Little Things You Are Doing That Are Probably Wreaking Havoc On Your Sex Life

When it comes to what makes a relationship work and last, certain things are as unique as the couples themselves. Take sex, for instance. Without question, the amount of times that two individuals choose to engage in physical intimacy can vary. However, there is something we know for sure. Several studies reveal that a sexless relationship is defined as when a couple has sex less than once a month (or 10 times a year, per Everyday Health), while a couple in a healthy sexual relationship has sex no less than once a week (or 54 times a year, via NBC News).

So, what happens if you're someone who happens to fall somewhere in between, and you want to do something to improve your sexual relationship? If that's the case, you're in luck. Below are 15 "little" things that tend to have a pretty big impact when it comes to the quality of people's sex lives. Hopefully, after reading them, making a few "tweaks" here and there can help you get your sex life where you want it to be.

Using your bedroom for more than just sex and sleep can kill the mood

Terry Cralle (RN, certified Clinical Sleep Educator, and co-author of "Sleeping Your Way To The Top") once told Forbes something that a lot of interior designers would probably agree with — the bedroom should be reserved for nothing other than sleep and sex. That's because if any room of your house should be seen as a place to decompress, your bedroom would be it.

Not to mention the fact that there are studies that say taking your phone to bed can negatively impact your level of intimacy. So can bringing work to bed, watching or reading the news in bed, letting the entire family hang out in your bedroom, and holding "formal meetings" about what's on your to-do list while you're in there (via HuffPost).

As Chicago-based therapist Danielle Kepler says, "Obviously, couples need to discuss the logistics of the day ― someone has to pick up the kids or plan dinner for tomorrow ― but not in the bedroom. There's something about this type of discussion that can zap the intimacy and romance out of a room." When it comes to keeping your sex life strong, that's certainly something to take to heart.

Not putting socks on before turning in can prevent orgasms

Mattress Advisor once took a survey of 1,015 people to learn more about their sleep patterns. One thing the survey revealed is that about 50 percent of the respondents sleep naked. That's good to know, because sleeping in the buff can do all sorts of things: It can strengthen your immunity, regulate your body temperature, release toxins from your system, improve your fertility, and raise your oxytocin levels so that you end up feeling closer to your partner (via WebMD).

Just make sure that on the nights when you plan on having sex, you keep your socks on. It might sound weird, but the logic behind it (especially for women) is that warmth is often associated with feelings of safety, while feeling cold can be connected with danger. Since the more relaxed a person feels, the easier it is to climax, putting on a pair of socks can literally prevent you from having "cold feet" in the bedroom so that you can orgasm more and more (via Shape).

Again, it might sound odd, but look at it as one of those "don't knock it until you've tried it" kind of things.

Taking allergy medications can lead to vaginal dryness

One of the purposes of vaginal lubrication is for sex to feel more comfortable. This is part of the reason why foreplay is such an intricate part of physical intimacy (because it cultivates more lubrication). As for how long foreplay should last, some experts say that around 20 minutes should do the trick (via Cosmopolitan). 

However, keep in mind that there are some things that can decrease vaginal dryness, no matter how good the foreplay may be. According to WebMD, some of the things that top the list include perimenopause/menopause, smoking, childbirth, immunity disorders, and douching. Other things that can cause dryness are asthma, cold, and allergy medications. The logic behind this is these types of medicines oftentimes contain antihistamines which can reduce the amount of bodily fluids in your system, including when it comes to vaginal lubrication (via Everyday Health). So, if you're someone who is currently taking this type of medication, make sure to up your water dosage.

Not cleaning up with your partner can hinder satisfying sexual experiences

Everyday Health enumerates six reasons why many people find themselves not in the mood for sex. Interestingly, the top reason is stress. The article states that trying to find the balance between work and things outside of work can take its toll — to the point where bedroom action oftentimes suffers.

That's why it actually makes a lot of sense that when couples evenly divvy up chores, their sex life tends to improve (per Science Daily). When two people are working together to take care of the home, not only does that mean there is less work to be done, but there is a deeper connection that's established when both feel like the other is being empathetic towards them.

While the study also states that participating in housework shouldn't be about expecting more sex from your partner, it does seem to be a natural result. When both people are actively doing chores, their level of passion in the bedroom seemingly does escalate. It's likely because you feel that your partner wants to make life easier for you. And that is pretty attractive.

Doing the "same ole' same ole'" leads to boredom over time

Healthline cites data in the Journal of Sex Research saying that "27 percent of women and 41 percent of men are sexually dissatisfied in their current relationship." And while there are probably a billion different reasons why this is the case, one of the top ones is sheer boredom.

