13 Ways To Spice Up Your Marriage Sexually

Updated April 8, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Sexual dissatisfaction is common, with an estimated 27% of women and 41% of men reporting dissatisfaction with the sex in their relationship. Studies find that the most common reasons for boring sex include long work hours, reduced enthusiasm, lack of personal time, medical conditions, and high stress. 

Though sex is not an important or possible element of all marriages, physical intimacy can reduce stress, improve sleep quality, boost self-esteem, and increase bonding and relationship satisfaction. It can be challenging to talk to your spouse about boring sex, but once you do, you can work together to make your marriage more sexually satisfying. 

Has the sex in your marriage become boring?

How to talk to your spouse about sex

Though it may feel awkward or uncomfortable to talk about, the first step to improving the sex in your marriage is typically open communication. If you’re finding it difficult to start, consider the following tips: 

Figure out what you like

To do this, Vanessa Marin, sex therapist and author, recommends journaling about the following questions

    • What does good sex mean to me? 
    • Do I prefer sex that feels safe, intimate, passionate, slow, fast, energetic, or spontaneous?
    • What is the most satisfying sex I’ve had with my partner and why?
    • Where do I like to be touched?
    • What are my fantasies? 
    • What time of day do I like to have sex?
    • What kind of sex do I not want to have?
    • What are my boundaries? 

Consider asking your spouse to write down their answers to the same questions. Then, you could talk about your notes with each other if you want.  

Don’t expect your partner to know what you want

Many people expect their partners to understand their needs and desires without any verbal communication. Even if your spouse is sexually experienced, no one knows what you want better than you. You can discuss your journal with them if you’re comfortable with that, or you can give them constructive verbal feedback about what you enjoy while you’re having sex. Let them know what makes you feel good about yourself, what makes you aroused, and what makes you feel desired. 

Focus on suggestions instead of criticism

Many people are sensitive when it comes to discussing sexual dissatisfaction. Instead of telling them what you dislike, emphasize what you like. For example, Laurie Watson, certified sex therapist, suggests saying, "I love it when you ____, and I think it'd be really hot if we _____."

Let them know when you have concerns

Are you wondering why your sex life with your spouse has become less enjoyable? Have you experienced a change in sex drive? Do you fantasize about trying something new? Do you feel self-conscious about being the only one who initiates sex? Are you getting your intimacy needs met? Are you experiencing pain with sex, erectile dysfunction, or any other type of sexual dysfunction? Bringing up your concerns sensitively can help you work together to address them.  

  • To make the conversation easier, start by focusing on what you like. For example, if you want your partner to engage in foreplay more, you could say, “I love it when we spend time kissing.”
  • Remember to be supportive and non-judgmental, particularly if your spouse has a physical or mental health condition or takes medications that impact physical intimacy.

You can talk about sex when there isn’t anything wrong

Many spouses save discussions about their sex life for when there are problems. However, this approach can make these discussions more frightening. Couples with strong sexual communication talk about their sex frequently, even when nothing’s wrong, and they tend to feel more satisfied with their sex lives

Set aside time for check-ins

Since talking about sex can be nerve-wracking, you may find it difficult to maintain open communication. Setting aside dedicated time to check-in about sex (and your relationship in general) can help ensure both of your needs are being met. 

Openly discussing your sexual needs and desires can be an opportunity for bonding and vulnerability, and you and your partner may find that having these conversations increases your desire for satisfying sex and improves your overall marital satisfaction

Talk it out with the help of a therapist

Sexual needs can be difficult to talk openly about, especially if you’re unsatisfied with your sex life. People who have some psychiatric disorders may experience fatigue, reduced self-esteem, erectile dysfunction, pain during intercourse, difficulty reaching orgasm, and low sex drive, which can make sex even more challenging to discuss without the help of a professional. If you’re unsatisfied with your sex life, it may be a good idea to reach out to a licensed therapist. A 2017 study on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) found that CBT improves sexual function and marital satisfaction, and it can effectively reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. 

2022 study of pregnant women found that online therapy effectively improved sexual function and satisfaction. 

Ways to spice up your sex life

Once you and your spouse begin having open, productive discussions about your sex life, you can plan to build a more satisfying sexual relationship. The following ideas may help: 

Create anticipation

If you both enjoy having sex in the evening, flirting throughout the day can create anticipation and lust. You can start by complimenting your spouse, giving them a romantic kiss before parting ways for the day, sending a few flirtatious text messages, or making a playlist of romantic songs to listen to with them. 

