Meaningful sex happens both in and out of the bedroom, and it’s not something we simply do between the sheets. It starts in the morning, with a simple touch or a kind gesture. Passion and desire are further ignited throughout the day with flirting and playful texts. By the evening…well, you know what comes next.

More than these acts though, finding pleasure also happens when we grow alongside another person, learn how to communicate, and express our wants and needs. Sex is ultimately about finding intimacy and exploring pleasure, however that looks for you and your partner(s). It will look different for each individual, but hopefully, these tips offer some ideas and starting points!

As a reminder, all of the below are simply suggestions, and everything always requires consent from both parties. Only participate in what makes you feel safe and comfortable.

Outside Of The Bedroom

1. Reach for your partner, not your phone, first thing in the morning. Sneak a quick snuggle in before starting the day.

2. If you’ve both gotten too relaxed, reintroduce intentional “hellos” and “goodbyes” in your relationship. Depart for your day with a hug or a kiss. In the evening, greet one another with affection.

Sex Dust by Moon Juice, $38

3. Send flirty texts to your partner throughout the day to remind them you are thinking about them.

4. Or, learn to use and decode sex emojis to really spice things up! 👄🍆💦

5. Send your lover sexy mirror pics and seductive selfies! Here are some tips on how to do this safely and securely.

6. Add scientifically-backed natural aphrodisiacs to your diet, like Sex Dust, a stimulating adaptogenic blend from Moon Juice.

7. Exercise releases endorphins, increases blood flow, and helps boost libido. These at-home yoga classes offer the added benefit of improving flexibility and practicing breathwork.

8. Read, memorize, and recite love poems to your hunny! This list from The Poetry Foundation is the perfect place to start.

9. Or try your own hand at poetry. You can write about your love for your partner, or spice it up by writing a secret erotica poem for them alone.

10. Read a novel aloud to one another. Try these romantic book suggestions from Reader’s Digest.

11. Write a love letter, then mail it to your partner.

12. Cuddle on the couch to Netflix and chill (no, really, watch the movie together). Here are 105 best romantic comedies, so you’re bound to find one you both enjoy.

13. When it’s safe to travel again, consider going on a couple’s retreat with your partner.

14. Or, stay local and visit your neighborhood spa for a few hours of relaxation together.

15. You can also plan a mini couple’s retreat at home, which allows for flexibility with scheduling and budget. Find a sitter, load up on great snacks, and spend intentional time together doing activities you both love.

Boy Smells Les Candle, $32

16. Turn your home or apartment into a mini oasis with a new candle, like this one from Boy Smells.

17. Book a couple’s therapy session. You don’t have to be having “issues” to talk with a relationship therapist together. Therapy is also great for growth and furthering intimacy.

18. But if you do want to talk to a counselor about sex or intimacy concerns, there is no shame in that either! Sex therapy is a great option for individuals and couples alike.

19. Listen to sex podcasts with your partner (either together, or separately), then discuss what you’re both learning.

20. Speaking of discussions, make time to talk with your partner. It can be about sex and intimacy, or not. When life gets busy, we can forget to make time for these deeper connections. Here are some conversation topics if you need a refresher.

21. Likewise, make eye contact throughout the day and practice intentional listening.

22. Try to put your phone away (or at least to the side) when you’re spending this intentional time together. If you need some help asking your partner to stay off their phone (gently, of course), here are some tips.

23. Have fun with your partner and explore new ways to laugh and play together! Run around on the local playground, play Tag in the park, hold hands while watching the clouds or stars.

24. Getting outside together is a great way to build intimacy. Try going for a hike or riding bikes together. Anything to get your adrenaline pumping!

25. Even better, ride a rollercoaster, go scuba diving, or rent mopeds together—make a date for an adventurous activity you’ve been eager to try.

25. Strip down (to your swimsuit) and go for a swim together. Affection and flirting encouraged!

26. Want to strip down further? Go to a nudie beach with your SO. If you’ve never been, it’s not as intimidating as it seems and can actually be quite empowering. Here are the best ones in the USA. (Just don’t forget sunscreen!)

27. Saunas are another great place to relax and wind down with your partner.

Youth To The People Face Mask, $48

28. Keeping things in the nude, why not take a nude drawing class together? Nude Life offers virtual life drawing classes you can take in the comfort of your home.

