When you first got together, s3x might have been hot, heavy, and frequent. But after being married for a while? Probably not so much. It’s a clichéd truth that s3x tends to happen less often and become more vanilla the longer you’re together… but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Meet 20 people who’ve been married for decades, yet still feel as excited about their time between the sheets as they did on their honeymoons.
Ask s3xy questions.
“I’ve been with my husband since we were 16. We are each other’s first for everything, and we’re still happily married. To spice things up, we often ask each other ‘s3xy questions.’ We’ll ask each other how we feel about types of lingerie, whether we’d like to have s3x outside the bedroom, etc. The list feels endless. Long relationships can easily get boring, but asking provocative questions keeps things fun.” —BSM Stoneking, Cedar Rapids, IA, married for 20 years.
Get back in touch with your own s3xuality.
“In 2009 I was Super Mom, but I was miserable. Somehow, I’d gone from an alive, s3xy woman who was madly in love with her husband to a person who wore floral dresses to match the kids. Over time, I became annoyed, bitter and distracted—and it almost ruined our marriage. My husband’s brief emotional affair with another woman was the wake-up call I needed to remember who I was. I went on a journey to discover everything I could about rekindling authentic sexuality in the middle of real life, and I decided to share what I learned with other women by writing a book, Too Busy to Get Busy.” —Jane Guyn, Bend, OR, married for 33 years
Find the fun.
One of the keys to keeping our s3x life alive is experimentation. When we introduced s3x toys, it made a huge difference. It made s3x fun again! We mix it up and push the boundaries of our comfort zones.” —Cindee Bartholomew, Dothan, AL, married for 36 years
Be BFFs above all else.
“The secret to why my wife and I are still intimate: We still like each other and we’re still each other’s best friend. That gets us through the times when we don’t particularly feel like ‘loving’ each other. As my wife says, ‘loving is a choice not a feeling.’ Because of everything we have been through together, good times and bad, we know that we’ll always be there for each other. That bond that makes intimacy a special gift that we will only share with each other —and that is wildly exciting.” —Gary Nosacek, Milwaukee, WI, married for 38 years
Remember that tiny gestures have a big impact.
“To keep our love alive, I leave clues or trinkets. One time I left casino chips that we collected on our honeymoon on our vanity, which hinted that we were going to Vegas for a weekend getaway. Meanwhile, my husband knows that I love butterflies; if I’m feeling down or stressed, he’ll catch one for me.‘’ —Noelle Rose Andressen, Los Angeles, married for 27 years
Start foreplay outside of the bedroom.
“The fact that we’re always willing to change things up has kept our s3x life spicy. From starting foreplay early in the day by hinting about what might happen later to introducing new toys, we’re willing to do what it takes to keep things exciting. And let’s not forget laughter. If you are laughing during s3x, you’ll have no problem keeping the spark alive.” —Alex Martinez, Corinth, TX, married for 22 years
Take one for the team.
“My husband and I have always had a strong and satisfying s3x drive, although it does ebb and flow. The key is to understand that once in a while you will not be in the mood but may have to ‘take one for the team’ and just be there anyway. In the same manner, he may not be in the mood but should also give in to some making out and foreplay and see where it goes. Sometimes I’m just too stressed to think about s3x, but I know my husband needs it. It’s the only thing that cannot be shared outside of the relationship, so cherish it, be open to breaking up the routine of the same old positions, and explore new ways to please.” —Stacey Greene*, Cleveland, OH, married for 31 years
Remember the early days.
“I think the key to keeping s3x alive is to remember why you fell in love in the first place. It’s easy to get caught up in the monotony of everyday life, and intimacy can take a backseat to work and life obligations. But if you remember what first attracted you to each other, it goes a long way toward keeping things spicy.” —Julie Bane, Richfield, MN, married for 20 years
Talk it out.
“Our s3x life is now much more intimate than it used to be. What got us there: Taking a ‘marriage appraisal’ that I originally developed for my clients. (I’m a life coach.) We asked each other to rate our level of satisfaction, talked about what we would like to do, and learned about what pleases the other person. The more you grow in your relationship, the more it becomes important to be in tune with your spouse’s needs and get creative with ways to fulfill their desires.” —Shannon Battle, Fayetteville, NC, married for 23 years
Remember that intimacy isn’t just about s3x.
