10 Ways to reignite your sex life

As we age, our libidos plummet. But the good news is there’s plenty you can do to get the mercury soaring again in the bedroom. Here are ten ways to reignite the cooling embers of sexual desire 

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1. Recognise the benefits of bedroom athletics
"If sex is becoming a chore, try to blot out the negatives and start recognising that your bedroom athletics have a lot of positive health benefits," says Brett McCann, senior lecturer in sexual health at Sydney University.

"Recent research shows sex lowers the frequency of fatal heart attacks, it burns kilojoules, it decreases breast cancer in men and it keeps the vagina toned in women."

Another study suggests frequent ejaculations in young men decrease the risk of prostate cancer in later life, while other research concludes that those who have regular intercourse have better stress responses and lower blood pressure. Even the chances of being laid low with the sniffles may be reduced with a bit of rumpy-pumpy, according to a study reported in New Scientist.

"Sexually active people can be exposed to many more infectious agents than sexually non-active people," immunologist Clifford Lowell from the University of California, San Francisco, told New Scientist. This may boost the production of an immune substance that also helps fight colds and flu.

2. Stop yourself eyeballing the competition
"In today’s super-hyped sexual environment, everyone we see in the media seems to be gloriously sexually competent in a Sex and the City kind of way," says McCann. "As a result, everyday people tend to eyeball the competition instead of running their own race." McCann says that when men or women suffer sexual dysfunction, they feel somehow inferior and think, There’s something wrong with me.

Instead of blaming ourselves, McCann suggests we should consider the "dysfunction" itself. For instance, could it be a side effect of an illness or medication? Or simply the result of a frantic life? When looked at this way, it becomes clear that it’s not the person who’s the problem, but the issue. "And if you seek help, many sexual problems can often easily be tackled with medication modification, or some lifestyle change," adds McCann.

3. Go back to basics
If you want to break the drought under the doona, go back to courting basics, suggests McCann. "Just because penetrative sex is off the agenda for whatever reason, it doesn’t mean everything else has to be. "To reclaim that space, you need to make a concerted effort to find time out together every week.

Make sure there’s plenty of kissing, touching and hand-holding; but most of all, look at each other and tell your partner how attractive you find them. This kind of con­nection is the basic glue of any relationship. If that goes, everything else goes, too."

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