Most of us can remember the hot -- and frequent -- spicy moments when the romance was new with our partner. But eventually the fire of a good love life may die down. Over time, the sexy nightie languishes hidden in the sock drawer, the massage oil gathers dust next to the athlete's foot powder in the medicine cabinet, and you and your partner have what feels like a humdrum sexual life.
So what is the secret to a better love life that lasts? We asked for some suggestions from two experts on sexuality -- Michael Castleman, author of Great Sex: A Man's Guide to the Secret Principles of Total-Body Sex, and Louanne Cole Weston, PhD, a board certified sex therapist and resident expert for WebMD's "Sex Matters®" message boards.
By Amy Finley
My husband was born and spent his childhood in France, and you could say that from the moment we met, living in Paris, and fell in love, he wooed me with words. He'd speak French — really, he could have been describing the laundry — and my knees would positively buckle. Amour...chérie...fromage... And then, as so often happens, life intervened.
Back home in the States, the stresses just accumulated like cascading dominoes over five years of marriage: two small children + mounting...
Castleman and Weston are in firm agreement that couples that have been together for a while need to plan time for sex.
"Make a date for sex," says Castleman, a health journalist who previously answered questions about sexuality submitted to the Playboy advisor. "Don't let it be an afterthought," he tells WebMD. "Do whatever you like to do beforehand, go to a movie or dinner, take a walk, have a glass of wine by candlelight, whatever the couple likes to do as a couple. But set aside that time."
But, you might cry, isn't scheduling unromantic? Isn't sex supposed to be spontaneous? Rare is the lover with a daily planner fetish, after all.
But Castleman has a blunt response. "Grow up," he says. "What's the problem with making a date for sex? People make plans for other things they enjoy, like ski trips or dinners out."
Weston agrees. "I think most people, especially couples with kids, have to plan ahead because they already have so much jammed into their schedules," she says. "Sure there are times when things spontaneously fall together, but those are happy accidents."
Get Out of the House
One good suggestion for a better love life is to take regular nights away from home.
"For couples that have been together for a while, sex can become routine," says Castleman. "You're worn out by the end of the day, after the job, the laundry, the kids' soccer games, and the errands.