Sometimes when we are in a relationship, especially a long-term relationship we get comfortable and fall into a routine. Nowhere is this more common than in our sex life. Instead of delving deeper into each other’s wants, needs, interests, turn-ons and offs and deep desires, we fall into a pattern and stick with it. We also get distracted by the stresses and demands of our career, children and family and often our sex life gets put on the back burner. But if you look deep down on an emotional level, you’ll notice that besides yourself, your relationship is the bedrock upon which all things rest. Your partner helps you when you’re stuck, comforts and supports you. Yet, the needs of our relationship are often too easily pushed aside for family and career. When we fall into a rut, it’s important to set aside some time each week perhaps to reconnect. All things stream out of one’s self and our happiness, but also that of our partner. Believe it or not, sexual intimacy is elemental to happiness. On the individual level it releases oxytocin the “calm and cuddle” hormone along with serotonin, the happiness neurotransmitter. Both of these relieve stress, help us connect and give us a sense of wellbeing. Though biology has recently discovered this psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich, one of Freud’s inner circle, believed we all had to periodically release orgone energy through orgasm or else our worldview becomes cruel, dark and demented.

But our connection to ourselves is not the only point lost when we neglect to invigorate our sex life. If you take stock, both men and women feel closer to their partner after a bout of fulfilling sex. It rejuvenates and strengthens the couple’s bond. So how can you continue to add novelty to your sex life and increase your sexual intimacy and so your happiness, not just individual but as a couple?  First, realize that the point of sexual intimacy is to deepen your relationship. Everything stems from feelings. If there is love, mutual respect and good communication than sexual intimacy is possible. The next part is bringing your entire self into the game. Don’t just go in the bedroom and sit there, letting your partner do what they want to satisfy their needs. And don’t think they should naturally know what your needs are. No one is inside your head. You need to communicate your deeply held fantasies in a safe, nonjudgmental and welcoming environment, a place you build for just the two of you.

Start slow. Build an atmosphere of non-judgment where inhibitions melt away, a place where our deepest, darkest fantasies feel safe enough to come out. This takes time. Accept your partner’s fantasies too without judgment and start working toward fulfilling one of them. Be a giving lover and expect the same in return. The more novelty you can introduce the better. Get a sex book or several and talk about different interests over wine, feeding each other chocolate covered strawberries or something else you both enjoy. On couple’s day, build an atmosphere of sexy that starts at the beginning of the day. Flirt, tease, hint at what you will do later and always leave them wanting more. Work on extended bouts of foreplay. Sex is best when it is unabashed, unadulterated fun. It really is just a form of play for adults. Remember that sexual intimacy doesn’t build itself. It’s important so set aside some time for it at least each week to reconnect as a couple again. But by building an atmosphere of sexual intimacy together you will strengthen your bond, relieve each other’s stress and feel immensely happy.