How To Reignite Your Sex Life And Reclaim Intimacy After A Dry Spell

Just like most things in life, romantic relationships have their ups and downs. Sometimes you just can't get enough of each other and want to rip each other's clothes off constantly. Other times, all you want is to be left alone with a little personal space. We get it, it's only natural. As licensed clinical social worker and intimacy breakthrough therapist, Carolynn Aristone told Refinery29, it's no reason to panic. "There's no crisis or emergency if your sex life starts to slow down or become dormant," she said.


In fact, having a little moment of celibacy can actually be good for your relationship. "If sex is causing distress then it's not a bad idea to step away from it and give yourself a chance to work out what's going on for you," relationship therapist and psychosexologist Kate Moyle told Cosmopolitan.

But if you're both feeling comfortable with yourselves sexually and there's no deeper reason for either of you to want a bit of a sex hiatus, sometimes it can feel like that dry spell is lasting just a bit longer than you'd like; Particularly if you're ready to get things moving again in the bedroom but your partner just doesn't seem to be putting in the effort or showing much interest. So, how exactly do you reignite things and let your partner know you're ready to be close again the right way?


Get talking about your dry spell

One of the best things you can do if you're worried about a dry spell with your partner is to talk about it. We know, talking honestly with your partner can seem like the go-to advice for literally any given relationship situation, but it's a cliché for a reason. Being open about the way you feel will highlight to your partner exactly what you're going through and what's on your mind, because in some cases, they may not even be aware that something's been worrying you. It can be really easy to get so wrapped up in work or family issues, to the point that you and your partner may not even realize it's been a while since you were last sexually intimate.


By getting candid, not only do you have the opportunity to get your thoughts across, but your partner can express their feelings to you too. In some cases, a little nudge to get back into the bedroom may be all they need. However, if there's something deeper going on, this is the best way for you to learn about it and get to the crux of what they may really be dealing with.

Make sure to keep this talk constructive, and make sure you have the time to be thorough. "Have these conversations when you both have time to give each other space to state your needs and listen to each other, and keep the focus positive and with no judgment or blame," relationship expert and author Lucy Beresford told Metro.


Get proactive about how you'll work together to spice up your sex life

A great way to quickly end your dry spell is to work out exactly what things you'll both be making more of an effort toward. After talking with your partner, it's a good idea for you both to outline ideas about what each other can do to make the other feel desired and sexually fulfilled. But, remember, these don't have to be big things. Lucy Beresford suggested a few ideas to Metro, including vowing to always give each other a kiss before you leave the house, or just spending more time together so there's more opportunity to get intimate. One of you may even agree to focus less on work or friends, if you can, to make your partner feel like more of a priority.


But just remember that, if either of you has any anxiety when it comes to sex, you don't have to go from zero to 100. You may decide on a few small steps to start getting you both back in the mood so things don't feel like a chore. "Skin-on-skin contact, whether it's kissing, hand-holding, a massage, or stroking, has a hugely beneficial effect on strengthening the bond of affection, without ramping up the expectation that it has to be about sex," Beresford said. "Baby steps as you both get back into the rhythm of sexual activity is more important than going straight for full-on intimacy."

Change up your date nights

If the reason you and your other half haven't been intimate recently has something to do with things getting a little stale (don't fret, it's only natural when you've been together a while), it might benefit you both to change things up a little. Sex educator and author August McLaughlin explained to Women's Health, "Novel experiences boost levels of feel-good hormones in the brain, which are linked with sexual arousal and those punch-drunk, falling-in-love feelings."


Looking for a few ways to get the excitement flowing again? Try going on an exciting date night, but just don't do what you always do. You may want to opt for a new activity you can enjoy together rather than going to the same restaurant time after time or sitting silently at the movie theater together. For example, if you have a favorite eatery, try going somewhere that serves different cuisine you can try for the first time together. If you always find yourself going on restaurant dates, maybe go to a club instead and dance the night away or head to the local bowling alley to change it up. You could even go all out and try taking a trip to a completely new town that you'll be able to explore together, sparking extra excitement.


Throw the sex rule book out the window

Another way to clear up that dry spell could be by freeing your mind of any rules or regulations you may have built up around sex. One of the best ways you can do that is — as long as you're both fully consenting and happy to do so — trying something different from what you're used to. "Consider taking the sex you've tended to have off the table," August McLaughlin suggested to Cosmopolitan. "It minimizes any pressure you might be putting on yourselves to 'just have more sex.'"


If you're in a heterosexual or hetero-assuming relationship, know that there's no reason for you and your partner to have penetrative sex to feel like you've broken your dry spell. Taking the unnecessary blueprint away will allow you to both feel a lot freer about your intimate time together. A few things you can try include sensual massages, mutual masturbation, or even just a good old make-out session. Not only will this take the pressure off you both and help you feel more relaxed, but they're all ways to get more in the mood too.

The best part — you don't have to stop there! As long as you both feel comfortable, this may be the time really change things up in bigger ways, too. "If you want to break free from your familiar sex routine, take your sex life outside the bedroom," sex expert Emily Morse told Woman's Day.


