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Sexual Healing

Can’t hide love! To enhance intimacy, think beyond sex.

En español | In the blink of an eye, children grow up and leave their parents home alone. If suddenly being just a twosome sounds scary, advice from these experts may calm your mind—and spark your passion.

They say many couples divide their lives into two distinct eras: before and after children. After, romance and intimacy often are placed on a back burner—and, as a new study shows, that’s especially true for Hispanic couples. “Children are the source of happiness, the glue that binds Latino families together,” says Linda Skogrand, assistant professor in Utah State University’s Department of Family, Consumer, and Human Development, who conducted the research. In other words, parenthood trumps partnerhood.

With the children gone, fewer obligations leave couples more time to refocus on their relationship, including their sexuality. Sonia Blasco, M.D., a sexologist who has practiced in Argentina and Miami for 25 years, says this is an ideal time to reignite the fires that initially drew you together. “You need to cultivate passion because it may not reappear spontaneously,” says Blasco, author of the bestseller Camino al orgasmo: La sexualidad femenina sin secretos (Becoming Orgasmic: A Sexual and Personal Growth Program for Women).

“Look at yourself in a mirror and use the best parts of your body to seduce your partner,” she advises. “Think about how you dress, your posture, and the way you walk.” Because skin is highly erotic, get naked, find a comfortable place on a bed or carpet, close your eyes, and pleasure each other with massage. Spend at least 15 minutes silently rediscovering your partner’s skin, temperature, and scents.

Blasco acknowledges that aging often leads to physical changes, but they shouldn’t prevent a couple from enjoying sex. If they do interfere, consult a physician to determine whether the source is physical or emotional. Once identified, most problems can be overcome.

To enhance intimacy and joyfulness, think beyond sex, says Blasco. Use candles and fragrances to turn the space where you spend time together into a sanctuary. Find interests that draw you closer: exercising, walking, or dining with friends. Watch romantic films. Listen to mood music. Try something new, like learning to tango.

But what’s key to keeping marriage sexy through life’s transitions? Talking to each other, Blasco says: “We all have so many dreams and fantasies we couldn’t achieve because we didn’t allow ourselves to. When we mature, we feel free to do what we desire. Reconnect with those lost desires.”

What is your secret to a happy marriage or a great friendship? How have you built the foundation for staying strong with each other?