In a viral video, a sex therapist shares the rule she and her husband follow every night to keep intimacy at the center of their relationship

Rules you have to follow in a relationship may not be the sexiest thing, but this sex therapist on TikTok is here to change that.

As we all know, in a long-term relationship, the passion tends to fade a bit over time—especially when you add things like jobs, kids, money struggles, and other life factors to the equation. If you and your spouse don’t want to jump each other’s bones like you did at the beginning of your relationship, that’s perfectly normal! But you might want to try out this nightly rule that therapist Vanessa Marin shared in a viral TikTok.

“Here’s how it usually goes in long-term relationships. When you first start dating each other, it’s like you can’t keep your hands off each other, right? You’re always touching, always kissing,” Marin begins, after introducing herself as “a licensed psychotherapist specializing in sex.”


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♬ original sound – Vanessa + Xander Marin

She continues, “But the pattern for most people is that once they get into a long-term relationship, they really stop touching and kissing so much, and eventually it gets to the point where the only time that you’re like really kissing each other is when you’re trying to initiate sex.”

No lie detected. Anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship can likely relate to this so far.

But when this can become a problem is when you develop what Marin calls the “bristle reaction.”

“What happens for a lot of people, especially if you’re the lower sex drive partner, is that you start becoming avoidant of any sort of touch or kissing,” she explains. “This can even lead to what I call the bristle reaction, which is when you become so hyper vigilant to your partner’s touch or kisses that you actually can feel yourself bristle.”

She and her husband have developed a simple way to combat this: nightly makeout sessions.

“We wanted to give ourselves lots of experiences when we were making out and it wasn’t leading to sex,” she said. “So our rule is that we have to make out every single night and there has to be some tongue contact.”

If the comments are any indication, Marin’s message is resonating.

“Literally been feeling this ‘bristle reaction’ I thought was the ‘ick’ so nice to know so many women have this,” one commenter wrote. Another added, “Yess. 5 years in my relationship and Everything you said is so true! I’m going to try this w/ my partner. Thank you! 😁”

So if your relationship could use some more intimacy, maybe try making out. You know, for science.

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