When you think of hot sex, do you envision hooking up with someone you’ve fantasising about for the first time? Or do you picture a roll in the hay with the partner you’ve been sharing a bed with for the better part of a decade? Probably the former. Many people simply don’t believe good sex and long-term partnership go hand in hand.
But it turns out, there are couples who’ve been together a while and still really enjoy having sex with each other. (Yep, they do exist!)
We wanted to know these couples’ sex secrets: How do they keep things steamy for so long? So we went straight to the source. Here’s what they told us.
1. They don’t limit sex to the bedroom
“We have a toddler who sleeps in the bed with us so we have to be creative and find other places to have sex. It’s kind of fun and naughty to have sex in places other than the bed! It enhances our sex life because it keeps sex different each time!”– Lina Forrestal, host of The New Mamas Podcast
“My partner and I will often sneak away at clubs and bars and head to the bathroom to blow each other. The excitement of public play can transfer to excitement with and for your partner.” – Zachary Zane, sex columnist and sex expert for Momentum Intimacy
2. They take penetration off the menu from time to time
“Counterintuitive, but when we started doing ‘oral only’ nights, our sex life reached a new level. Going back and forth, getting close to climax and then pulling back (or ‘edging’), led to new positions, variations and satisfaction.” – Ashleigh Renard, author of “Swing” and “Keeping It Hot: The Workbook”
3. Or they take breaks from sex altogether
“The thing that improved my sex life the most is a bit counterintuitive: I stopped having sex altogether. My partner of seven years and I will periodically agree on lengths of time in which we take sex off the table completely. Instead of having sex, we talk about sex. We ask each other specific questions like: what are the ways in which your desires are changing? These periods of intentional abstinence help break any sexual patterns I find myself slipping into. They also strengthen my capacity to actually talk about sex and desire in a nuanced way, which ultimately makes the sex itself better.” – Amanda L.
4. They sleep naked
“When you sleep naked and rub up against each other, you often end up getting erect or horny, and before you know it, you’re having sex! So sleeping naked is a way to naturally increase how often you and your partner have sex.” – Zane
5. They laugh off the weird stuff that happens in bed
“Sex is many things – joyful, pleasurable, intimate – but it’s definitely also silly and sometimes a bit weird. My partner and I have really embraced this, which I think has given us a way to skirt the many societal inhibitions about what we can do – or even talk about – regarding sex. This has lowered the barrier to communicate about or have sex, which, for us, has led to more communication and more sex!” — Stephen Quaderer, CEO of ThotExperiment and creator of Headero
“This may be cliché, but don’t take it too seriously. Sure, there are going to be hot and intense moments, but there’s also going to be moments where your bodies squish together and a whoopee cushion sound comes out. Allow yourself to laugh it off (or even lean in and get fully silly with it), or else you might spend your time feeling embarrassed instead of focusing on the task at hand. It’s also about allowing yourself to be vulnerable and not feeling like you have to put on a performance whenever you have sex.” – F.L.
6. They know that sex doesn’t have to be wild to be good
“My husband and I are regular (boring?), cis-hetero married people who live in the suburbs. We’re in our 25th year together and we’ve been married for 18 of those years. We have two kids and we’re in our late 40s. We’re not sexperts or celebrities or influencers, but during the lost years that have made up our Covid quarantine, I wrote a piece about why – in pursuit of privacy in our small townhouse – we decided to tell our kids precisely when we were having sex. Because it went viral, we now get a lot of questions about our sex life.
“And here’s the thing: our sex life is so vanilla that it makes me laugh that anyone would want to talk about it, but then I realised, it’s OK that it’s vanilla, even mundane, because it meets, and even exceeds, both of our needs. So my biggest secret is: You don’t have to be living 50 Shades of Grey to have a satisfying sex life,you just have to make sure you and are partner are clear with each other about expectations – including, but not limited to, frequency, fantasies, positions and preferences – and are committed to meeting those expectations with each other.” – Jamie Beth Cohen, writer and host of “There’s a Column for That! podcast
7. They put sex on the calendar
“[We] plan sex ahead of time. Spontaneity is great and super sexy, but having the whole day as your foreplay to fantasise, flirt, sext – even if you’re in the same space! – and tease one another until you finally get to your date can really get things going. Plus, it gives you time to prep yourself (break out the good lingerie) and the space – aka charge toys, put lube out, and clear the un-sexy pile of laundry off the chair you know you’re going to see from the bed.” – F.L.
