Stages of Sex Series: The Glory Years When Things Are Going Great

by | Oct 16, 2019 | Sex | 11 comments

The Glory Years of Sex: How to keep great sex in marriage going, instead of falling into a rut.

Yes, it’s true–you can have years in your marriage when sex is going great!

We’re talking on Wednesdays in the month of October about the different stages of sex in marriage. We’ve covered:

  • The Honeymoon Years–when sex often ISN’T actually that great because you’re figuring things out
  • The Busy Years–when kids come or life gets busy and sex can fall by the wayside

And now I want to turn to the glory years when sex is going great!

In my surveys for The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex I found that, in general, those glory years tended to be years 16-24 of marriage. You’ve been together for long enough that you feel totally comfortable with one another. You’re totally committed to one another. You’ve figured things out. Life isn’t as exhausting anymore. And now things can get great!

But for some of you, the glory years may kick in much earlier, and some of you may get there much later.

But today, I want to talk about how to ride the wave of those glory years, whenever they may be, and also how to keep them going longer. Let’s define glory years as the years when she is finding it easier to reach orgasm; you have sex quite regularly and no one’s libido is in the toilet; and you feel freer in the bedroom.

You’ve figured out the things I shared last week about how to make orgasm more likely; you’ve dealt with a lot of the baggage and the porn and other things I warned about in the Honeymoon Stage; and you’re coasting. I don’t want to spend today talking about how to make sex feel good, then, but just how to make these years as great as possible, and how to prolong them.

Celebrate and flirt a lot!

If you’re like many couples, you’ve had those years (or months) when things weren’t just humming along. You’ve made those breakthroughs, and now things are going well. So celebrate! Laugh a ton. Flirt with each other. Learn to be more affectionate. PDAs are okay, and hey, you may even be able to relax more in the bedroom, you may find that spilling over into your broader life together.

Plan to make memories

Now’s a great phase in your life to make some major sex memories! Take that 10th or 20th anniversary trip (or whatever it may be for you) somewhere romantic where you’ll have lots of time in bed (as well as time to explore other things). This could be the honeymoon you actually wanted, that wasn’t as successful the first time around. Take a weekend away from the kids and go to a resort where you can enjoy yourselves. Buy some new lingerie! Have that time together now so that in future years, you can smile together and say, “Remember when….”

Try to hit new highs

Sex may be going great, but perhaps there are some things that you haven’t figured out yet, and now is the time to do it! On one of those weekends away, see if you can figure out how to help her reach multiple orgasms. You can even aim for simultaneous orgasm, since after all this time he’s likely able to control his own timing a little bit better. As he learns how your body works, he may be able to hold off until he feels you ready to let go. Or you can even try to see if you can identify her G-spot. Don’t make any of these things a pass/fail thing, but once you’ve figured out how to have her reach orgasm, it’s fun to try to add some of these other milestones into your sex life.

Don’t let sex get routine

The big thing I’d say at this stage, though, is don’t let sex become routine. While it may be going wonderfully now because it’s feeling good for her, sometimes we do coast on that and then, what was wonderful for a while, becomes a little stale. Especially because when women figure out what feels good, they may want to stick to that one position. But that’s where you may need to challenge yourself to switch things up a bit! Start in a different position, but then you can always finish in Old Faithful, if that works best.

We’ve created our Sexy Dares that work wonderfully for people at this stage of marriage. They help you keep that fun going, but you’ll try new things in new ways that will stop things from becoming stale. You get 24 dares–8 where he takes the lead; 8 where she takes the lead; and 8 that you do together (plus there’s a bonus dare to help you connect more outside the bedroom, too!). They’re written to appeal to what makes sex great for both genders, so there’s lots about increasing foreplay and stimulation for her; there’s lots about helping him watch and see for him; and tons about new positions or new things to try. And it adds that little spark so that things won’t get stale at all! They’re only $6.99, and you can get instant access right here:

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Keep connecting in other ways outside of the bedroom

What often brings the glory years to an end is two big changes: Life changes (like the emotional weight of becoming empty nesters; switching jobs; or hitting midlife) and health changes that often accompany menopause for women or midlife for men. When these changes come, you’ll have to be able to communicate and become vulnerable with each other in order to keep your sex life going. You’ll have to make adjustments. You’ll have to process the emotions of life changes. You’ll have to figure new things out.

That’s why you need to make sure that those “glory years” are not all about sex. What’s going to keep sex great long term is not sex itself, but your ability to talk about things and feel close to one another. So figure out each other’s emotional needs. Keep talking. Do hobbies together! Just keep connecting. A great way to do that is to figure out each other’s emotional needs. I’ve got a self-assessment tool you can do together here that can help you learn what each other needs to feel close, and help you break that down into actionable steps. Just sign up here to receive it!

I hope some of my readers are indeed in these glory years! I know many arrive here because sex isn’t working that great, but I hope that by trying some of the things I’ve been talking about, for some of you that’s turned around. And remember: if you aren’t in these years yet, it doesn’t mean you never will be. Keep up with the tips I gave in the last two posts in our series, and you’ll likely breeze through those stages a lot faster.

