Yes, it is often true that the heat of passion dips in even great relationships.  The first two years of dating and marriage are usually the hottest--sexually speaking.  Your love hormone, oxytocin, is high, and you feel close, alive, special, and very sexual.  Eventually, this chemical brain arousal calms down, and by the third year you tend to establish life, work and family routines. 

Unfortunately, the first thing to go when you have babies to feed, bills to pay, meals to cook and work to finish is passionate sex.  You may still be finding ways to squeeze in some intimate time, but more likely than not, no matter how much these moments make you feel loved and cared for, they can also leave you longing for a more crazy, can't believe it, you're the one, "YES! YES! YES!" experience.

Couples risk making serious mistakes when they feel that the sexual heat has cooled.  The top, dangerous mistakes are:

  • Having an affair
  • Arguing more
  • Withdrawing from affection and sex or getting depressed
  • Believing your partner doesn't love you any longer
  • Relying on your children too much for love
  • Working more
  • Seeking pornography--or using substances to "tune out."

The first thing you must do to get out of this rut is to stop blaming, complaining, and retreating and get solution-oriented.  Here are some ideas that might help you leap out of that same old, same old, sexual business as usual routine.

1. Change locations.  Try a new room in your home. Go to a hotel. In people who are depressed, just getting out of the house can boost their mood. Similarly, a change in surroundings can liven up your sex life. There is always the fun challenge of navigating different furniture and flooring in another room of your home.  Hotels have long been an aphrodisiac. You feel suddenly more special--even more daring--in a hotel room.  The newness and strangeness of it often makes you adventurous and tempts you to "step outside" your usual self.  Room service afterward can be a great way to extend those feelings of closeness.

2. Be silly.  Usually, having fun sparks passion.  Put on different hats, role play different fantasies, or scenes from movies.  As ridiculous as this play-acting may sound, my clients have told me that even the most trite fantasies such as harem girl or pick up in the bar can evoke laughter and a sense of emotional freedom.  When you drop your guard--and your usual self--by temporarily play-acting, you also drop your defensiveness and inhibitions.

3. Play school.  Although teacher-student is actually another version of role-playing, it is so important to learning about what each other likes sexually that it needs to be in its own category. Showing your partner your sexual preferences is easier and more helpful and fun than criticizing or conducting moves. Playing School is one of the best ways to introduce new positions or techniques.

4. Take short vacations.  Just as a change in rooms can prompt new behaviors, a few nights in a new town can also unleash a new you. Although the newness raises your fear of the unknown, it forces you to rely on your partner. The experience becomes more than just a getaway.  It becomes an opportunity to feel as though it is "you and me against the world," a team, a pair of adventurers, building memories, strength and the possible start of new traditions.  Seeing new places, walking the town or countryside, participating in sports such as skiing, hiking, or kayaking raise your sense of togetherness, trust in each other and joy.  

5. Plan sex nights.  Life is crowded.  Don't let being intimate fall to the bottom of your list. Send the kids to Grandma's house. Don't make plans with friends. Use the time for yourself. 

6. Introduce new pleasure enhancers.  Use massage oils or vibrators. Light candles. Wear fun or provocative clothing. Several of my clients read to each other from classic pornographic books--and collapse in laughter. It's up to you and your partner how you want to richen your love life. Get brave. 

7.  Try new positions.  We all get into habits. But habits are for teeth-brushing and not pleasuring each other sexually. Lighten up, get adventurous, and try positions from your favorite movies. 

8.  Get help.  Finally, if you still can't find mutual satisfaction, get professional help.  You might have physical ailments or emotional issues that are getting in the way.