Learn about your body through solo sex

Getting to know your body better is another way to spice things up and get things going in the bedroom. If you and your partner are going through a dry spell, masturbation could be the key to making yourself feel more confident, as well as helping you show your partner exactly what you like. As relationship and etiquette expert April Masini admitted to Women's Day, "Masturbation is a way to get to know your body, and many women really don't. In fact, there's a huge number of ladies who've never had an orgasm, and this is a great way to educate yourself on sexual pleasure with your body as the template."


By getting to know what works for you, not only will you be likely to be in the mood knowing you'll have just as good of a time as your partner, but it will also help them feel more confident and fulfilled knowing they know how to give you the time of your life. "Sharing what you learn alone is going to be a big plus when reigniting your sex life," Masini explained.

If the two of you are interested, this could also be a way to get the heat rising for you both. Author Allison Moon told Healthline that pleasuring yourself in front of your partner may get both your pulses racing. "Masturbating allows your partner to see you enjoy pleasure, which can build intimacy," she said.

Remember it's about quality, not quantity

When you start taking steps to reignite things in the bedroom (or outside of it) remember to manage your expectations and focus on the quality of your intimate time together, not just raking in as much sex as possible. Things don't have to go from no sex to four or five times a week to be considered a successful end to a dry spell. If you set inflexible expectations about how many times you should be getting between the sheets together, you may only end up setting yourself up for failure. Actually, you may even find that you're having sex more often by not slapping an expectation on how often you should be getting down.


"Quality sex can ensure that you keep coming back for more. The thumb rule is to take enough time for foreplay, and to ensure both partners are fully aroused. This can make sex satisfying," sexologist Santhanam Jagannathan told Femina. "The use of tools such as lubricants, sex toys, and in some cases, even pornography, can be explored. All this takes time and effort, so ensure you work towards fulfilling sex, rather than just frequent sex."

Get back into flirting

Dr. Chris Donaghue noted that making sure you and your partner are both being flirtatious with one another may be one of the best ways to reignite your sex life, making sure you both feel desired. If this is something you've lost, reintroduce it. If you're still a little flirty with each other, get a lot more flirty. "I tell couples to sexualize each other every single day. Anything that creates a romantic moment," Dr. Chris Donaghue told Fatherly. In doing so, you'll also be putting both of your minds back on sex. After all, as Carolynn Aristone told Refinery29, "If we're not thinking about sex, it's much harder to make it happen." So true.


Exactly how you get flirty will be dependent on your and your partner's love languages. You'll likely know if they prefer things like sexy messages or if they're more about physical touch or compliments. But if you don't know what to try first, that's okay. That way, you can try a range of different flirty activities to see which ones your partner responds best to, as well as what makes you feel most comfortable. You may even get your own heart racing at the same time. Just remember that there's no right or wrong way to show your affection if it's coming from a good place, because this will help the two of you grow closer and feel more desired at the same time.

Try doing things that aren't sexual to reignite your sex life

This one may sound a little counterintuitive, but hear us out. In some cases, putting a heavy focus solely on doing sexual activities with your partner may actually put too much pressure on you both to have a good time when you finally do get to bed together. Instead of putting all your attention on creating sexual intimacy right from the get-go, try doing smaller things with your partner that are about non-sexual intimacy so you can feel closer to one another again before taking that next step. "Going on a romantic getaway can create too much pressure to perform," Allison Moon told Healthline. "You will benefit even if you spend time together in ways that are nonsexual. Go hiking together or visit a new local spot," she added.


After all, too much pressure and high expectations can be a mood killer for a lot of people, so you may set yourself up for an experience that can't possibly match your expectations. By enjoying a few wholesome days or nights with one another in the beginning without the added pressure of having sex afterward, you'll both start feeling more comfortable in one another's company again. Then, when it naturally feels like the right time to be sexually intimate, it's sure to feel even better without all the expectations and tough pressure.

Consider a visit to a sex therapist or sex class

If you've tried a few different ways to end your dry spell that haven't done the job, or you identified a deeper issue when speaking to your partner, there's no shame in paying a visit to a sex therapist to get to the root of it all. Licensed marriage and family therapist and relationship and sexuality expert Eliza Boquin suggested bringing in a third party to help you work through things to Insider. "Sex therapists can help you navigate uncomfortable discussions, explore what mental blocks may be affecting your sex life, and provide you with additional referrals and resources to deepen your intimacy," she explained. If you feel uncomfortable taking this outside of the house, this is something you can always do virtually from the safety of your own home when it's just the two of you around.


There are other similar options out there too, which could help you get better educated about your sexuality and each other's needs. "American Sex Podcast" co-host Sunny Megatron suggested to Healthline that couples wanting to reignite things may want to attend a sex class. "Taking a couples' sex class can open up a whole new avenue of sex play," she said. Not only will this help you both learn some things you probably never knew, but just the thought of being so open and public about your sexuality could get you both feeling excited.