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Health & Sex

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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.

New Flavors continued...

The booty is another territory that many couples haven't fully explored.

"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 says.

"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.

The Way We Were

Often when people talk about wanting to heat up a long-term relationship, what they really want is to recapture the excitement they felt in the beginning. So think back to how the two of you related at the time.

"I'm thinking about all the romance that went into trying to win the person over when they were dating," Bartlik says. "There were words, and phone calls, and kisses, and making out for hours, and all this buildup to sex that now they just bypass."

You can never recapture the "thrill of the chase," Fitzgerald says. "It can't be repeated." But you shouldn't take your partner for granted, either.

"I think if you want to spice up your love life you need to become a more loving person, a more attentive person, on a regular basis," says sex therapist Carole Altman, PhD, author of Electrify Your Sex Life and other books.

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