Reality programs are not known to be great sources of relationship advice, but ‘Too Hot to Handle’, just launched on Netflix, might just be the exception.
The show prohibits high-sex entrants from any form of sexual gratification to win a cash prize.
You don’t have to be a sex therapist to predict the effect of a sex ban on players: they will want it more, of course.
That’s why you MUST try these at home!
Tracey Cox reveals why banning sex can really help your relationship. Depicted, stock image
Why a sex ban might work for you
Not having sex to have more and better sex may sound counterintuitive, but a sex detox is exactly what some therapists prescribe to restore the passion in relationships that have become a little yawning.
I do not suggest permanent abstinence. Having sex and orgasms regularly is incredibly good for you and your relationship.
I also don’t suggest going without sex for months or years at a time: There are indications that stopping sex for long periods of time can mean losing interest completely.
But there’s a lot to be gained if you both agree to abstain from a few weeks to a month.
This is why.
Prohibiting something makes it more attractive
If you don’t like something, you want it right away.
Impose a sex ban and your partner – whom we like to see on tap for sex, 24/7 – suddenly becomes unavailable and immediately becomes more attractive.
Sex expert (photo) says banning sex will make it more attractive and reduce pressure
Stop it and you will be forced to find other ways to communicate that are not physical.
Banning sex creates the same dynamic that makes affair sex so erotic.
Permission is a libido killer.
Temporary celibacy is very effective in building sexual tension and desire.
It takes the pressure off
Almost all couples feel they have to live up to society’s idea of what constitutes a good sex life.
We worry that we are not doing it enough, not doing it right, whether we are having the right number and type of orgasms.
This fear leads to something called “spectator.” Watching is when someone mentally looks at themselves while having sex, rather than being in the moment.
Some therapists believe that this is the leading cause of most sexual dysfunction in men.
Not surprisingly, spectators of all genders make sex stressful and ruin our enjoyment of it.
Taking sex off the table for a while gives you some time to go out; breathing space because you don’t have to worry about how you both perform.
It can help to break bad habits
If your partner has a higher sex drive and always initiates first, you will have a chance to miss it when it is removed. And to be the initiator.
If you use sex to make up an argument, you will be forced to use words and apologize instead.
If you withdraw sex to punish your partner, you must confront him and admit that you are frustrated or angry.
It is sometimes easier to solve relationship or sex problems if you don’t have them
Park the physical side of your relationship for a while, and you will have the time and emotional energy to resolve any relationship problems you experience.
If the love side of your relationship doesn’t work, the sex side won’t either.
Continuing to have sex without getting out of bed can actually make matters worse.
For some couples, sex is the only time they are intimate.
She shared her best tips on exactly what to say when talking to your partner about sex. Depicted, stock image
For a sex detox to work effectively, don’t just stop having sex. You and your partner must agree on the ban and determine the time period together.
Then you use the downtime to build intimacy in other ways.
Therapists refer to the following techniques as “intimacy exercises” – which, depending on your personality, immediately make you interested or vomit.
If it’s the latter, keep in mind that it’s just things that could bring you closer.
It can be that simple …
Shower or bathe together
Soap each other everywhere and watch what your partner likes and dislikes.
Sex conversation starters
One of the reasons a sex ban works to revive the desire is because it encourages couples to talk about what they really want from their partner.
Here are some good sex conversation starters that you can use anytime whether you’re on a sex ban or not.
To introduce the subject of sex
“I love you and want us to be as happy as possible, because we’re in this together forever. Can we talk about something? I wanted to talk about how we can make our sex better / even better. Can we talk about that now? ‘
You want to try something new
“I had a dream last night that we did X.” (Look to see what their response is. If interested, they want details and look intrigued.)
You are not sure if they like what you do with them
“Do you like it when I do this / do I do it here / do it harder / do it softer?”
‘How do you like it best? So or so? ‘
“Can I touch you here?”
If you want more of something
“I love it when you do that. Can you do it longer? ‘
“Remember when we had sex after a boozy Sunday lunch? I liked that. Let’s do it again. “
You want to do something different
“I love it when you do that. Do you know what else I love? If you do X. That really feels nice. ‘
“I love it when you give me oral sex. But you know what? It now takes much longer to peak. Do you mind doing it longer? Sometimes I feel rushed. ‘
It is never a good idea to say
“I hate it when you do that.”
“I’m serious. I’m going to get a divorce if you don’t put the wet towels on the bed. And besides, you are rubbish in bed and you do everything to keep things tidy. ‘
“Why don’t we have as much sex as John and Jane?”
“Why don’t you know what I want?”
“How many times do I have to tell you I HATE that!”
“My ex used to do it that way. Can you do it that way? ‘
“Can you hurry?”
“Let’s handle this.”
“You want me to be honest, don’t you? I can’t help it if I don’t like having sex with you. ‘
“You’re not turning me on anymore.”
‘What’s wrong with you?’
The person being ‘soaped’ gives a running commentary on how it feels: it’s a great way to get into the habit of talking freely and spontaneously about your feelings and sensations.
Go from the shower or bath to the bed for some good old fashioned body massages, with a variety of touches (but not directly on erogenous zones or the genitals).
Did that go well?
Try this one.
The full five-minute frontal
Sit across from each other (position doesn’t matter as long as you are both comfortable) and stare into each other’s eyes and faces for five minutes.
Yes, you will both burst out laughing to start with, but just keep going.
Put the timer on your phone and then REALLY look at your partner and see them as they really are.
We all have an image of our partner that we carry in our heads – often it is based on the first time we met.
The person in front of you has changed since then.
Notice the changes (with a positive slant, ie, “How much wiser are they!” Instead of “Jesus! When did they start looking so old?”). Each other takes each other’s hands and examines them for another five minutes.
For the next step, take off your clothes and examine each other’s bodies (again five minutes) – but only use your hands and eyes.
Remember, you do NOT investigate and observe stimulating.
Even if you find this very erotic, don’t act on it or touch it intentionally to turn it on.
Do not speak during the exercise. Only give each other an overview of what felt good, what didn’t and what you discovered about each other.
Try the Sensate Focus program
If you want to go old fashioned, try this well-known sex therapy technique.
This program was the standard practice for couples who already lost a sexual connection when I wrote my first book in 1999.
The reason it’s still there is that we’re all guilty of focusing on the mechanics of sex rather than the emotional side – and it doesn’t always pay off.
Lust needs bedmates to work long-term. It needs togetherness and closeness as companions. This exercise is designed to talk all three together.
Sensate focus basically means getting naked and taking turns stroking each other.
Non-erotic to start with and then move on to erogenous zones and the genitals.
You progress slowly: the transition from non-sexual to sexual touch can take weeks or months, not days.
The concept is simple: the person’s turn to touch focuses purely on doing that. The recipient simply allows him to do it.
No one has to worry or take care of anyone else: you can be completely relaxed and in the moment because there are no goals.
With our short attention span and the desire to broadcast any time of the day on social media, this is not as easy as it sounds, because true intimacy requires awareness.
Pay attention without judgment and being in the present moment.
Something we find increasingly difficult to do in today’s technology-based world, but which we really need to master.
You will find new products in Tracey’s supersex range at lovehoney. Her new book, Great Sex Starts at 50, is available online or in good bookstores.