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How to Up Your Intimacy Game in Your Relationship

I’m not going to lie: I often walk down the street and stare at hot power couples in envy, thinking “Boy, I bet they have so much good sex.”

Sure, that might be a little weird and voyeuristic of me, but who doesn’t wonder about the sex lives of others (even perfect strangers)? It’s natural to be curious, and it makes total sense to want to emulate the habits of couples who have lots of sex.

The sad truth about long-term relationships is that, whether you’ve been dating for five months or five years, you can fall into a sexual rut (sometimes more than once). Issues like mismatched libidos, high stress levels, poor communication — all these things can keep you from having the healthy, awesome sex life you deserve. Only by being proactive and making changes to your routine — both individually and as a couple — can you see results.

I spoke to Lauren Brim, a sexual wellness coach and author of The New Rules of Sex, to find out how you and your partner can have the most satisfying (and frequent) sex. After all, sex is vital to relationships.

“Sex is often seen as something we outgrow or can easily go without, but sexuality and intimacy are an expression of our life force, creativity and love, and must be expressed to be fully realized as a people,” Brim tells Bustle. “If our sexuality isn’t being expressed, it will show up as problems in other areas of our body and life. Plus, sex is just too damn good for you to live your life without it!”

Preach, sister. If you’ve fallen off the sex wagon and are looking to get back on track in the bedroom, here are nine habits for you and your SO to adopt ASAP.

1. They Flirt Often

“The most important thing to keep your sex life healthy in a relationship is to keep the sexual energy simmering in-between the act,” Brim says. “This could be commenting when your partner looks extra hot, gently slapping, squeezing or pinching them when you pass them in the kitchen or raising your eyebrows in an ooh-la-la [way] when you see them undressing to jump in the shower. Noticing your partner’s attractiveness will make them feel desired and keep you both wanting each other in bed.”

2. They Communicate Well

I can’t possibly quantify how many times I’ve said that communication is key for healthy relationships (both in and out of the bedroom). Couples who can talk about their emotional issues as well as their sexual wants and needs are more likely to get it on more often, because they know exactly what to do to please their partner.