When was the last time you tried something new with your partner? Valentine’s Day presents the perfect opportunity to shake up your sex life. Forget the rules—and create your own.

As a urologist, I cannot emphasize this point enough: do everything in your power to prevent sex from becoming a dull routine. Nothing will bring passion and romance back to a long-term relationship faster than a change in sexual practice or venue.

I remember a fifty-five-year-old patient who was married to a woman he loved for twenty-seven years. He had a bad case of sexual ennui (dissatisfaction resulting from boredom), which led to a brief fling with his dentist’s assistant. That made things even worse at home because he was now inhibited by guilt in addition to boredom. “Jack,” I said, “take Friday off and get your wife to cancel all of her plans. Rent a cabin in the mountains for a weekend. You have not done anything spontaneous and romantic in years. Do it. Tune out the world. No kids, no phone, no television, just the two of you and a fireplace.”

The weekend rejuvenated Jack and his wife, as similar escapes have done for countless couples. In other cases, I have advised patients to take the afternoon off and surprise their wives with flowers and a sunset tryst in a motel. Other couples have done things like pretend they have just met and are having a one-night stand. Or they simply vary their rituals. If you have been initiating sex after you are both washed, undressed, and in bed, try doing it before all of those bedtime rituals. When was the last time you and your partner undressed each other instead of starting out in your pajamas? When was the last time you necked in the living room and carried your partner into the bedroom? Or made love in the kitchen or the shower? Have you tried a different position in the last few years? Have you thought of using props? Browse in any sex shop and you will get countless ideas of how to invigorate your sex life. Above all, use your imagination and see what you come up with.

Hopefully, you will not have to go to extremes, like the wife in Woody Allen’s Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex But Were Afraid to Ask, who could only have sex in public places. For the majority of people, simply giving yourself permission to break your own boundaries will elevate your penis power several notches. You might have to do some cajoling to win your partner’s support. That could be translated into a surprising delight for both of you.

Some of my patients have to be told that it is okay to have sex at different times of the day. They have to be told that sex is not just a nighttime activity. Why engage in something as important as sex when your body is at its lowest energy level? Perhaps your penis problem is really a fatigue problem. The penis responds to different biorhythms, as do hormonal secretions and energy levels. This is an important aspect of understanding the intricate relationship between the penis and the body. Concrete scientific evidence to validate this observation is sparse at this time, but research in this area is ongoing.

I do not doubt that fatigue affects sexual energy. For this reason, I encourage my patients to pay close attention to the ways in which their bodies, and especially their penises, respond to different emotional and physical conditions. It is fundamentally important that you be aware of your body’s rhythm. Your sexual responsiveness will change with stress, fatigue, anxiety, or sickness. Your particular rhythms may be better suited to sex at unusual times of the day. Perhaps certain habits—for example, exercise, diet, work schedules—are affecting your sex drive in negative ways. Pay attention to the subtle clues your own body transmits, and you will know where to start making changes. Explore all of your options. Experiment, take risks, and mix things up until you find the right balance for your love life to flourish. What’s most important is not to feel burdened by sex. If your sex life is becoming run-of-the-mill and boring, then take the initiative to spice things up. You will not be disappointed by the results of reviving passion and romance in your relationship.

Millions of men think that something is wrong with them because they do not get “hard on demand.” The persuasive myth in our culture has it that a “real” man will be raring to go anytime, day or night. That proposition could not be further from the truth. A wide range of difference exists among men. Men have their own individual preferences and unique biological templates. There is simply no set time or place you are “supposed” to get aroused. No credible scientific book says you have to have sex a certain number of times a day to be a “real” man. I cannot count the variations. Some men tell me they feel sexiest in the morning, in the middle of the day, at night, or in the middle of the night. The real problem is that most men are just too inhibited to break their old habits or they are afraid their partners will think they are crazy or weird for trying something new. Even if your requests may seem odd, you still have the power to prove yourself to your partner through your performance. If you are passionate and exciting, your partner most likely will not complain.

Morning sex is an especially good way to break the routine. What a terrific way to start the day! So what if you have to skip jogging, rush through breakfast, or get to work a bit late? Morning sex can be just as invigorating as a morning jog and just as relaxing as a cool morning breeze. It is the best wake-up call. It clears the spirit of any tension and shakes the cobwebs out of your body. In fact, a lot of men like sex better in the morning because they wake up with the so-called morning wood or piss hard-on. The explanation for this morning erection is that a full bladder compresses the venous outflow from the pelvic vessels, holding blood in the penis longer than usual. The usual result is a morning erection. Be assured that after morning lovemaking, you will like what you see in the mirror. You will have set the right tone for a great day.

If you are a man who wants to enhance your penis power or if you are a partner who wants to learn how to increase your man’s penis power, then it behooves you to look into alternative sex practices. Countless volumes have been written on this subject, from the Kama Sutra to articles in Cosmopolitan. I will not try to reiterate information that’s already available. However, ask yourself these questions: When was the last time you tried something other than the missionary position? Have you tried letting your partner get on top and control the action? Have you tried “doggy style”? How about not having intercourse at all, but bringing yourselves to climax strictly with oral sex or mutual masturbation? The possibilities are endless. If you cannot conjure up some creative ideas on your own, do not be afraid to go out and find a book or ask a friend for some good tips.

Any change should add a fresh dimension to your routine. I can guarantee that both you and your partner will reap the benefits of a reinvigorated sex life.

Dudley S. Danoff, MD, FACS is the attending urologic surgeon and founder/president of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Tower Urology Group in Los Angeles, California. He is the author of Penis Power: The Ultimate Guide To Male Sexual Health (Del Monaco Press, 2011) and Superpotency (Warner Books).

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