Good sex is something we mostly have an idea of from movies, where it's all candles and sensual music, but that's not to say it isn't possible to have really hot, romantic sex in real life.
Thinking of ways to improve your sex life is never a bad idea, whether you want to have sex like a pro, have better casual sex, or just make yourself some sex resolutions, and it's important to put aside time to focus on the kind of sex you really want to be having. So, here are eight top tips on how to have better, hotter, more romantic sex.
WHAT IS ROMANTIC SEX?
What does romantic sex actually mean? Romantic sex can take different forms for different people, but the bottom line is that it's about bonding on an emotional level with your partner, says psychosexual and relationship therapist Aoife Drury.
It's important to make time for having romantic sex in a relationship, says Aoife. "It keeps the spark alive by adding some variety to your sex life and it's also an opportunity to think consciously about what your partner enjoys," Aoife explains.
HOW TO HAVE HOT, ROMANTIC SEX
Talk about it beforehand.
As with any sexual activity, talking about what you want to do and what you want to get out of it with your partner beforehand is always a good idea. Aoife suggests talking with your partner about the most romantic sexual experiences you've had together previously, and thinking about ways to recreate them.
It might also be useful to talk about how you both define what romantic sex is, any ideas you have and what you would both like to do during romantic sex, says Aoife. As always, having an open conversation is key!
Use your senses.
It's often said that the brain is the most important sex organ, so using your imagination or playing with your senses can lead to really great romantic sex. Think of ways to engage your five sense, suggests Aoife.
"Start with the visuals; try soft lighting, perhaps some candles and you could integrate smell into it by using candles with a soft aroma. Touch can be integrated in so many ways, from using hot or cold objects like wax or ice, to implementing sex toys like vibrators or bullets," she explains.
Find out your love languages.
Finding out what yours and your partner's love languages are is a great way to get a better understanding of yourself and each other, says Aoife. You can find out your love language by thinking about what makes you feel loved and cherished in a relationship. The five love languages include words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch, and displaying your partner's love language shows them that you care.
Take it slow.
Mindful sex is all about focusing on being in the present and can be a great way of bonding with your partner, says Aoife. "Focus on what you are doing at every given moment. Be aware of what is happening in your body and try not to allow distractions to take over," she suggests.
Give each other a massage.
Massages can also be a really easy way to connect with your partner, and can get you to start thinking sensually. Aoife recommends watching a YouTube video to learn some massage skills, as well as using essential oils like rose or lavender to get you in the mood.
Talk about your fantasies.
Sharing a personal fantasy with your partner can be a great way to be more open and vulnerable with each other, says Aoife. "Vulnerability deepens the connection between you," she says, and get lead to some amazing romantic sex.
Do things other than touching.
There are loads of ways to have incredible non-penetrative sex, but intimacy doesn't have to mean any kind of touch at all, says Aoife. "Place a soothing song on for five minutes and look into each other’s eyes," she says. "This is called soul gazing and a tantric exercise in connecting with your partner."
Don't stop at the end of sex.
"Intimacy doesn’t have to end after you’ve both climaxed," says Aoife. "Continue to kiss, cuddle and lie close. The oxytocin, the love hormone, that is floating around in both of you may help maintain the spark."
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.