NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Tuesday, September 13, 2022

The Power of Novelty to Enhance Sexual Desire in Your Relationship

A common complaint from individuals in long term relationships is sexual boredom (see my article: What is Sexual Boredom in a Long Term Relationship?).

The Power of Novelty to Enhance Sexual Desire in Your Relationship

Even couples who are still having sex will often admit in couples therapy that, even though they're sexual with their partner, they're not enjoying it--they're just going through the motions (see my article: Do You Remember What It Was Like to Have Fun in Your Relationship?).

How the Power of Novelty Enhances Your Sex Life
During the initial stage of a relationship when you and your partner are clicking sexually, sex is exciting.  You find yourself often thinking about your partner and anticipating the next time you'll see each other and have sex.

If you each develop stronger romantic and sexual feelings for each other, your attachment to one another increases and love blossoms (see my article: The 5 Stages of a Relationship: From Attraction to Commitment).

The Power of Novelty to Enhance Sexual Desire in Your Relationship

Unfortunately, over time, as new relationship energy decreases, familiarity grows, sexual desire isn't as exciting as it once was and sexual boredom can develop.

Where there is trust and emotional safety in a stable relationship, sexual desire can be enhanced by introducing novelty, excitement and adventure if both people are open to it.  

Rather than being complacent and just passively accepting sexual boredom, couples who are willing to introduce at least one new thing every month or so, tend to have more sexual satisfaction (see my article: Keeping the Spark Alive in Your Relationship).

Why Does Novelty Enhance Sexual Desire?
Sexual novelty increases dopamine, which enhances sexual desire--assuming you're both consenting and enthusiastic about it (see my articles: What is Your Erotic Blueprint - Part 1 and Part 2).

Whether you're introducing new aspects to your sex life or finding new ways to engage in what has become familiar, novelty can reignite sexual passion and keep your relationship feeling fresh and exciting.

Introducing Novelty With a Partner Who Might Be Reticent
It's not unusual for there to be one partner who is more sexually adventurous and ready to try all kinds of new things to spice up their sex life while the other partner is more cautious (see my article: Tips on How to Start a Conversation With Your Partner About Your Sexual Desires and Getting to Know Your Own and Your Partner's Sexual Accelerators and Brakes to Improve Your Sex Life).

For the person who is more cautious and hesitant about trying new things, suggestions from the more adventurous partner can feel threatening.  

There might also be sexual desire discrepancy issues in the relationship where one partner wants to be sexual more often than the other (see my article: What is Sexual Desire Discrepancy? and Overcoming Sexual Desire Discrepancy).

If the more cautious person is insecure, they might think these suggestions mean their partner isn't satisfied with them or doesn't love them anymore (as opposed to other partner just wanting to enhance passion).

So, in these instances, it's a good idea for the more adventurous partner to be patient and start with non-sexual activities first, especially if other aspects of the overall relationship have become routine.

This could include trying new non-sexual activities the two of you don't already do, like:
  • Hiking
  • Working out at the gym together (certain exercises can be sexually arousing, like core, cardio, pelvic thrust and so on)
  • Watching an erotic movie
  • Going to a new romantic restaurant
  • Traveling to a new and exciting destination
  • Finding ways to introduce humor (laughing increases dopamine)
As you and your partner experiment with new non-sexual activities, all other things being equal, the two of you might be more willing to explore new areas in your sex life.

Exploring Novel Ways to Enhance Sexual Desire
Once you're both willing to explore new areas in your sex life, you can start by talking about your sexual fantasies (see my articles: How to Talk to Your Partner About Sex - Part 1 and Part 2, and What Are Emotional Aphrodisiacs?).

The Power of Novelty to Enhance Sexual Desire in Your Relationship

Even if you never intend to engage in these fantasies in real life, when the two of you imagine and talk about them, you can both get turned on (see my article: What Are the 4 Cornerstones of Eroticism?).

Keep it fun and find ways to laugh together (remember the connection between laughter and dopamine).  

If you and your partner are open to it, you can introduce the element of surprise.  This might include:
  • Using a new sex toy
  • Being playful in a fun way
  • Watching porn that you and your partner both enjoy
  • Enhancing sexual satisfaction by using"edging" during oral sex.  This means engaging in cycles of sexual stimulation almost to the point of orgasm, stopping and then starting again to build to a more intense orgasm.
  • Exploring kink or BDSM (see my articles: What is Power Play? and Destigmatizing Fantasies of Power and Submission).
Bring Back Courtship Into Your Relationship
If you're in a long term relationship, you and your partner might have stopped engaging in the courtship behavior that initially brought you together and made each of you feel loved.

When you were in the early stage of your relationship, you were probably excited about getting to know each other, including getting to know each other sexually.  

Even though you might be together a long time, there are often new things to get to know and explore about your partner.  So, keep an open mind to the possibility there can still be things you don't know that you might find exciting about your partner and vice versa.

Being flirtatious with each other, including:
  • Complimenting your partner and making them feel special
  • Touching your partner in a tender way at a time when your partner is receptive to it
  • Giving your partner a peck on the lips
  • Leaving a flirtatious note under your partner's pillow or on the bathroom mirror

Sexual boredom can take its toll and it can erode a relationship.

Being willing to explore new and exciting ways to introduce sexual novelty into your relationship--no matter how long you've been together--shows that you care, you value your partner and you value your relationship.

About Me
I am a licensed New York City psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, EFT and Somatic Experiencing therapist.

I am a sex positive therapist who works with individual adults and couples (see my article: What is Sex Therapy?)

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.