4 Ways to Get Lucky (Again)!

Pictured (right) and photography by  Jana Williams

Pictured (right) and photography by Jana Williams


In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, let’s get as lucky as the leprechauns (and we’re not talking about lucky charms)!

Our resident sexpert Amy Freier, LCPC and Certified Sex Therapist, explains how to reintroduce eroticism back into your relationship if it’s been feeling a little stale. One tip for every leaf on the four-leaf clover, a symbol of both luck and love.

1. Take an “Erotic Energy Inventory”

Photo courtesy of  Jana Williams

Photo courtesy of Jana Williams

This is the perfect place to start before jumping in and trying to change behaviors, make tweaks, etc. We need to be aware of our current energy before we know what to adjust! I help clients begin this task by asking them look at a regular day or week and reflect on questions such as:

  • With what energy am I showing up to my relationship?

  • Am I giving the dog/kids more physical energy that I do my partner?

  • When I am affectionate with my partner, how would I describe it? Are my touches and affection more familial, loving, cozy, romantic, or erotic?

Most people, once they’ve graduated past the “lust” stage in the relationship, tend to spend way more energy on familial and loving energy, forgoing the flirtatious, sexy energy that so often leads to that desired erotic energy. And you wonder why the sex you’re having is fairly passionless?!

2. Touch More!

Photo courtesy of  Jana Williams

Photo courtesy of Jana Williams

If you’re in Chicago and have access to Chicago Magazine, you’ll see Eli Finkel, author of the book “The All or Nothing Marriage”, on the cover, and for good reason. Over the last several years he has been running a research lab out of Northwestern, hoping to find out why some couples report satisfaction and others don’t. His findings are amazing (check them out here!), and he was able to come up with some “love hacks” for couples looking to reconnect. One of them was to touch more. Plain and simple. Couples who touch more are more likely to report higher levels of relationship satisfaction, particularly around love and romance, not just familial bonding. Go on, touch touch touch (with consent, of course!)!

3. Go on a Surrender Date

Photo courtesy of  Jana Williams

Photo courtesy of Jana Williams

This is one of my favorite exercises I suggest to my clients looking to reengage sexually with one another, and it’s so simple! I encourage taking turns planning the date, so each of you can get a chance. If you’re the one planning, you plan, well, everything! The events, reservations, timing, everything down to the smaller details including what you’d like your partner to wear, what lipstick/cologne/hair style to do, etc. You can take this as far as you’d like, including into the bedroom, if that’s your jam (and your partner is comfortable!). Make sure you’re planning the date around what really lights you up, so that your partner has the opportunity to see you in your element, excited about what you’ve planned, and truly, deeply engaged in the day or night. The non-planner’s job? Surrender. Allow for the anxiety of not being in charge turn into excitement, and both of you will be able to access the elements of eroticism that drew you into one another in the first place: novelty, mystery, intrigue!

Photo courtesy of  Jana Williams

Photo courtesy of Jana Williams

4. Expand your definition of foreplay

When most people think of foreplay, they think of the first few minutes right before penetration, or whatever the “main event” happens to be that day. That’s so limiting, don’t you think? Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity and The State of Affairs, puts it this way: “Foreplay begins the moment the last orgasm has subsided.” This means that every interaction between the end of a sexual encounter and the beginning of the next one can, and should be, seen as opportunity to cultivate sexual energy together. For the most part, we tend to respond more positively to sexual initiation when it feels relevant, not when it seems out of the blue, so the goal here is to play the long game if you’re both looking to get lucky.

Amy is a Senior Clinical Associate at Enliven Couples Therapy in Chicago and Co-founder of Enliven Lab.

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