Try something new

You and your spouse can take some time to discuss what fantasies, fetishes, sex toys, role-play, or sex positions you may be interested in trying. If your spouse suggests something you’re not interested in trying, that’s okay. Avoid using shaming or negative language (like “weird” or “gross”), while clearly communicating your needs. 

Take the initiative

You and your spouse are both responsible for taking the initiative for physical intimacy. If you’re always waiting for them to make the first move, surprise them by showing more affection. For example, you could hold their hand while you watch a movie, initiate a long kiss, give them a spontaneous massage, or plan a surprise date. 

Work out together 

A single exercise session can increase hormone levels and dopamine, potentially making sex more enjoyable. Exercise can also improve self-esteem, body image, mental health, and reduce stress. Studies show that, when physical activity is done with a romantic partner, couples can experience greater relationship satisfaction.  

Put sex on the calendar

Sometimes, sex becomes boring because you’re both busy with chores, work, and/or kids. In fact, studies find that these are some of the most common reasons couples say they’re dissatisfied with their sex life.  Setting aside time in your calendar for sex can help ensure you prioritize intimacy. Additionally, having scheduled sex to look forward to can build the anticipation, allow you to prepare, and give you time to set the mood. 


Try different types of sex

There are many different types of sex, such as gentle, intimate, erotic, funny, lusty, fantasy, passionate, spontaneous, and spiritual sex. By changing up the type of sex you have, you can effectively break out of routines and experiment to discover which types you enjoy the most. 

Slow it down

Sex is not just about penetration (in fact, sex does not have to include any penetration). Taking the time for affectionate touch can reduce stress through the release of dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, which can help both partners prepare physically and emotionally for physical intimacy. Foreplay can make you feel more connected, increase blood flow to the genitals, and increase vaginal lubrication. 

Have morning sex

Mornings can be a good time for many couples to have sex. It can help reduce stress levels, set positive intentions for the day, improve energy and mood levels, and make you feel more bonded to your spouse throughout the day. If you have a busy schedule, choosing sex first thing in the morning can help prioritize your marriage. Additionally, hormone levels tend to be the highest in the morning, which can make morning sex more desirable and pleasurable

Add a pillow

Individuals with physical pain stemming from arthritis, endometriosis, back pain, or other medical issues may find sex uncomfortable. Sex pillows, or regular pillows, can reduce pressure and make sex positions more comfortable. According to Dr. Jennifer Lincoln, OB/GYN and author, pillows may make penetrative sex more enjoyable for some people, even those without pain. 

Focus on the moment

You can practice mindful sex by focusing on your breath and sensations, while letting go of shame, insecurities, and other distractions. When practiced during sex, mindfulness can increase intimacy, pleasure, and emotional connectedness with your partner.

Prepare the space

Some people may find it easy to get distracted by unfolded laundry, dirty sheets, or traffic noises. It may be helpful to set the mood by ensuring the room is tidy, lighting candles, turning on music or a white noise machine, and conveniently laying out condoms, sex toys, lingerie, or any other things you may need. 

Turn date night into foreplay 

Setting up a date night can increase the suspense and build-up for sex. While you’re out on your date, you might want to give your partner a long kiss, play footsie under the table, or whisper your fantasies into their ear. 

Explore kinks

According to one large survey of 2,021 adults in the U.S., 57% of participants said they read erotic stories, 22% said they engaged in role-playing, 20% said they tried bondage, 30% tried spanking, and 10-18% had a threesome. While kinks are sometimes stigmatized, they are very common. Incorporating one of your kinks (or your partner’s) into your sex life may increase satisfaction. 

When it comes to kinks, enthusiastic consent, boundaries, and frequent communication are important. 

Has the sex in your marriage become boring?


Many couples find that life can get in the way of pleasurable sex and physical intimacy. But it doesn’t have to. By prioritizing open communication, you can further improve your relationship and learn more about both your sexual needs and desires. Prolonged foreplay, trying new things, helping your partner feel safe and desired, practicing mindfulness, and exercising together are some of the ways you may be able to improve your sex life. If you’re finding it challenging to have a productive discussion about sex, you might want to reach out to a licensed therapist. Online therapy can improve your communication strategies, and studies show it can increase sexual function and satisfaction.

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