Dr. Laura Berman: Expert Relationship Advice

Are kids, stress or boredom putting a damper on your libido this Valentine’s Day?

Chicago’s own leading sex and relationship expert Dr. Laura Berman is here to help. Dr. Berman is the author of the books “The Passion Prescription” and “Loving Sex,” and has been the go-to “Sexpert” for both Oprah and Dr. Oz. You can see her in action during the second season of “In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman” on OWN.

For many couples sex and romance tends to fade over the years. Why is it important to keep things hot?
When sex is working it’s just one small part of the larger relationship, but when it’s not working, it starts to take on a life of its own and cause a disconnect between the two of you. It’s natural in a long-term relationship for things to get a little tired, a little predictable, and so it’s important to make things as spontaneous and interesting as they can be.

Part of the problem for parents is that it’s hard to escape their kids. Do you think it’s bad for kids to know their parents are having “private time”?
Absolutely not. I think the opposite. You’re the model of what a loving, intimate relationship looks like. Obviously children do not need to know the details of your sex life or see you having sex—that’s why you always put a lock on the door. But for them to know that you guys have special private time—you can even set a timer or say “after this cartoon Mommy and Daddy will be right back” —I think that’s a really important message to give your kids about what to expect in their own loving relationships.

A lot of women wish they felt like having more sex, but feel too tired or stressed. What can women do to boost their own desire?
Part of it is intellectual. If you want him to feel more emotionally close to you and connected and romantic, he gets there through sex. So you have to think of sex as nurturing the romantic connection in the same way that kissing and cuddling and talking nurture it for you.

The other thing is to figure out what’s standing in the way of your libido, whether it’s changing your lifestyle to create more opportunities to give yourself more energy or taking better care of yourself. You’re not your best self when you’re drained of energy. Also, do what you can to protect the spontaneity.

How can you make things spontaneous?
Embracing sex dates is not something to shy away from. Even though it doesn’t feel spontaneous, you can create spontaneity within it. Most of us know that if you’re waiting for sex to happen spontaneously you can wait a long time. But if you know that on Thursday night we have a sex date, you can get playful around it and flirt with one another or send a sexy text. It’s a great way to ensure your sexual connection stays strong.

What do you recommend to make big occasions like Valentine’s Day or an anniversary more special and passionate?
Try something new, whether it’s a toy or a position or a sexy outfit or a role-play. Give your partner a little book of coupons for a couple of sexual things that he really enjoys that aren’t at the top of your list. Surprise him. Create a fantasy box where you both write down all the fantasies you want to act out or play with and pull one out of the box from time to time.

 

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