Novelty and Relationships: How To Stay Passionate in a Long-Term Relationship

Novelty and Relationships: How To Stay Passionate in a Long-Term Relationship

Created on 06/12/2023
Updated on 17/12/2023

You probably noticed that your relationship with your partner changes with time. It's completely normal for you to experience a dip in your intimate life and go through phases where you are having less sex. 

Your sexual desire is a complex thing that is influenced by hormones and other factors. The Coolidge Effect is a biological phenomenon, which shows that many long-term couples will experience "sexual boredom" at some point in their relationship. But just because you are having less sex with your long-term partner, it doesn't mean you don't love each other or that it's time to look for another partner. 

If you find yourself experiencing The Coolidge Effect in your relationship, the solution to bringing back the passion in your relationship can be as simple as doing something new with your partner. "Novelty in all forms (not just new partners) can breed sexual excitement," says social psychologist and author of Tell Me What You Want Justin Lehmiller. 

How To Incorporate More Novelty as a Couple

So, how do you bring more novelty into your relationship? It doesn't have to be a threesome, joining a swinger club, or opening your relationship (although it can be those things). “Many couples think seeking novelty means finding someone new! However, novelty could be experienced within the same coupledom in all sorts of different ways and over time," explains  Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh, author of Love by Design

1. Experiment With New Sex Positions

Arya surveyed over 6,000 people in different-gender relationships for the State of Intimacy Report and found that over 25% of couples desired to make sex more adventurous. One easy way to make sex more adventurous is to try new sex positions. 

Most couples fall into the routine of sticking with their favorite sex positions, which can become repetitive over time. Inviting your partner to try a different sex position can be an exciting event that doesn't require too much preparation. 

So, make a list of new sex positions to try, and make it into a habit of trying a new sex position with your partner every week. It will be your little adventure of expanding your sexual horizons that will excite you both. And you will have something to look forward to each week. 

If you are worried about comfort or making certain sex positions more possible, consider investing in a sex pillow. Dame's Pillo offers the support you might need while exploring, and it's designed to subtly blend in with your interior so nobody will guess what it is. 

2. Try a New Sex Toy 

Another simple way to bring novelty into your bedroom is to try a new sex toy with your partner. In a recent The State of Sex Toys report, the biggest sex toy reviewer Bedbible revealed that 23% of people prefer to use sex toys with their partners rather than alone, which is an increase from 13% in their 2017 report. 

Using sex toys with a partner has many advantages. It's no secret that people with vulvas and people with penises reach an orgasm at a different pace: people with penises can orgasm within 5 minutes during intercourse, while people with vulvas take around 13 minutes. While an orgasm is not the only goal of partnered sex, it's still an important part of many people's pleasure.

So, not only is incorporating sex toys into your partnered sex a new and exciting experience, it can also help you or your partner to have more orgasms. 

Choosing the right toy is an important part of the process. Dame's Eva is a hands-free couples vibrator that was designed with partnered play in mind. Eva has a unique design that allows you to place it against your clit between the labia for extra stimulation during intercourse. It's small and discreet but still packs a punch. 

3. Expand Your Definition of Sex

If you consider sex only the part where you are naked with your partner, engaging in intercourse, it's time to change that. One very easy way to engage in novel activities that rev up your desire for sex is to expand your definition of sex. 

You can start that by engaging in seductive and fun activities outside of sex. “Foreplay starts as soon as sex ends. You’re never out of foreplay. You’re building towards sex with each moment with your partner,” explains Nicholas Velotta, the Head of Relationship Research at couples' wellness platform, Arya

So, find small ways to turn your partner on. Gestures like intentional caresses, seductive eye contact, sweet text messages, holding hands in public, and spontaneous kissing can all be part of your sexual repertoire.  

Also, don't restrict yourself to intercourse as the "main event" of partnered sex–it can be so much more. Engage in more oral sex, give your partner a full-body sensual massage, or try dry humping. All these activities are equally important and can be just as pleasurable and satisfying. 

4. Make a Sex Menu Together

Talking about sex with your partner can be intimidating, but it is a vital part of a healthy and happy relationship. Also, a study from 2019 found that sex talks are crucial for maintaining and cultivating a healthy and satisfying sexual dynamic in a relationship. 

If you're not sure how to start talking with your partner, consider making a sex menu together. A sex menu is a list of sexual things you enjoy and would like to do more. It's a fun activity to do, and it's something new you haven't tried before. 

As you make your sex menu (or a sex wishlist) with your partner, you might become more calm and confident in your ability to communicate your desires. It might even prompt you both to share your sexual fantasies and consider bringing them to life if both of you are comfortable with it. 

5. Sleep Naked Together

What are you wearing to bed every night? Are you choosing a worn and teared-up T-shirt you have since college times over nice PJs or sleeping naked? “Over 70% of sexually unsatisfied couples don’t sleep naked together,” says Velotta. 

Upgrading to sleeping in nice PJs or naked can be groundbreaking for your sex life. It's an easy and low-effort way to break out of your usual routine, and arouse excitement. 




Written by Karolina Wilde for Dame in collaboration with Arya

About Arya

Life is so grown up and you two deserve some playtime. Insert your new bestie Arya — a monthly subscription to reignite the spark, try new sexual experiences, and grow closer to your partner. Each month, Arya members receive a new Scene (think curated night of play), expertly guided activities, and a box of goodies so you can safely explore dirty talk, sensation play, partner massage, anal play, beginner's bondage, edging, erotic kissing, and so much more. 


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