While this may be a harsh reality, it's also understandable. When you take into account that when you're in a long-term relationship, it can sometimes be challenging to keep things fresh and new. Still, one study revealed that there are specific things that can trigger boredom in the relationship — things like always have sex in the same position(s), not feeling as connected with your partner, or not having enough sex (via PsyPost).

If you want to avoid sexual boredom in your own relationship, perhaps the best approach is to discuss the issue with your partner. The more intentional you are about keeping spice in your relationship, the more satisfying your sex life can — and likely will — become.

Not having a consistent sex life can cause you and your partner to fight more

It probably comes as no shocker that when two people are fighting a lot, they probably aren't in the mood to have much sex. Here's the twist: If couples don't have a consistent sex life, that could actually be what causes them to fight so much in the first place. Some of the backstory on this is scientific.

According to The Healthy, going long times without sex can cause certain feel-good hormones (like oxytocin, dopamine, and your endorphins) to decrease. This basically means that if you haven't had sex in a while and you're in a not-so-great mood, there's probably an underlying physical reason for that. Also, going without sex for a long while can affect the overall stability of your relationship. In fact, some studies say that it can cause you to think there are problems within your relationship that don't really exist, especially if you attempt to initiate intimacy and your partner decides to turn you down.

Relying on make-up sex can lead to a breakdown in communication

Inc. shares the top 10 things that long-term couples fight about, including money, chores, a lack of quality time, where they are going to spend the holiday, and yes, how often they have sex. If you read that list and thought to yourself, "What we usually do is have some make-up sex to make it all better," keep reading.

Although the passion of make-up sex can be pretty exhilarating, clinical psychologist Dr. Seth Meyers says (via Psychology Today) that the allure of make-up sex can be as addictive (and unhealthy) as cocaine. "The truth is that most make-up sex results from having felt and expressed extreme negative emotions during a heated argument, without any true resolution afterward." According to Meyers, the desire to immediately stop experiencing the "negative extreme end" of the emotional spectrum is what drives couples to "switch gears" and head straight to make-up sex (and the high that accompanies it).

That said, make-up sex is fine, as long as it's not used as a distraction from actually dealing with what you and your partner fought about in the first place. Bottom line, sex is a form of communication. Just make sure that it's not the only one that you and your partner are engaging in.

Failing to fantasize about your partner can create distance between the two of you

According to Healthline, some of the top sexual fantasies that people have include engaging with multiple partners at once, having sex in a place where you can be seen by strangers, and participating in activities that would be considered forbidden and taboo. But did you know that a lot of couples whose sex life is struggling fail to have a different kind of fantasy?

Although fantasizing about someone other than your partner is considered to be normal (and pretty common), there are studies to support that when people sexually envision their partner, it tends to reveal that they have a greater innate desire for them. Not only that, but they typically want to do what makes their partner happy far more than those who fantasize about others do (via Psychology Today).

Something else that was interesting about the study is that couples who fantasize about their partner also tend to be much nicer to them. So, if you want to make things more pleasant for you and your partner both inside and outside of the bedroom, fantasizing about them might just be the key to making that happen.

Consuming too much sugar can totally tank your sex drive

Per the Addiction Center, over 75% of Americans eat too much sugar, and a large number of those individuals have a classic sugar addiction. Here's the problem with that: When you've got too much sugar in your body, it can cause all sorts of health issues. Some of them include weight gain, kidney stones, heart and liver disease, cavities, sleeplessness, ADHD, and premature signs of aging (via WebMD).

Unfortunately, something else that consuming too much of the sweet stuff can do is cause your sex life to go sour. According to Dr. Hyman, there are a few different ways that sugar can tank your libido. It can lower testosterone levels in both men and women. It can drain your energy. Too much sugar in your system can also affect the hormone in your body known as leptin. When you've consumed too much sugar, it can throw your leptin levels off and cause you to lose an interest in sex.

That's why, for the sake of your health and your libido, it's best to have no more than six teaspoons of sugar a day (nine if you're a man). It might take some getting used to at first, but it's worth it.

Drinking too much alcohol isn't great for your libido either

Alcohol and sex have a somewhat complex relationship. On one hand, drinking a couple of glasses of red wine every day can increase the testosterone levels of men while boosting women's libido (via Maxim). The belief is that the quercetin (the plant pigment) that's in red wine helps to keep testosterone flowing smoothly throughout the body, which can make for a really good night.

