You and your S.O. used to tear off each other's clothes. You had sex every day (sometimes twice a day), and it was the best time, every time. But now? You can't remember when you had sex that wasn't penciled in between work, grocery shopping, and The Late Show.
Yup, you're in a rut. And that's normal! Anyone who's ever been in a long-term relationship can relate—including the experts who talk about love and sex for a living. The difference: They have an arsenal of tools at their disposal, so they know how to quickly spice things up. We asked them to reveal exactly what they do in their own lives when they feel that spark starting to fade, and they didn't hold back. Try out their tips and banish boredom in your bedroom for good.
"One way I spice it up in the bedroom is by playing cards. For each game my partner wins, I have to perform an act he wants and vice-versa. The winner gets to have a full-blown repeat of their favorite act, scene, or position. I can't tell you how many times we have left an event to run home and 'play cards.'"
—Naomi Hardy, relationship coach
"I borrowed this method from a Jewish marital tradition called niddah. The idea is that when you're not allowed to have something, you want it more. It's challenging, but it encourages us to find ways to connect other than being physical. If you can abstain for a week, trust me—you'll have that 'honeymoon' feeling again in no time." (Of course, you can touch yourself in the meantime... try this organic arousal balm from Rodale's.)
—Maureen Pollack, intimacy coach and creator of the Water Slyde
"My husband and I make play a priority. I'm not talking about sex games—though those are great too. Tossing a ball around, throwing a frisbee, or having a pillow fight is a great way to allow yourself to let go with the person you love."
—Alexandra Jamieson, holistic health counselor
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Take a digital detox
"Technology is amazing, but it can be a little all-consuming. For us, retreating to our cottage (it doesn't have electricity, let alone cell reception) is the perfect way to detox. No Netflix, no news, no social updates, no 'Pinspiration' means more nature, more laughs, and more sex. Plain and simple." (Plus, you'll have more time to try these 5 best sex positions for simultaneous orgasm.)
—Tristan Weedmark, We-Vibe global ambassador
Read some sexy literature
"My wife and I have been married 20 years, and we occasionally read erotic literature aloud to each other. I tend to be old-school in my tastes: Anais Nin's Delta of Venus, Emannuelle Arsan's Emmanuelle, The Story of O by Pauline Reage, and James Salter's Light Years are favorites. Revisiting these gems with my wife not only is arousing in its own right—the literature is sexy and well-done—but also conjures up memories of our erotic times gone by and gets the neural networks associated with these memories firing."
—Ian Kerner, PhD, psychotherapist and sexuality counselor
"To make sure I'm warmed up and ready for sexy time after a day of work, I build anticipation by sending sexy text messages and thinking about what I'm going to do with my beloved. So many women tell me they are so busy and in their heads all day that it's hard to shift gears by the time dinner and dishes are done. So I rely on my brain's ability to start my engine early in the day—just as people often do in the beginning of a relationship. Paying attention to your body tells the brain to prioritize pleasure and arousal so that by evening time, it's not such a tough switch to get in the mood."
—Andrea Pennington, sex educator and author of The Orgasm Prescription for Women
Bust out the lacy lingerie
"The number-one way I spice things up with my honey is by spicing things up with myself first. For example, I will wear beautiful, well-fitting lingerie all day, just for me. It makes me feel like a walking goddess, and it's my little secret. Should my husband and I end up in an intimate situation later that day, I'm already feeling sexy, confident, and alive. And nothing is more attractive to my husband—or anyone's partner—than that confident, radiant feeling."
—Kimmy Caldwell, bra-fitter and lingerie expert
Try a massage
"I make a point each morning to give my wife what I call an 'intimacy massage' for about 10 minutes. It works best when both partners agree that it won't lead to sex immediately—it's just for intimacy and sensuality and can help couples reconnect through touch without the pressure to have sex, though it often leads to more intense sexual activity later."
—Steve McGough, associate professor of clinical sexology and director of research and development at Women and Couples Wellness
Just do it
"There are so many excuses not to have sex, especially since I became a parent: I’m too tired, stressed about work, or distracted by the demands of parenting. So I decided to just say yes whenever my partner offered or asked. It worked—we became more connected, had more sex, and got out of our routine."
—Claire Cavanagh, co-founder of Babeland and co-author of Moregasm: Babeland's Guide to Mind-Blowing Sex
Up the romance factor
"Candles, romantic music, and a good bottle of champagne are underrated, and using them is an easy way to make an effort and set the mood, which my partner always appreciates."
—Susan Trombetti, celebrity matchmaker and owner of Exclusive Matchmaking
This article originally appeared on Prevention.com.