Americans are having less sex than they did in the 1990s, a recent study suggests. But when it comes to getting busy in the bedroom, quantity doesn’t always trump quality. In fact, a 2015 study published by the Society for Professional and Social Psychology found that the maximum bonding benefits of sex tend to cap out when couples get down and dirty once per week.
Dr. Maria Sophocles, a board-certified gynecologist and sexual medicine specialist, told Fox News that couples who are happy with their sex life shouldn’t worry over how much they’re doing the deed. However, communication about that aspect of the relationship is key for learning whether a partner isn’t getting his or her needs met.
“You should talk to each other to make sure you’re both happy and sexually satisfied,” Sophocles said. “If one or both of you are not, it may be time for a sex life makeover.”
To learn the top signs your sex life may need a makeover, Fox News talked to Sophocles and Dr. Tammy Nelson, a certified sex therapist and the author of “Getting the Sex You Want.”
1. Your bedroom has become your electronic office.
If your laptop, smartphone or TV is deterring you from getting it on, you may want to reconsider their presence in the bedroom.
To avoid temptation, Nelson advised getting rid of all electronics in your bedroom except for an alarm clock. “Your bedroom should be a sacred space for sex and sleep,” Nelson told Fox News. “Cover your television, plug your laptop and phone in another room, and imagine a sexy harem tent or other space that the both of you can crawl into at night that is private and safe, where you can act out your every fantasy.”
The same thing goes for those work-specific electronics. “Your bedroom should be an oasis, not an extension of your work life,” Nelson said.
2. Sex feels like a chore.
If you view sex liking taking out the trash — that is, a chore that needs to be done weekly or daily — that’s a red flag you and your sweetie need to switch things up between the sheets.
To remedy this problem, Sophocles emphasized the importance of talking about your desires with your partner. “Communication is critical,” she said. Sophocles advised chatting outside the bedroom about what you used to enjoy about your sex life and how to bring back some of that fire.
3. You find yourself making excuses.
Have you ever eaten too much and complained you’re “too full for sex”? That’s just one common excuse you may be making to get out of being intimate with your partner. But you can change habits like those to improve your sex life, Nelson said.
“The food is a replacement for sex, and there is a reason you are eating instead of making love,” Nelson said. There can be a number of reasons for making that substitute, she explained. Maybe you’re not getting the sex you want or need, or maybe you’re not getting the affection you deserve. Whatever it may be, talk about it with your partner, Nelson said.
4. You do it the same way every time.
After having intercourse for a while with the same partner, you may fall into “maintenance sex” mode. This isn’t a bad thing — it means you’ve already learned what to do to make your partner feel good. But doing the same stuff over and over can turn good sex into boring sex quickly, Nelson warned.
“Don’t give up the maintenance sex,” Nelson said. “But add something new every once in a while.” Those changes can be as simple as bringing a new sex toy into the bed, using massage oil on your skin, or putting a scarf over the lamp to switch up the lighting.
“A small addition can make the whole night feel totally new,” Nelson said.
5. It takes longer to get aroused.
Declining sex drive is an unfortunate product for people as they age, as well as for those couples in long-term relationships. However, don’t fret, Sophocles said, as you can easily get yourself in the mood with a few simple steps. It’s all about changing your frame of mind.
“You can bring erotic intimacy and imagery into yourself — whether it’s reading, magazines, or movies that reinvigorate your brain to want to have sex,” she said. “You can look at your partner not just as the guy taking the trash out or the woman picking up your children, but as your lover and as your intimate partner.”