Real-life sex isn’t always the way it’s portrayed in movies, especially when you reach middle age. Unmet expectations, physical discomfort, lack of energy, and even anxiousness with a new partner after being in a long-term relationship can leave you feeling anything but romantic.
 
Here are 8 Practical Tips to Help Ignite Your Sex Life:
 
1. Get fresh with a new experience. Doing something new and exciting sparks the same brain chemicals as when you first fell in love. Try an activity that might excite or even scare you like getting on skates, a toboggan, or an amusement park ride. Neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin are directly linked to physical attraction and romantic passion, which is why bonding over a new activity ignites arousal. NOTE: Going hiking or taking a dance class together can put less pressure on both of you compared to the expectations of “a romantic getaway.”
 
2. Prioritize your time together. This includes everything from scheduling date nights to getting enough sleep when you’re not having sex! Take two minutes every day for affection; even if you're tired or tense, cuddling maintains your bond. Do something relaxing together before having sex, such as playing a game, slow dancing around the living room, or going out for dinner. Give yourself time, too; sexual responses slow down as you age.
 
3. Let the grocery store get your groove back. Diet affects your sex life, from hormone production to blood flow to increased energy. When you eat legumes (peas, beans, lentils), for example, your body converts their phytonutrient citrulline to an amino acid that boosts nitric oxide in the body. This relaxes blood vessels, increasing blood flow to sex organs. Walnuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds are perfect pick-me-ups, containing healthy fats and the amino acid L-arginine to get blood flowing.
 
4. When dining out, splurge on seafood. It’s true that oysters have aphrodisiac properties. But scallops are a decadent alternative that have just as much of the compounds that raise testosterone and estrogen levels. And lobster and crab, like oysters, are rich in zinc, which helps increase arousal.
 
5. Whether to drink with dinner? Have just one glass of wine. Research shows that alcohol negatively impacts sex if you drink even a bit too much, but it’s also scientifically proven that getting just a little tipsy reduces inhibitions and heightens sexual response.
 
6. Trust. Intimacy in bed is improved by what goes on out of it. Make an effort to discuss your feelings “like grownups.” Be honest with no agenda, considering that your expectations for the relationship might have little to do with your partner, and more to do with your past personal experiences and own feelings of self-lack. Put aside shoulds and shouldn’ts while letting your lover know how feeling appreciated, showing affection, or even taking out the trash can motivate you in bed. Poor communicating leads to sexual drought. According to surveys, couples who argue are far happier than those who avoid conflict. Intimacy includes having tough conversations. Don’t take offence to your partner’s comments; recognize that discovering what’s wrong is part of making it right, and trust that they want you to be happy and fulfilled.
 
7. Focus on you in the bedroom — first. Take every thought out of your mind. Visualize putting each thought that comes up into your bedside table drawer. Focus only on your own body’s sensations and feelings. Be curious about what makes you feel sexually vital and energized. Sex is about pleasure. Period. Performance has nothing to do with a great sex life just as it has nothing to do with playfulness or fun.
 
8. Take cues. Sexual prowess isn’t about knowing all the right moves. Just be curious about their body, too! Being completely open to explore – there is no right or wrong – and taking the time to understand each other’s preferences and signals can make all the difference. You may think you know your partner, but if you have never been totally open about what you really want physically, they probably haven’t either.

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