Make Monogomy Hot

Written by Stu Watson

A steamy sex life is essential to a long and healthy relationship, says sex therapist Tracey Cox. Get her secrets for spicy monogamy.

For many people burdened by the midlife demands of career and family, sex is the last thing on their minds.

Rediscover Your Passion:
Put it in writing. Each person lists 10 things he or she would like to do in bed. Trade lists. Ditch what you can't agree on.
Rip the list into separate slips, put them in jars for him and her, then each take one out before making love.
Give each other permission to let loose. Don't censor yourself. Reassure each other.
Don't stop masturbating. And if you have, start again. It's good for you, and helps educate your partner about what turns you on.
Take a guided tour of each other's body. Hands and tongue ask the questions.
Show him how to stimulate your clitoris. Everyone is a little different, so don't defer to assumptions. Get clear about this first, then get it on.

It's too bad, says sassy Aussie psychologist and "sexpert" Tracey Cox, author of Hot Relationships: How to Know What You Want, Get What You Want and Keep It Red Hot!

Along with food, water and oxygen, we need sex, in large quantities, in recipes ranging from simple to spicy.

Research shows that a vital sex life contributes 25 percent or more to the plus side of a relationship, says the author. If your sex life stinks, the other 75 percent of your relationship reeks.

If your partner isn't hitting on you, you feel unattractive. Self-esteem nose-dives. Irritation is all that rises. Resentment builds. Petty arguments explode.

"Both of you feel increasingly isolated," says Cox. "You start fantasizing about other people. You may take it further and actually have an affair. Or you might just up and leave."

Cox is a huge fan and defender of monogamy, and (if that provoked a yawn) the potential for hot monogamous relationships. Without effort, however, monogamy can slide toward the pits.

If you're drifting into the sexual doldrums, Cox has a prescription. For starters she says, "Think more about sex, not less. Making love to your partner isn't a luxury; it's essential for your relationship to survive."

Relationships go through phases. The excitement of the new spins after three to six months into the ho-hum of life as usual. We become bored because we ignore our need for variety, making love the same two or three ways every time.

"You can make love to the same person for the rest of your life in a million different ways, places and situations," says Cox. "Monogamous sex doesn't have to be boring at all. But it does mean hard work and actively fighting the rut."

Take masturbation, for instance. If it feels good, do it. "The more orgasms you have, the more your body will crave them," says Cox.

Cox suggests masturbation for those times when we and our partners are apart physically or, in terms of desire, simply when the mood strikes.

"I'd also strongly suggest that you take it one step further and do it in front of each other," she says.

Why? Because doing it and watching it being done can say so much more than words about what turns us on. If this seems a little out-there, gently broach the topic, by noting that you read about it in a magazine article or heard survey results on the radio (even if you didn't).

"If you lead someone slowly through it, they might well drop their inhibitions and go with you," she says. "What doesn't work is dumping them in the deep end. Like saying `Let's masturbate in front of each other!' to a partner who's only just come to grips with having the lights on."

As for other things you might like to try but aren't quite sure will sit well with your partner, Cox suggests finding a hot-selling sex guide. Then look up the activity about which you're interested, and see how it is categorized as a variation, or a deviation relative to the norm.

You might enjoy watching a little nonviolent pornography, for instance. Start with "couples porn" by women directors such as Candida Royale.

In Cox's book, almost anything goes, if two people agree on it, with one exception: "The only thing I'm really, really anti is any sort of sex that involves other people," she says.

That includes affairs, which she says are horribly destructive, and group sex. "The minute you introduce another body into a room, you've got problems."

Fantasize all you want, but when it comes to making love, love only your partner.

And remember: It's OK to say "no," but more beneficial and fun to step outside the comfort zone a little, says Cox. "Unless we do that, we can't grow sexually."

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