Intense care free sex isn't the secret to a happy marriage… vanilla sex is

HOT sex on screen is always wild, intense and totally care-free.

I thought this was the way sex should be — raw and hedonistic.

Only a sex life involving seductive lingerie, eroticism and keys in the bowl would keep me and my partner interested.

But after 13 years with my husband Bryn, a marketing director, I have learned the secret to a long and happy marriage is — whisper it, vanilla maintenance sex.

This routine intimacy with a long-term partner can be scheduled. It can be the same format or position every time.

This kind of love-making won’t set your duvet alight but it does keep the candle of passion burning between you.

And thank goodness. I   learned   this lesson seven years ago, with the birth of our first daughter.

Exhaustion put paid to any wild performances in bed but I felt far more comfortable in my own skin.

I was finally able to think about our own pleasure rather than ticking off positions and things I had read in Fifty Shades Of Grey.

I often felt in early relationships — and even when I started out with Bryn — that I should mix things up to keep us both interested.

I thought a touch of imagination was needed to keep the boredom at bay. I worried that long-term sexual relationships would demand new angles, locations, outfits or toys to liven things up.

How kinky would we need to be? This was partly because I thought everyone else was playing that game too.

Back then, we kept the curtains open, the lights on and attempted new positions to add flavour and spice to our sex life.

But some of those “positions of the month” were quite gymnastic, and I would rather not have to do a warm-up before things heat up in the bedroom.

What if I quite like the missionary position, thank you very much? Yes, in earlier days we toyed with toys, flirted with fantasy and donned the blindfolds.

All that has its place. But it wouldn’t be the same without the base note of vanilla underneath.

Plain vanilla sex, whether a weekly bedtime appointment or what you go to instinctively, can be incredibly satisfying.

It is good for your relationship, too — and here’s why. Let’s start with putting it in your diary.

I know scheduling sex doesn’t sound sexy. But doing so means we make time for it, rather than letting it slip off the agenda.

If you have been married for a while, or just together for a long time, life often seems to somehow get in the way of a roll in the hay.

We have two children — a new baby as well as our seven-year-old girl.

What with the weekly shop, long working hours, seeing the in-laws and a general lack of sleep, passion was hard to find.


If you have a standing date night, you have something to look forward to — and you can always reschedule if you really must.

The other thing about routine — knowing what to expect and when — is the delicious anticipation you get in the run-up.

By the time we hit 40, we have sex, on average, a little more than once a week according to a recent YouGov survey.

So our sexual habits are nothing if not predictable. As Saturday night rolls around, we can hear bed springs squeaking and creaking all over the country.

This is great because you also get the chance to perfect your moves.

There is no point getting the fetish masks out if neither of you are climaxing.

When you know what you like and build trust, you get a more satisfying ending.

A Durex survey found only 11 per cent of us have tried a new sex position in the last six years.

Vanilla sex lets my husband and I really communicate about what we want and how to get it. Sex becomes about quality, not quantity.


Why all the bells and whistles if you will enjoy the sex less? Sex finds us at our most vulnerable.

I’m pretty confident about my body but even I might feel a little self-conscious if you asked me to get out the PVC and whip.

Vanilla sex does not distract from the connection between partners.

It leaves room for emotion, and if that sounds trite it has helped my husband and I swerve divorce and remain happily together — through two kids, my depression, his anxiety, house moves, career changes and the rest of life.

Like ice cream, there is a difference between a dollop of vanilla from the mega-pack at the back of the freezer and a single scoop of gelato flavoured with a Madagascan pod plucked straight from the tree.

I know what kind of vanilla I’m enjoying.

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