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How Do You Make Sexual Chemistry Happen? 

Dear Athena,

I feel like the guy I'm dating and I don't have any sexual chemistry. But in every other way I have ever wanted, he's perfect. We haven't been together long, and at first I thought we just had to get to know each other better, but now I feel lost. In the beginning all was good, but things have shifted to boring. Every time we have sex, we end up talking about how it's not working, and we just get more uncomfortable and weird. And then there is no sexual chemistry at all. I don't know what to do. Can you give me some advice on how to make the chemistry happen?

Ms. Chemical Malfunction

Dear Ms. CM,

I'm not sure you're going to like everything I have to say about this, but here goes. Chemistry is a magical, intangible vibe between two people, and it doesn't always make sense. You can't order it online or conjure a magic spell to bring it forth. It's either there or it isn't. Still, there are things you can try to light that spark and develop a sexual bond.

First, stop thinking so much. It sounds like you two are doing a lot of talking, analyzing and explaining between the sheets. Knock it off. Good sex isn't a discussion. Rather, you need to have a physical conversation. Once you start talking about sex, it loses its luster and excitement. Try communicating just with your body and see what happens. Get out of your head and into the bed. Let that rhyme be your bedroom mantra.

More PDA! Touch his hand while he's ordering dinner at a restaurant. Pull him into an alley and plant a big kiss. Make out in the back of a cab. Hold hands walking down the street. Find excuses to touch him, and show him affection in public that will give him ideas for later, when you're alone.

Also, keep things fresh. Sometimes chemistry dwindles because we stop trying new things. Are there fantasies you haven't shared? Surprise him with some sexy lingerie or bedroom toy. If your budget allows it, book a night in a swanky hotel. Try role-playing. Send him love notes or suggestive texts. Get some inspiration from the Kama Sutra or a provocative adult film. Just try something new. You never know what might unlock his — or your own — doorway to sexual connection.

And now for the caveat: While any or all of these suggestions might prove fun and rewarding, to you they might feel like too much work to get frisky. That will certainly be the case if the effort is coming from you alone and he doesn't respond in the way you want. Maybe your man would be a better friend than lover.

But you won't know for sure unless you try. If you give romance your all and still feel unsatisfied, move on. At least you'll gain a better understanding of what you want and need in a partner. All that "work" won't be in vain.

Good luck,


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