Let’s face it, we could all use a boost in our love lives from time to time and how can we make improvements if the subject is just too taboo? So I’m going to be straight with you about intimacy in my marriage and some things we have learned. It might be TMI, or it might be a timely tune up, I’ll let you decide. 

We’re approaching our 22nd anniversary, and sometimes I still giggle after sex and, just like when I was 21, say, “I wonder if we will still be doing that in 20 years?!” Well, we are, and then some. We have kept the home fires burning hot, despite health problems, and complicated family situations. These are some of my best tips for keeping things going or getting them going again.

  1. Communicate! We have done this in varying ways over the years. When our son was battling cancer, we had a flag system. We tied bandanas into loops and hung them on our bed posts. Red meant “no”, pink meant “maybe”, and blue meant “bring it!” That way we could get mentally prepared and know each other’s needs without having a tiring discussion. 
  2. Sext. If I’m feeling frisky or he is, we can send a sexy little note to build anticipation. If the other one doesn’t bite, we know it’s time to drop it.
  3. Touch each other. Whether it’s a kiss goodbye and a hug hello, or snuggling close on the couch, touching increases feel good chemicals in the brain, and helps build intimacy.
  4. Take time away. Getting a new setting and a break from daily lives can give a jump-start to a tired love life.
  5. If you aren’t up for it, use a neutral term. We use the term rain check, which is used in a store to say you still get the deal when it’s back in stock. It indicates that you’re postponing sex, not saying no. It’s a little thing, but we both find it easier to hear than no.
  6. Stay as healthy as possible. We have obviously had our share of health crises, but those have actually served to motivate us to maintain our health. We give each other breaks to get exercise, and we both stay fit and active.
  7. Try new things. Whether it’s a fun new nighty or something a bit more adventurous, it keeps things fresh. I owe this one to my husband whose sense of adventure definitely impacts our love life, I just have to be willing to give his ideas a try.
  8. Coconut oil. Use it (in the bedroom, not the kitchen), you will thank me.

Sex has been a great gift in my marriage, and my earnest hope is for couples everywhere to feel likewise. And hey, if I missed something, I would love your tips too!

All of this is meant to be fun, and give you great tips, but this is the most important part of all: sometimes you just can’t, and that’s OK. 

You might also like:

Sex and Raising Babies: 7 Ways to Bring Back Intimacy

Dear Husband, If You Want More Sex, Here’s What To Do

Hey Hubby? Sex Starts in the Sink

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Alethea Mshar

Alethea Mshar is a mother of four children; an adult child who passed away of a drug overdose, one typical daughter and two sons who have Down syndrome, one of whom has autism spectrum disorder and complex medical needs. She has written "What Can I Do To Help", a guide to stepping into the gap when someone you know has a child diagnosed with cancer, which is available on Amazon, and is publishing a memoir titled, "Hope Deferred". She can be found on Twitter as leemshar, and blogs for The Mighty HuffPost as Alethea Mshar, as well as her own blog, Ben's Writing Running Mom on https://benswritingrunningmom.wordpress.com/. She is also on Facebook as Alethea Mshar, The Writing, Running Mom.