Ask An Expert: I Love My Partner. Why Aren’t We Having Sex?

Collage / Alessandra Banal

Psycho-sexologist Chantelle Otten has some hands-on advice to enhance your erotic life.

Q: My husband and I have been together nearly 20 years. We used to have the most amazing sex, but recently, we’ve lost our mojo in bed. In fact, we rarely do it anymore. What can we do

A: Sex toys are a nice way to go. They weren’t really that popular 20 years ago, so we’ve come a very long way in terms of quality, functionality and aesthetics. They’re not as in-your-face so to speak — you can get some very beautiful sex toys.

I often get asked, what if my partner finds it threatening? Sex toys are meant to be extensions of your sexual self. There are just some things that fingers and hands and mouths and penises cannot do — they cannot vibrate. They cannot send air over your clitoris. Inviting sex toys into your bedroom activities is a really wonderful idea. Go shopping with your partner online. Start with solo pleasure and go from there.

Also, change locations, change times. It’s typical for people to do it late at night just before they go to sleep. But why don’t you do it in the morning? Or in the bathroom? Or in your car? Somewhere that will make it feel a little bit more exciting, without having to compromise your comfort levels to a huge degree.

In terms of fostering sexual intimacy in the first place, think of it as enhancing eroticism in your relationship. It’s important to have a conversation first and foremost, and say, ‘We need to reconnect’. I would say that being too close to each other, like always snuggling on the couch — you lose a lot of the mystery between you and your partner, right? So I actually think taking weekends away is a really good idea, or doing something new and exciting, and not being so ‘cuddly’, is a good way to foster that kind of erotic energy.

Plan a time and a space: Hey, I’d love to do this with you on Thursday night. Go get new red sheets, have a shower together. Put your phones away. Put on a sexy playlist, wear lingerie that makes you feel really good. It’s actually really simple things, it’s just that we often don’t prioritise sex at all. Put it in the diary: we’re having sex this Friday!”

Chantelle Otten is a Melbourne-based psycho-sexologist who is passionate about empowering people to feel great about their sexual lives. Chantelle spoke to Viva exclusively while in NZ recently as part of her role as resident sexologist for the Bumble dating app. She runs workshops in sexual health via her website,

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