29. Another fun hands-on activity to build intimacy: sculpting. These pottery kits from Sculpd are the perfect at-home date night.

30. Mini facial to pamper each other? Yes, please! Try this mask from Youth To The People. 100% of the profits are donated to diverse nonprofit organizations empowering LGBTQIA+ folx and working to build a representative future.

31. Try these tips for increasing sex pheromones.

32. Go out dancing! Or create a salsa club in your living room. 💃

33. Laughter is what the (sex) doctor ordered. Watch comedy on Netflix with your SO or go to a comedy show together.

34. If you have children, consider adding a babysitter column to your monthly budget. Find a long-term babysitter you trust and love, and try to get alone time with your partner for a few hours each month. If paying for a sitter isn’t an option, consider doing a babysitting swap with friends—you watch their kids one night a month, they watch yours.

35. Didn’t get a comprehensive sex education as a kid? (Us neither). Consider re-educating yourself about sex and your body, and then plan a night to discuss your sex ethics with your partner.

36. Keep learning with these books about bodies, pleasure, and sexuality. Read alone or alongside your partner.

37. The Enneagram and sex? Yep, it’s a thing! If you and your partner don’t know your Enneagram numbers, take a test here. Then talk about your basic wants/needs/fears and how you notice those playing out in the bedroom.

38. Massages don’t only have to be sensual. Show your partner some love by offering a hand or foot massage at the end of a long day.

39. Appearances aren’t everything, but a pop of lipstick or some glittery liner can make us feel sexy. Show off for your partner every now and then by donning a bright lip. (Yes, even around the house!)

40. You can wear an outfit that makes you feel good, too. Confidence and self-love is sexy, so don a favorite pair of jeans or those new sandals you love. Wear what you love while out and about with your partner, or just for yourself!

41. Similarly, invest in personal care and grooming products that help you feel your best every day.

42. And wear the perfume! You know you’ve been staring at that pretty bottle for months now. Who cares if you’re working from home? Spritz the perfume (we love Cavern NY), use the expensive soap, light the beautiful candle you’ve been saving for a “special occasion.”

43. Weighted blankets can help with relaxation and sleep and feeling at home in your body.

44. Make a Wednesday night dinner a bit more romantic with taper candles or some fancy placemats. Who cares if you’re having grilled cheese?

45. In addition to cheese, be mindful about eating sensory foods with your partner. Get the good coffee beans, upgrade your wine selection every now and then, and practice indulging your tastebuds with new flavors and textures.

46. Go to a bar and pretend you don’t know each other! Points to whoever is first in buying a round of drinks.

47. Keep a “love journal” of the things you both love about one another.

48. If you both enjoy reading, subscribe to a marriage newsletter, like “Marriage Minute” from The Gottman Institute.

49. Sneak your SO a list with your favorite jewelry or ring size. Diamonds don’t even have to be your best friend—everyone loves a bit of sparkle every now and then!

50. Hold hands. 💛 At home on the couch, while walking around your neighborhood, or even under the covers.

Inside The Bedroom

51. Remember that the “bedroom” does not have to be literal. If you’ve been limiting sex to your four-poster bed, give your downstairs neighbors a break and consider taking it elsewhere! The couch, the laundry room, a tent in the backyard—these can all be “bedrooms,” too. 😉

Vitruvi Stone Diffuser, $119

52. But if you are partial to the bed, consider upgrading your sheets (or all of your bedding) to create an inviting place for intimacy. Here are our favorite organic bedding brands.

53. While you’re redecorating, add an essential oil diffuser to your room. Diffuse lavender, sage, or sandalwood before sex to help you both relax and get in the mood.

54. Turn things up with a bedroom playlist.

55. But digital detox your bedroom—meaning no phones, TVs, or laptops in bed (unless for #63, of course).

56. Take a shower together. Rather than jumping straight to the main act, spend time gently washing each other with a sensual soap or body wash.

57. A long soak in the tub works, too! Add some bubbles or a calming bath soak.

58. Massages are a wonderful way to help one another relax before sex and increase intimacy. Try using a natural body oil, like this algae oil from Osea.

59. Have sex on your period, if that feels comfortable for you! Studies show estrogen peaks during the follicular phase, and some couples have found that having sex during menstruation increases intimacy.

