07/10/2015 08:05 BST | Updated 06/10/2016 06:12 BST

Five Ways to Improve Your Sex Life

Many people find that when they are in a committed long-term relationship their sex lives can, over time, become perfunctory, routine and habitual, with sex 'performed' at certain times and ways each week. However, all it takes is a little thought and effort to make a difference and begin to improve your sex life.

Here are some tips to help improve your intimate times together:

- Nurture your relationship. Continue to work at your relationship by being loyal and supportive, demonstrate an interest in the things they like and show that you care about their well-being, happiness and satisfaction. When two people like each other they enjoy giving each other pleasure, a fun time and a satisfying experience. Consideration, mutual respect and concern can enhance the sexual experience for both of you.

- Have fun. Sex can be a serious matter but it should also be fun. Your sex life may well be improved by being a little less inhibited. Why not spend time sensitively exploring your fantasies together; role play, dress up, shop for toys and maybe watch a little pornography. Respectfully discuss what you'd both like to try, and then commit to experimenting with some of those suggestions. Perhaps take turns to offer ideas. A little encouragement may well help your partner gain in confidence and reveal his/her thoughts and fantasies, once they feel that it's safe, fun and acceptable to do so.

- Share information about your body; what you like and don't like. Get to know your body, how it responds, what works for you and what doesn't. Share that information verbally, by physically guiding your partner or by moving to communicate how you're feeling; share what you like and what you don't.

- Relax and agree that not every intimate encounter has to lead to full sexual intercourse. Sometimes we may be tired, stressed or simply not in the mood for full-on sex. Intimacy can also be about cuddling, touching and petting each other and that can be wonderfully enough. Sometimes sharing a bath, cooking their favourite food, giving each other a massage or snuggling up together and watching television can provide lovely intimate moments.

- Flirting with each other can be fun as well as another way to improve your sex life. Being sexy when you're out for an evening, playful or perhaps even a little provocative can build up sexual tension, excitement and remind you both of the chemistry and sexual attraction that drew you together. Take care to look after yourself, to keep yourself fit, attractive and healthy, pay attention to your personal hygiene and dress with care; all these are ways to ensure that you continue to fancy each other and find each other desirable sexually.

Many things can interfere with a healthy sex life; work pressures, the arrival of children or health issues can all cause our desire for sex to wane, if not to disappear completely. But a healthy sex life can strengthen the bond and continue to connect you and your partner in a very special way. It elevates your relationship from being simply a house share with a special friend into something far more intimate and meaningful.