Did you know that one of the most common issues that bring couple to therapy is disagreements about their sex life? A relationship is considered to have a problem with sex if either spouse is unhappy with the quality and/or quantity of sex. There are many different reasons why couples have difficulty in their sexual relationship. A good sex life takes time and effort to maintain. It won’t always be easy; our busy lives are taxing and often leave us tired and devoid of the imagination and motivation required to keep up the pace. Having good sex doesn’t necessarily mean spending hours and hours of frolicking, it can be as simple as doing something a little different just for a change.

Another important concept frequently lost in a long-term relationship is sexual intimacy. Couples sometimes forget that there's a whole range of experiences between kissing and intercourse. This can be due to many different reasons including physical changes, such as weight, pregnancy, hormonal changes, etc. as well as relationship problems including poor communication, ongoing rejection, lack of affection, and basic discomfort around sexual issues. All of these can interfere with a couple’s sex life. When this happens, couples can end up avoiding the whole thing rather than allowing themselves to explore the full range of intimate experiences. Therefore, in your conversations and explorations about sex, remember what most of us learned in high school: there's a whole heck of a lot of fun that can happen between kissing and actual intercourse.

To help you keep your sex life interesting,  here are 7 tips for better sex which should keep the two of you hot for some time to come!

1. Use a blindfold

Sexual pleasure has many dimensions, but the most important sexual organ we have is our brain. Blindfolding your partner increases their other senses. Tease them mercilessly with sensory objects, such as a feather or your tongue. Start off softly, as this excites the nerve endings and makes them far more sensitive. Be careful not to overstimulate the nerve endings, however, because after a while the intensity can be too much. Cycle the level of intensity to prolong the excitement.  

2. Give instructions

After a while you may think you know how to please your partner in every single way, but this is very rarely true. There is always something you haven’t tried, and there is bound to be something one of you always does that could be done differently. To combat this for better sex, before you even get to the bedroom, have a “lesson session” in which you don’t think you know it all, and are at each other's mercy as teacher. Talk about things you haven’t tried, but would like to, then choose one suggestion from each partner, and get down and dirty. We often get caught thinking we know what our partners like, and after a while it becomes "the way it’s done." It’s important to have this conversation outside of the bedroom because it can be intimidating and cause you to lose the moment.  However, if you have the courage to lose this myth and put yourself in the student's chair for a while, you’ll get better sex you won't regret.

3. Dress up

Stepping out of the role of being "yourself" can be a fun way to give each other permission to behave differently for better sex. Playing the role of someone else during sexual play is a very enjoyable way to give your partner some different sensations, and try things that you haven’t done before. Role-playing is a great way to have better sex and to have fun with your partner in a light-hearted but sexy way.

4. Talk about your fantasies

Talking about your fantasies with your partner is a very conducive form of sex play. It increases communication with your partner, which is of great importance, it also helps you get to know each other better for better sex. Yes, you may be surprised by the things you learn about each other, but this is good. (Remember, this is the person should be safe talking to and sharing anything with!) Sit back with a glass of wine and keep your clothes on -- for now. Fantasy play can also be incorporated into a game for better sex. Use your imagination, and keep it sexy. Take it in turns and see where it leads you.

5. Play a game

Get a pack of cards and play strip poker for better sex. It may seem like something you would have done when you were in high school (given the opportunity), but adult strip poker is a good way to get naked. Once you are both naked (or nearly naked), you can start on the really fun part: A loss means the other person gets to choose what action is performed on them by the loser. Time limits like one minute on said action means that it is a prolonged game of seduction, which by the end will have you both clamoring to be both the winner and the loser. There are many other games you can play "strip" to, as long as there is a regular winner and loser to reward and “punish” respectively. The great part about these games is that you can both ask the other person to do something in a certain way that you may not necessarily have ever done before. It can be fun and definitely lead to better sex in the end.

6. Try a new position

You already know how to bring each other to orgasm in two ways (probably). You repeat these regularly because they work and there's no harm in that. However, if you never, ever try any new positions again, how will you ever know? New positions need a reasonably high level of arousal in your lover, so choose your time to strike a new pose when each of you is quite obviously feeling very randy. There is no limit to the number of ways to have sex, so you can use your imagination and come up with as many weird and wonderful inventions as you desire. Simply changing locations can dramatically change the position, so consider this too (for example on top of the washing machine, on a bench, beanbag , chandelier, or table).

7. Try a new place

Sex in a new locale is definitely up there in exciting things to do for better sex. You can take a drive somewhere secluded where you can get a bit risqué. Try a public place (not too public) or simply move to a different room or area in your home -- or even someone else’s home. Whatever tickles your fancy. There are a million and one different places to have sex other than at your home, in your bed; use them.  

Having a better sex life will take some work. It's like this; for many people, life is an unremitting guerrilla war with those extra 10 pounds that ambush you when you're not paying attention. In the same way, people can fall into a sexual rut, a "blah" love life, unless they're making an effort to keep things exciting.

You should expect that some attempts will fall flat. A stab at a sexual role-play may be rendered ridiculous by an ill-timed call and rambling answering machine message from your mother-in-law. Or maybe the aromatic candles you bought for that special occasion make you sneeze violently. Trying something new is always putting you at risk of failure. The important thing is to keep trying anyway. Don't let self-consciousness make you play it safe. You should never accept a just average love life.

The list of helpful hints you have been presented with equates to a very good head start to a better sex life. The time and energy required to plan your adventures will pay off immediately, but also over the longer term. You will be rewarded according to the effort you put in with a great new skill set, and of course better sex. Make the time, conserve some energy for it and relax. Life is short! Enjoy!

Have you and your spouse lost that spark? Do you talk about sex?  Please comment below.

Sex secrets: Want to rekindle the passion in your marriage?  Check out this free video from Dr. Dana

Check Out Our Video: How To Regain the Love, Rekindle Passion and Save Your Marriage

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com