8. They find little moments for physical touch throughout the day
“One thing we do to make our sex life satisfying is flirt and kiss each other sensually throughout the day. If we have a moment for a quick hug where we just hold each other and kiss, we do it. Touch is so important to keep physical intimacy alive.” – Forrestal
9. They set aside time for regular date nights
“Once a month, we send the kids for a sleepover at the grandparents’ and have a special date night. We get an early reservation and stay close to home. We stay off our phones from the beginning of the date, order great food and get home early.
“When home, we pull out all our favourite items that enhance intimacy. Playlist, candles, massage oil, and we spend a couple hours going back and forth – lots of edging on these nights! It wasn’t part of the original plan, but the dinner conversation on these nights tends toward the aspirational – the dream house we want to build, the vacations we’d love to take – bathing the whole night in a lovey, fantasy-type glow.” – Renard
10. They’re not shy about telling the kids they need some privacy
“My other secret, which works for some families, but not all, is to tell your kids when to leave you alone! We’re a close family and we talk about a lot of things, but before the pandemic we didn’t talk about when we were having sex. We didn’t have the need to, as we often had sex when our kids were out of the house or asleep. But the pandemic meant they were NEVER out of the house and often stayed up as late as us or ended up sleeping on our floor or in our bed. It was, and still is, a stressful and anxiety-provoking time for all of us.
“In an effort to get them to give us more privacy for defined amounts of time, we set explicit rules for when they could knock on our door if they needed us vs. when they couldn’t (like the old sock on the doorknob trick but different!), and this really freed me up to enjoy sex more because I didn’t have a fear of being interrupted or walked in on.” – Cohen
11. They learn new ways to satisfy each other
“Over the past few years I’ve explored tantra through workshops around the world. We’ve attended as a couple and I’ve gone alone to female-focused tantra retreats. Like all disciplines, you need to practice tantra to benefit from the experience, which means even outside of these events, we’re constantly taking what we’ve learned to better our connection and intimate experience. It’s an investment that only multiplies with practice and repetition.” – Claudia Aguirre, co-founder and vice president of Luxury Lifestyle Vacations
12. They go to therapy together to work on intimacy.
“When I stopped drinking and became more emotionally available, it reframed life experiences for me. Thoughts and feelings I hadn’t dealt with, as historic as separation from my nuclear family as a child, became very loud. Couples counselling played a pivotal role in how effectively and quickly I was able to work through these feelings. As I reached new levels of vulnerability and transparency, my sex life became more honest. The focus of sex moved from pleasure to intimacy. This is where I’ve only recently started to learn what good sex means to me: an energetic experience deepened by connection and authenticity.” – Liam Lezra
13. They embrace the quickie – and add toys to make it even more satisfying.
“We up the satisfaction factor of quickies by keeping a few things on hand. First, we use a dedicated intimacy bed covering. Our favourite is a lightweight, tight-weave cotton blanket that we toss over the bed. We do this so the bed can stay made and we are free to use lube and body oil. A short massage can help us quickly transition from work mode or parent mode to sexy time mode.
“Last, but maybe my fave, is the Original Magic Wand. Adding this one item to our repertoire has increased the variety of positions in which climax is possible for me. When every interaction is super satisfying, there is momentum behind prioritizing sex when life and work and parenting are vying for our attention.” – Renard
14. They’re proponents of morning sex
“Not only does sex in the morning simply put you in a good mood, because, hey, you started your day with sex. But it also starts the day by connecting intimately with your partner. I also think there’s less pressure during morning sex, which makes it more lighthearted and fun. You have bedhead, morning breath and bags under your eyes, but it’s totally fine! Morning sex isn’t about looking your best. It’s not about orgasming. It’s just about breaking up the monotony of waking up and heading to work – best part is, you’re doing it with the person you love!” – Zane
15. They use vacations to expand their sexual horizons
“Cruises friendly to the open or swinger lifestyle, in particular, seem to do wonders for a couple’s sex life. I know they do for ours! Being away from your everyday routine, stopping in exotic ports each day and tapping into erotic theme night parties each night all have a huge effect on letting go and growing closer and sexier. Being among a group of like-minded adults can be both an inspiration and exploration for your relationship that deepens the intimacy together.” – Pepe Aguirre, co-founder & CEO of Luxury Lifestyle Vacations
16. They make a sex bucket list
“[We] fill out a yes/no/maybe list. There’s a lot [of sex-related stuff] that may not come up naturally in conversation that you realise you both were really interested in trying out. And after you compare notes you can have a sexy little bucket list to check off or refer to if you find yourselves in a slump or stuck in a routine. Re-visit and update it every few months and see if anything has changed.” — F.L.
Note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.The last names of some respondents have been withheld to protect their privacy.