5 Ways to Spice Up Your Sex Life in the New Year

women's bras

Graphic by Corinne Brown/KCM

It’s time to pull that sexy lingerie out of the far corner of your drawer.

Looking to add a little more heat between the sheets in the new year? You’re in the right place. We asked two sex therapists for fun and spicy ways to give your sex life a little boost. And if you can’t remember the last time you had sex (or initiated sex), don’t beat yourself up. It’s common, normal, and happens to the best of us — especially when we’re stressed.

“Especially for people in long-term relationships, it’s quite natural or common for couples not to want to have sex at the same time,” explains Shamyra Howard, LCSW, sexologist, and author of Use Your Mouth: Pocket-sized Conversations to Simply Increase 7 Types of Intimacy in and out of the Bedroom. If this rings a bell, there’s a simple question you can ask your partner to get back on track: What’s the ideal amount of times you want to have sex each week? 

If you and your partner have mismatched numbers, you can figure out different ways to be intimate beyond intercourse. “Make sex what you want it to be,” says Howard. “That could be watching erotica, mutual masturbation, watching your partner masturbate, doing some kinky stuff. You just have to figure out what sex means to you in a relationship and do those things.” 

Another way to make sure you’re priortizing intimacy in your relationship? Mark it on your calendar. “Scheduling may not sound romantic, but when you do schedule something on your calendar, then you know that’s what you’re going to focus on at that time period, says April Brown, a relationship, sex, and intimacy therapist. Being present, she says, is the key to successful sex.  

Below, both sex therapists share their expert tips and tricks on ways to reinvigorate your sex life in 2022.

How to Spice Up Your Sex Life

Embrace your kinky side  

The pandemic made our sex lives a little…kinkier. Over 50 percent of Americans say they got more experimental in bed since the lockdowns began, according to this survey conducted by Lovehoney and Kinsey Institute. “People’s sexual diversity increased,” says Howard. “One way to spice up a relationship is to get a bit kinkier. Add a different element of eroticism, engage in some role play, buy a sex toy, or bring some props into the bedroom and explore more with your partner.” 

Plan a sexcation in 2022 

What’s a sexcation, you ask? It’s a vacation that’s all about sex. Or, if it makes more sense for you, one that simply involves sense. “This can be either a 24-hour or several-day trip where you schedule the whole vacation around sexcapades,” says Howard. There are actual resorts that cater to this sort of vacation. But if that’s not your style, not a problem. Just get away for a day or so. The change of scenery, private hotel room, or feeling of being free could easily boost your libido.

Use your mouth 

Yes, that’s right. Make sex a common conversation topic. “We know that talking about sex increases people’s capacity for sex and you learn more about yourself and your partner, which in turn makes sex even better for you,” says Howard.  

In fact, over 50 percent of the couples surveyed by Lovehoney and Kinsey Institute have felt more satisfied with their sexual relationship since the pandemic started. The reason? They started talking about sex more. You can talk about sex in different ways. “Engage in different types of sexually related conversation by using my Use Your Mouth Sex and Relationship Conversation Starter Cards, or you can do this on your own. You and your partner create questions to ask each other and pull them out of a bucket to get the conversation going.”  

Create your ultimate sex menu  

When couples are looking to spice up their sex life, Brown likes to suggest an exercise where each person creates their ideal sex scenario and then they talk it through with their partner. “I ask them to look at the whole sexual part as a menu,” says Brown. “Each person thinks about the ambiance they like (the environment, the smell, the candles). The next part is the appetizer, which is foreplay. What do you like most when it comes to foreplay? Then it’s the actual act of sex — the main course. The last part is the dessert, or what you like to do afterward.”

This helps people learn what their partners like the most — and most importantly, communicate their desires. You can even mix and match different parts of each other’s ideal menus to create different sexual scenarios that work for the both of you. 

Treat sex like a game 

If you and your partner like to play games — whether it’s poker, cards, or video games — you can use that as an opportunity to have a little more fun. “Play different games and whoever loses does a little striptease or do something sexual to the other person,” says Brown.

“When I look at intimacy, I look at it as a playground. And when you’re truly playing like kids play, there are no worries or thoughts, you’re just enjoying the experience,” Brown tells us. “When you’re really in the moment, that’s when you can sometimes have heightened orgasms because you’re fully present and feel free.”