How Sex At Bedtime Can Ruin Your Love Life! (Part 2)

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Drastic changes are necessary and the most important is lighting. Scientists have discovered that making love exclusively in the dark or with harsh artificial lighting deprives us of a natural sexual stimulant to the brain, pineal and pituitary glands - all vital for arousal. Try to create natural, soft, full-spectrum lighting instead and let your love life see the light.

Sexual soundproofing is also important. Not only do we not want to be overheard, but the rattles and clicks from the rest of the house need to be shut out too. 'How can I feel sexy if I can hear the dishwasher going through its cycle?' complains Gemma. The answer is to install a sound system in the bedroom; choose music without a strong theme, vocals or changes in beat. Making up your own sexy compilations can be fun and much better than the radio.

The final sense to stimulate, beyond the obvious, is smell. This can range from opening a window for fresh air, through to scented candles and air ionizers. Think of everything possible to stop your bedroom from being boring.

All of these changes involve talking to your partner about sex. Over a drink with friends we are happy to be frank, yet with our partner we often clam up. Sometimes it is out of embarrassment, but usually we want to avoid a fight. Sadly, communicating our needs can easily be heard by our partner as criticism of their performance. How do you avoid this?

Don't talk about the past: 'It's been a bit dull lately' can easily be seized on by someone with low self-esteem. Instead, concentrate on the future: 'I'd really like us to set aside more time for sex.' This statement would make most men prick up their ears. Discussing the right environment (candles and getting the room temperature right) can even lead to communicating personal needs.

'Mark never took time to warm me up before. But, when we broke out of the routine - packed the children off to my parents, put the answering machine on - he was much gentler,' says Gemma, whose late-night sex had provided virtually no foreplay. Remember: good sex is about tuning into each other; a late night fumble is the complete opposite.

Andrew G Marshall is a marital therapist and author of Make Love Like a Prairie Vole: Six Steps to Passionate, Plentiful and Monogamous Sex.

Music to make love to

Description: There are several types of songs to make love to

·         Ambient music like Enigma and Jean Michel Jarre.

·         Light jazz like Charlie Haden (Nocturne) and St Germain (Boulevard).

·         Chill out music like Zero 7 {Simple Things) and Jaffa (Elevator).

·         Classical music like Mahler symphonies 1, 6, 7 or 9.

·         Old favorites like Marvin Gaye, Barry White.

Top tips for making your bedroom more passionate

Description: making your bedroom more passionate

Remove photographs of kids and family. Their watching faces are a major turn-off.

Make sure the room is warm enough. We prefer to sleep at a lower temperature than we need when we make love.

Choose warm tones for your color scheme.

Don't allow pets to sleep in your bedroom.

Put up a large mirror.

How to negotiate better sex

Don't discuss sexual problems in the bedroom - find somewhere neutral.

Be prepared to listen more than talk. Listen for five minutes without interrupting, then repeat the essence of what you've heard. Next, switch roles.

Try showing rather than telling. Guide his hand - he'll soon get the message: if he's too rough, raise his hand slightly; too soft, press his hand down firmly.

Risk telling the truth. Some women are so worried about upsetting their partners, they are struck dumb. But if he doesn't know, how can he change?

Don't be afraid to share your fantasies.

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