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7 Quick Steps to Better Sex

Easy ways to fire up your love life in 5 minutes or less

Do it earlier. Twenty or 30 years ago, you could work all day, enjoy event-filled evenings, and still have enough energy to return home and dance the horizontal bop. But now, when 10 o'clock rolls around, there's only one thing you want to do in bed, sleep. Many older couples notice immediate sexual enhancement when they make love in the morning or afternoon. Sex is not strenuous, but it takes energy, and older couples have more of it earlier in the day.

Pencil it in. When people fall in love, they can't keep their hands off each other but the hot-and-heavy period rarely lasts more than a year or two. After that, one person typically wants sex more than the other. In two-thirds of couples, it's the man, according to sex therapists, but in one-third, the woman has more libido. Desire differences often become a chronic relationship irritant. They can drive people crazy and ruin sex. No wonder they're a leading reason why couples consult sex therapists.

To resolve desire differences, sex therapists recommend taking a few minutes a month to schedule sex in advance. When couples do this in good faith, the higher-libido lover no longer has to grovel, and the lower-libido lover no longer feels besieged. Over time, the resentments engendered by the desire difference fade, and as the conflict subsides, relationship and sexual satisfaction improve.

To schedule sex, the first issue is: How often? Of course, that's up to you, and there's no right or wrong. But according to the landmark "Sex in America" survey, most couples over 50 make love one to three times a month. Decide on your frequency, and then get out your calendars.

Almost inevitably, the lower-libido lover objects, saying, "What if I'm not in the mood?" After the hot-and-heavy period, one's mood rarely has much to do with it. Most lower-libido spouses are surprised to discover that when they no longer exhaust themselves fending off nightly advances, they feel open to sex when it's scheduled. Still skeptical? Try scheduling for a few months, and if you don't like it, stop.

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