Part of the Better Sex Series

It’s not rocket science and it doesn’t need to be a secret. Maybe the problem is that your partner doesn’t seem to want sex as much as they used to. Or perhaps you never really feel in the mood but you have sex anyway because your partner wants it. Either way, it’s important to remember one thing.

In order to have good sex, we have to want sex.

So let’s cut to the chase here. Check out these four (not-always-so-easy) ways to want more sex:

1. Friendship

Sometimes when we talk about friendship, we do it in a way that separates it from relationships. In true romantic relationships, friendship is what keeps us together. The core pieces of friendship make us feel more intimate with our partner and make our partner more appealing to us.

Understanding each other’s inner worlds and everyday lives is one of the elements of friendship that can make a big difference for couples. This often comes from asking open-ended questions so we can learn about our partner. While we do this so frequently in the beginning of new relationships, we tend to forget about these open-ended questions over time. Years after our first date, we have slipped into questions like how was work today or do we have anything planned for this weekend? These questions invite short answers like good and soccer games Saturday morning. They give us zero information about our partner’s experience, thoughts, or feelings.

Try asking open-ended questions like what do you like about your job or what would you like to do together without the kids this weekend? Look here for some more ideas on open-ended questions for couples to help strengthen your friendship. If we feel like we are friends with our partner, we are more likely to want sex.

Ways to Want More Sex

2. Fondness

Compliments and appreciation go a long way. Tell your partner how much you adore them. Compliment their appearance, their help around the house, their work ethic, and whatever else you can think of! When we feel appreciated, noticed, valued, respected, admired, and adored by our partner, we tend to be more open to physically sharing our appreciation for their appreciation. Need some tips on meaningful compliments? Look here for some great starter ideas on compliments your significant other really wants hear, and then be sure to get creative.

3. Connection

It can be hard to really want sex when we feel like we barely get any time with our partner anymore or seem to be lacking meaningful conversations. This of course takes us back to the importance of friendship since we need to feel connected to be friends. It also means making an intentional effort to connect with our partner throughout the day or when we are able to see them in the evenings. These can be big things like a weekly date night or an unplugged family vacation but they don’t have to be. We can also connect with our partner in small ways like sending a quick text saying we were thinking of them or greeting them with a big hug and asking what their favorite and least favorite part of the day was – after telling them how happy we are to have them home, since we don’t want to forget that fondness part!

When we feel more connected to our partner, we increase our desire for sex. So how do you get more connected? For some brainstorming help, check out these prompts for ways to connect with your spouse or if you’re needing more concrete suggestions, you may find these ways to connect with your partner helpful.

4. Foreplay

The fourth (and perhaps all-inclusive) way to want more sex is to set the scene. Prep for action. Create the right environment for sex, intimacy, and romance and voila! We suddenly want more sex. Foreplay is all-inclusive because it requires friendship, fondness, and connection. So what is foreplay?

Foreplay is everything!

Literally. It can be a five-second kiss, a playful smack on the rump, or a compliment. It can be moving closer on the couch for some snuggle time instead of sitting on opposite sides entranced by our phones. It can be making out, oral play, and erotic teasing. It can be asking open-ended questions to show our partner we are interested in them. It can be finding ways to connect throughout the day, even when we are apart and busy. It can be doing the dishes, putting away the laundry, vacuuming the floors. It can be talking about sex and asking our partner what they like most. It can be giving our partner time alone or time with friends. It can be cooking dinner together or going on a nightly stroll. It can be the way we answer a question our partner asks. It can be the compassionate and patient look in our eyes while our partner asks us a question. It can be introducing a new toy or sexy fantasy into the bedroom. It can be making sure the pets are fed and the litter box changed. It can be a spontaneous I love you. It can be putting the kids to bed.

It can be literally everything. Confused? Foreplay is all about that brake system and accelerator system we talked about earlier. Foreplay means setting up the stage for as many of those turn ons and as few of those turn offs as you can have control over.

You might be thinking: But these are just about getting my partner to want more sex.

True, these four tips will help your partner want more sex. However, they aren’t just about your partner. Sometimes the best way to get something we want from our partner is to show them how we want it. If you want more friendship, fondness, connection, and foreplay, tell them about these four new cool things you learned and then put them into practice! Your partner will notice how nice it is and if you can make it a habit, they are sure to catch on.

If this doesn’t seem to do the trick and they still aren’t getting the hint, look for the next article of the Better Sex Series to learn how to ask for foreplay, or schedule a session with Kelsey, a couples therapist, sex therapist, and specialist in sexual health.

Get these helpful articles in your inbox.