There are two kinds of couples out there. The first kind never seems to be on the same page no matter what they try. The other has a way of making it look so darned easy. They’re the couples that are the envy of their friends and that make the rest of us continue believe in love no matter how many bad experiences we’ve personally had in the past. Yes, sex is a huge part of that equation, but the common threads that make happy, sexually satisfied couples different definitely don’t stop there. The following are just a few things you’ll notice every rock solid, red hot couple has in common with every other.

They’re equals in every sense of the word

Although it’s normal for most couples to include one person that’s naturally more dominant than the other, happy couples included, you’ll notice that the happiest couples have a unique approach to responsibility. They not only treat each other like equals, but they divide responsibilities like bills, child rearing duties, and household chores between them in a way that feels fair to both parties. Both people are also equally consistent about expressing appreciation for everything the other does.

They enjoy giving and taking equally when it comes to sex

Yes, a huge part of having amazing sex that really curls your toes is truly wanting to please your partner. However, it’s just as important to enjoy receiving pleasure in return. Happy couples consider it important that both parties walk away satisfied from a given sexual encounter. They also make it a point to give and receive equally when it comes to activities like oral sex, butt plug experiences or fantasy scenarios. Here’s a quick couples guide to adult play that you’ll certainly find useful.

They’re comfortable talking frankly about sex

We’ve all been told a time or two that good communication is essential to a happy, healthy relationship. It’s not just a big deal when it comes to the practical side of the life you live together either. Happy couples also communicate frequently, openly, and often when it comes to their sex lives. They talk about things they’d like to try together, and they’re comfortable giving (as well as accepting) constructive feedback.

They think outside the box when it comes to sex

It’s a common misconception that when you’re happy and in love, the sexual sizzle simply takes care of itself. Smoking hot couples that are happy with their sex lives understand that “sizzle” is something you work for. They keep sexual ruts and boredom at bay by trying new things frequently. They incorporate toys, costumes, and roleplaying into how they connect sexually. They absolutely love having sex together and enjoy going out of their way to keep things five-alarm hot. And there are these 7 sex-positive goals that every person should take into consideration for a happy life both individually and as a couple.

They go to bed at the same time

Modern life is nothing if not hectic for most of us, so it’s all too easy to fall out of synch with your partner as far as your daily routines. Most people assume that it can’t really matter that much whether they go to bed at the same time, but happy couples know otherwise. They’d much rather close out a day by snuggling up to their partner (and maybe getting naughty) than spend it watching television or mindlessly scrolling through Facebook on their phone. Going to bed at the same time helps ensure sex happens frequently as well.

They spend time together outside of the bedroom

Yes, spending plenty of time together connecting between the sheets is definitely important, but the happiest couples make it a point to stay close outside of the bedroom as well. While they understand that life happens and schedules are sometimes too jam-packed for comfort, spending quality time together remains a top priority. They can’t imagine letting an entire day go by without spending at least 30-60 minutes completely focused on one another whether that means getting together for dinner, watching a favorite show on DVR before bed, or hitting the gym together before work.

They positively ooze confidence

Confidence is key when it comes to getting what you want out of life and with good reason. Confidence helps you reach your full potential professionally, creatively, and spiritually. It’s also one of the most important qualities to have if you’re serious about having a happy, healthy, sexy relationship. Confident people find it easier to be vulnerable and honest with their partner, both physically and emotionally. They’re the people to whom key concepts like trust, openness, and love come naturally, so it’s not surprising that most happy couples include not one, but two people that are confident to the max.

At the end of the day, happy relationships that sizzle both in and out of the bedroom are all about compatibility on absolutely every level. Happy couples put their relationship first. They make time to be together, even when life is keeping them at their busiest. They know that lasting love and red hot sex are both about give and take as well. Does your relationship make the grade?