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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.

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.

"As we become more and more important to each other -- as we get engaged, as we get married, as we have children, as we make all the steps that are so important in our lives -- we disconnect more and more," she says. "It doesn't have to happen."

No trick or tip will raise the heat in your relationship one degree if there's not genuine warmth there already. "You see so many couples that are so disrespectful to each other that it's amazing they can even touch each other," Altman says. "Everything revolves around if you really care."

More Ideas From the Experts

  • Leave your partner suggestive notes around the house.
  • Shower together. Keep a bowl of coarse salt handy to rub on your partner's body.

  • Sleep nude. "Skin to skin is provocative and seductive," Altman says.

  • Make dates to go out.

  • Kiss your partner often -- not just pecks, but like you mean it.

  • Banish television from the bedroom. Sitcoms and the evening news are an anathema to romance.

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