the sexpert
Romance Rut
Dr. Read says keeping the romance alive in marriage isnít difficult and Dr. Parker agreesÖ sort of.

Dr. Trina: Men, Where's the Romance?
At what point in a relationship does the guy stop caring about romance? Is it the moment where he will no longer kiss her with lipstick on? Or is it when his full frontal genital scratching is unabashedly on display?

Brian, guys donít seem to get that as a relationship matures he needs to up the romance pleasure stakes. Sadly, men take ten big steps back.

Accounts from a woman I know found that when she first got together with her guy, his daily love-emails would fill her entire inbox. Oodles of flowers would fill her house or office. "Youíre so beautiful" would be liberally sprinkled into every conversation. Of course with all of his magnificent attention she felt like a goddess and, not surprisingly, looked for every opportunity to have sex with her adoring man.

Only a few short months later her knight in shining armorís romance quotient seemed to expire and his ability to woo turned into a romance no-manís-land. No love notes. Only the occasional, "I love you" and almost zero complimentsóeven when she made a lot of effort to get dolled up. And then thereís the whole, "I donít like kissing you with lipstick on" knife in the romance heart.

Now Iím not saying you men need to run to your local shi-shi girly store and stock up on candles, wine and massage oil. But guys, if youíre wondering why the intensity and excitement in your sex has waned, itís because youíre not putting as much effort into making a romantic space for the two of you.

When romance goes south, her sexual confidence becomes romance deficient blah-ness. Your confusion and frustration grows as her sexual interest wanes. Bedroom ruts begin to unfold. Both men and women feel gypped when they notice they were sold the wrong bill of goods.

Women crave romance so much that any little bone you throw will send us into appreciation hysteria. Romantic gestures donít have to be a big deal; a dinner out, unexpected flowers, lighting some candles at suppertime. Donít wait for her to suggest it. Get off your duff and just do it.

Romantic men are considered studs. Women love, love, love the attention. Romance gives sex a soulful couple connection. So if everything about romance is so gosh darn wonderful Brian, why does he stop?

Dr. Brian: We Can Be Romantic, But We Need Help
Okay, okay, I admit guys could use a bit of a tune up in the romance department. The honest truth isÖ guys donít "get" romance. Itís not that guys donít enjoy quality one-on-one time with their girls, because they do. A Seagramsí study found that 73 percent of men would prefer to spend a romantic evening at home than a night out with their buddies.

Trina, I know you and your girlfriends are confused about your dudeís exodus from love notes and flowers, but guys are just following the normal phase of any intimate relationship.

When a guy is "in love" he is not his normal self. He walks around in a daze, as if his lady has cast some wicked love spell over him. Guys are giddy, playful and totally head over heels in love with their ladies when they first meet. But, the honeymoon phase eventually ends and they revert back to that emotionless, caveman-like persona they were taught at a very young age.

Another problem with romance is that things like flowers, chocolate fondues, strawberry bubble baths and lavender massage oils are just too girly. Many guys still follow the masculinity social script. Itís hard for them to veer off, even if he really loves you.

And Trina, you and your sisters out there have probably realized that guys and girls view romance differently. Guys quite often equate romance with sex. How many women have tried to give their hubby a nice relaxing massage with him trying to turn it into a sex fest?

But just because your guy deleted 1-800-SEND-FDT from his cell phone, doesnít mean that he doesnít love you. Guys have different ways of expressing their love towards you women. His way might be to wash your car or get the kids out of your hair for a while.

So Trina, Iíve compiled a couple of tips for couples to keep their relationship romantic. But, you girls better take the reigns on this one because a guy wouldnít know a romantic tip if it came up and knocked off his truckerís cap.

Tell your partner what you find romantic and ask the same of them. Take turns planning romantic evenings or weekends together. Marking them on the calendar helps both individuals remember. Use your imagination and donít be afraid to try something new. Married couples should continue going on dates. Movies, dinners, plays, sports, whatever you both like doing as a couple will keep you closer together.

Dr. Trina Read has a doctorate in human sexuality. Dr. Read is also an international speaker and offers free sex tips on her website

Dr. Brian Parker is a sexologist and sex educator and the creator of two sexual intimacy board games "Embrace" and "Pillow Talk". The games are available on his website, which features original erotic art, high-end sensual products and adult sex education.

You can also hear more from Dr. Trina Read on the Hitched Podcast.

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