When you first met your partner your sex life was probably terrific. You experimented; you couldn’t keep your hands off each other. Then, after you were married for a while and the kids came along, bedroom sports got a little, well, predictable.
In his book, The Kosher Sutra, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (TLC’s ‘Shalom in the Home’) approaches improving couples’ sexual relationships in a basic way.
Rabbi Boteach believes that we live lives of ‘horizontal gratification’. We think everything is as simple as switching a channel, surfing to a new site or ordering a pizza. But the best things in life require thought and patience. He says, “If we can recapture the erotic flavour of life, then suddenly what you thought was ordinary becomes extraordinary, what you thought was natural becomes miraculous, and what you thought was commonplace becomes truly unique.” You can see your spouse in a new, exciting light.
Discovering each other fuels courtship and mystery intrigues us all. Rabbi Boteach says, “Few things have been as injurious to the modern marriage as the mistaken belief that you are meant to be open about everything. Feminine innocence is incredibly erotic because it invites a man to draw forth an explosive response. It is the ladylike, feminine woman whom a man wishes to seduce so he can release her dormant fire.”
How can a spouse regain the mystery and the innocence after years of marriage? One thing Boteach insists on is not taking care of your personal hygiene in front of your partner.
“Never walk around naked. Make your husband earn every view of your body. Don’t take showers in front of him and, please, don’t ever go to the bathroom in front of him.” And nothing kills romance like watching someone clip their toenails.
Novelty fuels the magic of first love. After all, everything is a first – for a while. We all crave variety. Marriage kills novelty. We all fall into the routine and believe we know everything about one another. Lovemaking becomes as rehearsed as a performance of Cats. Boteach says, “Men fail to realize that their wives have deep sexual desires.” Men might turn to fantasizing about other women, surfing porn or maybe even having an affair. “But if a man took the time to discover his wife’s erotic mind, he would discover her vibrancy. If a sexual relationship is a coral reef, most husbands are not scuba divers, but snorkelers. Many men don’t believe their wives are interested in sex at all.”
To jump-start a sagging romantic life, try something completely new. Have phone sex with your spouse, go to a bar and let your husband see how many men make a move on you (men always want what another man wants), do new things you would never otherwise do. Push the envelope.
3) THE CHASE
Women need to feel desired. Remembering how her husband would have broken down walls to get to her at the beginning of their relationship leaves her feeling less than fulfilled when she is taken for granted.
“Attraction is created by that which is hidden; that which has obstacles to attainment.” Now that Britney has flashed us all, is anyone still interested? Why do men sit for hours watching a Webcam for a chance they’ll catch something sexual while on another site it’s all out in the open? It’s the challenge of the hidden.
It’s not just about skin, though, it’s also about probing deep into another’s mind. Engaging conversation is the joy of courtship; discovering the other person. In marriage, all too often the conversation revolves around work and the kids. Predictable and boring. Try making out with your clothing on for at least an hour. Make each other somewhat unavailable while the sparks fly. Or try putting sex out of bounds for a period. Knowing we can’t have something usually makes us want it more.
Anything thought to be sinful or forbidden is deeply erotic. Sex within marriage is legal and expected. We are supposed to be uninhibited but things get boring. How can marriage, then, everregain the excitement of the forbidden?
“Sex in marriage must be made ‘sinful’,” says Boteach. “There has to be an aspect that breeds an erotic spark.”
Try making love at a lover’s lane, or in a place where there is a chance of being seen or caught. Be naughty.
5) OPPOSITES ATTRACT
Men and women used to have very delineated roles in society. Now the lines are more and more blurred. Sameness is dull. “Erotic attraction grows through the principle of sexualdifferentiation.”
We need to regain the gentleman and lady aspect to some degree. “Would it really be a big deal not to burp or pick noses in front of each other?” Dress up for one another like you did whenyou first dated. Husbands opening car doors and wives taking some care to be more ladylike can be a turn on.
“Wives could wear lacy underwear and make sure their husbands see it, but not intentionally. It should always be something he notices casually as she goes about her daily business.” Men too,could wear sexy underwear, or, perhaps, a suit if he’s someone who’s always in casual clothing. Take care of your appearance the way you did when you were dating.
By Susan Pennell-Sebekos