“The most important intimate moments are those that happen outside of the bedroom. Reaching your arms around your partner’s waist and giving a squeeze when he or she is working away in the kitchen or around the house is very endearing. Holding hands while you are walking into a store or going out for a stroll together in the park is a bonding experience. There are countless ways to be intimate, and most of them aren’t sexual.” —Julie Burton, Minnetonka, MN, married for 25 years
Buy a hot tub.
“We’ve always had a good s3x life, but it was a little sparse for a few years as we grew into our 50s and let electronics and everyday life take our focus away from taking care of our relationship. Then two months ago, we bought an inflatable hot tub. We got it to soak our sore muscles after our workouts, and while that is a huge benefit, it’s helped us reconnect in unexpected ways. Sitting in 102-degree bubbling water forces us to talk again, as we can’t have an iPad or iPhone in our hands. And being naked in the hot tub has led to a physical reconnection. We’ve been joking that this is the most ‘naked time’ we’ve spent in all of our years together!” —Mary Black, Fairbanks, AK, married for 28 years
Get away from it all.
“My husband and I make an effort to weave fun and excitement into our relationship, sometimes by going on overnights to hotels in neighboring cities. We call these sexcations! It’s really amazing to take a break from the stress of life and reconnect without any distractions.” —Midori Verity, Sonoma, CA, married for 24 years
Try role playing.
“Sometimes I’m the wife. Sometimes I’m the girlfriend. Sometimes I’m the mistress. It gets me out of my head—it’s hard to stop focusing on being a mom, thinking about work, or going over my to-do list—and lets me indulge in my sexual self. Truth be told, I often like being the girlfriend and mistress better; she’s way more fun!” —Julie Kaminski*, Hunterdon, NJ, married for 26 years
Let it go.
“My husband and I have struggled with our marriage and s3x life, but we turned it around. After working through many issues, we made a conscious decision to drop whatever remaining baggage we had and stay in the present, rather than keep rehashing things that previously went wrong. I think of it as ‘sandblasting’ our relationship and s3x life back down to the basics, and it’s allowed us to simply revel in the moment, enjoy each other, and have some fun. At some point you have to leave the past in the past. Life is too short to do otherwise!” —Christina Veal, Wayland, MA, married for 28 years
Respect each other.
“Once you treat your spouse with compassion, respect, and love, and your relationship gets on solid ground, then you can explore each other’s sexual needs from a place of trust and acceptance. It sounds trite but it’s true. You have to get rid of all the BS to get to a really great place in your relationship, and then the s3x gets really awesome!” —Martha Jones*, Bear, DE, married for 24 years
“One big thing that has helped to keep our relationship exciting is not multitasking when talking with each other. When you’re completely focused on what the other person is saying, the bond between spouses becomes very energized.” —Bracha Goetz, Baltimore, MD, married for 38 years
Put it on the calendar.
“We make a conscious effort and commitment to connect with each other weekly and make love. It’s a way of communicating by making each other’s needs a priority without even having to say a word.” —Sarah Hansen*, Westfield, NJ, married for 24 years
Celebrate each other often.
“We celebrate our wedding anniversary on the 22nd of every month, not just once a year. That’s one small part of keeping the relationship alive. And we focus as much on our relationship as we do on our s3x life, because without love and respect s3x becomes function and not very rewarding!” —Brian Taylor, Auckland, New Zealand, married for 24 years
Heat things way up.
“For a long time my wife showed a lack of interest in s3x. In order to regain her interest, I decided we needed to branch out. I researched some new techniques, and it’s made a huge difference. The combination things we’re now doing in bed have not only re-energized our s3x lives, but it has led to her having multiple orgasms!” —Tom Roberts, NJ, married for 46 years
Focus on the journey.
“After many years with my wife, s3x is obviously not like it was when we were young. Now it’s a more mature intimacy where there is no end goal in mind. Rather, it’s a time of connection and joining as one, which is what lovemaking should be anyway. For us, making love is passionate and fulfilling.” —Rob Boirun, Huntsville, AL, married for 23 years