There are a lot of dating tips out there, but what about the marriage advice that those who have already said, “I do,” should know about? Marriage is (supposed to be) forever, so it’s kind of important to get it right from the jump.
Lucky for us, we had certified sex therapist, Dr. Holly Richmond, tell us a few things about marriage that every man needs to know — assuming you want to make it work. Hopefully, you do.
From the most important things to know to some marriage advice that should be known before getting too serious with a significant other, Dr. Holly Richmond gave us a ton of tips worth paying close attention to. Known as Hollywood’s go-to Somatic Psychologist, Dr. Richmond has worked with some of the biggest stars on their marriages and sex problems, so she knows a thing or three about this kind of stuff. See what she had to say be reading below — and be ready to reap the benefits in your relationship, guys.
Don’t Marry Your Best Friend
I know, this one is controversial. The development of desire in a relationship is critical and nuanced, so here’s the deal: Once you are married, it’s true that your partner should be your closest confidant, your loyal supporter, your pillar, your rock. But if you meet your partner, are friends for years, and then decide to turn a friendship into a romance, there can be problems with desire down the road. The marriage is based on companionship, not passion, which is fine for some couples but not for others. These are the couples that tend to come into my office with desire discrepancies or even sexlessness. It can be hard to recreate fire where there never was one. On the other hand, couples that are very passionate and fiery also tend to argue more. An important question to ask yourself before getting married: How important is sex?
Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize
No matter how much passion you came into the marriage with, being with the same person year after year can get, well you know, familiar. Your partner can be a million amazing things to you, but the one thing they can never be again is new. What couples often miss in marriage is novelty, so my advice is to create that essence of newness with adult toys, places and even people. Been wanting to try a Fleshlight? Ask your partner to have a mutual masturbation session with you. Does exhibitionism turn you on? Find a hotel balcony with just the right amount of exposure and take your partner away for a sexy weekend. Fantasize about a threesome? Don’t be shy and ask. Long-term couples never cease to amaze me with the things they are willing to try. Trust and respect is already there, so eroticism always has room to grow and thrive.
Give Good Digital
You should know by now that if you can’t text and sext like a pro, you’re not even going on a first date. Once you’ve landed the ultimate partner, keep that flirtatiousness and naughtiness going with good digital throughout your day to day lives. Surprise your partner with a di#k pic, tell her how you can’t wait until you see her later and what you want to do to her—all the things that let her know that she is on your mind and very, very wanted. Romance and courting shouldn’t stop when you’re committed—it’s actually the ideal time to push things a little further to keep the sexual fire burning.
Perfect Your PDA
It’s amazing how many couples complain about lack of touch in their relationship. The sexual, playful touch that was there at the beginning of the relationship turns into more affectionate touch later on, especially when out in public. Isn’t it obvious when a couple is a first, hot date? They can’t keep their hands off each other, and you know exactly what’s in store for them that evening! Preserve that “I just have to be with you” energy by touching often and with intent. Holding hands is one thing, but stroking their lower back or neck definitely communicates lust. Helping your partner feel like you choose them and no one else is one of the best feelings in the world and key to a happy, sexually fulfilling marriage.
Make A Case For Quickies
Married couples can often fall into the trap of thinking sex has to be a big, sensual production. It doesn’t! Quickies can be just as hot—perhaps even more so—than they were at the beginning of your relationship. Remember when you were having sex multiple times a day? It was fun and easy, with no grand preparation. In long-term relationships there are often kids, two high-powered careers or just the balancing of day to day life to consider, which makes the case for quickies that much stronger. Try to stay open to the idea that sex is about pleasure, not perfection. Even a few minutes of really connecting with each other has the potential to change your entire day for the better. Side note—it takes most women about 20 minutes to reach climax, so if she wants a guaranteed, quick orgasm, grab her favorite vibrator!
Reboot Your Porn
You watch what you watch what you watch… Everyone has their unique sexual turn on that they typically access and recreate through online porn, but switching things up can lead to more expansive and diverse sexual expression. What you watch and what your partner watches may be too very different things, so get curious with each other, ask about what’s stimulating, and try some new porn on for size, individually and as a couple. Porn can be something people do in private, but it shouldn’t be a secret. Luckily, adult entertainment is losing some of its taboo and couples are learning how to use it as an arousal aid. But if your partner isn’t into porn, ask about their fantasies and roleplay from there, or suggest some non-porn sites likemakelovenotporn.com or OMGyes.com, which combine orgasms and education.
Sometimes oldies are goodies, and in the case of this ancient sex practice, that could not be more true. The Sanskrit word “tantra” translates to “the weave.” It is as much—if not more—about connection, as it is about crazy sex positions. I advise almost all of the couples I see to try tantra and begin by practicing mindful eye-gazing. I know this doesn’t sound super sexy, but trust me. Take your clothes off, sit facing each other approximately 12-inches apart, and gaze into each other’s eyes for 30 seconds to one minute (gaze left eye to left eye if you feel like your eyes are darting back and forth). You may laugh the first few times you try this, but eventually you will settle in and start generating deep connection and longing. That sense of being present and “one” has fast-forwarded many of my clients to the best, simultaneous orgasms of their lives. And of course, once you have eye-gazing down, go ahead and try “splitting of bamboo” or “the elephant.”
When married couples complain their relationship is lacking sexual desire, I ask them one simple question: Are you still kissing? Most often they’ll look at each other and say, “Wow, I guess not.” Married life—kids, work, pets, extended family, friends, etc.—has a sneaky way of prioritizing duty over pleasure. Yes, you have to take care of your obligations, and a huge part of my job is helping couples rediscover their erotic connection. Based on their specific schedules and sexual preferences, we determine little ways they can “play” with each other, which has to include kissing (yep, that teenage precursor to intercourse). Kissing is bonding, creates anticipation of sexual pleasure and, if you’ve forgotten, it’s fun.
Be The Boss
Married couples can fall in sexual routines—digital, oral, this position then that one, he comes then she uses a vibrator. An effective way to break this habit is by exploring sexual fantasies, which can include roleplaying. One of the most common fantasies I hear from women is the desire to be dominated. It can be difficult for women to express this fantasy because they worry it flies in the face of being strong, independent and empowered. Actually, the opposite is true. Many women want to feel like their partner’s lust for them is uncontrollable, the only thing happening in their universe, and by letting themselves “be taken” they get a surge of their sexual prowess and utter desirability. By the way, being submissive is the most powerful sexual role—it’s driven by consent, pleasure and the sub’s own rules.
If you haven’t stepped into the future of sex, now is the perfect time. Adding sex toys to your repertoire is one thing, but adding smart, Bluetooth-enabled and interconnected devices is something else, in an entirely amazing way. Virtual Reality (VR) adult entertainment and teledildonics are taking the sextech industry by storm, with innovative offerings hitting the market almost daily. If you and your partner are already fans of online porn, load up with goggles and check it out in VR. The sexual experience feels, well, virtually real. You can watch the same film or choose different fantasies to share after a mutual masturbation session. And, for couples who spend a lot of time apart but still want to feel sexually connected, teledildonics are ideal—you can be in Brooklyn and your partner in Beijing, but you’re able to control each other’s pleasure via sleeve devices (for him) and vibrator/dildo combos (for her). There truly isn’t any way to bring more state-of-the-art sexual novelty into your life in a fun, trendy and mutually beneficial way.