Heat Up Your Relationship This Summer
The thrill of the chase may be over in your relationship, but there are lots of ways to spice up your sex life that you've never tried.
Explore Erotica (or Look ... and Touch) continued...
He recommends Nancy Friday's books, such as the classic My
Secret Garden, as well as Men In Love and Women on Top. These
are compilations of regular folks' sexual fantasies, as told to the author, a
sort of Studs Terkel approach to erotica. Similar books include The Sweet
Life by Violet Blue and The Pocket Book of Sexual Fantasies by
Richard Craze. There's a whole world of erotic fiction that you could delve
into also, from the many anthologies of literary erotica to Penthouse
In addition to getting worked up over fantasies on the printed
page, many couples go for watching erotic videos together. While common
hardcore adult films, produced primarily by and for men, serve some couples
perfectly well, a growing genre of female-friendly films may fit better into a
"A lot of traditional pornography women find offensive, and
they can't relate to it," Bartlik says. "These new products that are
directed by women have a slightly different take on them and women are more
likely to enjoy them. They tend to be more naturalistic, I think, in the way
couples really make love."
Vanilla is good. There's nothing wrong with it. But imagine if
you'd never tried anything else -- no vanilla chocolate chip, even. That's how
it is in some relationships, and sex therapists and educators usually try to
get couples to experience new things together.
Fitzgerald says he is consistently surprised to hear people say
they would have liked to try something, but were afraid their partner would
think them kinky. Get over it, already.
If you haven't before, "visit a sex shop or a web
site," Bartlik says. Buy a fun dildo or vibrator, and use it with your
The booty is another territory that many couples haven't fully
"One of the most common things that comes up in sex therapy
is he or she proposing to experiment with anal intercourse, and then to find
the other partner either very enthusiastic beforehand, or very enthusiastic
after the event, and wondering why they didn't try it sooner," Fitzgerald
"Try having sex in a place that's different from where you
normally have sex," Bartlik says. Especially summertime, you could go out
to a secluded outdoor spot and get your thing on there. Probably everyone has
fantasized about languid, passionate lovemaking on a private tropical beach.
Unless you're planning to travel to an uninhabited island anytime soon,
however, you may have to settle for the woods out back.
That other ubiquitous fantasy, the ménages à trois, rarely
works out for couples in committed relationships, Fitzgerald says. "Their
fantasy is so out of proportion with reality that it's ridiculous," he
says. He says that in 17 years as a sex therapist he has seen only two couples
for whom it has been a truly great experience. More commonly, it begets
weirdness between the two principals.