The Ultimate Sex Guide for Newlyweds

Every married couple faces concerns that can cool the hottest love life. Here's how to keep sex fun and fulfilling.

By Sarì Harrar and Rita DeMaria | Ph.D. from The 7 Stages of Marriage

Don’t use sex as a bargaining chip. Angry? Say something — don’t grunt or “hmph” and roll over. Withholding lovemaking when you’re upset turns this deep, vulnerable connection into a nuclear weapon for power struggles. Adding layers of resentment to your feelings about physical intimacy is a surefire way to make sure neither of you will be in the mood.

Have realistic expectations. And in particular, dial back on multi-orgasmic, transcendental expectations. Even for the most happily married couples, more than 10 percent of sexual encounters aren’t even pleasurable for one or both spouses, Dr. McCarthy says. An off night — maybe the sex is hurried, you’re tired or distracted, or simply uncomfortable — doesn’t mean you’ve got a big problem. It’s life. Don’t expect perfect sex every time — or wait for the perfect moment to pounce on your mate. Just connect!

Make it eye-to-eye, soul-to-soul. You’ll feel more vulnerable — but couples report they also feel sexier, more attractive, more in-the-moment, and closer when they look into each other’s eyes during sex.

Never underestimate the power of a quickie. You won’t always have all the time in the world for making love — and maybe you don’t already. Don’t overlook fast sex. It keeps the two of you in the intimacy loop, so you don’t jeopardize the compassion, happiness, romance, and understanding that sexual closeness can bring.

Get more marriage secrets, tips, and advice.