For many couples, sex can play an important role in overall intimacy with recent research revealing 67% of Brits agree that getting it on is an important way to stay connected.
But that doesn't mean we're always on the same page as our other halves when it comes to how often we want to have sex, with the demands of everyday life often leading to a libido mismatch.
According to new research from Knect (formerly known as KY Jelly), there could be something of a gender divide when it comes to sex drive.
For men, sex is the most important way to stay close to their partner (41%), while only 36% of women agree.
Meanwhile 39% of the 2,000, UK adults surveyed felt more adventurous than their partner when it came to trying new things out in the bedroom, with 47% of males feeling more adventurous than females (42%).
"Our libido will have a huge part to play in how connected you are feeling towards your partner," explains Jo Hemmings, Knect's sex and relationship expert.
"It’s important to remember, however, that libido fluctuates during our lives – anything from menopause, mental and physical health conditions to fatigue and anxiety can all have an impact."
Thankfully, if you have fallen out of sexual sync with your significant other, there are some simple ways to reconnect and close the libido gap.
"If you feel your sex drive has dipped, it’s important to remember that as long as you are compatible with your partner, you can do things to help boost your sex drive," Hemmings adds.
Don't compare yourself to others
Hemmings says it is important to remember, there is no right or wrong level of libido and no real level of ‘normal’ in terms of how often you desire or have sex.
"As we live in a very ‘lookist’ society, often with constant comparisons to other people’s appearance, it’s important to remind ourselves that social media often ‘filters’ true-life images of people," she explains.
"So don't compare yourself to other individuals or couples," she continues. "Concentrating on what works for you and letting each other know what feels good, is the best route to confidence in the bedroom."
If your sex drive has dipped – or your partner's has – talking to each other is the first step to reconnection.
"Discussing it with them, calmly and outside of the bedroom, will prevent the resentment, guilt or distress that can build up, when they do not know the reasons," Hemmings explains.
Remember sex isn't the only form of intimacy
If you don’t feel like having sex for whatever reason, just enjoying intimate moments – holding hands, cuddling on the sofa, or just gently touching each other – can create both arousal and desire.
"We all have moments when we’re not in the mood, but we owe it to each other to find out why and not let it become a habit," Hemmings adds.
Make time for sex
In our busy everyday lives, sex can often slip down the to-do list, but Hemmings says it is important to make time for intimacy, which could involve us scheduling if necessary.
Mix it up
Doing the same thing, every time, in the same order is the sexual equivalent of eating the same meals every day, forever. However lovely it might be, it does get boring without a bit of variety. It is easy to get into poor habits in the bedroom, so it’s important to try out new things.
"Try out some new positions or techniques, so that your sex life can be as fun and as fulfilling as it can be, at any age or stage in your relationship," Hemmings suggests.
Take it out of the bedroom
A change of scenery is always a good idea. "Taking it out of the bedroom and into another room can shake things up a bit and will make your intimate moments feel that little bit more adventurous," Hemmings says.
Hemmings suggest trying a feather and a blindfold to heighten your senses, role play or even try dressing up in sexy underwear to make you feel at your best.
Take a trip down memory lane
It’s worth thinking back to what your sex life was like when you first met – it probably had a whole lot more excitement and variety than you have now.
"That’s not just down to the ‘honeymoon period,’ it’s often down to lazy habits developing as a result of busy lives and schedules," Hemmings explains.
"If you feel that your libido is not healthy or is incompatible with your partner, honest communication with them is key and help is always at hand from your GP and other advisory bodies," Hemmings says.
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