Romantic Sex

There are certain things that seem to make sex more romantic. Settings, words, and actions are the most prominent. If you are trying to make your relationship more romantic, you may need to reconsider how exactly sex plays out. Then, it is possible to intensify the romantic elements in this key part of a relationship.


The lion's share of sexual events takes place, as they probably should, in the bedroom. There are many things you can do to make the bedroom more romantic. For example, install a dimmer switch so you can turn the lights down low without making the room completely dark. Being able to see each other in soft light is romantic. Candles serve the same purpose, so have them available. To get the same result, keep a dark scarf handy to throw over a lamp. Other ideas include:

  • Placing your contraception in a bedside drawer so you don't have to get out of bed

  • Having access to soft music

  • Adding soft scents to the room, such as scented candles, a touch of fragrance on the sheets, or a vase of fresh flowers

  • Shutting out all other noises and distractions

Remember, the bedroom is only one of several romantic sexual settings. Others include a quiet corner of the park, a deserted beach, and even a car or van, if it's the only place you can be alone. A private balcony at a hotel can be a highly romantic and seductive setting.

In general, the features that make a setting romantic include quiet, intimate lighting, privacy, and a soft place to lie down. These are easy enough to find on a daily basis. We think it's a grand goal to enhance places that are already good settings while you look for others. It's also a good idea to identify the places you can go as a couple to gain the kind of inspiration that later leads to sexual intimacy. Knowing where they are adds a great tool to your romantic arsenal.

The Romantic Settings Quiz

Rate the romantic potential of each of these places, in terms of how strongly it puts you in the mood, on a scale of 1 (not at all) to 10 (highly seductive). Compare your score with your lover's. Then, frequent the places you both like!

Romantic Words

Lovemaking involves all of the senses; seeing, smelling, tasting, and touching seem to come naturally. The one to work on is hearing. Romantic couples say loving things while they're intimate. Here is a sampling of romantic things to say while you and your lover are between the sheets:

“You feel good.”

“I am so secure when I'm with you.”

“This feels so right.”

“Touching you is special.”

“I feel so close to you right now.”

“I want to spend my whole life with you.”

“You are the best lover ever.”

“We are so good together.”

“Can't we just stay like this forever?”

“You are so (big, small, soft, hard, good, bad, etc.)”

And, of course, the ever popular …

“I love you.”

Quiet whispers of passion, affection, and love help make sex even more romantic. Combined with the natural moans and rhythmic breathing that just happen, these sounds add a new dimension to the experience. There is nothing quite like that.

Romantic lovers want to please each other more than anything else.

The other key use of words while being intimate is to make sure your lover is getting the kind of attention he or she wants and needs. It never hurts to ask what a romantic partner desires. You may find he or she wants prolonged foreplay, some specific form of gratification, or even just to move on to intercourse quickly. Communication during sex is a great asset. When both partners are willing to express their desires and preferences, each becomes more likely to be satisfied with the time together. This is not a matter of being selfish, because it works in both directions.

Romantic Actions

Is romantic sex slower paced? In general, we believe the answer is yes. Romantic sex should include more eye contact, lots of touching, soft words, and lingering kisses. These things take time. Besides, the idea is to savor the moment, not rush through it.

The actual act of lovemaking, of course, takes many forms and positions. Romantic lovemaking, however, should include three ingredients. First, both of you should share the same mindset. This happens naturally most of the time. Still, it never hurts to say something along the lines of, “I'm feeling especially close to you,” as you begin. This will set the stage properly, increasing the tenderness of the moment. Second, romantic lovemaking often is focused less on orgasms and more on passion, feeling, and experiencing each other. The whole point is to be joined as one. This union goes beyond sex into a different realm. There is no feeling quite like romantic sex. Third, while it may begin slowly, sometimes it doesn't stay that way. A truly romantically entangled couple reacts to each other as the event progresses. There is a certain power in this kind of intercourse that is not the same as a session designed to be more athletic in form. All versions are satisfying in different ways, including sex for fun. Still, from time to time, lovemaking stands out because of the connection made. That's when romantic sex is truly taking place.

Some folks believe that lighthearted episodes are equally bonding experiences. For example, greeting your husband at the door naked while holding a martini would be an attempt at romance. So would grabbing a quickie in a coat closet or wrapping yourself in cellophane or wrapping paper, complete with ribbon and bow. We're not going to dispute this view. The point is to find that form that fits your demeanor and approach to love and sex.

The following are suggestions for sexy stuff to wear: ankle bracelet, bikini briefs, flowers in your hair, muscle shirt/gym shorts, silk shirt (with several buttons undone), silk stockings and high heels, tight sweater, or a toe ring.

Afterglow Issues

Romantic sex leaves people feeling especially close in longer-term relationships and probably more vulnerable in newly emerging relationships. Both circumstances seem to cry out for reassurance and additional romantic activity. We know that men tend to get pretty sleepy after sex, because it's simply a natural physiological reaction. At the same time, afterplay can last a long time, especially if you include the part of the day when you're dressed again and going about your business. A gentle hug combined with a comment about how great it was or how much you love your partner extends lovemaking into the night.

Hugging several times a day is often a great sexual mood builder for later that night.

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