Reignite the Flame
By Michael Bell for ASN Lifestyle Magazine
Passion burns hot, but it is finite if you’re not actively attentive to maintaining your and your partner(s) desires. It goes well beyond the bedroom, too, which you’ll see in this list of suggestions. There are enough ideas here to breathe new life into your relationships and more to keep the flames burning bright well into the future. Revisit this list any time you feel things going cold.
Write a Love Letter
Who doesn’t enjoy reading sweet, caring, loving thoughts from their partner? If you put it in writing, make sure you mean it. When the flame starts to dim, it takes both of you to step-up through meaningful actions.
Celebrate Your Successes... Even the Little Ones
One of you just received a promotion at work, or you accomplished a goal, or you lost the weight you wanted to. Heck, you finally taught the dog to ‘sit.’ Celebrate these “wins” together. Whether it’s a romantic dinner at home or out, maybe it’s something simple like watching the movie your partner has been dying to see. Do it and have fun.
Have a Blast from the Past
Remember what made you fall in love to start with? Do it again! Was it a song? Play it. Or was it a specific location where you each realized “this is the one?” Go back there. Was there a favorite meal or dessert you used to prepare, and for whatever reasons, you haven’t in a while? Make it. Did you use to dance up a storm together but now can’t find the time? Now is your opportunity to make time.
Surprise Your Spouse
When was the last time you greeted them at the door wearing nothing or almost nothing? Surprise them with the pleasures of the flesh more so than the pleasure of material possessions. What you buy can be tossed away... what you give from the heart will be appreciated and rewarded. Prepare a candle-lit dinner. Not a fan of their favorite music? Too bad, take them to see a performer you know they will like. Haven’t been to the local comedy club in years? Make arrangements so you two can go. Big or small, as long as the surprise is focused on the wants/needs of your partner, it will be appreciated.
Re-Up the Romance
Sounds simple, right? Sadly, it is not. When the flame is fading, one of the first things we lose is the physical. It’s a tool or even a weapon we hold over our partner’s head. Stop! Romance isn’t only sex; however, foreplay and sex are important parts of romance. Romance is the wine-ing and the dining. Romance is not being selfish. Romance is not taking yourself too seriously. Romance is seeing a movie they want even though you’ll be bored. Romance is taking that cooking class or vacation they want. We are not saying to put yourself in harm’s way... find something the two of you can do together that not only provides excitement but is also romantic.
Holli & I Suggest the 12-Minute Rule
Every day, for twelve minutes, talk together about something other than work, family, the household, and/or your relationship. No problems or issues should be discussed during this time.
Reconnect. Decompress. Relax.
Talk about hobbies, likes, or even a new song you’ve heard. Talk about a dream you had recently. Talk about nothing. Talk about everything. Just talk to each other and get back to wanting each other.
If we remember not to focus less on the small things, then we instantly increase our odds of keeping that flame burning hot and bright.
When we coach couples and listen to their concerns, most issues boil down to poor (or non-existent) communication. In the Lifestyle, we pride ourselves on having an open, honest relationship... so that always means open communication. However, a great communicator is also a masterful listener. By truly listening, we are able to identify what is and what is not relevant to our relationship.
Here are some small things that are easy to work through if handled openly right away. But in the heat of the moment, many couples forget, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” We are not saying the topics below aren’t important (they are). However, dandled properly, they will not blow up in your face.
How do we determine what’s significant versus insignificant?
If it directly influences the outcome of your life, it just might be a significant event. If whatever it is won’t matter “tomorrow”... let it go. Here is what we ask ourselves:
1. Do I need ‘this’ to succeed?
2. Will not having or having ‘this’ hurt me or benefit me in any way?
3. Will the opinion or perception matter in the short and long term?
4. Do I need to spend money on it, and is it truly worth it?
5. Is ‘it’ a need or a want (needs are non-negotiable, and wants are negotiable)?
Whether you are new or experienced in the Lifestyle, who doesn’t like to spice things up in the bedroom from time to time? We created a “sex menu” and want to share it with you. By the way, there’s not one bad dish listed.
