If your default mode is sex last thing at night, chances are it's not as great as it could be. Marital therapist Andrew G Marshall tells us how couples he's counseled have resolved this problem.

Description: a relationshp

If lovemaking has become boring and routine, odds are you're falling into the trap of letting sex become the PS to the day - the last effort of an exhausted mind and body. It might be convenient, but soon the lovemaking lacks energy and becomes less appealing. 'It always starts the same way,' says Jane. 'He snakes his hand over onto my thigh, and at that point I have to decide whether I'm interested or not. No warm-up, no persuading, and if I refuse, the cold shoulder,' Many couples become so bored they even stop making love all together.

Top 5 love locations outside the bedroom (from my casebook)

Description: Top 5 love locations outside the bedroom

·         Lounge

·         Bathroom

·         Car

·         Kitchen

·         Garden

Deep down inside we know that bedtime sex equals dreary sex, but what stops us from breaking out of the routine? As a relationship counselor, the number one excuse I hear is children: 'We were worried that the kids might barge in if we "did it" at any other time,' says Karen, who has three children under 10. 'But by bedtime we were always too tired to enjoy lovemaking.' I suggested putting a bolt on the door, and at first I was met with a lot of resistance. 'Finally we decided it didn't make us bad parents,' explains Kate. 'Now we enjoy our Saturday mornings and the kids usually watch TV. The first time they couldn't just barge in there were awkward questions, but they seemed to accept that mom and dad needed some time alone together.' It is vital to have somewhere private to be intimate together. Famous sex therapists Masters and Johnson discovered the most effective part of their whole treatment programme was that couples stayed in nearby motels – and therefore, unlike at home, had the freedom to make love whenever they wished.

If a lock still sounds like a bad idea, setting the alarm an hour earlier in the morning can transform lovemaking into a sexual appetizer for the day, rather than a soggy leftover.

Sandra and Bob settled for something in-between: 'By the time my head hit the pillow I was too tired for anything but sleep, so we started putting the alarm on for two hours earlier. We are fresh for sex and rested enough to enjoy each other. I love slowly drifting back off to sleep in Bob's arms,' explains Sandra.

“Setting the alarm an hour earlier in the morning can transform lovemaking into a sexual appetizer for the day, rather than a soggy leftover.”

Description: choose music without a strong theme, vocals or changes in beat. Making up your own sexy compilations can be fun

Although there are lots of other places to make love, the bedroom remains most couples' favorite location. So it's important to take a long hard look at whether the atmosphere there is a turn-on. Truth is, the bedroom is often an anxiety-filled environment. Many couples have their biggest fights there. In couple therapy I often ask my clients to describe their bedrooms, and it is amazing that any lovemaking happens there at all. The most extreme example was a couple whose dog slept in a cage by the bed; apparently it yelped during the night and this way the husband could reach over and give the cage a knock with a slipper! Others have flu remedies, folders from work and household bills on the bedside table.

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