Forget a dozen roses or a box of chocolates. Maybe what your relationship needs this Valentine's Day is a trip to your neighborhood sex shop. After all, nothing spells relationship disaster like a sex life stuck in a rut, and it's important to take stock of your life under the sheets occasionally.
To warm you up to the idea, I consulted Claire Cavanah, co-founder of Babeland and a speaker at The Wedding Academy: Post-Marital Passion. Her book, "Moregasm: Babeland's Guide to Mind-Blowing Sex," co-authored with Rachel Venning, was published in 2010.
Claire, what do you have to say to women and men out there who have never visited a sex shop because they think it's not for them?
The days of the sleazy sex shop are over. There are lots of choices now and it's easier to find a place where you'll feel comfortable and be able to explore and see what's out there. Babeland is not the only friendly and inviting shop, just look around. Alternatively, check out a website that has a lot of helpful info. Babeland.com and others have comprehensive sex advice, as well as high quality sex toys.
But if a couple is happy with their sex life, what would they get from visiting a sex shop?
New ideas! There are no limits on creativity when it comes to sex. Re-fuel the fantasies and maybe find a few accessories to spice it up in a sex shop. The majority of Babeland's customers are couples looking for something new to try together. It makes for an awesome date night.
Do a lot of couples tell you their sex life is in a rut? What advice do you have for them?
I do hear from a lot of couples that sex becomes monotonous. Monogamy is a wonderful thing, but we get really familiar with each other and a little ingenuity can go a long way toward creating desire for each other again. As we go through life, new responsibilities and changing bodies affect our sex drives. The best advice I have for couples is to try new things and make time and space for being sexual and intimate with each other. Book a hotel occasionally just for sex. Schedule date night and have sex before you go out. Pay attention to this part of your life, too, not just the daily demands.
Could you name some different sex toys that a couple could gift itself this Valentine's Day to energize their life in bed?
Valentine's Day is the perfect excuse to create a sexy experience. Here are a few toys that make great gifts:
The We-Vibe 3 is Babeland's most popular couple's toy. A woman can wear it during intercourse and the stimulation internally and externally will feel divine. It makes simultaneous orgasms possible. It also has a remote control and lends itself to other scenarios where you want to hand over the remote to your partner and let them control sensations. It's waterproof, too.
The Bondage in a Box Kit has a satin blindfold and five-foot long sections that can be used for easy restraints. Take turns letting each other lie back and be tied up while the other person takes control of the action. Fun and exciting.
The Hello Touch is an innovative new toy that adds vibration anywhere your hands go. The pads can be worn on the fingers by either partner and it will definitely make you want to reach out and touch someone.
The Honeymoon in a Box Kit has everything you need for a sexy night in, including Dirty Dice, flavored lube, a vibrating ring that a man can wear and a mini-vibe that's fun for foreplay or easy to use during intercourse.
Some people might be looking for ways to inject variety into their sex life, but might not have access to a sex shop they're comfortable with, or maybe they're just not into it. What advice do you have for them?
We can get variety in our sex life in so many ways. For example, do you have a go-to position? Try different ones. Do it from behind, use pillows to get leverage or change the angle, do it lying on your side, bent over a chair, up against the wall. Just don't have sex the same way all the time. The same goes for places where you have sex. It doesn't have to be on a bed! Do it on in the shower, the kitchen floor, the couch, on a desk or outdoors on a blanket. The main thing is to switch it up and break your routine to introduce novelty. Do it with your clothes on, fool around in the back seat of the car, make out and don't go all the way, dress-up like a cop or a schoolgirl. Let your imagination take over and there are limitless possibilities. Reading erotica or watching porn together is a great way to recharge fantasies, too.