I'm sure many of you have probably already watched season three of the popular Netflix series "You." A huge theme this season was watching married suburban couples fight to keep the sexual spark alive while also living the day-to-day humdrum life that is suburbia.

In episode 8 of this season, we see the main characters Joe and Love take extreme steps to get help with their sex life which almost leads to the death of their good friends. Joe and Love aren't the only ones trying to keep the passion alive in their marriage. As we've seen lately in pop culture discussions, many people feel like bringing another partner into the bedroom or bringing toys in the bedroom can help spice up a couple's sex life.

The real question is, how can we even try new things in the bedroom without the awkwardness or guilt of enjoying taboo things? Are we even trying new sexual experiences in our relationships just to please our partners or are we actually focusing on what's going to make us happy and build intimacy with our partner? Let's unpack some popular ways that couples can spice up their relationship without it leading to a death match a.k.a. season three spoiler.

BDSM

One of the most popular ways that people try to spice up their relationship is through BDSM. When most people when they hear the word BDSM is very much and taboo topic and many of our conception of BDSM makes us think of the popular Fifty Shades of Grey movies and book series. Let's start with the basics such as what does BDSM even stand for? BDSM stands for bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism a.k.a. kinky fun. I interviewed Atlanta rap artist Big Jay Rizzle about his experience with BDSM and how he incorporated into the bedroom or not the bedroom to spice up your sex life. In my interview with Big Jay Rizzle, one of the biggest suggestions he has for slowly incorporating BDSM into the bedroom is by building up anticipation throughout the day. 

“So instead of waiting until you get to the bedroom or whatever your sexual escapade will take place, you can start sending naughty text messages to your partner to set the scene. Build the anticipation up throughout the day.” - Big Jay Rizzle

He suggests that by building anticipation throughout the day, you and your partner will already be in character by the time you see each other. Another way to incorporate BDSM is to experiment with different toys. You can start this by planning a date to go to the sex shop with your partner and picking out some toys that you both agree on and even some lingerie if that's what you're into.

Cosplay

Cosplay, the art of taking on a new character role, is a fun and fresh way to literally feel like you’re having sex with another person or character. For some people, the thrill of playing a new role outside of their everyday life is enough to send them over the edge into orgasmic bliss. Don’t think you have to stick to the typical cosplay roles like a teacher or a cop. Think outside of the box about what you and your partner like.

The cosplay world is endless with ideas from anime to traveling to a foreign country to everything in between. One couple I interviewed said they role-play as strangers at a bar and they stay in character all the way until they reach climax. With Halloween around the corner, you can be anything you want. Even as your favorite character, surprising your partner with lingerie underneath your outfit would be the icing on the cake. 

Kinks

Exploring Kink play may be one of the easiest ways to spice up your sex life. Whether during solo play or partner play, Kinks can be incorporated for all the thrills and feels. There are a plethora of Kinks to explore, you just have to find yours. Some common kinks are exhibitionism (arousal from being seen naked), voyeurism (arousal from watching others naked/engaging in sex), foot fetish (desire to worship someone’s feet), breath play (breathing being restricted during sex), BDSM (mentioned above), and dominant/submissive roles. Do your research and experiment to see what gets you and/or your partner going. You may be surprised at what you’re into when you give it a chance.

Tantra

Sometimes what’s missing from our sex lives isn’t toys, costumes, or tricks but actual intimacy. You can have a raging libido or be deeply attracted to your partner and still feel like something is missing.; that something may be intimacy. There’s a huge myth that sex equates to intimacy and that’s simply not true. Whether in solo play or partnered play, intimacy with self and others is an important part of having a full-body orgasmic experience.

What is tantra? In an interview with the Therapist of Katy, "Originating in India, Tantra was originally reserved for royalty. [Tantra] is well known for multi-orgasmic experiences and all-over body orgasmic experiences for men and women."

Through tuning into your chakra energy and cultivating this energy within yourself and with your partner, a deeper intimacy can be built. A simple technique to start with tantra is making intentional, long eye contact with your partner. We probably don't realize it but we typically don't look into others' eyes for a long period of time when we are speaking to them. When is the last time you've truly looked into your partner's eyes for longer than 2 seconds? 

As I mentioned, there are so many ways to spice up your sex life, you just have to find the ways that work for you and your partner(s) at this moment. Sex and sensuality are not one-dimensional concepts. Our moods, our diet, our lifestyle, our surroundings and so much more can determine how we connect with ourselves and with others. You deserve to have a flourishing and fulfilling sex life. Go for it.