However, since alcohol is considered to be a depressant, consuming too much of it on a consistent basis has a way of putting you into a bad mood, lowering your libido and/or making it more difficult for men to get or keep an erection (via Everyday Health).

If you enjoy a glass of wine after work, that's perfectly fine. But if you can't even keep up with how many bottles of booze you consume, you should probably scale back a bit. Not just for the sake of your sex life, but your overall health and well-being, too.

Letting too many things stress you out makes orgasms difficult

According to The American Institute of Stress, 55% of Americans feel stressed at some point during the day and 57% feel like their level of stress actually paralyzes them. This should be cause for concern, because stress is tied to all kinds of health-related illnesses including headaches, asthma, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, and shortened longevity (via WebMD).

Something else that stress is prone to do is decrease your libido levels. That's because when you're stressed out, not only does your cortisol (which is your natural stress hormone) start to elevate, but stress can also have you so anxious and preoccupied that you don't have much interest in intimacy (via Verywell Mind). Not only that, but stress can make climaxing difficult, since you usually need to be relaxed in order to orgasm (per SELF).

If you've been feeling really stressed lately, do some meditating, try some aromatherapy, exercise or (get this) engage in sexual activities. Because the irony is that although stress can lower your sex drive, having sex can lower your stress (via Psychology Today).

Forgetting to book romantic vacations affects much-needed quality time

According to the New York Post, around 61 percent of couples stated that they end up being way more romantic with their partner when they're on a vacation with them than when they're at home. The downtime that comes with being away from the demands of everyday life makes that totally understandable.

That's why when Today published a piece that said one of the ways that kids ruin sex lives is by always being on trips with their parents, it made a lot of sense, too. After all, it's pretty difficult to get some real quality time in when you're trying to keep up with all of the activities you've got planned for your children (or worse, if they're sharing a room with you).

It's not selfish to plan annual adults-only vacations. You deserve it, so make it a priority. Your sex life will only flourish if and when you do.

Not having a sex journal can keep you from being mindful about sexual intimacy

If you're someone who isn't all that big on journaling, there's no time like the present to start. Healthline shares that getting a book and jotting your thoughts down comes with all sorts of health benefits. For instance, did you know that journaling reduces stress, lowers your blood pressure, puts you in a better mood, decreases negativity, and helps you to process your emotions? And if you want to improve your sex life, what you should do is engage in a little bit of sex journaling.

If you're not familiar with what sex journaling is, it's basically about setting aside time to jot down your sexual experiences, fantasies, and deep desires, along with the feelings that you have about them. The reason why this can benefit your sex life is twofold: It can help you to gain a greater understanding of how you process sex, and it can help you to better articulate your emotions and needs with your partner (via SELF).

Since great sex is about establishing solid mutual communication, anything that can help to make that happen is certainly worth the effort. Right?

Going to bed with pajamas on can hinder oxytocin from being exchanged

We've already talked about how sleeping naked (as long as you keep your socks on) can be really good for your sex life, especially if you're looking to get a few orgasms out of the deal. However, there's another reason why wearing less clothing when you turn in for the evening is beneficial to your relationship.

Even on the nights when sex isn't on the menu, ditching your PJs for as little clothing as possible is still a wise move. That's because when your skin comes into contact with your partner's, it triggers the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin is what helps you to bond with your partner. Plus, skin-to-skin contact helps to increase your serotonin and dopamine levels as well (via Bustle).

So, whether it's kissing, cuddling, spooning, or even just throwing one of your legs over your partner tonight, ditch the footie pajamas and opt for something ... less. You'll feel closer to your partner when you do — and who knows what that could lead to?

Sticking to just one temperature can make orgasms less intense

Did you know that your sex drive tends to increase during the summer as opposed to during the wintertime? Sunlight and heat actually help to stimulate a hormone within a woman's body known as Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone (MSH). It's a hormone that helps to get one's libido going. However, your sex drive may not be higher during the wintertime or when it's cooler, because more melatonin tends to be secreted — and it's a hormone that makes you sleepy (via The Health Site).

Does this mean that you can only have really great sex during one season of the year? Absolutely not! What a lot of health and sex experts have come to realize is that playing with different temperatures is what can intensify your sexual experiences. For instance, while heat can increase blood flow to your genitalia, ice can offer a stimulating sensation that's super erotic (via Cosmopolitan).

In other words, switching up temperatures in order to bring some spontaneity and intensity into your boudoir is both a hot idea and a cool trick.