IF making love feels like a chore you could be caught in a sex rut.
A staggering 85 per cent of couples have a bedroom routine, a new study reveals.
The most common signs your love life needs reviving are: always having sex in bed, never trying anything new, sticking to the same time and day and fantasising about previous lovers.
Contrary to popular belief, it is women (58 per cent) more than men (46 per cent) who long for more adventurous action.
I’m not surprised such a high number of people are suffering in the sack.
The pressures of lockdown, with many couples working from home and lacking that much-needed space, has seen libidos nosedive. But with a little effort you can relight that fire.
Here are the signs you are stuck in a sex rut with tips to fix them, and two couples talk about their bedroom woes.
Reminiscing about romps with past lovers
IT is natural to think about your past loves from time to time, but if you are constantly comparing your former sex life to what you have with your current partner, then that can lead to serious problems in the relationship.
Try to pinpoint exactly what it is you miss about sex with your ex. Do you still have feelings for them? Or did they just know how to turn you on?
If it is the latter then the good news is it can be easily fixed. Tell your current partner what you want in bed.
It is best to avoid doing this right after sex, when they may be feeling particularly vulnerable.
If you want to share your fantasies without making a big deal out of it, plan a date night and play a fun, sexy game like Truth Or Dare instead.
Remember, it is not always your partner’s fault if you are not enjoying sex, they are not mind readers.
Own your orgasms and speak up. It may make your lover feel more comfortable talking about their own sexual hang-ups.
Only then will you come together in the bedroom, as it were.
Lack of spontaneity
TAKE initiative and find ways to instigate spontaneous sex, as it will get your adrenaline pumping and heighten sexual pleasure.
If you are not normally a morning person, surprise your partner with an early wake-up call.
For action later on in the day, rub their inner thigh when watching Netflix, flash your “come to bed” eyes over dinner or suggest taking a bath together.
Another simple way to relight that fire is to remember why you fell in love with your partner and revisit old activities you used to do together in the early days of your relationship.
Remembering all about the fun and pleasurable moments with your lover can be a real turn-on and lead to “just met” sex.
Same day, same time
PASSION can dim over time for couples who have been together a while and become part of a timetable.
So concentrate on building non-sexual intimacy first, which will lead to more spontaneous loving.
Not sure where to start? Use an app to turn each other on. Pillow Play App Couples is a great way for lovers to reconnect through tantra-style workshops.
A calming voice tells you exactly what you and your partner should be doing over relaxing music. It focuses on fore- play and is a fun way to help take the pressure off.
Bored of positions
IT can be hard talking about sex, even with the person we love most.
To begin, praise the stuff you like and don’t put your partner down or lay the blame on them.
Avoid negative language like: “I don’t like it when you do X, Y, Z.”
Instead, say: “I would love to try this, how do you feel about that?” The key is to not make your partner feel bad or inadequate.
You just want them to know that you are craving a bit more excitement and variety between the sheets to spice up your love life but without laying any blame.
Taking the initiative in sex can be a massive turn-on, too. Just make sure they are comfortable with whatever you try.
'Snuggle, cuddle and kip'
PRODUCER Oli Regan, 30, and carer Kerry Brandon, 24, live with their two children in Bromley, South East London.
Kerry says: "We used to have sex most days and in different locations.
But when our first son was born three years ago, nappies and night feeds saw our bedroom life disappear.
It took about six months but we got it back on track.
Our second son came along in April last year and then Covid hit so it all went out of the window.
Now it’s a snuggle, a cuddle and lovemaking on a Thursday night before either one of us falls asleep. But we are determined to change.
The good thing is Oli and I talk about these things and don’t let them fester. Now we remind one another of the early, passionate days of our relationship which puts us in the mood."
Oli says: “I think many blokes are afraid to talk about being in a rut.
“That’s why Kerry and I are so good together – we can discuss what we want to do to spice up our sex life.
“We have written a bucket list of date nights so when lockdown is over we can kick this sex rut to the curb.”
IF you are afraid to ask your partner for more foreplay, don’t be – chances are they are probably suffering in silence too.
A recent study found 73 per cent of men and 68.9 per cent of women found receiving oral sex “very pleasurable”. Of those, more than half of men and nearly a third of women enjoyed giving it.
So, if your partner likes receiving it, chances are they like giving it too.
Suggest the iconic 69 sex position so you can both enjoy something simultaneously.
Over too quickly
THERE is no fast or hard rule when it comes to how long sex should last.
Quickies can be just as enjoyable as longer sessions so do not put too much pressure on yourselves to make every session a sexathon.
But do bear in mind that the average woman takes 13.46 minutes to reach climax through sexual activity, while men typically require two to ten minutes of intercourse to orgasm.
If you want an extra buzz, incorporate some sex toys into your play – a whopping 45 per cent of couples use them.
'Impossible to find energy'
MORTGAGE adviser Rina Dier, 34, lives in Bristol with her partner, Dave Mullord, 32, a complaints manager, and their two children.
She says: "We’ve been stuck in a sex rut since the first lockdown. It’s impossible to find the time or energy with two kids at home.
We are both working from home and sick of looking at one another.
It’s a shame as we used to have a good sex life but right now we feel more like flatmates than lovers.
When we do have sex, it’s always in the bed, at night and in the same position. Last week I suggested watching Bridgerton as I heard it was full of steamy scenes which might get us in the mood. For the first time in years we indulged in a bit of role play and Dave even ordered me a corset and stockings online.
I’m hoping he continues to surprise me with sexy undies."
Dave says: “Rina is under a lot of pressure at the moment so I don’t want to add to that by jumping on her and expecting her to be in the mood. But I would love a bit more intimacy.
“We are downloading sexual wellness apps for tips that are working.”
Sex is always in bed
DURING these strange pandemic times it may not be possible to have sex in other rooms.
Whether you are home-schooling the kids, have family members staying or you are living in a flatshare, you will have to make do with what you have.
Move your furniture around in your bedroom to make it feel new and open the window while making love to add a bit of excitement to the moment.
Or transform your bedroom into a boudoir, with candles and satin sheets, to indulge in some Regency romps Bridgerton-style.
The raunchy Netflix series, which had the nation talking, has seen sales of corsets soar by 39 per cent since it aired last year. Or why not try a bit of role play, with your partner pretending to be the lusty Duke of Hastings?
You can also surprise your partner in the shower when you get a stolen moment together.
Just make sure you invest in a non-slip bath mat first.
Fantasies about cheating
FANTASIES about infidelity do not necessarily mean there is anything wrong in your relationship.
The Journal of Sex Research found 80 per cent of women and 98 per cent of men admitted to daydreaming about someone other than their partner, so don’t beat yourself up if you have these thoughts.
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However, if you are tempted to turn your fantasy into reality and are considering cheating on your other half then this is a huge red flag something is wrong with your relationship.
I would advise reconsidering the relationship you are in or speaking to a counsellor.
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