You’ve lost that loving feeling. Or you want to try something new in the bedroom but just don’t know how to bring it up.

Or you wish you and your partner had more sex, less sex, or better sex. Most people face one or more of these issues at some point, but figuring out how to cope isn’t always easy.

Most of these common problems boil down to one thing: poor communication. There’s a lot of research showing that couples who have better communication have better sex lives

They’re not afraid to talk about sex, and they’re not afraid to ask for what they want.

Of course, not everyone is equally comfortable chatting about intimate matters, whether or not a therapist is in the mix.

Read on for insider tricks and tips and start amping up your sex life.

1. Give it the old college try

Not in the mood, but your partner is? Don’t be so quick to shut down any advances. Most women don’t experience spontaneous desire; they need a little help getting. Many women need to be touched, kissed, and caressed before sexual desire kicks in. So consider saying yes to sex—or at least foreplay—even if you’re not currently raring to go.

2. Do your homework

Sex doesn’t just “happen, especially if you and your partner are in the midst of an especially long dry spell. About 15% of all relationships are considered sexless, meaning the partners haven’t had sex in 6 months. Make intimacy a priority and sex will follow. If you’re not currently having sex but are still being romantic—going on dates, holding hands, kissing—then it might be as simple as carving out some special time to be alone together. But if you and your partner have essentially become roommates, you’re going to have to work a little harder to bring back sensuality.

3. Put sex on the menu

We don’t just mean scheduling a regular romp, although multiple sex therapists say that’s a good way to keep your sex life alive. But if your goal isn’t just to have sex but to make it more interesting, make up a list (menu) of everything you want to try and everything that’s completely off-limits, then asking your partner to do the same. You might learn that you’ve both been fantasizing about adding sex toys to the mix or trying anal sex.

4. Get a sexy brain

Your libido is like an engine. You need to find ways to turn yourself on, warm up, and get ready to go. How to sort it out? Try to read erotic fiction, listen to erotic podcasts, or simply allow yourself time to fantasize. Think about the last really enjoyable, hot, fun, connected, juicy experience you had with your partner. Use all five senses, take it in, and let it be something you can come back to time and time again.

5. Bring in a friend

No, not into the bedroom (unless that’s what everyone really wants, in which case, go for it!). But talking about sex with your friends—or just one trusted friend—can help demystify it. Discussing how much sex you’re having, how much you wish you were having, or how satisfied you are with your sex life could be a little like therapy. A good friend might even be able to help you work out whatever issue is getting in the way of the sex life you crave.

6. Take care of yourself first