Want to have more sex? Make it about discovery again. Bust out of your rut and jumpstart your sex life by breaking these six relationship routines.
Sex is a Race
Break it: explore her. Focus on her thighs and lower belly. Make a mental circle five centimetres around the outside of her vagina, and don't cross the line while you kiss, lick and caress, says Dr Gloria Brame, author of Different Loving. You'll ignite her nerve endings and bring her close to her red zone. It makes sex about discovery, not some destination. "Goal-oriented sex isn't sexy," Brame says.
Same Time, Same Place
Break it: relive the past. Take her to the garage and reclaim the space you long ago ceded: seduce her in the backseat of the car. It feels a little public, it's steeped in testosterone, and there's a throwback, high-school quality to it. Make it a quickie, which has its place in the sexual diet; having lots of sex begets more sex, because you stay connected, says Dr Laura Berman, director of the Berman Centre in Chicago.
Break it: work out together. Think of it as fat-burning foreplay. It will raise her dopamine levels, easing her anxieties. "She'll feel the sex is about her and not some random need she has to accommodate," says Dr Pepper Schwartz, a professor of sociology at Washington University. Bonus: your post-run sweat has androstadienone, a testosterone derivative that spikes her arousal when she smells it.
Lopsided First Moves
Break it: tie her hands (with her consent). It's now up to her to figure out how to remove your shirt, tie, cuff links and trousers. You'll share a few laughs and marvel at her ingenuity. Whether you tie her up or she binds you, the game will break your predictable, first-move habits. The bonus: "It acts as an automatic foreplay extender," says Berman.
TV, Then Sex
Break it: read to her. It doesn't have to be erotica. It's an intimate activity that makes her focus on your voice. The deeper, the better. Low voices are a sign of high testosterone, which ups her attraction to you, according to a study by McMaster University in Canada. Read lying in bed with your head up, to dip an octave; it forces you to push air with your diaphragm instead of your lungs.
Habitual Hand Holding
Break it: caress her neck. Sure, holding hands can work as an aphrodisiac: It shows her you're devoted and proud to tell the world. But after a while, its poignancy wanes. A stepped-up PDA will deepen her connection to you, so she'll be more willing to really give herself to you in the bedroom, says Schwartz.