60. Remember those rom coms you watched together? Recreate your favorite sex scene!

61. Or, act your own fantasies. It can feel scary to say them aloud at first, so consider writing one down in a note and giving it to your partner in the morning. Reconvene in the evening to bring the fantasy to life!

62. Roleplaying and costumes can spice things up too!

63. If pornography is something you and your partner both feel comfortable exploring, these feminist sites offer ethical porn.

Smile Makers, starting at $34

64. Listen to erotic audio together, like these relatable, feminist, and celebratory stories from Dipsea.

65. Use a vibrator together, like these cute and consciously made ones from Smile Makers. For more sex toy options, check out this list.

66. If you’d prefer to see toys in person, visit a sex shop together. Here are some beginner tips for finding and shopping at a sex store. (It’s not as intimidating as it may seem!)

67. Toys are great to use with partners, but they are also fun for self-pleasure. If it feels right for you, consider trying mindful masturbation as a way to learn more about your body and find what feels best for you.

68. Discover how your love language can liven up your sex life.

69. Coconut oil doesn’t only taste great on food! 😜

70. If you find yourself struggling to make time for sex, try a sex checklist with your partner.

71. Sex worksheets are useful for learning more about what you and your partner like.

72. This shared sex journal helps couples reflect and connect as they explore the hot topic together. It offers quotes, tips, and exercises for deepening intimacy and pleasure with your partner.

73. Not physically together? Why not try virtual sex, if that feels comfortable for you. Alternatively, you can try phone sex or sexting.

74. Have a sex tarot reading session done with your partner.

75. Sex dice never go out of style!

76. If you love games, sex cards are great, too. The Sex Talk Conversation Deck is sure to heat things up quickly.

The Sex Talk Conversation Deck, $24

77. Strip tease, anyone?

78. Have you ever tried body paint? This Love Is Art kit includes (washable) black nontoxic paint and a white canvas, so you and your partner can create something unique together.

79. Edible undies? Why not!

80. You can also just upgrade your underwear. Our favorite size-inclusive lingerie brands here.

81. Better yet, surprise your partner by slipping into bed naked.

82. While it’s always fun shopping for ourselves, it’s also sexy to be surprised! Pick out lingerie or underwear for your partner (and vice versa).

83. You heard Jason Derulo: Talk dirty to me. 🌶️

84. Spend the night focusing on just one body part. It doesn’t have to be genitals, either.

85. Speaking of, did you know the body has 31 erogenous zones? There’s even a MasterClass to teach you how to identify and stimulate each one! How’s that for your next date night?

86. Monogamy works for some people, while others may prefer open relationships or swinging. If that is something that interests you but you’re not sure where to start, there’s a MasterClass for that too (yes, really!).

87. These apps are for exploring open relationships and swinging. As the article notes, even the thought of considering an open relationship with your partner can spice things up, whether you act on it or not.

88. Because you can’t really have a sex list without it, remember this one very important word: lube. Our favorite natural and nontoxic brands here.

89. Practice mindful sex together. Instead of focusing on intercourse or reaching orgasm, practice breathing and remaining present with your partner.

90. You can also use breathing apps together to relax before having sex. This is especially helpful after a hard day and when you need to quiet your mind.

House Of Wise Sex Gummies, $50/box of 10

91. Try House of Wise’s CBD Sex Gummies made with Horny Goat Weed extract. Ultimate pleasure.

92. It may sound obvious, but try a new sex position! You won’t know what you like until you try it.

93. Remember to laugh together.

94. Make eye contact during sex. And it doesn’t have to be all dirty talk; say sweet things to each other too.

95. Tell your partner what you love about their body (how they smell, the dimples on their back, the freckles on their hands).

96. But also share what you love about their heart and mind—yes, during sex! Affirmations can be a huge turn-on.

97. Don’t underestimate the power of kissing! A good makeout sesh with clothes on is sometimes exactly what the (sex) doctor ordered.

98. Likewise, foreplay doesn’t always need to be a precursor—it can be the main course! Take your time exploring your partner’s body and letting your body be explored.

99. Consent. Is. Sexy. Even in long-term relationships or marriage. Regularly check in with your partner to see how they are feeling about sex. If trying something new, ask beforehand.


Kayti Christian (she/her) is a Senior Editor at The Good Trade. She has a Master’s in Nonfiction Writing from the University of London and is the creator of Feelings Not Aside, a newsletter for sensitive people.