We're always looking for ways to improve our relationships and to make sure the spark doesn't go out, especially in bed. However, we often don't know what steps to take in order to achieve this. Here are 19 things you can do to spice it up, both in the bedroom and out of it, whether you've been together for two months or 20 years.

1. Take some time for yourself 

Get to know yourself; the baggage you bring into the relationship, what you like and don't like in bed, and what needs you need to be met. If you know what you want then you can move on to step 2.

2. Communicate openly

We hear it all the time: communication is the key to a healthy relationship. But it really is true. Instead of complaining to your best friend when your partner does something to annoy you, talk to them. Something they do in bed that you can't stand? Let them know. Something new you want to try? You'll never know unless you ask.

3. Increase the intimacy

Even the littlest things can be a major turn on. Rub their shoulders, scratch their backs, hold their hands, kiss them without expecting that it's going to lead to sex. Non-sexual intimacy and touching can be an amazing step to getting closer to one another, even with your clothes on.

4. Get away together 

Go on a quick trip, whether it's driving distance away or you decide to take a plane. Or even book an Airbnb a city over for the night. Getting out of your normal environment (especially if the new environment has a hot tub) can be a refreshing change for a relationship that's gotten caught up in routine.

5. Get away from each other sometimes too 

Every once in a while I notice that I need a quick 24 hour break from my boyfriend just to collect myself, run some errands, do laundry, and take care of anything else I've been neglecting. That quick reset period where we're not focused on each other and can take some time for ourselves works wonders for keeping us happy.

6. Ease into things 

Especially if you have all night and there's no fear of anyone walking in or being interrupted, take things nice and slow. Focus on foreplay and notice how their body responds. Sex should be an intimate experience, not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well.

7. Seriously, communicate... even if it's in the middle of sex

Rather than pretend to enjoy something, say "Can I walk you through it? Put your mouth here and your hands there and when I do that, respond like this." This goes right back to knowing what you want and as long as you do, you can communicate that with your partner to make the whole experience more pleasurable for the both of you.

Even if it's not sex-related, if something comes up in the middle of sex, don't be afraid to say it out loud. Sometimes I think of something funny that happened that day, share it, and move on. It works better and lets you laugh instead of just being distracted by it the rest of the time.

8. Spend time together outside of the bedroom

Go on dates, grab food, drive places. Get to know each other on a deeper personal level. Know about their family and their interests, their goals and their passions. Knowing that you're dating and sleeping with a real, fully-rounded person makes the experience even more meaningful.

9. Embrace your own flaws 

Your partner has probably never thought negatively about the parts of your body you don't like. If they weren't attracted to you, they wouldn't be having sex with you. Learn how to come to terms with your flaws, which you can do by talking about them ("I don't want to do that position because I think I'm too fat for it") or just to ignore them and do what you want in bed, body size be damned.

10. Unplug

There's nothing more annoying than when my boyfriend's phone rings when we're on a nice date or, even worse, during sex. Turn off the ringer or, even better, leave the phones somewhere else entirely. Be fully present on the person and the moment.

11. Don't be afraid to take breaks 

If something doesn't feel right or you need to eat or use the bathroom or they're just taking way too long, don't be afraid to call it quits. Sex that you're not both fully enjoying isn't something that should be happening in a relationship and creates animosity and other negative consequences. You can always go for round two when you're both feeling up for it and hey, there's always tomorrow.

12. Do something special for your partner

Whether it's shaving your legs or giving them oral or buying their favorite snack for a post-sex treat, remind your partner that you care about them, even if it means by doing something you don't want to do all the time.

13. Shake things up 

Whether it's a new sex toy or playing with different fantasies, trying something new in the bedroom can be game-changing. And hey, if it's not something you both enjoy, it can be a once-in-a-while sort of thing or you never have to try it again

14. Don't make orgasms the goal

While it's great if both people get to finish every time, it's not a realistic expectation. There will be times when only one or neither of you finish but that doesn't mean the sex wasn't successful. As long as enjoyment and not necessarily orgasms is the goal, the sex will be great.

15. Don't force it

If a certain position doesn't work for your body types or you hate something your partner does in bed or you just can't get off a certain way, stop trying. It's a serious mood killer when something continuously doesn't work. Get back into a routine you know works for both of you or try something new but don't get caught up on the things that don't do it for you.

16. Make sex a priority

There will be days when you're too tired or too busy or just simply not in the mood but sex is of ten what sets apart romantic and platonic relationships. If you want to have better sex, that starts with actually having sex.

17. Ask your partner what they like and what they need 

Often called "erotic love maps", these include questions like

What felt good about sex last time?

  • What did we do that caused you to feel closer and connected to me?
  • What did we do that made you relax?
  • What did we do that turned you on?

What do you need to make sex better for you?

  • What do you need to feel in the mood for sex?
  • What makes sex more like lovemaking for you?
  • What are fantasies or thoughts you have during sex?

18. Be appreciative 

Both in and out of the bedroom, if your partner does something that you appreciate, especially if it's unexpected, take a quick second to thank them

19. Say "I Love You" 

There's a reason why we assign so much meaning to those three little words. Saying them just because (when you're ready, of course) can be a really powerful way to increase intimacy. Making sure you say them enough if you've been together for a while is also super important.