Is Your Sex Life a Snore? How to Spice It Up

At the start of your relationship, there was electricity, passion, and sex--daily, if not hourly! Years later, it's a challenge to remember the last time you were naked together. (Last Thursday--or wait, was it last month?) Here are three real-life reasons your desire for sex may have waned, and the easy moves to help you get back in touch with your sensual side.

"His foreplay needs work. I never get turned on."
Just getting under the covers may qualify as foreplay for him, but most women need more of a warm-up. Your goal? To regain that longing you felt when you first met. Let anticipation build with suggestive mealtime banter or old-fashioned flirting. "Make it a point to touch your partner often, whether you brush past him in the hallway or playfully smack his butt," advises Lana Holstein, M.D., a sex therapist who runs a couples program at Miraval Spa in Tucson, Arizona. Once you're in the bedroom, explore beyond the typical pleasure points. "Stimulation of the ears and neck can be very arousing," says Whipple. Experiment with different types of contact too, like tickling and massage.

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"I've gained weight recently and don't feel as sexy."
It's perfectly normal to think you're not as desirable when you're carrying a few extra pounds. But believe it or not, your partner probably hasn't noticed. What really matters is that you remember you're attractive, says Orbuch. Try her self-esteem-boosting technique every time you look in the mirror: Identify at least five physical qualities you like, no matter how minor. Love your shapely calves? Blessed with curvy hips? Keeping these attributes in mind will increase your body confidence--"So what if I went up a size? I have amazing cheekbones"--and help you feel comfortable in your own (naked) skin.

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"I'm too stressed."
Sky-high anxiety levels can easily derail romance. "Stress raises the production of fight-or-flight hormones like cortisol, which stops the relaxation response necessary for the early stages of arousal," says Myrtle Wilhite, M.D., a sexual health researcher in Madison, Wisconsin. To lower stress hormones, squeeze in at least 30 minutes of exercise a day--and if possible, schedule your workout close to the time you plan to get horizontal. Researchers at the University of British Columbia found that women became significantly more aroused from watching an erotic film when they had exercised for 20 minutes beforehand. "Even a brisk walk can help you get turned on quicker by increasing blood flow, which heightens sensation," Wilhite explains.

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