Sex Tips for Couples

Tips and tricks to get the most out of the first year.

The first year of a relationship has its ups and downs. Here’s how to eliminate the downs and keep it up all year long.

Girlfriends come with a built-in sex guarantee, but what’s not guaranteed is whether she’ll want to do it as frequently or with the same fire (read: as slammed on tequila and Percocet) as you. Here’s how to navigate the highs, the lows, and the middles of you and your girl’s first year of getting it on.

Three Weeks: Turn to the Dark Side

After a few getting-to-know-you rolls in the hay, you’re probably dying to bump things up from PG-13 to an undisclosed number of X’s. Try taking it one X at a time by picking a single raunchy move from your arsenal of “sexual eclecticism” and asking her nicely if she’d be up for giving it a go. You may be surprised to discover she’s got a freaky side somewhere, so really all you’re doing her is the favor of letting it out.

“About a month after I started dating this one guy, he told me he was a spanker,” says Sasha,* 30. “Not like whips and flogs, but like manly, open-handed swats to my ass. I wasn’t certain that I wanted to play along, but when he gave me a couple of introductory wallops, the way he looked straight into my eyes while he was doing it was a huge turn-on. From then on my

ass—and the rest of me—was slightly reddened putty in his hands.”

Three Months: Crash the Pajama Party

Curse that inevitable night when sleeping together will mean…you know, sleeping. What started as wine-me, dine-me, screw-me-in-the-taxi-home dating has now, after a few short months, turned into TiVo and takeout. Time to negotiate a precoital contract! Like Kristyn, 27, who conquered sex-life doldrums by instituting a “sex every night” rule with her boyfriend.

“Honestly, it turned out to be one of the most erotic times in my life—just day in and day out of turning him on or getting turned on,” she says. “We didn’t want to get to the end of the day and realize that neither one of us was in the mood to do it, so we would tease each other mercilessly; the sexting and the hot voice mails were nearly constant. We also discovered about a half-dozen erotic zones—behind my knee, between his shoulder blades—that we still rely on to turn each other on, and our repertoire of where and when to fuck has become ex­ponentially greater.”

Unfortunately, not every girl gets what’s so sexy about putting you on her to-do list. 

Plan B: Remember that chores around the house count as foreplay…when you do them, that is. “Coming home from work, I’m thinking about having to make dinner and do laundry,” says Danette, 30. “Knowing this, my man has a plan. He’ll grab my favorite sandwich from the deli, then get to my place early and clean it. When I walk in the door, I don’t have any problems to solve, and I’m reminded how awesome my guy is. His shot at the trifecta means a slam dunk in the bedroom before I’ve even started on the sandwich.”

Your final line of offense: If you can’t beat her, join her. “Offer to fix her a dish of ice cream, but get a little creative with it,” says Jen, 25. “Spoon a scoop into her mouth, then lick a little mint chocolate chip off her lips. Show off your tongue’s cherry-stem-tying abilities and tell her where you’d really like to put that whipped cream. Jammies, ice cream, and your mouth all over her? That, I believe, is how a couple should get over the midweek, hump-day blues.”

Six Months: Fight Dirty, Apologize Dirtier

Your first real fight comes with a built-in silver lining: steaming-hot make-up sex!

The catch: She currently wishes you were trapped inside a vat of steaming-hot garbage juice. Some chicks do get off on despising your guts. Heed Pam, 27: “Am I the only one who likes hate sex? Don’t try to talk to me. Just fuck me in anger, please.” (And, no, you cannot have Pam’s e-mail address.) But most chicks require some slick maneuvering on your part to get from livid to horny. Here’s the bad news: Lust means always having to say you’re sorry.

As Clara, 28, says, “Even if you swear you did nothing wrong, nothing’s sexier than a guy willing to take the fall for a fight. And that gives him an incentive to get me in a compromising position later, when I’ll be dying to take it all back.”

Guys who are especially gifted in b.s. might even be able to pull off the sex without pleading guilty. “He’ll touch me on one of my hot spots, pulling my body into his with one hand firmly on the small of my back, and tell me that he’s sorry for what he said,” says Josephine, 24, of her boyfriend’s sneaky tactics. “By drawing me close, he’s got me looking at him eye to eye, and I’ll usually melt in a second and suggest we head to the bed. This worked on me probably a dozen times before I realized he never actually admits he was wrong in the first place—and that it’s always me who’s begging him to shut up so we can go and fuck.”

Nine Months: Get Your Flirt On

By now you know your girlfriend’s friends pretty well, especially “the hot one.” Like­wise, your girl has probably figured out which of the guys in your entourage hit on their buddies’ girlfriends relentlessly. At this point wandering eyes and jealousies may start to develop, but resist a relationship bailout. What if these harmless little attractions could serve as your own personal stimulus package?

“I always tell my boyfriend about my silly crushes,” admits Tricia, 26. “Innocent crushes and flirtatious friendships make both of us feel attractive and wanted. The key is to bring that energy to bed and use it on each other rather than going out and fucking other people.”

However, there are two very important caveats on this point. One, let her go first. Aside from celebrity crushes, you can’t start telling a girl willy-nilly the names of all the real-life people you’ve got the hots for, unless she has already cracked open that door. Two, you can admit to crushing on any female except her BFF, who is strictly spank-bank-only material.

One Year: We Made It! Let’s Do It!

Congratulations, it’s time for the traditional first-anniversary gift: a weekend of marathon hotel sex! Now, she may be the type who wants to plan this in advance, or you might fare better by warming her up the night of, getting her so randy that she’ll agree to anything that won’t land her in a Turkish prison.

Either way, Darcy, 30, knows a guaranteed girl turn-on, perfect for a special occasion. “Big nights out for us usually start as hot nights in. My guy always catches me right after I’ve done my hair and makeup and slipped into a sexy outfit. Since I’m all gussied up already, we’ll do it on the kitchen counter or in the hallway against the wall—having sex upright prevents my hair from getting messy or my makeup smudged. We always wind up leaving for the restaurant later than we planned—and bringing a bigger appetite.”

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