Long-term Loving Tips

Read these 11 Long-term Loving Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Sex Education tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Practice Makes Love Perfect

No amount of reading is going to make you a better lover. Don't worry
about being the best or what others may think of you. Just be yourself,
and be respectful of your partner. As a very wise friend of mine likes
to say, “Anytime love is generated in the world, it's a good thing.”

So? Get out there and make love!


In Praise of a Good Fight

Sometimes after you've been with the same person for awhile, you can barely stand the sight of him/her. Oh, sure, you love your partner, but if you have to listen to him slurp his way through one more pint of noodles or smell that fruity hairgoo she wears (because apparently smelling like a kiwi is a good thing), you're going to lose it.

So go ahead.

The next time you have a stand-off (assuming it's not a serious one), stop the yelling, give a big smile, and plant a wet one on your partner. Say "I love you" or some other sweetness. I guarantee you'll both forget the argument. It may not lead to sex, but at least you'll keep the peace.

Bonus Tip : I also highly recommend the occasional knock-down-drag-out pillow fight.


Vacation Sex: Hedonism Revisited

No, you don't have to book tickets to Paris or some tropical getaway just to have vacation sex. (But if you can, then do it!) Here's a quick and easy tip that any couple can do, regardless of their home situation and budget.

  1. Start with a plan. Pick a weekend date at least one month in advance, as if you were going on holiday. Circle it on the calendar.
  2. Option 1: Book a hotel or bed and breakfast in your town.
  3. Option 2: If this isn't in the budget, plan to stay home. (If you live with children or roommates, arrange for them to stay elsewhere during your holiday.)
  4. Start getting excited.
  5. When the date arrives, unplug the phone, treat yourselves to a bottle of champagne, order in… Whatever you do, don't work. Pamper each other for a full 48 hours.
Bonus Tip : If you can stand it, don't even leave the bed unless absolutely necessary. This is a fantastic and fun way to luxuriate with each other. (My record is 72 hours straight. If you can beat that, drop me a line and I'll personally congratulate you.)


Timing is Everything

Good things take time. Be patient with your partner and the progress of your sexual relationship. It may seem startling to some, but remember that sex drive ebbs and flows. Think about your own right now: When you were without a partner, what kind of sex life did you have with yourself? Did you masturbate every day? If so, did you take time and do it in a loving way? Was it more of a function toward physical release? Sometimes both?

Almost everyone experiences a dip in sex drive. This is normal. If yours and your partners' don't match, find other ways to be intimate until things get back on track. You may wish to try this section's “Having (a) Sex Fast” exercise during these times or just as a way to practice sexual closeness without penetration. And don't forget to talk to each other!

Regardless of how you choose to share sexual intimacy, remember that the quality far outweighs the quantity. Mutual respect and loving attitudes throughout your relationship can transform even that quickie before a dinner party into a meaningful encounter that you and you and your partner can share forever.


Having (a) Sex Fast

Probably the last tip you'd expect in a section about long-term loving is to not have sex. However, taking a temporary break from sex is incredibly helpful…particularly for couples who have hit a brick wall in intimacy.

One of the biggest complaints over time is that the passion dies down over the years. Well, of course it does. As time goes on and comfort levels increase between partners, it's not really practical to assume that we will have the same mad passion we had for our mates when the relationship was in its beginning stages. However, it's not impossible if you adjust your definition of passion. The mistake some couples make is misinterpreting this new phase of the relationship as a decline rather than an evolution.

If you find this is the case, take a mutual break from all sexual activity together for a period of one to four weeks, depending on the frequency of your sex life beforehand. At some point during this sexual fasting period, sit with your lover and make a list of at least ten non-sexual but physically affectionate acts that you really enjoy your partner doing with/for you. Switch lists. Find some way to incorporate each of the ten items into your daily lives together. Toward the end of the fast, make a “bed date” and try The Loving Touch exercise (see the “Positions/Techniques” section).

No matter how turned on you may get, do not have sex during the fast!

By the end of your fasting period, you'll understand that diminished sexual frequency is not always an indicator that the whole relationship is going south. Ideally what develops is a deeper connection between you, one based on multi-faceted loving.


Mark Your Territory

A quick and easy tip for spicing up your long-term love: Have sex in every room of the house. Not all at one time, of course, but over the course of about one month. It's a great game. Not only is it fun to do, it's possibly even more fun to fantasize which room will be next and how you'll utilize it.

A few pointers:

  • Chairs without arms are fantastic for female superior positions
  • Kitchen sex can incorporate nibbles from the fridge or cool water from the sink tap splashed at just the right moment.
  • Bathtubs and showers are obvious, but try using ledges and/or (sturdy!) towel racks to anchor yourself. (Don't use shower curtain rods unless they are bolted to the wall. Trust me on that one… Ouch.)
  • Bedrooms are obvious too, but try making love in another part of the room…like the closet or an easy chair.
  • Sex on the desk in her office… You can even incorporate a little role-playing into this one.
  • Sex on the living room floor is dreamy, if you set up blankets and pillows like a steamy slumber party.


