If you’ve been together a while, you already know that communication is the glue that holds your relationship together. But another vital ingredient that will help you maintain the intimacy, connection, and passion that made you fall in love in the first place is sex. Even when you’re beyond exhausted and stressed, blowing off steam, feeling sexy, and being touched by your partner can be exactly what you need. But to make your sexual routine hot and enjoyable for both you and your guy, it’s important to remember it’s slow and steady that wins that orgasm race—and foreplay isn’t something you should skip.
Feeling stuck for ideas? Get inspired by the women below, who share their best tips for giving and receiving. Here are the moves that always work for them.
Switch up the roles.
Especially in a long-term relationship, you’ve both probably mastered the his-and-her sexual tango: move here, push there, touch that. But if you’re normally the one who lets him lead, a fun idea for making foreplay more interesting is shifting the balance of power. “My guy likes to take control, which I love a majority of the time,” says Michelle, 39. “So it really drives him wild when I suddenly push him down and take over. Never underestimate the power of playful teasing.”
Make yourself feel sexy.
Everyone has something that makes them feel attractive: maybe it’s a certain lighting, a nice red lip, finishing an intense boxing class, or that post-shower body lotion. Says Nikki, 29: “To start off, I like to put on something that makes me feel sexy. That could be new lingerie, some makeup, or fixing my hair. The sexier I feel, the more confident I am when it comes to getting intimate. A glass or two of wine doesn’t hurt either!”
Touch each other outside of the bedroom, too.
Encourage your partner to surprise you with caressing—especially your most sensitive areas—when the mood strikes him, without saying one word. “One of my favorite foreplay activities is when my partner rubs my clitoris while we’re watching television or just laying in bed talking. It’s great when we continue on whatever we’re doing as if nothing is happening,”
Have sexy photos on file.
There are plenty of apps, like Private Photo Vault, that allow you to store X-rated images on your phone, and keep them hidden. Download one to make like Shannon, 35, who says, “As a busy mom of 5 I have to get creative not only to entice my husband but keep myself interested. Throughout the day I’ll send a pic of my breast while in the car to let him know I’m waiting on him. If I’m wearing a skirt or dress I prop my foot on the bathroom vanity and send him a full body snapshot.”
Use your hands together.
masturbation might be considered a solo affair, but it can actually be a great foreplay method. “My boyfriend always loves it when we’re starting to make out and I begin touching myself. He can’t help but jump right in. He says it’s one of the things that turns him on the most, the fact that I’m in control of my own sexuality and invite him to help me,”
Start way before you get to the bedroom.
If you find yourself daydreaming in the middle of a work meeting about what you’d like to do to your partner, don’t keep it to yourself. In fact, that’s when you should let the foreplay begin: hours before you lay your eyes or hands on each other. “With hectic schedules, getting in the traditional kissing and cuddling is not always guaranteed. So I send erotic-fill-in-the blank texts or suggestive memes to my partner throughout the day to keep us both hot and bothered,”