23/11/2017 10:27 AM AEDT | Updated 23/11/2017 10:35 AM AEDT

These Are The Signs Your Sex Life Needs A Boost

And how to get things back on track.

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Are you stuck in a sex rut?

It's a story Isiah McKimmie has heard countless times before. A couple gets together, things start off hot and heavy, and then as time goes on, things become a little... stale.

"It's something I hear from couples all the time," the couples therapist and sexologist told HuffPost Australia. "They say they're in a bit of a sex rut and are just not excited about it anymore."

And it's a trap all too easy to fall into. Take away the honeymoon period, add in job stresses, long hours, other commitments and -- here's the big one -- kids, and your sex life can end up taking a back seat in terms of priorities.

"That's a point I actually really want to make, that we need to really have in our minds that it's important. A great sex life doesn't just happen by itself. Nothing in life happens by itself. It needs our energy and attention. It doesn't mean there's something wrong that you're in a sex rut, it just means it hasn't been getting the energy and attention that it needs," McKimmie said.

So what are the signs your sex life needs a boost? And how can you get it back to where it once (presumably) was?

"I think one of the first things is you find yourself doing the same thing... you've fallen into a kind of routine," McKimmie said. "You find yourself doing the same thing. There's often very little foreplay but there's a routine about when and how things are done."

The lack of foreplay may also lead to one person (typically a female) missing out on an orgasm.

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Is it just us, or does she look bored?

"If you're not enjoying it or not having an orgasm, that's obviously not a good sign," McKimmie said. "This often happens to women, they orgasm at the start relatively easy but then we tend to get a bit lazy with time. If we are not spending as much time in foreplay, that's going to decrease the chance of her orgasm.

"Essentially if there's an element of just getting it over and done with to please your partner, that's something that needs to be addressed."

Taking things outside the bedroom, McKimmie says if things are fizzling in your daily interactions, it's fair to expect your sex life to follow suit.

"Feeling disconnected with each other in daily life, being snappy with each other... all of this contributes," she said. "Sex and relationships go together, and I strongly believe we can improve one by improving the other."

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Your beahviour towards each other outside of the bedroom is just as important.

Finally, if sex is something that tends to come up in arguments (particularly if you are arguing about something else entirely) then it's safe to say at least one half of the couple is unhappy with the state of affairs.

"Often it's the elephant in the room or something couples argue about," McKimmie said. "They'll often argue over frequency. You might be feeling like you're having sex less than you would like to, or your partner has mentioned frequency or it comes up in arguments.

"My thoughts on this are: if it's important to your partner, it has to be important to you as well. Even if sex is the last thing on your mind, it is actually really important to a relationship especially if your partner is asking for it and it's important to them. Then it has to be a priority for you."

McKimmie touches on a good point here, and it's that sometimes the dissatisfaction regarding sex doesn't go both ways.

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Make the time to talk about how you feel.

So how you do address the situation without hurting your partner's feelings?

"I think it's important to be really sensitive and gentle when you bring it up," McKimmie said. "Sex is a really delicate topic that can have a lot of anxiety and shame around it.

"Most often, the other person actually has an idea that their partner is unsatisfied. It hasn't been said, but it's the elephant in the room.

"Most of the time they will have an idea, and feel guilty about it, or ashamed, or pretend that they don't care but underneath they do.

Sex and relationships are such an important part of our lives, but one of the things we get the least formal education on.We expect it should just 'happen'.

"My advice would be to bring it up gently, and I always say to frame it in a positive way, and to start with a positive. So something along the lines of 'this relationship is so important to me, I want us to be as happy as we can be.' And then go on to say, 'I think one of the ways we can do that is to improve in this area'.

"I think it's so important to bring a positive attitude rather than saying 'there's a problem' because that's going to make someone defensive.

"I also think don't bring it up in the middle of an argument or when you're already in bed. It's not going to help things. Nothing is going to go well from there. Make a time when you're both relaxed to be able to talk about it."

Other, non-verbal areas you can address is starting to make more of an effort with each other, both intimately and in terms of the every day.

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The good news is you can bring the passion back...

"I am definitely not saying that you have to shave your legs all the time or wear sexy lingerie, but I think we do these things at the start and then they taper off," McKimmie said. "I think there is something so beautiful about being so comfortable with someone that you don't need to be 'sexy' for them to love you and find you attractive, but I do think there's something to be said about putting in the effort to seduce the other person and, crucially, to seduce yourself.

"Because it's as much about turning ourselves on as the other person."

McKimmie also lists touch as being a key factor as well as making sure you carve out time as a couple.

"Make sure you're actually spending time together as a couple. Not just as co-parents or as friends but really setting aside time to be a couple, to go on dates, to have conversations that's not just about logistics because that stuff is not sexy," she said.

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... No matter what your age.

"Something else I think is important is having physical touch that doesn't necessarily lead to sex. It helps to get your oxytocin going, it helps you feel bonded and connected, it helps women get aroused and just starts that sexiness and connection.

"And finally, on an ongoing basis, I think it's important to be willing to try new things, being able to talk about what you both like and don't like, and things might want to try.

"One of the things that stand out of me and I find I'm saying all the time is we expect sex to take care of itself, but if we want to be really great at anything at our lives, we get education around it.

"Sex and relationships are such an important part of our lives, but one of the things we get the least formal education on.We expect it should just 'happen'.

"So I think reaching out to get help, reading books and learning new things is really, really valuable."

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