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10 types of sex every couple should have!

If sex were merely a physical event, it would be a very tedious task, but when you add emotions and human nature to the equation, it becomes more interesting, proving the old adage: ‘variety is the spice of life’…

Remember when you had to rush your husband to casualty because it turned out that sex on the stairs wasn’t such a good idea? Or when he, in the middle of one of your uncontrolled outbursts, pulled you closer and closed your mouth with his? Or the time you both fell off the bed and landed on the floor? There are at least ten types of sex every couple should experience at least once in their lifetime. In a Redbook article, Amy Spencer writes that each of these types of sex is necessary to strengthen the bond between you and your mate. “A truly fantastic sexual connection involves many different types of sex – perhaps even those you would have never anticipated. After all, your relationship isn’t one-dimensional – so why should your sex life be?” says Laura Meers, a marriage therapist, and adds: “As you grow older, you also grow sexually – and the more dimensions there are in your relationship, the more you’ll see these dimensions reflected in your sex life.” Make sure that you’re able to identify with each of these different types of sex:

1. Anything-but-that sex!
Perhaps you can’t picture yourself in a nurse’s outfit… but we’ll take a bet that your husband can! He probably wishes you’d relax a bit when it comes to role-playing in bed. Although ‘adventurous’ and ‘exciting’ may not be part of your repertoire when it comes to matters in bed, it’s wise to remember that boredom is one of the many reasons why people stray from their marriage (not that this is in any way an excuse). It is possible to send boredom packing long before it has a negative impact on your marriage!

Why not venture out of your box… even just a little? If you always have sex in the bedroom, what about a session in the garden? And if you feel a little anxious about experimenting, all the better, explains Laura. The slight apprehension you feel about trying something new is similar to the feeling you get when you’re with someone new. If you create that feeling within the boundaries of an intimate, close relationship, it will give your relationship a kick-start. By moving your boundaries, even if only slightly, you will actually be building trust between the two of you. It takes courage to tell your mate what you really want, and when you take action on this, you will be taking a risk together – which is an activity which will bring you closer. You do need to ensure that it isn’t something that interferes with your moral values, however; otherwise this could do more harm than good.

2. Maintenance sex
If you wait for soft light, a candle-lit dinner or a room full of roses before jumping into bed, you will probably be able to count the number of times you’ve had sex on your one hand! Sex is allowed to be average, and sometimes, you’re allowed to have it ‘just because’ – without feeling particularly passionate. To tell you the truth – you should! Why is it that the most precious and loving part of our lives appears to fade into the background of our daily routine, almost as if it doesn’t exist, asks Debra and Don MacLeod in their book Lube Jobs: A Woman’s Guide to Great Maintenance Sex. “It is important for couples to incorporate their own special, intimate routine into the daily scheme of things,” they add. This is why maintenance sex is so important.

Just-because sex is vital for long-term relationships because it doesn’t matter how much you love everyone around you (your family, children and friends), you won’t spend time like this with anyone else. “Sex is the one activity which a couple can engage in that excludes other people,” says Anita Clayton, author of the book Satisfaction: women, sex and the quest for intimacy. Olivia (33), a home- maker and mother, relies on maintenance sex to keep her relationship energetic. “My husband is always ready for action but, as a new mother, I’m always tired,” she explains. She adds that when she does make the effort, she always feels closer to him afterwards, even if the sex was just average. It makes her feel as if nothing can stand in their way. And of course – regular sex is good for you! It relieves stress, burns kilojoules and improves your mood. Remember: the more sex you have, the more you’ll want to have!

3. I-want-to-run-away sex
This kind of sex happens sooner or later in all relationships. You open the door wearing your itsie-bitsie number, only to find your husband has invited his boss home, or your five-year-old walks in while you’re having passionate sex on the kitchen table! Remember, sex is human, and that humanness goes hand in hand with embarrassing moments. Real sex is more of a Discovery Channel-type occurrence than a scene suitable for the silver screen. It is full of smells and sounds that are completely natural, explains Debra Herbenick, a researcher at the Kinsey Institute. “You have sex with human bodies, and if they sometimes do strange things… that’s ok,” she explains. A moment of sheer embarrassment can bring you closer together, but it all depends on how you handle the situation. True intimacy is about feeling comfortable even in difficult, embarrassing situations, says Ruth Morehouse, a clinical psychologist and relationship therapist. The best way to recover from an embarrassing moment is to take a break, and laugh it off.

4. In-our-own-world-on-holiday sex
If only men knew what a positive effect the tropics can have on a woman’s libido, more of them would take their wives on island holidays! Holiday sex is a must for any couple, and we’re not talking about the type with screaming kids running around the communal pool with dripping ice-cream. If you’re worried you’ll spend the entire time thinking about your baby – pack an au pair in your suitcase! Holidays are supposed to be carefree, and encourage the kind of sex that may see you do things you otherwise wouldn’t (like having sex on a dune, with the knowledge that anyone can walk past at any moment, or engaging in mischievous flirtation in a restaurant). However bizarre it sounds, your surroundings can make a radical difference to your sex life. So, if you took a holiday absolute ages ago, book those plane tickets now as the rates will probably be cheaper after high season has lapsed. If time doesn’t allow for a full-blown break, book a hotel room away from your house and call it a ‘holiday’. Order champagne and oysters and enjoy the relaxation that being away from the strain of the office and your home offers, suggests Sharon Begley on According to her, women rave about the quality of holiday sex, while men smile from ear to ear about the quantity!

