12 things that change about sex when you get married
Don't fake it if you wanna make it
Sadly, many ladies are pros at faking the big O. But save your fauxgasm for the theater, à la Meg Ryan. Orlov says, "Never fake an orgasm. And don't feel pressured that you need to have one every time you have sex — and this goes for both of you. Taking the pressure off both of you will lend itself to better sex." Whether you're doing it to make your guy feel like a hero, or just can't get the gumption to get going, you're ultimately hurting each other. "I no longer fake it in bed," says Bethany Rochella*, 34, of Springfield, MO. "I used to give an Oscar-winning performance. I'd flip my hair around, make sure the headboard hit the wall and probably woke the neighbors. Now, if I don’t get off, I just pout — which I should have done a long time ago because we have more foreplay and he tries harder." Orlov mentions how important it is to keep the communication open and let each other know what feels good. "Don’t be afraid to gently suggest a certain touch during sex or gently guide your partner and show him what feels good. And, don't forget to ask your spouse if there is anything that he would like you to do differently in the bedroom as well," says Orlov.
A no embarrassment zone
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Obligatory baby-making sex
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You can leave the lights on
When you've spent years with your partner, and he knows almost everything about you, it no longer feels necessary to do it in the dark. "I think leaving the lights on has much more to do with how comfortable you are with yourself than with the other person," says Victoria Fleming, PhD, a marriage therapist and the author of You Complete Me and Other Myths that Destroy Happily Ever After. And when you're in a really solid marriage, if you have a partner that builds you up and makes you feel good about yourself, you will get very comfortable." Orlov says, "Believe it or not, both men and women can feel self-conscious about their bodies, especially as they get older." She suggests that if your husband is feeling uncomfortable, let him know how much he turns you on and how much you enjoy being with him in every way. And if you’re the one who prefers the lights out, she recommends finding a new way to feel sexy. "Maybe it’s wearing some sexy lingerie, maybe it’s simply appreciating your sexuality so matter what shape you are in. And if all else fails, you don't have to go all out with 100 watt bulbs — using mood lighting or candle light creates a very romantic, sexy, and body friendly atmosphere," says Orlov.
50 Shades of Grey style experimenting
It's about quality, not quantity
There's a good chance the term "dry spell" was coined by a married person. Sex lulls are all-too-common once you put a ring on it, but not to fear: quality often trumps quantity after you tie the knot. Sure, an urgent nooner may be a thing of the past, but when you do get down to business, it's usually pretty darn good because you know what your partner likes. Orlov's a firm believer in flirting with your spouse no matter how long you've been married. "Send a flirty text, build some sexual tension, and surprise each other with something new and different every now and then. And remember, emotional intimacy generates the best sex, so don't underestimate the benefits of being in a long-term relationship or marriage,” says Orlov. Being married is about constantly working to make your spouse happy — both in and out of the bedroom — and by continuously fine-tuning your skills, sex gets better and better.
Bartering for bedroom time
Goodbye afternoon delights
Married couples quickly become experts on the art of the quickie. When kids come into play (literally — keep a lookout!), that long, leisurely lovemaking becomes a thing of the past. If you're not hiding from your children, you're cramming in a quick romp before a dinner party. Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, relationship builder and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery, says not to settle for too many quickies and unsatisfying lovemaking. She suggests couples turn off the TV, get the kids to bed early, lock the bedroom door, and enjoy each other. There is more time and more opportunity than most couples realize. "Even a playful and romantic encounter at 4am can be a great way to connect."