Everyone knows it can be difficult to keep the spark alive in a long-term relationship.

Indeed, recent research suggests that it’s women who go off the boil first, losing interest in having sex with their partner after just a year together.

They are four times more likely to not care about having a steamy night of passion than those in shorter relationships, found Southampton University.

But the same trend does not exist for men. Their sexual interest does not fade over time, it was found.

Now British author Isabel Losada – who in the name of research has got naked in a women’s workshop and attended the first international conference on clitoral stroking – outlines ways long-term couples can keep the magic alive between the sheets in her new book titled Adventures in Sex, Love and Laughter.

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Writing for the I website, she has four pieces of key aspects for men and women alike.

1. Learn to use the words ‘no’, ‘yes’ and ‘wait’

Isabel has attended workshops aimed at boosting the sex life of couples and suggests more couples should try them out.

‘Most men want to learn how best to please the women they love,’ she wrote in the article. ‘Many women are not good at teaching them and men can’t read our minds.’

She points out that couples cannot desire their long-term partners unless they are receiving genuine pleasure from each other.

Isabel explained that learning to use the words, ‘no’, ‘yes’ and ‘wait’ – something she’d not done correctly in her seven-year marriage even though she is a ‘strong, confident woman’ – was a revelation to her.

She said: ‘Women in particular need to learn how to say no when they’re not in the mood for sex and not just go along with it to please their partner.

‘If you don’t ever say no then how can you ever really be saying yes?

‘And when you do say yes, say it enthusiastically. A couple’s sex life will be so much better when they make love when they’re really in the mood and that’s been communicated.’

Learning to say ‘wait’, she says, is also important because ‘men tend to rush so much they often need to be slowed down.’

And when you slow love-making down ‘you get double the pleasure’ she added.

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2. Learn EXACTLY what to do with the clitoris – and women, spell it out

Sometimes it helps to really spell out exactly how to work this nerve-rich part of a woman that gives us so much pleasure. Isabel does just that.

‘You need lube of the right viscosity, stroke no more firmly than you would stroke your own eyelid, use the first finger of your non-dominant hand and the upper right hand corner (1 O’clock) is the most sensitive spot,’ she wrote.

Of course females are different – what feels enjoyable for one may not for another. That’s why women need to communicate precisely what does.

You can’t fairly complain about your partner not hitting the right spot if you haven’t given specific guidance – as was said in point one, men are not mind readers.

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3. Stop faking pleasure

According to Isabel, many women fake orgasms. Relationship experts have warned time and time again that they are doing no favours for themselves or their relationships.

But the author also points out another trend she says she learned from a ‘tantric master’ – that even when women are not outright faking climax they may still be exaggerating the pleasure they are getting.

‘This is notoriously difficult for many women as we want to reassure the man so are prone to exaggerating the signs of our pleasure,’ she explained.

This, she says, is ‘fatal’ because the man will never receive real feedback on what his partner enjoys.

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4. Set challenges

Isabel recommends you do all you can to keep sex varied and make sure you don’t fall into the trap of doing the same things.

She gives an example of a time when her partner accepted a challenge not to ejaculate for 30 days.

As a result, she says, making love during that time was ‘some of the most connected sex that we’d had’.

She says these exercise do not have to be done forever – and that’s very much the point, they are intended to mix things up.

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