Human brains are wonderfully complex, and don’t always work in our best interests. For example, did you know that our perception of pleasure changes as we become used to something? Research shows that we get a healthy shot of dopamine (the feel-good hormone) when we are seeking reward, and when there is something new to experience. Also, excitement is transferable, so the heightened arousal that follows say, a roller coaster ride, can be used to rev up your sex life.
With that said, here are my tips for reviving intimacy in a long-term relationship:
1. Resolve to deal with, or put aside resentments, and seek help to do that. Anger and unresolved issues often play out in the bedroom.
2. Reconnect! To reestablish connection, start to look into each other’s eyes whenever you are talking to each other. If you can eye-gaze fully clothed, oxytocin (the bonding hormone) increases, and the desire to get close, and unclothed increases. The good news here is that if one person starts to initiate eye-gazing, the other will often follow.
3. Increase touch. Once a pattern of increased connection is established, then increased touch can start. This includes hand rubs, feet rubs, neck rubs, and more. This can progress to massage—a wonderful way to get the body ready for sex (massage decreases the stress hormones, and increases the bonding hormones).
4. Allow tension to build. Our brains experience so much more pleasure when the anticipation of a reward is allowed for some time before we get the reward. So take your time.
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