You're doing a dry January. Sworn off meat. Signed up for an exciting new fitness program.
Now how about something to snap yourselves out of the sexual rut you're in?
These 10 sex challenges encourage you to try new methods and experiences to reset and refresh both body and mind.
Complete at least two new challenges a week - as well as those designed to run all month - and finish with the very last sex ban.
These 10 sex challenges encourage you to try new methods and experiences to reset and refresh both body and mind (stock image)
HAVE SEX WHILE BOTH BLINDFOLDED
Why do it: While there are obvious benefits to having sex in broad daylight (it's easier to find her clitoris, for starters), having sex in total darkness also has advantages. By removing the sense of sight, you heighten all others - most particularly touch. It's the reason why most people close their eyes when kissing or having sex: to focus fully on the sensation.
How to do it: Use a scarf or the blindfold you wear on a plane or to sleep - or maybe both to be sure you can't sneak a peek. Make the room as dark as possible, then blindfold each other before you take your clothes off. (Stripping each other blindfolded is all part of the fun.) Even if you have sex in exactly the same way you always do, it's a completely different experience when you're totally reliant on feel.
Why it works: Robbed of our eyesight, we're also more aware of each other's breathing and moaning and all the other sounds of sex, which tend to get lost when we can see. Yet another bonus: there's an element of surprise. Once your lover breaks contact, you can't see where they're headed next…until you feel a hand caressing the inside of your thigh, hear something filthy whispered in your ear and a feel a tongue in the place you least expected it.
ORGASM A DIFFERENT WAY EVERY TIME YOU HAVE SEX
Why do it: The more different ways we can orgasm, the easier it is to orgasm and the more orgasms you'll have.
How to do it: Every time you have sex, experience orgasm a different way. He can swap a penetration orgasm for an oral sex one. The next time, it's through you using your hand; the time after that, using a 'stroker' (masturbatory sleeve). You do the same and alternate orgasms between vibrator orgasms, oral sex orgasms, hand stimulation, humping something or masturbating in front of your partner.
Why it works: We all have a tried-and-tested way that we know is the most reliable way to make us climax. This challenge forces us to open ourselves to new methods.
TAKE SEX CONFESSION
Why do it: The more a couple talk about sex, the better the sex is. No sex problem is unsolvable if you have good communication. This gets you in the habit of talking about sex without pressure and coming up with new things to try.
How to do it: Set your phone timer for five minutes. Each of you get a turn and the other must stay completely silent while the other is talking (though you can take notes!). When it's your turn, list five things you love that your partner does to you sexually and why. Follow this by five new things you'd like to try and why. Take your time describing each scenario: this is a tease game as much as an exercise designed to work out what each of you is doing 'right'. You can do it spontaneously or each prepare some answers beforehand. Whichever works best for your personalities.
Why it works: Sitting down and having a serious chat about what's working and what's not with your sex life is daunting for lots of people. This turns it into a game and makes it fun - plus you're only talking about positive things, so no-one ends up offended. Each listing five new things you'd like to try means you'll probably end up with at least six or seven both agree to actually do. Variety is everything!
DO SOMETHING SEXUAL EVERY DAY FOR A MONTH
Tracey (pictured) has given a range of hints and tips to achieve great sex
Why do it: It breaks you out of waiting for the perfect sex conditions before you have sex. Lots of couples are guilty of this: you wait for both of you want sex at the same time, which has to coincide with a time when you have the privacy and time to actually do it. It can't be a fat day or a depressed day or a worried-about-money day. Surely you're supposed to be in the right head space to enjoy sex? Waiting for your sex planets to magically align is why lots of couples get out of the habit of having regular sex.
How to do it: Note the challenge says 'something sexual' not 'have sex'. (I don't see the point in challenges that tell you to have intercourse every day. Unless you're mixing things up, how is that anything other than a chore to put on the to do list?) Think sensual rather than sexual. A deep, long tongue kiss. A bath together. A massage while you're watching telly. They give you oral sex, you don't have to reciprocate, then reverse it. Read an erotic book together. Watch porn. Find some new sex positions to try. Just aim to do one sexy, erotic thing, however small it might be, every day for a month.
Why it works: It breaks you out of the concept that sex must have beginning, middle and an end. And - equally as important - that sex means intercourse.
TRY A 'NO-HANDS' ORGASM
Why do it: Sex isn't meant to be serious but we all tend to take it far too seriously. This is a playful, fun way to get you both thinking outside the square when it comes to stimulation.
How to do it: Tie your partner's hands together (either behind their back or in front) then ask them to seduce you. They've got no option but to use their mouth to lick, bite, nibble, talk dirty. Or inventively explore interesting options using parts of themselves they wouldn't usually dream of incorporating into love play. (Who knew an elbow could feel good?) Add massage oil and use your whole body to massage your partners. You're limited on by your imaginations on this one. If you really want to make things interesting, BOTH of you tie your hands behind your backs.
Why it works: Humping and grinding, using sex toys instead of fingers, increasing the amount of oral sex you usually have - all make for more varied sex and heightened pleasure.
HAVE ORAL SEX UPSIDE DOWN
Why do it: Even small tweaks on old favourites work to reinvigorate a stale sex life. Have sex facing the opposite end of the bed and your brain will sit up and pay attention. But if you really want to startle your senses, try this.
How to do it: You lie sideways across the bed and lower your body to the floor, almost as though you're doing a handstand. Your head and palms rest on the floor, your legs and torso are on the bed. Your partner kneels on the bed, in between your legs.
