We've all been there: Despite your best intentions, your libido gets doused by anything from juice box spills, to unrealistic work deadlines. While there's no magic cure all, this sound and simple advice on reclaiming your bedroom magic might just be the jumpstart you need--no popping out of a cake or bunny ears required. By Cathy Garrard, REDBOOK.
Get the wheels spinning
Make a decision in the a.m. that you want to get busy later, and steal a few moments throughout the day to psych yourself up. "If he has a cologne you love, spritz it on your shirt before you run errands," says Esther Boykin, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Haymarket, VA. And send flirty text messages here and there to keep you both anticipating the evening's events. "Those 30 seconds can help shift your mood and body chemistry so you're primed and ready for a night of passion," says Boykin.
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Find a comfy spot
"My husband and I have been married for 14 years and have two children. We bought a sofa with a center recliner so that it's easy for us to lie back and cuddle. It naturally brings us closer together, which leads to more closeness later on." - Cordelia Blake, Atlanta
Try a costume change
And we're not talking about those cliché--and uncomfortable--garters and heels. "You don't need to put on a stripper's outfit before bedtime for your spouse to notice you," says Francine Lederer, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles. "Even just wearing a different nightgown or pair of pajamas to bed can be a turn-on if it's a switch from the regular routine."
If you can, take a nap
That way, you'll be primed for more than just sleep when you turn in at night. "The biggest obstacle to intimacy is exhaustion," says Lauren Streicher, M.D., associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University. Even just 20 minutes can make a huge difference.
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Turn off the gadgets
YouTubing the latest Internet meme can wait, as can sharing that funny Facebook post you conjured up while making dinner. Stop being a slave to your electronic gizmos at night, and for a few hours--whether that be at dinner or before bed--turn all your attention to your partner. "The key to real intimacy is focusing on each other," says dating expert Suzanne Casamento, founder of FantasyDating.com. "The more you touch each other, talk, and laugh, the more you will connect. And before you know it, your whole evening will be foreplay."
Look into his eyes
The simple act of making contact can do wonders, according to New York City based love coach Anthony David Adams. It sounds a little cheesy and, yes, your guy may need a little prodding to get on board, but this is what Adams swears by. Sit in a quiet place, look into your partner's eyes, and try to synchronize your breathing. You may be surprised how quickly it helps you connect.
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Who needs dinner?
"We can't do this every weekend, since we have three boys ages 17, 14, and 10, but sometimes my husband and I will sit on the front porch and have appetizers and drinks. The idea is that we don't talk about anything too serious, but we have fun and laugh together. When you start letting go of the expected wife-and-mom routine, sparks fly." - Michelle Monroe Morton, Raleigh, NC
Start making a list
If your current bedroom repertoire is getting stale, perhaps it's time to reopen the conversation. "Create a list of things you haven't tried together and talk about it as you work your way through it," says Kristina Wright, author of Bedded Bliss: A Couple's Guide to Lust Ever After. We admit there's some potential for awkwardness, so have a few glasses of wine beforehand to loosen up, and set limits. Agree to let one another go wild with suggestions, then narrow down the list to what you'd actually be interested in doing at a later date. Sometimes just talking about racy stuff can get you revved up.
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