Have you ever wondered what it would take to improve the sex life in your relationship? If so, you’re not alone.

Too often, couples watch the quality of their bedroom intimacy deteriorate after initially having a satisfying sex life. And equally troubling, they don’t have a clue what to do about it.

One thing’s for sure—sizzling sex in the bedroom doesn’t just happen on its own after the initial excitement has started to wear off! Ironically, it takes an understanding of what’s involved and some planning, effort, and energy to make things flow smoothly and harmoniously.

So how can you turn up the heat in your bedroom? Read on for ten tips that will up the sizzle factor:

1. Realize that what happens in the bedroom is connected to what has happened previously during the day or evening.

It’s unrealistic to think that your mate will be jumping up and down with joy at the thought of having sex with you if you’ve been critical, sarcastic, belittling, insulting, or indifferent recently. Foreplay includes how you and your partner treat each other 24/7—not just when you’re together in the bedroom.

2. Use verbal bantering and teasing to “set the stage” for what follows.

Suggestive remarks delivered in a teasing tone of voice can arouse interest in what will follow later. Keep it light and fun as you experiment with being verbally seductive. Remember that many females don’t respond to “hard-core” descriptions of what will follow but instead may enjoy the flirting and light bantering more.

3. Allow enough time so that you’re not rushed.

While you won’t always have all the time you want, the quality of your sex will suffer if you’re always pushed for time and unable to enjoy relaxed lovemaking. It’s worth the time and energy to figure out creative ways to have ample time with your mate at least some of the time. This may mean curtailing late night TV, limiting evening phone time with friends, or planning a romantic weekend getaway.

4. Make an effort to look your best.

It’s certainly not always possible to look great after a long day, but you can at least do the best you can. That includes being clean, brushing teeth, combing hair, smelling nice—it all boils down to showing your mate that he or she is important enough for you to make the effort to look and smell your best.

5. Remind yourself of the ultimate goal—to have a mutually satisfying intimate connection.

The short-range goal is to have sex. But the wise mate keeps the long-range goal in mind, which is to nurture the intimacy in the relationship—both emotional intimacy and sexual intimacy. A self-centered approach won’t lead to a mutually satisfying feeling of bonding and connection.

6. Give compliments and show appreciation.

It’s important to tell your partner what you like about her or him, and to show your appreciation and love. You may feel that your mate should already know or that you’ve already said everything that could be said, but people never get tired of hearing how much they are loved and valued.

7. Recognize the value of spending time snuggling afterwards.

It’s not always the man who runs off the minute sex is finished. In some cases, it’s the woman who jumps up immediately to go do yet one more thing on her “to do” list. In either case, when this happens the sexual experience loses one of the most bonding and fun components—post-sex pillow talk and snuggling, which does wonders in building intimacy and setting the stage for the next sexual encounter.

8. Cultivate a sense of playfulness.

Even if you’re not feeling particularly sexy during every bedroom romp, you can always bring out the playful side of yourself that wants to have fun, to tease, to make a game of giving your mate pleasure. Laughing together and being playful is sexy and adds to the mutual enjoyment. Treat the experience as a creative “play break” that will relax you and give you the opportunity for some merriment.

9. Add variety to your experiences.

It can get boring just doing the same thing in the same place and in the same way all the time. If you’re not sure what else to do, look at some books on lovemaking with your mate to see what you might decide to try. There are many choices about positions and foreplay that can add spice to your intimate time together and other options such as massage and great-smelling creams to consider

10. Be realistic about the importance of sex and what can happen when it isn’t one of the priorities in a relationship.

It isn’t wise to downplay the importance of sex in a long-term relationship or marriage—doing this will almost always come back to haunt you later. When sex is non-existent, seldom occurs, or is treated as just another “duty,” the partner becomes very vulnerable to sexual temptation outside the relationship. But equally as serious is the deterioration of the relationship intimacy that frequently happens when partners just feel like friends or siblings instead of lovers.

Author's Bio: 

Nancy J. Wasson, Ph.D., is a licensed professional counselor and co-creator of Overcome Control Conflict with Your Spouse or Partner, available at www.ControllingSpouse.com. She is also co-author of Keep Your Marriage: What to Do When Your Spouse Says “I don’t love you anymore!” which is available at www.KeepYourMarriage.com, as well as a free weekly marriage advice newsletter. Visit www.SeasonsOfLoveMovie.com to view a free inspirational relationship-building video. Dr. Wasson offers telephone coaching to individuals and couples who want to overcome relationship problems and create a rewarding, loving partnership. Nancy can be contacted at Nancy@KeepYourMarriage.com ">Nancy@KeepYourMarriage.com