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8 Ways To Have More Sophisticated Sex With Your Sweetheart

02/04/2016 09:44 EST | Updated 02/04/2017 05:12 EST

Be honest. Have you started wearing your husband's T-shirts to bed too often? Have your formerly grand romantic efforts dwindled to a half-hearted, "So, you wanna?" Well, today's your -- and your partner's -- lucky day. Here are eight easy ways to class-up a sex life that has fallen out of fashion.

1. Lay the foundation

If you want to have more sophisticated sex, have a more sophisticated relationship. Keep criticism and negativity out of your voice tone. Don't blame your partner for everything. Control your temper. Admit your own faults. Listen to your partner's complaints about the relationship and learn to express your complaints with respectful honesty and a team approach. Act in a trustworthy way and expect the same from your partner. The list goes on, but you get the idea.

2. Makeover your bedroom

Create a sensual sanctuary for two with deeply coloured walls, heavy drapes and luxurious linens (less flannel, more satin!). Or go the other route with a clean white look, including crisp white sheets. Toss some variously sized and textured cushions on the bed. These don't just look chic, they can also support different sexual positions. Or for romantic relaxation, choose a couple of stylish shiatsu massage cushions like the ones from M Cushion. Play some Classical or spa music and burn some incense or scented candles. Take down the family vacation pics (they can go in the hallway!) and put up a painting of Eros and Psyche in love. Remember that your bedroom is your romantic retreat from the world.

3. Five-star fragrance

Indulge in differently-scented body lotions: not only do they make your skin soft, but each unique fragrance is a new treat for your partner. A refined alternative to lotion is dusting powders. LUSH is a high-end company that carries a great line of these (and bonus: LUSH is against animal testing). You can use these dusting powders on your body or sprinkle them on your bedsheets. Check it out at Lush.com. As for the gentlemen, don't underestimate the arousing properties of a good cologne.

4. Make it steamy

To be sure, the bathroom can be a sexy space. Burn a Shunga Erotic Art Candle for ambiance and indulge in a "sensual Japanese bath experience" with this company's famous Lovebath. Made in Montreal, Canada with the highest quality ingredients and dressed in exquisite packaging, award-winning Shunga Erotic Art is world renown for the sophistication they bring to sexual products. When you're finished your bath, move into the bedroom for a sensual massage with their Kissable Massage Cream. Check them out at shunga.com.

5. Revisit classical romance

The best things never go out of style. Wine, chocolates and flowers are icons of romance for a reason, but it's important to shop for quality. Happily, that's easy to do, especially if you shop online. PrimeWines.com offers gorgeous gift sets like this nice Cabernet and Godiva chocolate deal. As for flowers, keep it fresh -- which doesn't mean fresh cut. Stop by a local gardening shop or florist and choose a potted flowering plant for your sweetheart. To put a savvy spin on tradition, choose a flowering cactus garden or even a fragrant herb garden wrapped in a thick red or gold ribbon.

shellac nails

6. Erotic aides

The term "erotic aides" has a decidedly classier ring to it than sex toys, doesn't it? A simple restraint and/or blindfold can add stylish soft kink to intimacy. You can use a man's tie or a woman's long stocking, perhaps spritzed with a little perfume or cologne for an added touch. If you find the appearance of most sex toys off-putting, try a glass toy. These are ultra-hygienic, with designs that aspire to erotic glass art instead of a nasty "novelty" look. Their constitution (Pyrex glass) allows them to hold temperature well, so you can "play" with warmth and coolness. Icicles is a manufacturer that is available via many online stores. (I'd provide a link, but this product is definitely NSFW).

7. Dress for the occasion

Just as you'd dress appropriately for a night out at the opera, so should you dress appropriately for a night of romantic lovemaking. Lingerie isn't just eye candy for men: it can help women feel sensual and get in the mood for sex. Happily, most high-end shops now offer real-world sizing and expert staff to help you look and feel your best. To keep things fresh, alternate between sweet-sexy (a white cotton nightie) and sinful-sexy (a racier bra and panty set). For an extra touch, wear jewelry to bed. A sexy choker or a winding upper-arm bracelet can stay on when everything else comes off. Icing.com offers one of the widest selections of affordable body chains to accessories your after-dark wardrobe.

8. Mind and body pleasure

Many couples turn to erotica and sex guides for ideas to freshen up a love life that might be going a bit stale. Kiss Me Goodnight: Bedtime Erotica for Couples Plus 30 Nightly Sex Tips for a Month of Pleasure (C.L. Swift) is a couple-friendly offering that is very tasteful for the genre. It advertises itself as two books in one: part erotica, part sex guide, which as far as I can tell is unique. The print edition also has a stylish B&W cover so it looks good on your nightstand.

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, my list of eight ways to have more sophisticated sex with your sweetheart. Some tips may be new to you, while others are friendly reminders to freshen up your love life. Either way, why not start checking things off the list tonight?

Visit Debra's private practice at MarriageSOS.com

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