A recent question got me thinking about how many of you talk to me or write to me about finding joy in your sex lives. I responded then but I felt that the topic was worth more than my word count allowed for that day. I therefore decided to write a separate article focusing on ways in which you can have the sex life that you desire.

So there you are, going about your married or coupled life and maybe even raising a family, building a home, a business or even a little retirement nest egg when it hits you: you haven’t had sex in like forever! Even worse? The last time you remember having sex, it was boring. You suddenly realise that you want something better, something more or something different but you don’t know where to begin. Here are a five simple ideas that you can use as a starting point. Please note that I said “starting point” because I expect you to engage your creativity and sense of fun to add to your own list.

1. Be honest with yourself.

Have you let yourself go? Have you neglected to do some of the things that made your partner swoon, in and out of bed? Would you want to have sex with you? Have you been taking care of yourself from the inside out, or have you allowed yourself to slip into the boring routine of life? If you’re guilty of neglecting yourself, your partner or your sex life, decide – right now this minute – to do something about it. Yes, right now. Put this article down and make an appointment with your barber, swipe on some lip gloss, send a text, make a call, apply some deodorant, send a selfie, WhatsApp your partner with a naughty emoji...just do something positive for yourself and your partner, right now.

2. Be honest with your partner.

Communicate your desire to your partner. Please don’t say things like “you’ve become boring in bed” no matter how true you think it is. The mind is the biggest, sexiest, best sex organ, so if you fill it with destructive thoughts, you will be damaging the very organ you need to improve your sex life. Try asking instead of stating. There can be humour in the space where honesty lives. Speak honestly but use humour and kindness to get your point across. Tease your partner, tease yourself and make it a “we” affair instead of a “me” affair. Play nice! This person is your partner, your lover and your friend so treat them accordingly. Nastiness and unkindness will give you exactly zero so be smart and wise in your conversation.

3. Get loose!

One of my favourite artistes has a song by this title and some of the lyrics go like this: “get loose, get free, there’s no time to disagree, tonight it’s all about you and me...drop it drop it low...” I would want you to take this literally. When you are with your partner, forget your job titles, home titles, societal titles and instead become a little inappropriate. Yes, you’re pushing the boundaries and yes, your agenda is to get your partner into bed, or on the couch or in the back seat of your car! Get the drift? Loosen up your clothing, your sense of humour and your (public) morals and get it on with your partner instead.

4. Take the pressure off.

It’s ironic that the harder people try to have great sex, the less it works. Why? Because people turn into overachievers who must score an imaginary A on the sex scale. This leads to stress, comparison, frustration and worry among many things that are the opposite of sexual attraction. This isn’t a corporate boardroom exercise so, relax. Let it be okay for some of your experiments to flounder or even fail. Learn to laugh about all those unexpected sights, smells and sounds that may come as a result of trying something different. Great sex doesn’t always just happen; sometimes, it’s a by-product of some funny/embarrassing things but think of these as the stories that will keep the embers of your sex life burning; your own little list of secrets that fuel your sexual connection, in and out of bed.

5. Say YES! Sometimes the only sex that you can have is the quick five minutes between waking up and your adorable children bursting into your room.

Take it! Stop rejecting the ‘imperfect’ just because you’re not yet able to have the ‘earth-moving, bed-breaking’ sex you might be craving. If all you can have is a quick shag against a wall, take it! If you have an hour instead of a weekend, take it! Get into the habit of saying YES (note the enthusiasm) before saying no. No is easier but it’s also lazier. YES can be exciting but can also complicate things. My advice? Say YES and figure out the “how” together. I hope these 5 simple suggestions get you going! Cheers to your soon-to-be happier, hotter, more satisfying sex life!

Maggie Gitu is a marriage, family and sex therapist. Reach her on: gitumaggie@gmail.com or via her Facebook page: Maggie Gitu