Sex and Parenthood

Being a parent offers the best of us enormous challenges as it is, not the least of which is keeping a once-active sex life alive. For any new parents – whether it's your first child or your fourth – a few obstacles are almost certain to arise.

Exhaustion: Between the baby's off-kilter sleeping schedule, feedings, changing, and more, the very thought of making love can seem like some far-fetched luxury! The good news is that babies do sleep. Try to be flexible enough to take advantage of the time you have to yourselves. Even sharing a cuddle during your baby's down time will increase intimacy between the two of you.

Physical Changes: Vaginal dryness is perhaps one of the most common experiences among new mothers. Breast-feeding can increase due to the decreased amount of fluid in your body. Try using a lubricant. Today many are even made with a woman's physiology in mind.

Physical Pain: In general, most women are able to have sex without discomfort after about six weeks. Don't be discouraged if it takes longer; every body adjusts at its own pace. There are many ways to make love without penetration, such as intimate touching and sexplay (like mutual masturbation).

Overall, remember that there is no “right” time to become sexually active again after having a baby. What counts more than anything else is the love and affection you and your partner show each other. By being loving with each other, you're also developing a healthy child who will grow up to find joyfulness in love.


Having Sex vs. Making Love

One of the most beautiful aspects of human nature is our versatility. When it comes to sexual intimacy, nearly every single one of us regardless of gender at one point or another, desires both quickie, “let's get it on” encounters and hours of sweet tender lovemaking, depending on our mood and situation.

The first step toward having more loving sex is to redefine your terms. Remember that man/woman you fell in love with (or at least lusted after) when you fist met? Guess what? Chances are s/he's not the same person. As humans we are affected by the world around us. We learn from it and grow. This is a good thing!

Try to see the man/woman your partner has become—and will will continue to become as the years go on. You are not responsible for him/her, but rather as a partner you are something like a cheerleader, therapist, and best friend rolled into one. By giving each other the space to live and grow on your journeys as individuals, and by sharing your experiences with each other, your life together will remain fresh and new. The blush of physical passion that brought you together will blossom into a deeper, more mature companionship.


The Beginning of a Beautiful Relationship…

Whether you're a virgin or are simply having sex with a new partner, the first time can be nerve-wracking. How do you know it's the right time? Will you be able to perform? Will your partner think you're a good lover?


Most of what you're stressing about has no bearing on the first time in bed with someone. Think about it: How could you possibly know what s/he likes if you've never made love to him/her before? And vice versa. Essentially, you both are bringing to the bedroom all the past experiences you've had with other lovers and/or by yourself. Some of what you know may work, some won't. There's no hard-and-fast rule for being a stellar lover, so drop that notion and start fresh.

Here's where the art of sexual communication is key. Think of this new love as blank canvas on which the two of you will jointly create a work of art. Start slowly, listen to your partner's desires, watch his/her body language, and ask questions. I assure you that even the most inexperienced lover can become a master by treating each encounter as a new and treasured adventure.


Sex and Aging

Unfortunately, sexuality and aging is a subject that has been somewhat
taboo. For some, it conjures an uncomfortable image of our parents or
even grandparents, “getting it on.” Well, guess what? We, too, are
going to age—and our sexuality will necessarily come into new phases as
well. I doubt that many of us are willing to accept an age where our
sexuality will simply fade away.

Certainly some of us will “mellow out” with age, not needing as much
sexual activity. On the flip side, just as many of us experience an
increase in desire. Even better news is that older adults are perfectly
capable of sexual pleasure and orgasm even in much older years.

As for the physical changes, many can be overcome with a few tools.
Women can overcome vaginal dryness with the use of personal lubricants.
Radically decreased sex drive can be addressed with hormone replacement
therapy (HRT) in women, and drugs like Viagra for men.

Try looking at the positive side of change: If you and your partner
need to take things more slowly due to physical constraints, you can
use this down-time to develop new and exciting ways to make love. For
younger people sex has basically two steps: physical
stimulation/foreplay and intercourse. Now that you have more time to
enjoy each other, try exploring each other's sexual depths through
sensual massage, sharing fantasies, deep embraces, and more.

Aging does not have to mean an end to our sexuality. To get a good idea
of how your sexuality will be affected as you grow older, take a look
at your sex drive now. Chances are if your attitude toward and
enjoyment of sex is healthy now, it will continue to be well into your
advanced years.


Keeping it Up With the Joneses

Many couples make the mistake of comparing their sex lives to others'. Bad idea. Each couple is like an individual blade of grass. While it's true that a lot of them that look alike, some are shorter, thicker, greener, drier. These dissimilarities don't cease to make each one a blade of grass.

To graduate from having sex to making love, stop comparing. Your friends may have sex every other day without fail and not have established the intimacy that the two of you have when you make love only once a week. Maybe that works for them. Your only concern is what works for you .

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Guru Spotlight
Barbara Gibson