What do you think? How long did it take you to reach the “glory years” stage? (Or are you not there yet?) Let’s talk in the comments!


Posts in the “Stages of Sex” Series:

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Sheila Wray Gregoire


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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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  1. Phil

    I think after all the work we have done we are in the glory years. 19 years in we hit the spot. Not too bad from where we came from not too long ago. What we lack is not quantity but rather variety and spice. Some how some way we need to figure out how to add that in. Stepping outside the comfort zone a bit is challenging. I think its time to start pushing that button again for us. The only thing we can do is keep trying. I think not being so serious is a good approach.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Definitely not be so serious! 🙂 I think we forget how to laugh too much, and sex is rather funny if you think about it.

      19 years is about when people do hit their stride, so you’re really doing not too badly at all! 🙂

      • Phil

        Thanks Sheila I feel guilty I shouldn’t complain things are good but I can’t even get her to do one sexy dare from your list. I just know that there’s so much more that she’s missing out on we are missing out on but I will just pray and keep workingAnd stay grateful

  2. Anonymous This Time

    We’ve been married for ten years, and are currently in the “busy years”, but sex has pretty much been great for both of us for the majority of our marriage (at least physically), which is why I’m posting here. But this is my problem – sometimes sex is this beautiful, emotionally connecting thing – but other times I feel like I need to resort to more raunchy roll playing type of thing just to get myself in the mood (I’m sorry if that’s TMI). When we do that, it’s still really enjoyable physically, but I’m missing out on the emotional side. How do I avoid that when our time is limited and we are too exhausted to take a long time, or even really connect emotionally? I’m afraid if I stop doing it, we will almost never have sex because we are too tired to put in the sort of energy required for me to be in the mood very often. Add to that, I also have a lot of body image issues and sometimes “being myself” is actively a turn off. I’m really searching for an answer – and any help would be appreciated.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Just want you to know I’m not ignoring your comment–I’m just thinking about it. I want to give a good answer. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a little play every now and then (as long as we’re not talking about degrading/porn/etc. ), but if you have to separate from your body because you don’t like yourself, that’s not healthy in the long run. And sometimes intimacy can be increased just by having more fun together, so it’s not always a bad thing. What I’m worried about is that you feel like you have to because you’re not comfortable with yourself. Let me think about that!

  3. Aaron. G

    Our sex life has been awesome for the last fifteen years. It took my wife and I until after the birth of our second child before sex really began to click. She came out of the hardcore purity culture and I had had no sexual education from my parents or anyone else. So we both came into marriage clueless. We knew how things were supposed to work so when they didn’t we both had no idea why.
    Fast forward seven years into our marriage. We both knew each other well and now it wasn’t as awkward or painful for my wife. Our sex life exploded into everything we both thought it should have been when we were first married. We’ve been married for almost 23 years now and it’s still going strong.
    We are even thinking of taking a get away, something like a second honeymoon. So we can have the time we didn’t have on our first one.

  4. EB

    We are at 16 years and the glory years are true for us just recently. The kids never slowed me down at all, but we just came out of a long 6 years of stress, school, unemployment, moving to a new state and that was definitely a blip in our relationship sexually. Now it’s like back to being on honeymoon this year. But we have also talked a lot more and felt heard on each of our issues so that really helped. You can have no idea how your other half thinks sometime if you don’t ask and explain and seek to truly understand.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      So true! Glad you’re there and you’ve arrived. Right on time, too. 🙂

  5. Cynthia

    I have some vivid, awesome memories of our 10th anniversary weekend. I had been pregnant or breastfeeding for 8 consecutive years, but had finally weaned my youngest 10 months earlier, shortly after my doctor had pointed out to a resident that I had “vaginal atrophy due to breastfeeding”.

    Well…..those 10 months were enough for things to get better, and having a weekend with no kids, lots of privacy and a private pool and hot tub was amazing! My libido finally returned from its extended vacation and said “I’m back!”.

    I love my kids dearly and we do travel with them, but I’m a firm believer in couples being able to get away without the kids sometimes.

  6. Anonymous

    I’ve never seen or heard of these stages, but they totally make sense and apply to us. We’ve been married 13+ years, and our youngest of 4 kids is going on 7 years old this year. Life is definitely getting more smooth as the kids are more independent, but more than that, I’m now in my 30s and have done a ton of self-work in the last 3 years. I’m more confident in my skin and last year God helped me make a major breakthrough regarding sex and romance. This blog and the TLHV resources have been a HUGE help in identifying problem areas, like the courtship/purity culture, how to deal with porn, and better sex communication. So with occasional ups and downs, we’re in year 2 of a great sex streak and my libido is now the higher of the two, an unexpected change but we’re figuring it out. 🙂

    • Tammy Arseneau

      That is great, super to hear that things are starting to work better for you.


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