5. Take-your-time sex
Usually, holidays are the only time you have the opportunity for this kind of sex – the kind that last for hours, and afterwards, you fetch ice-cream from the fridge which you start out eating, but later it ends up on your bodies. You start to kiss again, and watch a bit of TV and, when an erotic scene comes up, you start all over again! Take-your-time sex is difficult if the kids don’t sleep out, but the pleasure this kind of indulgence offers is something every couple should allow themselves from time to time. Sensual sex is about the journey, not only the destination, and an orgasm isn’t everything. Added to this, this kind of sex is very good ‘glue’ for any relationship. “Knowing that he cares enough to devote his attention and affection to you for hours, and that you are his number one priority, builds trust and security,” believes Deb Levine, author of The Joy of Cybersex.

6. Just-before-we-fall-asleep sex
Not every sensual experience has to end in an orgasm. Sometimes, sex starts out well enough, and although you want to carry on, sleep is so inviting… and that’s where it all ends. Experts believe that this kind of sex can also be good for you: “Admitting that you desire your mate is important, whether you act on that, or not,” believes Laura. If you feel sleep about to overwhelm you, she recommends you tell your mate how much you love him and how much you want him. This already counts for a lot, and sleeping close together can also provide more than enough closeness…

7. Make-up sex
This might work for you, but it also might not. Mandy (39) explains, “My husband and I fight a lot. I get so cross that I throw glasses around, but although I wish I could control myself a little better, it does come in handy in the bedroom, because after such a heated argument, we make up passionately.” Everyone’s heard it before: don’t let the sun set on your anger. All we’re saying is… take it to the extreme and go to bed very happy! Make-up sex works like a bomb because, after an argument, you feel exposed and vulnerable. This creates the perfect conditions for intense, soul-to-soul physical contact.

“In many aspects, make-up sex restores the level of closeness which you may have felt was destroyed by the fight,” explains Anita. “Sex can fix that fracture.” But remember that when you start to cause fights as an excuse to jump into bed later, or ignore your problems and happily indulge in bedtime bliss, it’s time to take a close look at your relationship.

There is a fine line between anger and sexual excitement, writes David Strovny on He believes that some people need to release suppressed aggression, just as they need to release sexual frustration. While some people believe that make-up sex can be healthy, some are of the opinion that it is dysfunctional behaviour. Remember, if you use sex as a solution to fights, it won’t really solve the real problem, explains David. Make sure it doesn’t happen every time the two of you have a disagreement, but at the right moment, there are few things as nice as a bit of make-up sex.

8. Don’t-worry-it’ll-be-ok sex
When you really do feel heartsore, depressed, alone or hurt, sex can provide the polar opposite feeling to that pain as it’s all about warmth, closeness, love and being together. Sometimes, you may not feel like sex, but it could be just what you need to make you feel better.

Beth (57) explains that her husband’s mom has Parkinson’s, and recently had a stroke. Her father had serious heart surgery, and her mom has Alzheimer’s. She describes that she and her husband spend lots of time in bed comforting each other. “Sometimes, this involves full penetration, sometimes just cuddling and sometimes stimulation with the hand, but for us – it’s important. It reminds you of why you’re alive. You need to focus on what gets you up every morning, what gets you through each day. For us, part of that is the sex.”

Ruth believes that comfort sex is an important confirmation of life during a period of mourning. “Sex is a way of reminding yourself of the fact that you’re alive,” she explains. It is a way of protecting and sheltering yourself against unavoidable loss or death. It is also a way of bringing a couple closer in a situation where they may feel the loss or pain is dividing them. “I’ve seen how couples separate after something terrible happens, but sex can help to restore that connection,” explains Anita.

9. Time-for-a-quickie sex
As important as slow sex is, the exhilaration of a quickie shouldn’t be forgotten. These can be compared to an earthquake – they shoot your adrenalin up, and leave you lame at the knees! Just as there is a time and place for slow sex, so also for quick bouts of passion. If you want to attempt one, use ample lubricant. It’s your best friend if you don’t have time to get warmed up yourself, warns Donald Etkes, a sex therapist from Los Angeles.

10. Swing-from-the-chandelier sex
In an ideal world, you’d have this kind of sex every day – that sweaty, too-good-to-be-true sex which you’d score 11 out of 10. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together, you need to have earth-shattering sex like this every once in a while! This can stimulate the feelings you had for each other when you first met, and remind you of what you are capable of as a couple.

Maureen (40) remembers one such session: “I had just finished making dinner, and the children weren’t home. When my husband arrived, he told me to go upstairs to get changed. As he kissed me, it developed from just talking about the day to sex on the kitchen counter! It was completely spontaneous and unexpected!”

Ruth explains that this type of sex is important on a much deeper level as it takes guts to allow your mate to see you in all your glory, on form and at the height of passion. This is the kind of sex that awakens a deep level of intimacy, and wakes the neighbours up too!

Perhaps you’ve experienced each of these a few times over, or perhaps a lifetime of sexcapades awaits you. Whatever your situation, remember that whatever you do, you need to enjoy it. If something feels forced, don’t pursue it, and don’t underestimate the importance of humour in the bedroom.