- Quickies: Brief sex is great fun when you’re pressed for time. Morning play can make the whole day more exciting.
- Sneaky sex: Whispery sex behind locked doors while the children (or grandchildren) are watching TV is great fun, or sneak into the bathroom at a party and go at it.
- Romantic sex: Pull out all the stops and do the candlelit dinner at home, dancing anywhere in the house and even dressing up. Don’t want to stay home? Get a hotel room where you can have a romantic dinner in their restaurant and then dessert in your room.
- We Just Met sex: Recreate your first days as a couple. Remember when you used to greet them at the door wearing only sexy undergarments and when everything excited you both sexually? Recreate those moments and go wild.
- Make-up sex: After an argument or a disagreement, sex can be extra tender, memorable, and a great way to forgive each other.
- Comforting sex: When one of you is sad or stressed, the other can be especially tender and soothing.
- Relaxing sex: Lay around, have breakfast in bed, and fool around for as long as you want. Forget the outside world. No pressure, no hurry, no worries, and no demands on each other.
- Reassuring sex: Tenderness reassures a partner who is temporarily insecure and reaffirms your mutual love, desire, and commitment. Declare your love through words and actions. Never forget how important it is.
- Fantasy sex: Role play and act out silly, forbidden, or exciting fantasies: Nurse and patient (or doctor), Cop and criminal, famous movie star and adoring fan, or your two favorite characters from a TV show (Ross and Rachel, Penny and Leonard). If you feel a little silly, that’s OK... laughter will only make it more fun.
As a community, Swingers living in the Lifestyle enjoy spicing things up. The sex menu is a start... now let’s look at some more “ingredients” to add.
Remember, even if you do not want to join the Lifestyle, these are techniques and ideas everyone can utilize. Come on... monogamy doesn’t have to turn into monotony.
Location, Location, Location
Changes are definitely important, and we’re not talking about just the clothes you are wearing. Change up the location you typically have sex in. Christen every room in your house, and when you’re done, move on to a hotel room and heck — give a neighbor’s house a try!
Consider cars, buses, trains, and taxis. Sex in vehicles can bring to life so many different types of fantasies. Hey, if you are exhibitionists, there’s the thrill of potentially being seen.
Lights, Camera, Action
You can devote entire scenarios to being videotaped or photographed. Don’t allow the camera to distract either of you... make the camera a sex prop or part of the scene without allowing it to dominate the show. Get so lost in each other you forget it’s there. Later, pop some popcorn, dim the lights, and watch the two of you in action.
Relaxing allows you to be more aware of your energy, both sexual and emotional. Relaxing enhances sexual feelings and frees you up to respond sexually. Allow time for morning sex, when you are still relaxed from sleep, or after a nap. Don’t be afraid to give each other a massage, and what’s better than a “happy ending” from the person you love?
The media has caused most couples to have an exaggerated and, at times, a stressful image of sex. Want to have more fun? Focus on having a good time instead of meeting a goal.
Did they orgasm? If you can’t tell, don’t ask. Asking causes stress for you hoping to give one and them because they may feel guilty not “getting there.”
Some sexcapades go well. Some don’t. When you both have a sense of humor about life in general... laughing lightens the mood. Spend more time smiling, chatting, and being silly and less time under pressure. This allows the blood to flow and the sexiness to enter.
This is one of the easiest words to say and the hardest action to do. The best beginning for great sex is open, honest conversation. Don’t be shy about what you like or what you want. Being needy is usually a turn off while being experimental is hot. With new lovers, simply talk and the sex will be easy.
Share your hopes and dreams, resolve any lingering conflicts, and gaze into each other’s eyes so you can both relax and enjoy a healthy relationship. Once you’ve reached this point, the bedroom will be a place you rarely leave.
Physical agility looks sexy; however, emotional flexibility will be the catalyst for improving your sex life. The longer you and your partner are together, the more you need options. Mix it up between quickies, romantic sex, make-up sex, fantasy sex, etc.
By Michael Bell
This article originally appeared in the February 2020 issue of ASN Lifestyle Magazine.