Why it works: Because you are upside down, the pressure in the veins of the face and neck produce quite startling sensations. Orgasm while in this position and prepare for a hedonist head rush! Sounds a bit scary? Turn a 69er on its side instead. You both lie on your sides, head to toe, facing each other. Then each of you draws your inner thigh up so it can be used as a cushion for your partner's head. It's a simple variation on the norm but a lot more comfortable for both of you.
EXPERIENCE MULTIPLE ORGASMS
OTHER GREAT THINGS TO DO
Buy a case of their favourite tipple and wrap 12 notes around the neck of each bottle, detailing things you're planning to do to them as you're sharing it.
Challenge them to a game of sexual scrabble. Follow the normal rules but all the words have to be connected to sex.
Let them play voyeur. Pretend to undress and masturbate as though you're alone but let them watch you.
Play fantasy dice. Write down and number the beginning of six fantasies (I'm in a strip club, about to strip in front of hundreds of men/And there I was at a sex party etc). Then take turns throwing the dice. When the person lands on a number, they have to complete the corresponding fantasy out loud. It's a sneaky, not-too-embarrassing way to find out your partner's secret turn-ons because we rarely make up a fantasy that doesn't appeal to us.
Write sexy notes and put them in unexpected places. Stuck on a bottle of beer in the fridge, on the bathroom mirror, inside their face mask or wallet. Confess your most erotic fantasy - and promise to do it with them
Why do it: Most people think multiple orgasms mean someone having one orgasm after the other, with mere seconds separating them. This is possible - but difficult to achieve for most people. You're better off aiming for compounded single orgasms: each one is distinct and separate but there's more than one in the same session.
How to do it: The best way to experience more than one orgasm in a session, is to switch the type of stimulation. Alternate oral sex with intercourse with digital simulation (fingers) or sex toys; watch some erotica to trigger a further. Avoid
touching small, sensitive areas immediately after the first orgasm. The nerve endings are too on edge so instead zoom in on larger hot spots like breasts, bottom cheeks, inner thighs and backs, until they settle down.
Why it works: This helps break the habit of switching to tried-and-true-used-dozens-of-times methods to climax when you're both ready to orgasm.
MASTER THE CAT TECHNIQUE
Why do it: It's not new but few couples master it. There's plenty of reasons why you should try. Swap traditional thrusting for the Coital Alignment Technique and you'll double her chances of climaxing and slow him down by about the same rate. It requires control and practice, practice, practice.
How to do it: He's on top but riding high, his body moved up towards her head; keep your bodies close rather than him holding himself up on his arms. Your pelvises are close, so the base of his penis rubs against her clitoris and stays there as you move together. Picture an even-paced rocking chair movement: she leads in the upward stroke, pushing up and forwards to force his pelvis backwards. He forces her pelvis backwards and downwards. It's pressure and counterpressure, not pumping style thrusting.
Why it works: Not only does it increase her chance of orgasm during penetration, if sex is painful (she's dry or her cervix is positioned so it often gets hit) this makes sex a lot more comfortable.
TRY NEW TECHNIQUES
Why do it: Who wants to be a one-trick pony? Shake up a tired foreplay routine by trying three new techniques each.
How to do it:
Hand-jobs for him: Use lube for all. Play the piano: tap up and down along the underside of the shaft, as though you were playing the piano to wake up his nerve endings. Hand-over-hand: Make a loose fist and hold him at the base, sliding your hand up the shaft and over the head. The other hand follows close behind, so it's a continuous motion. Try reversing the motion and moving downward. Run rings: Make two rings around his penis with the thumb and index finger of each hand. Place them next to each other in the middle of the shaft, then continually slide in opposite directions simultaneously.
Oral sex techniques for her: The alphabet: The clitoris can easily become over-stimulated. Write the alphabet over it, with a soft, wet tongue, and you've solved the problem. Make a 'V': Hold two fingers in a V-shape around her clitoris (palm facing her), then let your fingers move into a rocking motion. Press them down, using medium pressure, then pull back, then press down - and repeat in a smooth, continuous motion, while you're also using your tongue. Pair up with a vibe: Press a small bullet vibe firmly into the side of the mons while you're using your tongue to stimulate the inner clitoris.
Why it works: Once we know a technique works to make our partner orgasm, it becomes the go-to. Boring, predictive - and unimpressive. Even if you switch to the old classic at the very end, at least begin with something new.
Complete at least two new challenges a week - as well as those designed to run all month - and finish with the very last sex ban (stock image)
BAN INTERCOURSE FOR A MONTH
Why do it: Anything that moves sex away from his penis being the star tends to improve satisfaction levels. He feels less pressure to perform, she ends up with a higher orgasm quota because only 20 per cent of women orgasm through penetration alone. It forces couples to break out of their usual sex routine and come up with new ideas and ways to give each other pleasure.
How to do it: You're allowed to do anything else you like - kiss, oral sex, enjoy hand stimulation, mutual masturbation, sex toys (used externally on the clitoris or other hot spots), anal play or anal sex. The only thing banned is vaginal intercourse.
Why it works: Foreplay isn't something you do before the 'main event' of intercourse: sex should be a journey without an end destination. Extended foreplay works well for men as well: their orgasms also intensify the longer it takes to get there.
You'll find Tracey's two product ranges - supersex for couples and women and Edge for men - at Lovehoney.co.uk.