By Eve Marx
A piece of advice many couples counselors offer clients who say their intimate life has taken a nose dive is to go on vacation and make love. A lot. That’s because vacation sex is supposedly different – better –than regular sex. And why? Because you’re in a new location. Vacation sex is also closely associated with relaxed, unhurried sex, hours of foreplay, luxurious early morning sex, hard and fast sex in the shower, trying new things. Then there’s the relaxation thing: You’re chilled out on vacation and not obsessed with work, your crazy relatives, your problem children, all the normal things that regularly rob you of your sex drive. On vacation, there’s none of that, right? That’s what everyone thinks.
The truth is that vacation in and of itself can be stressful. While you may stay in bed longer and have more alcohol to drink, in reality a lot of alcohol will just put the both of you to sleep. And unless your idea of vacation is quietly lying by a pool, many vacations aren’t exactly relaxing. Depending who you’re with and what you’re doing, your day may be action packed. There may be multiple museums to visit, hours of sightseeing, or physically demanding activities such as skiing, or sailing. Playing with the grandkids can be quite tiring, too.
Yet there is the great expectation of sex. This can be troubling. Many long time married people no longer even share the same bedroom. Having to share a bed and a bath when you normally don’t can cause stress.
Assuming you hope on vacation you and your partner can be as one flesh, here’s some hints and tips how to make love happen.
Don’t feel you have to make love the first night (or afternoon). Just because a bed appears before you the moment you open the door to your hotel room, you don’t have to use it. You’re not 17. When you first arrive at your destination, limit your intimacy. Snuggle, spoon, but mostly, get some sleep. In particular, if you haven’t been physically intimate for a while, let things evolve slowly. Use this vacation time together to re-establish intimacy in small steps.
Go out of your way to ‘be nice.’ In your regular life, there’s probably not a lot of time or opportunity to touch, kiss, say nice things to each other. Use this vacation time to connect physically and emotionally. It can start with a smile. Or holding hands.
Lovemaking doesn’t start in the hotel room. Use the time spent out of the room as foreplay. Throughout the day, whether you’re sightseeing, taking a canoe out on the water, teaching your nephew how to fish, as long as you’re together, whatever you’re doing, be playful with your partner. Flirt with him.
It’s not your bed, so don’t be afraid to mess it. Take advantage of the fact that these are not your sheets. Believe it or not, many women are inhibited from truly expressing themselves or trying new things because they don’t want to ruin the linen! But guess what? It’s not your linen. Don’t be afraid to use it.
Now’s the time to put on that sexy nightie or new lingerie. There’s a good chance you’ve accumulated a few special things you’ve never worn. Your husband may have even bought them for you! This is the time to release them from the back of your drawer and flaunt them. At home, you may feel self conscious walking around the bedroom in a sexy black negligee, but in a new environment, that very item may be the perfect thing to stimulate his – and your - erotic imagination.
Eve Marx writes frequently about sex for ThirdAge.com.