Like a lot of life’s most wonderful experiences, sex is really what you make of it. Yes, sometimes positively toe-curling encounters occur all on their own, but that’s no reason to simply leave things up to chance. Whether you’re in a long-term monogamous relationship, prefer to play the field, or are getting ready to jump back into the pool after a long time on your own, a little effort goes a long way. The following are some simple but effective ways to keep sex fresh, exciting, and satisfying.

  1. Talk It Out

Communication is one of the easiest (and most effective) ways to keep your sex life as exciting as possible, especially if you’re in a relationship. Maybe you’ve been curious about bringing a favorite sex toy into the bedroom or wanting to try roleplaying on for size. Perhaps you’ve been dying to trade pet fantasies with your partner so you can make one of theirs come true someday.

Whatever the case may be, couples should be talking openly and frequently about sex instead of playing guessing games, so get in the habit of doing this.  When you’re talking about sex with one another, you’re always in the know as to what’s working for you both and what’s not. It’s that much easier to bring up new ideas for consideration as well.

  1. Get a Little Luxe

Not only does everyone like to feel a little pampered from time to time, but using little luxuries as precursors to sex can help build anticipation and boost excitement. If you have a special occasion coming up or simply want to make things feel extra special for a change, take the time to set the mood in preparation for intimacy. Light some candles, turn down the lights, and play some soft music.

Then trade slow, sensual massages with your partner. Be sure to experiment with different ways to soothe the kinks out of those tired muscles. Try using a fragrant body oil to help your hands slide effortlessly over your partner’s skin. You can also experiment with a good wand massager, especially if you’re looking for a no-pressure way to introduce toys into your sex life. Start by keeping things innocent and using the massager to help with the actual massage, but don’t be afraid to finish your partner off with a happy ending if you’re both game.

  1. Try All-Day Foreplay

Sex is always so much hotter when you’ve been positively aching for it all day long. That said, who says foreplay has to start immediately before it’s time to get down and dirty? The earlier in your day you start laying the groundwork for a night to remember, the hotter the sex will ultimately be when it is time to get together at the end of your day.

Start by sending your partner off to enjoy their day with a long kiss and perhaps a little flirty groping. Then keep the heat building by sending them steamy sexts all day long, as well as a super-hot selfie or two if you’re game. By the time you’re together again at the end of the day, you’ll both be more than ready to rip each other’s clothes off and get to it.

  1. Embrace Erotica

The more time you spend thinking about sex and anticipating the next time you’ll have it, the higher your sex drive is ultimately going to be. Erotica and porn can be wonderful ways to explore your personal collection of sexual fantasies both on your own and with your partner. They can also be great ways to get yourself going in anticipation of a potential sexy romp with a partner later on, especially if you bring your vibrator along for the ride.

Porn can also be a great conversation starter for you and your partner. Many couples love watching porn together as a way to get in the mood or come up with some fun new bedroom tricks to try. Others like watching porn separately and sharing or discussing clips they especially liked later on. There’s no wrong way to go about it, so just do what comes naturally.

  1. Be Open to Possibility

While there’s definitely a lot to be said for a well-planned romantic night in, it’s important to be open to spontaneity as well. Always keep your eyes open for opportunities to get frisky or get a little sexy. Take advantage of those dark corners, out of the way places, and little chance moments that sometimes fall in your lap out of nowhere. Whisper sexy things in your partner’s ear in the middle of a crowd. Be creative.

At the end of the day, sex at its best is primal, fun, and energetic. The more you allow for it to be this way, the more exciting your sex life will become (and stay). What are your favorite ways to keep things interesting with your partner?