Dear Dr. Jane,
I don't know about other people, but this year has been very challenging for me and my partner. Now it's the holidays and we're both stressed out. Making love is the last thing on our LONG list of things to do, but I don't want us to get to 2023 and feel distant. Do you have any suggestions about how to stay connected without a lot of pressure or a lot of money? We're on a budget.
Holiday Blahs (already)
This time of year is often stressful for couples—and with our collective pandemic hangover, December 2022 is feeling even less romantic than usual. If you're like my clients, you're probably exhausted. Turning each other on isn't exactly on your radar, but you don't want to drift apart. I get it. Here are two simple DIY adventures that'll help you both feel good about each other without breaking the budget.
Adventure #1: Take a Snuggle/Nap "Schnapp" Together
Supplies: eye masks if you need them, cozy blanket and pillows
Duration: 90 minutes
Description: If you're like most people, you're running full tilt pretty much all the time. You're exhausted and so is your partner. Sleep deprivation is a public health crisis in the U.S. Good news! There's nothing like a yummy snuggle nap to make that better. A snuggle nap is more than your basic afternoon snooze. Get your room ready for the snuggle nap by closing the blinds if you have them, making the bed as cozy as possible and maybe putting on a sound machine. Add some mild aromatherapy for a nice touch. Take a quick shower first and either put on comfy jammies or get in bed nude. Climb under the covers or a soft throw. Tuck in together. Cuddle up, snuggle and touch as you fall asleep. Beautiful, sensual, restful. Yes.
- If you have littles, they'll need to be napping, too, or you'll need a sitter for this adventure.
- Don't be shy to get a sitter for a snuggle nap. It's one of the best things you can do for your relationship.
- Put some effort into your snuggle nap and create a restorative experience for you both.
- Make an agreement about sex before you start. This is a snuggle nap—not an afternoon of sex unless both partners are really feeling it.
Adventure #2: Take a Sensual Bath - together or alone
Supplies: bathtub, Epsom salts or bubbles, candles, beverage
Duration: 60 minutes
Description: Water soothes us. We were water creatures even before we were born. They say that the human body is made up of more than 50% water. It's not surprising that we relax when we get into a body of water. The water will buoy you up. It'll take away stress by allowing your body to float. Run a bath just for your partner or for you both. Add Epsom salts or scented bubble bath. Turn the lights down low. Add candles and some soothing music or nature sounds. Get a small towel to put behind your partner's head for a pillow. If you're not getting in the bath, get your partner fruit, berries or cheese and crackers to snack on.
- You can make a tea of herbs to add to your bath. Infuse one ounce of herbs into one quart of boiling water. Let the tea stand for 20 minutes, then strain the herbs out of the liquid. Add the herbal bath tea to the bath water plus two cups of Epsom salts. Lavender is perfect for this.
- Want to up your level? Put a big fluffy towel in the dryer and when your partner's ready to get out of the bath, stand nearby and hold the towel open for them.
I'll be sharing more of these DIY adventures from time to time here in the Understanding Intimacy column. Intimacy doesn't always have to be serious. Sometimes getting some rest or taking a sexy bath is just what the Sex Doctor ordered. You got this.
—Dr. Jane Guyn (she/her) is a well-known relationship coach who received her Ph.D. in Human Sexuality and is trained as a Professional Sex Coach and Core Energy Coach. Send her your questions at [email protected].