Marriage without sex is wide-open to temptation. Don’t kid yourselves that you can be “best friends” and your marriage will last. Sooner or later, temptation will arise, either from a partner’s co-worker, another member of the church choir (this happens a lot) or a neighbor. The drive to have sex is powerful, and it will be satisfied, one way or another.

Love and sex are like the roots that feed the tree. To keep that vital energy going, and the sap rising, you need to provide something new and interesting. Seduction can be as simple as causing your partner to ask what you’ve been doing that has you so energized and interested. When you’re enthusiastic, you’re seductive — it’s the most attractive we can be.

Relationships continue to develop in stages, even after the honeymoon is over. Most of us are familiar only with the early stages: meeting, dating, courtship and commitment. Some have experienced moving in, marriage and the honeymoon phase, where everything is brand new and wonderful. This is what the romantic songs and movies are all about, and it has become what people call “being in love.” Extending the honeymoon phase indefinitely is what people fantasize about as “happily ever after.” However, when the all-absorbing process of planning a wedding and honeymoon is over and the couple comes home to chores, work, money issues, etc., post-honeymoon shock can set in. Real life is not as romantic as the courtship, wedding and honeymoon, but the real work of developing a great marriage begins now.

When your relationship lasts for a while, your lovemaking will change. As you get closer, passion no longer grows automatically out of the excitement of the new and unknown.

Rather than allowing your energy to subside, you can allow your lovemaking to change and grow, deepening as your partnership does. Couples who develop a”sexual repertoire which includes a variety of sexual habits, attitudes and options report feeling more satisfaction and freedom to express their love with enough variety that they never get bored. These suggestions will help you create a variety of experiences together.

1.) Quickies: These are ways you have sex when you don’t really have time for a full, leisurely romantic evening: One of you giving oral sex before you leave for work, petting to climax in the car at a drive-in movie, using vibrators to have orgasms without a lot of foreplay late at night, taking a nap and having a “quickie” before rushing off to a party.

2.) Sneaky Sex: This has the added excitement of “forbidden fruit” — having silent sex behind locked doors while the children are watching TV, sneaking lovemaking in your childhood bedroom while visiting your parents, visiting your partner at work and having quickie sex on the couch in a locked office.

3.) Romantic Sex: This is the full-blown variety: candlelight, dinner, quiet talking, dressing up, perhaps a lovely hotel room, or a romantic dinner for two when you have time alone at home. Especially good for anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, or anytime your relationship needs a boost.

4.) Maintenance Sex – You’re busy with working all day, taking the kids to soccer practice, making dinner, cleaning the house, and finally getting the kids to bed.  You’re both exhausted but one of you needs to have that physical bond or physical release, and the other person obliges out of love for you primarily and to satisfy your animal urges.  We’ve all been there, many of us are wrapped up with various responsibilities and activities it’s hard to connect  as a couple, but this is still necessary, even mid-week.  Kissing isn’t necessary, nor is foreplay, though lube is recommended since the clock is ticking and there’s no time to pre-heat the oven.  This type of sex is a one-position deal, is ok once in awhile and provides a bare minimum of sexual subsistence.  One or both of you are passed out cold within five minutes after cleanup occurs.

5.) New Couple Sex: Recreate a scene from your dating days, as closely as possible — the time you met at church and couldn’t wait to get home and make love, the flowers you used to bring home as a surprise, or saying all the silly, wildly in-love things you said then.

6.) Make-up Sex: After you’ve had an argument or a struggle, and forgiven each other, lovemaking can be extra tender and memorable.

7.) Comforting Sex: When one of you is sad or stressed, the other is especially caring and soothing, doing all your favorite things to comfort and relax you.

8.) Relaxing Sex: This is the kind to do on a weekend morning, when you have no obligations, and can laze around, have breakfast in bed, and make love for as long as you want; no pressure, no hurry and no demands on each other.

9.) Reassuring Sex: This is affection and intimacy intended to reassure a partner who is temporarily insecure, or designed to reaffirm your mutual love and commitment to each other. It is often accompanied by many verbal declarations of love and explaining again why you are so important to each other.

10.) Fantasy Sex: Act out all the silly, forbidden or exciting fantasies — nurse and patient, two little children “playing house”, master or dominatrix and slave, stripper and customer, extraterrestrial alien and abductee, famous movie star and adoring fan, your two favorite characters from a soap opera, novel or movie, or anything else you can imagine. This is a great time for costumes, masks, sexual toys, leather outfits, or whatever enhancements you enjoy.

11.) Different Location at Home Sex – The kids are with Grandma, we have the whole house to ourselves!  Roll out that blanket in front of the roaring fireplace, or put on an adult film in the living room with some underblanket touchy-feely for a change of pace.  This can be pretty hot since the change of scenery alone is exciting and way better than the hum-drum of vanilla bedroom sex.  Push her up against the washing machine or head to the guest bedroom and pretend you’re at a B&B for awhile, a vacation in the house!

12.) Vacation Sex – This can fall into two categories: with kids and without.  With kids, if they have their own room, this can simply be a variation of Weekend Sex but in a new location.  If the kids don’t have their own room, it’s sort of like sneaking, quiet, quickie sex under the covers with the kids one bed over.  I’m not sure we’ve actually ever done the sneaky, quickie, but if we haven’t, the thought’s sure crossed my mind and I’m sure happens frequently enough.  For those lucky vacations without kids, this can be totally wild, honeymoon-esque sex complete with lingerie and lack of inhibitions.  For a long, out of the country vacation without kids, this can be like another honeymoon.​​
Tina Tessina, Ph.D., is a licensed psychotherapist and author of more than 11 books.