel. "If Tina is leaving for a trip, she'll stop by the house on her way to the airport from work to 'get some' before flying," says Chet, "or we'll plan to have sex after church if I have to leave on a Sunday."
Secret #2: Be candid.
"The secret to keeping sex exciting is making sure the lines of communication are open," says Alisa, 40, who has been married for 18 years. "Tony didn't always know how to give me an orgasm. When I made the decision to talk to him about what does work, we reached a whole new level of intimacy. I wasn't waiting for him to 'figure it out' anymore; sharing has made both of us better lovers."
Secret #3: Act like teenagers.
"We've been married for 11 years and have three children, but my husband and I still have fun, just like we did when we were dating," says Caroline*, 39. "We still 'do it' on the floor, even though we have a California King. Every now and then when he's working from home, I'll interrupt him in stilettos and a robe, or I'll quickly flash him when we're out and no one's looking. When he tries to playfully grope me I don't swat him away—it keeps the spark alive."
Secret #4: Let your mind be changed.
"Basically I'm the man in the relationship and just want to do 'wham bam thank you ma'am,' but my husband isn't like that," says Meredith*, 37, who has been married for 10 years. "Rich* is a generous lover. He takes his time and makes sure I’m enjoying myself. Once we get started, I tend to forget that I ever wanted a quickie."
Secret #5: Take risks.
"Some of our most mind-blowing sessions were essentially out in the open where we could have been caught," says Chet, 49, who has been with his wife for 16 years. "Once we were on vacation, taking advantage of two-for-one piña coladas while we watched the sunset. Next thing I knew, my wife was straddling me, bathing suit pushed aside, and we were looking out for people walking by!"
Secret #6: Share the responsibility.
"We take turns initiating sex," says Alisa, "because we've found that in most relationships only one person initiates and that can lead to a power struggle and feelings of rejection. We had to work out which days were better for us. Tony initiates Sunday through Tuesday and I'm on call Wednesday through Friday. Saturday is either a day of rest or a bonus day!"
Secret #7: Get inspired.
"I don't look at porn online," says Erika*, 32, who has been with her husband for 14 years, "but I will Google things like 'how to be more intimate with your husband.' " Adds Sharon*, 37, who has been married for 11 years, "I felt a lot friskier after my book club read Fifty Shades of Grey. A big part of the main character Christian Grey's method is keeping the girl waiting. Sometimes it would be all foreplay and then he wouldn't even have sex with her. I applied that concept to my sex life and have loved the longer build-up. The waiting makes the actual sex more satisfying."
Secret #8: Resist autopilot.
"Quantity has nothing to do with quality," says Patricia, 50, who has been married for 14 years. "My husband and I continue to find new levels of intensity. For us, it's about treating sex as an opportunity to discover something new. The key to having a fulfilling long-term sex life is to shift your focus away from excitement, and focus instead on the richness and texture in every experience. There's always the potential to be surprised."
Secret #9: Challenge yourselves.
"For the first 11 years of marriage, things were just okay," says Alisa. "We were more like roommates raising children together than lovers. Then, after hearing about other couples doing similar things, we embarked on a Sixty Days of Sex challenge. The result of putting each other first continues to impact our sex life today. Now we have sex at least twice a week, and we talk about sex more—what we like, what feels good. We flirt with each other more."
Secret #10: Know each other's likes.
"We know what the other likes and provide it," says Chet. "There are certain things that make each of us ecstatic, but we don't do them every time we make love. That's what makes them special." Adds Patricia: "It's great to have a 'bag of tricks' that you know will work most of the time, but beyond that, familiarity with your partner's sexuality gives you a template to work from. It's like learning to write a sonnet: Once you have the formula, you can create something beautiful."
Secret #11: Compliment each other.
"I remember gaining 40 pounds with my first pregnancy and feeling so unattractive," says Sharon, "but my sweet husband still wanted to have sex with me, and always made a point of telling me how sexy and beautiful I was."
Secret #12: Work through it.
"There was a time when I felt like sex was a one-way street, but it turns out our problems stemmed from issues outside the bedroom," says Erika. "My husband was worried about finances and other things that took his mind off sex completely. That bothered me and made me feel like I wasn't good enough, but we tackled those issues head on. Now we're past that, and our sex life is great again."
Secret #13: Get rid of expectations.
"The first time we had sex, Tina put so much pressure on herself to please me that it didn't work out," says Chet. "Now we know each other so well that we can just have fun. Sex is never a chore. Sometimes we laugh so hard we have to stop, and that's okay. And some of our most intimate moments are us simply lying in bed together entwined."
Secret #14: Don't go from 0 to 60.
"My wife's feet are an incredibly powerful erogenous zone and a foot rub with lotion is sometimes more stimulating to her than when I go down on her," explains Chet. Adds Patricia, "My husband and I usually take a bath together to transition into sex." (Check out these 7 erogenous zones you've been neglecting way too long.)
Secret #15: Embrace your age.
"Being body confident can be challenging as you age," says Olivia*, 45, "but I think this is when the long-term trust component comes into play. We've been together for 11 years and made a healthy, happy sex life a priority early on in our relationship. We agreed that though growing older may mean learning new ways to have good sex—creaky joints and all—we are not willing to give up or settle for anything less." Jennifer, 41, who has been with her husband for 15 years, agrees. "We don't stress about our bodies. In fact, we laugh about the crazy sounds they make!"