Couples who have been together for a decade or more will be familiar with one another's bodies and know their partner's sexual likes and dislikes, but intimacy - gazing into each other's eyes and really being present during love-making - can sometimes be lost over the years.
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You don't need to invest in a drawer full of sex toys to re-ignite the spark. Borrowing some moves from tantric sex can help increase your sexual energy and deepen the connection you feel with your partner. Don't worry, there's more to it than getting into wacky-sounding Kama Sutra positions - no one is suggesting you try the "jumping spider" with a dodgy knee or a semi-arthritic hip!
1. Set the scene for sensuality
Tantric sex places a lot of emphasis on sensuality. "Delighting the senses" doesn't have to involve sprinkling rose petals on the eiderdown or feeding each other strawberries (though why not!). Simply dimming the lights and burning incense or a scented candle can help elevate love-making from an end-of-day after thought to something special. Don't forget to make sure the temperature is right for both of you – it's hard to be sensual if your feet are freezing.
2. Run your lover a relaxing bath
You may not have the kids living with you anymore, but going from work-mode to full-on sexual delight isn't easy. Taking a soothing bubble bath – complete with candles, soft music and a glass of wine – is a good way to wash away the cares of the day and start focusing on one another.
3. Meditate together
Meditating together can help to clear your minds and open your hearts to one another. Sit cross legged facing each other and close your eyes. Breathe deeply and relax, letting your thoughts drift and fade. Simply enjoy being fully present in the moment together. If you find it hard to relax, it can help to listen to a guided meditation.
4. Gaze into each other's eyes
Gazing into one another's eyes is one of best ways to connect and foster intimacy. If you're used to keeping your eyes closed, it can be surprisingly hard to do. If full-on gazing turns into a staring contest or gives you the giggles, try doing it for a little while. Most tantric experts suggest eye-gazing for between five and 15 minutes in order to connect on the "soul level".
5. Breathe each other's breath
If you're into yoga, the idea of breathing in an energising way will be familiar to you. Even if you're not, it's easy to pick up. To get into the traditional tantric pose – called the yab-yom position – the man sits down cross legged, while the female sits down on top of his legs, facing him. (If straddling is uncomfortable, just sit facing one another). Allow your breathing to synchronise; so that you inhale while your partner exhales and vice versa. At the same time, become conscious of taking air into your body and energising your breath.
6. Take it slow
As you've probably gathered from tales of Sting and his 36-hour lovemaking sessions, achieving orgasm isn't the main goal with tantric sex. Instead, the aim is to prolong love-making, building the energy slowly. The longer you spend on foreplay, the more aroused you will feel, and the longer the session will last. To make it more fun, you could always play with these Frisky Fun Kama Sutra Playing Cards.
7. Try a tantric massage
Giving (and receiving) a tantric massage is a wonderful way to stimulate your senses and prolong foreplay. With your partner lying face down, gently touch their skin with flowers, fabrics or feathers. Start with a gentle touch at non-erogenous zones, then slowly progress to touching their inner thighs and genitals. Have your lover turn over, and then repeat on the front of their body.