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How can couple spice up their love life? Try cooking together.

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

Dear Dr. Diana,

My husband and I both work at home, and we are starting to go a little stir crazy. We’ve caught up on all the movies we wanted to watch and tried all the usual restaurants for take-out or delivery. We’re just getting bored in general.

Fortunately, we get along fine, but the boredom is beginning to spill over into the bedroom. We still have sex about once a week, but it’s getting more perfunctory and less satisfying. We don’t want to fall into the rut of a sexless marriage (like some of our friends have).

Any suggestions for how we can spice things up?

—Going Stir Crazy

Dear Stir Crazy,

Boredom is in part the result of a shortage of dopamine, the neurotransmitter chemical produced in the brain that is closely associated with pleasure and reward seeking. New experiences trigger the release of dopamine, which in turn heads off feelings of boredom. Trying something new and different would certainly help in your situation. One simple way to add some novelty to your relationship: try cooking together.

In my book Love in the Time of Corona I suggest dozens of novel things that couples can try, from using sex toys to fantasy role playing, from sensual touch exercises to kinky sex fun, and much, much more.

But novelty does not have to involve sex directly. You mention your boredom with eating restaurant food at home, which is understandable since the full dining out experience would normally include so much more (getting out of the house, interacting with others, enjoying a new ambiance, etc.).

I suggest you and your husband try cooking some special dinners at home for the two of you. Plan the menu together and make sure each of you has a hand in the cooking. Experiment with some aphrodisiac foods and integrate them into your menu. (Simple Sexy Food: 101 Tasty Aphrodisiac Recipes and Sensual Tips to Stir Your Libido and Feed Your Love by Linda De Villers is a great resource.)

The anticipation of an aphrodisiac meal is often an aphrodisiac in itself. Get dressed up and set the table with cloth napkins, candlelight, and flowers to add a touch of romance. Preparing and eating food at home with your partner can become a sensual prelude to sex. Include some finger foods and feed each other. Make “gastronomic foreplay” a part of your date night at home.


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Advice From a Sex Therapist

for Couples in Quarantine

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The Sex Menu exercise helps clarify what sexual activities you and your partner are interested in. Just write Yes, No or Maybe next to each item on the list. Then share it with your partner. You may uncover some fun new avenues to explore.


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