You love your partner and you’re definitely into them, but lately, sex has gotten kind of boring. What’s going on? For starters, nothing is wrong with you. Couples whose sex lives were once adventurous and exciting can fall into a routine, and it’s just not as fun as it used to be. It’s especially common for the novelty to wear off if you’re in a long-term relationship. But what you consider boring sex can happen whether you’ve been together for years or you’re just settling into a habit. There are a lot of reasons why your sex life can grow stagnant, but it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of boredom in the bedroom.
Ask yourself what’s really going on.
Colby Agostinelli, a sex therapist based in Philadelphia, says when a routine gets boring, there’s usually more to the problem than just sex. “It tends to happen with a lack of communication over time,” they said. “If a couple were to come to me with that problem, I would focus on what else is happening in their life outside of sex. Too often, we focus on just sex acts themselves. I would take stock of everything that’s going on.”
Agostinelli says it’s also important to identify what it is about a sexual routine that feels boring, and to figure out what you both like and dislike about how you’re currently having sex. Routine sex doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem.
“Sometimes we jump to the conclusion that a routine is bad,” they said, “but a routine can be fun and safe.”
Spend some time alone.
Before you try to diagnose the issue, focus on your sexuality as an individual. Are there things you need that you’re not getting? Is there something you’ve been wanting to try that you’re not sharing with your partner? Some reflection — and masturbation — can be a way to figure out what’s happening with you.
“Get to know yourself better as a sexual person before trying to fix issues with a partner,” Agostinelli says. “We don’t want to lose our individuality even if we’re with a partner.”
Try new things.
Mixing up your routine in the bedroom is a tried-and-true way to reignite a sexual connection that’s gone dim. Talk about how you’d feel incorporating dirty talk or sex games into the bedroom, or if Agostinelli also suggests incorporating a sex toy, having sex outside, watching porn, or trying kink or BDSM if you haven’t before.
“Porn is something I would recommend,” they said. “Even if it helps you recognize what you don’t want to do, that’s valuable. Looking at someone else doing it can help you decide if you want to do it.”
You might also want to try building anticipation outside the bedroom so when the time comes, you’ll both be a bit more riled up. You can send each other sextsor try phone sex. You can also try incorporating some role playing. Pretending to be other people, or characters, can help you step outside yourselves and your routine. Planning a pleasure playdate where you focus more on sensuality can also be something to try.
Agostinelli also recommends tapping into the world of available resources online, from sex-positive Instagram accounts to yes-no-maybe checklists that help you figure out what new things you might like to try.
Reach out for support.
Everyone deserves an exciting, fulfilling sex life. A couple’s therapist or sex therapist can help you figure out — at any stage of the process — what’s not working for you, and help come up with solutions to address the issues. Considerations like whether or not we feel safe (physically or emotionally) opening up with a partner can play a huge role in how much we enjoy ourselves during sex. A therapist can help navigate those conversations.
“Safety allows us to access such deeper emotion, especially pleasure,” Agostinelli says. “I think the way we can talk about safety is going back to that anxiety, and noticing where there is resistance to trying something.”