Ask Emily: How Do We Have Good Sex After the Honeymoon Period?

Dear Emily,

How do we have good sex after the honeymoon period? My partner and I used to be all over each other, but one year in, our sex life is starting to feel a little rote. Any suggestions to improve things?


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Dear Sasha,

I get this question all the time, and you’re not alone in wondering about it. As couples transition from “new relationship energy” to “existing relationship energy,” sex starts to take on a different quality. This is totally normal, but for some, it can also be distressing.

When we’re talking about new relationship energy, or NRE for short, we’re talking about novelty: discovering someone’s body for the first time, discovering their communication style in bed, discovering what they like…you get the picture. It’s a lot of fresh, exciting knowledge, and it has real chemical effects on your body. 

During NRE, your brain is being flooded with oxytocin and dopamine, making you go: more, more, more! But interestingly enough, your cortisol levels also rise during NRE. Yup: cortisol, the stress hormone. It’s why the experience of falling in love can make you feel like you’re going a bit crazy. To a certain extent, you are. 

But not to worry: NRE isn’t the only thing that fuels quality sex. Here are four tweaks to try, to keep your sex life fire.

Bring on the tease. 

There’s something kinda hot about someone who knows exactly what you like…and withholds it, just to tease you. So try putting the power in someone else’s hands, literally, by surrendering a toy—and letting them guide it. 

If you’re a fan of vibration (and really, who isn’t) try bringing a Magic Wand into the picture—with a tennis ball-sized head, it’s technically a “massager”—but have the giver control where it goes. The receiver’s job is to tell them where it feels good on the body…but the giver has the ultimate power. When, and only when, the receiver can’t stand it any longer, the giver places the wand’s vibration in the exact sweet spot.

For a more discreet toy, Womaness has a gorgeous “Gold Vibes” vibrator that can help rev up your sexual engine. Its size makes it perfect for easy or on-the-go access, but the various speeds and vibration patterns still pack a mighty punch. Pull it out as a surprise pleasure treat when you feel like giving yourself (or your partner) some physical love. Remember: regular vaginal stimulation helps maintain healthy vaginal tissues! More toys, more sex, more pleasure. 

Do a health check.

Sometimes, a flagging sex drive simply comes down to body changes. If you’re a vulva-owner, and suspect menopause might be affecting your libido, please don’t feel like you have to say goodbye to your sex life! 

Supplementation can make a big difference, and Womaness also creates capsules to help get your mojo back. Their hormone-free Me.No.Pause. formula is made with ashwagandha and other research-backed ingredients, to help with vaginal dryness, arousal response, and sleep quality—all of which can increase your chances of wanting sex. Their Daily V Soothe Vaginal Moisturizer is another great option, as it can be easily implemented into your morning routine and helps with hydrating your vaginal skin. (You hydrate your face, so why not your vulva?) Feeling good in your body will help you feel great in the bedroom, so don’t shy away from prioritizing your sexual wellness.

Bring in some erotic inspo. 

One of the hottest ways to bring back the fire? Watching ethical porn together.  While typically viewed as a solo activity, watching porn with a partner can be a great way to learn the other person’s turn-ons and witness some new sex moves. Ethical porn is porn where the performers and filmmakers are treated and paid fairly, and everything is 100% consensual. (No fake orgasms!) One of our go-to’s is Bellesa Plus, AKA the Netflix of ethical porn. There are literally hundreds of options for hot AF adult films, making it the perfect choice for a couple looking to add some variety to date night. Pour a glass of wine, cuddle up, and don’t be surprised if you get too turned on to finish the film.

Keep the party going.

Let’s get back to our discussion on NRE. Since this is a time when sex is pretty frequent,  penis-owners get an endurance boost. They’re not as prone to over-sensitivity, and as a result have the ability to stay harder for longer, as their nervous system adapts to those delicious sensations. It’s fun.

But as we get into existing relationship energy, sex might be more spaced out, meaning that sensitivity comes right back—and so does their body’s willingness to ejaculate, often making penis owners feel like they’re at the mercy of their anatomy. There’s a solution, however: delay spray to the rescue! 

Just like vulva owners usually need a lil somethin’ to heighten their sensitivity (like a sex toy), penis owners need something to dull it. This is totally normal, and for that matter, worth normalizing. Grab a bottle of Promescent Delay Spray: I think you’ll find it helps everyone relax, as the penis owner doesn’t have to worry about finishing early. 

Treat yourself with CBD.

It seems like CBD is everywhere these days, but here I’m going to recommend using it as a lube. Why? Well, the science on CBD is still emerging, but one effect it definitely seems to have is this: CBD supports increased blood flow. And you know what happens when you’ve got more blood flowing to your sexual organs, right? Stronger orgasms, more sensation, and usually, more interest in sex. Ding ding ding! 

I like Foria Sex Oil for the simplicity of its formula: it combines 400mg active CBD with organic coconut oil. That’s it! It also has a vagina-friendly PH, and has a lovely, light texture—not overly oily. Enjoy applying this to yourself…or, having your partner apply it for you.

I hope these ideas excite you! Remember, the evolution of a relationship is natural, and you can address your changing sex life in a number of different ways. From kink, to alternative relationship models, to tweaks like the ones I’ve described here, you’ve got a lot of tools at your disposal. The important thing is that you and your partner keep communicating, and find just the right tools that work for you. Enjoy!