Couples Therapy: 5 Ways to Increase Intimacy & Have Better Sex


1. Date night- take each other out weekly or bi-weekly

When was the last time you and your partner went on a date? Just because you co-exist in the same space daily, it doesn’t mean that you are truly “spending time together.” You are not spending quality time together when one of you is working on your laptop and the other is watching Games of thrones, barely talking to each other. Where is that intimacy with burning passion you once had? One of the ways to spend more quality time together is going on a date once a week. How important is this? VERY IMPORTANT. What happens to the things that you stop care taking? It dies. If you don’t invest your time and care into your relationship, because you are too busy or it’s too much work, you will find your relationship dried up and dead just like the plant you killed last month. So make it as a big deal. Make it special, like it used to be in the beginning of your relationship. You both deserve it. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can make your dates very economical or even free! To add more fun, you can alternate planning every week. Maybe keep it as a surprise until the day you take your date out.

2. More frequent physical affection- Oxytocin!

Oxytocin is a hormone that gets released during labor, and after when the nipples are stimulated when breastfeeding. Recent studies have been exploring its roles in orgasm, bonding, maternal behavior, and social recognition. We are now also looking at its future possible application of treating autism, anxiety, and even addiction. We now know that in addition to its roles in female reproduction, Oxytocin is also released when people hug, touch, or orgasm (in both genders) and therefore promotes bonding and building trust between the partners. So now you see why Oxytocin earned its other names such as a “love chemical,” or, “cuddle hormone,” or “bonding hormone.” Now you can also imagine what it would be like if a couple didn’t touch, hug, or have sex with one another. You significantly reduce the opportunities to bond, grow trust, and maintain or improve the love you have for each other. So share more physical affection with your partner to create more intimacy and deepen the connection.

3. Schedule sex

We all know how busy all of us are. After spending a long day at work (or spending all day at home taking care of children) you often still have a list of things to get done (go for a run, get groceries, cook, or do laundry and etc.) I’m sure sex is the last thing you (want to) think about. That’s why some couples end up not having sex for months or years even. Therefore, just like any other activity, you need to schedule in sexy time with your partner. After reading #2 on this list you know how important sex is in order to have and maintain a healthy relationship. So pencil it in on your calendar. I know what you are thinking. “Schedule sex? It’s so unromantic and boring!” It’s quite the opposite actually, I must say. It is incredibly romantic because both you are making a deliberate decision to care for each other and the relationship you have. And here is how you can make scheduled sex fun! Build the anticipation all day (or for maybe several days) by sending each other flirty emails or texts. And again, take turns in designing the sex session you want and surprise your partner. You can incorporate fantasies, role plays, and toys. It will be hot! Also vary the time and the day you schedule this intimate sessions, so they don’t always fall on the same day and at the same time.

4. No cell phone day/night- Be present

When you snub your partner in favor of your phone, you are phubbing (phone + snubbing). Sadly we see more and more couples phubbing, seated across from each other, at coffee shops or restaurants. Phones became inseparable from our daily lives. And I don’t blame you. It gives you pretty much anything you want. It provides you the current weather, a new dress, a new date, and answers to all our questions. I understand why you love it. But excessive phone usage can seriously damage your relationship. Consider this situation. You are on your phone checking out Facebook updates while you are with your partner (or with anyone really). You are literally telling them that you’d rather be with your phone than your partner. He/she will feel deeply rejected. I will be the first one to admit that I made these mistakes before. And I can’t tell you how many times I hear this complaint in my therapy room. My clients report that they feel rejected and unimportant in these moments. As a rule, put your phones away while you are spending quality time with each other. Even better, you can have a “no phone day” or “no phone night.” So you and your partner can focus on each other and not get disrupted. So your partner will receive these messages instead; “I’m interested in what you have to say,” or, “I like spending time with you,” or “you have all my attention,” or “you are the most important thing to me.” How is that for an intimacy booster?

5. Be vulnerable with your partner

Vulnerability is often mistaken as a weakness. But it is far from the truth. To embrace vulnerability, one has to be confident, brave, and strong. Researcher, Brene Brown (or you can call her the vulnerability queen, like I do) said in her book, Daring Greatly (2012), “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” Vulnerability can be defined as uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. And what else fits better in this description than love? To a lot of us, being vulnerable is the ultimate fear. People say things like “I’d rather die than ask her out,” or “I will never say I love you until he says it first.” So we often hide behind this unauthentic and ingenuine self to protect ourselves, even in front of our partners. But what happens, if we don’t take any risk of rejection, criticism, or judgment? There won’t be any learning or growth. Love, connection, and intimacy grow deeper when we are able to embrace vulnerability and open up the true-self to our partners.

Dive in today and share something with your partner, something that makes you feel vulnerable and scared. Only through open communication you can build a relationship that lasts. Contact us, to start couples or individual therapy and learn more ways to increase intimacy and to have better sex.

Liz Wee, LMFT, ATR

Do you want to learn more about how you can improve your relationship with your partner? Or are you an individual, who's working on self right now to have better relationships in the future? I would love to assist you!

You can make an appointment below for a therapy session or a free consultation.