Here at KitschMix, we want to help you have the best sex of your life. But what happens if new positions and toys aren’t getting the job done? Sometimes, the reasons for your mediocre sex life are so simple, you’ll wonder why you weren’t already doing them. I’m here to share 10 of those reasons with you today – how many can you add into your routine?
A ten-minute meditation session every day can do wonders for your life. It puts you in a state of calm, and helps teach you how to focus on one thing at a time. But, did you know that it can also make your sex life better? As someone who’s been practicing meditation every day for the past six weeks, I’ll personally vouch for this one: Meditating in the morning makes your nighttime activities just a bit more satisfying.
That’s not just my opinion, though. According to a study by Canada’s University of British Columbia and Israel’s Hadassah University Hospital, women were more receptive to erotic imagery (specifically, porn) after meditating than they were before meditating. I recommend giving a brief daily meditation a try – even if you’re not looking for the sex life boost it promises.
Check out J Marie’s post about couple’s meditation if you want to get your partner in on it too.
Read something naughty.
There’s a reason why so many women buy romance novels – and I don’t think they’re all doing it to pass the time until they meet their prince(ss) charming. We are highly imaginative creatures, and reading erotica helps train your brain to visualize your fantasies. Think of it like a guided meditation that you keep your eyes open for.
According to sexologist Carol Queen, PhD, erotic literature can quickly jump-start the arousal process. Of course, the quality of the stories you read is going to come into play, too, but once you’ve trained yourself to fantasize better, the shortcomings of the less-than-great stories starts to fade away a little. Give it a shot with some of these stories on Nifty, or head to your local adult store to pick up some paperbacks.
Have sweaty post-workout sex.
The benefits of regular exercise remain undisputed – it helps increase blood flow, boosts your energy and stamina, and keeps you limber. All of these things are amazing for your sex life as it is, but did you know that exercise also raises your dopamine levels and your self-esteem? Dopamine is the brain chemical responsible for feelings of happiness, and we all know that happy sex is the best sex. Some women can even have an orgasm from exercise alone!
According to Janet Hyde, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison psychology and women’s studies professor, “After 35 to 40 minutes of moderate exercise, everything in your body is going right. Your blood is circulating, your nervous system is firing, so scheduling sex right after you exercise makes for good sex.” And, according to Judith R. Gerber, PhD, “The less exercise [women 45-55 years old] got, the lower their desire and sexual satisfaction.”
If you don’t think you have time to exercise, check out this list of exercises you can do in less than 10 minutes per day.
Pop a multivitamin.
While we all know that nutrition is important to our health, overall, most people resist eating healthier – whether because they can’t afford it (Why are salads so damn expensive anyway? They’re over 90% water!) or because they don’t enjoy it. In fact, most people aren’t getting nearly enough nutrients from food alone – but a multivitamin might help, especially if it has a high folate and iron content.
According to Tufts University researcher Martha Morris, PhD, “Low folate levels can make you feel tired, with no energy for sex.” And, according to Swiss researcher Bernard Favrat, MD, low iron levels kill your neurotransmitters – sinking your energy levels even lower. The daily recommended amount of iron is 18mg and folate 400mg – so make sure your multivitamin contains at least that much of each, just to be sure.
Get a massage (from a professional).
As great as a good rub-down from your partner can be, there’s a reason the professionals still have a job: They go to school to learn exactly where to touch your body to make you feel the best. Don’t worry about the cost – you don’t need to splurge on an hour-long session. Even a quick 10-minute back massage will do wonders. (And, of course, your partner can help fill in between spa appointments.)
Ian Kerner, PhD, author of She Comes First, says “The skin-on-skin contact stimulates the sex hormone oxytocin. The more oxytocin is released, the more desire a woman will feel.” And, just think about how sexy you feel when your partner rubs you down – now imagine that she was actually a trained professional instead of a hobby-amateur, and just picture how much sexier you could feel. Have you made your appointment yet?
Use the power of scent.
Certain smells have the power to increase blood flow, which makes the body a lot more receptive to arousal triggers. Pumpkin pie and lavender scents increase the blood flow by about 11%, while cucumber, licorice, and baby powder increase the blood flow by about 13%. The numbers might be small, but since you’ll be increasing blood flow in the most sensitive areas of your body, you don’t need big numbers – just a small increase will be amazing.
Essential oils can be particularly helpful, especially when you know the right blends to use. Jasmine, rose, and sandalwood are traditional aphrodisiacs that have been used for hundreds of years to increase sexual satisfaction, and these days you can get an aromatherapy diffuser online for reasonably cheap. I personally use this one from GuruNanda, but the specific brand doesn’t really matter. You need to enjoy the scents you choose, though, or they’ll just be a distraction.
Talk to your doctor about getting off any unnecessary medications.
I think it’s well-known that anti-depressants, especially SSRIs like Prozac and Zoloft, decrease sexual desire – and, according to Andrew Goldstein, MD, of the Sexual Wellness Center in Annapolis, Maryland, they might be the number-one cause of anorgasmia, or the inability to orgasm. Shorter-acting SSRIs like Zoloft and SNRIs like Effexor might be safe to skip a dose every now and then to minimize their effects on your sex life. Wellbutrin helps raise dopamine levels, instead of dropping them, so it may be an option for those who have had bad side effects from other anti-depressants.
No matter which medications you’re taking, you need to talk to your doctor before lowering or stopping your current treatment option – there may be unpleasant side-effects or even withdrawals. It might be awkward to bring this one up with your doctor – especially if you’ve got a doctor that’s not very LGBT-friendly. (It makes me sad how many of them there still are.) But just because the conversation is awkward doesn’t mean that you can skip it – save yourself the potential disaster and make sure your doctor gives their OK.
Focus (possibly with the help of a DHEA supplement).
While meditation, mentioned above, can help improve your focus, women naturally have overactive brains. That’s probably why we’re at higher risk of contracting anxiety disorders, and why it’s hard to “wind down” to get ready for sex sometimes. Creating a safe haven that you feel comfortable in can help, but if that’s not enough, you might have trouble producing DHEA. This naturally-occuring sex hormone declines over time, and while its effectiveness hasn’t been verified by science, it is naturally produced by your body just before an orgasm. Usually.
When your body doesn’t produce enough DHEA, you can’t really appreciate the sex you’re having, because you never reach that “almost there” moment that feels so damn good. But taking a supplement that contains DHEA might help trick your body into thinking you don’t have an issue producing it on your own. Again, this information isn’t explicitly backed up by scientific research, but there is a natural connection between the two – so if you’re having trouble, it might be worth trying a supplement.
Work with what you’ve got.
Most women fall into a category that Emily Nagoski calls “responsive desire” – but if your partner falls into a second category, called “spontaneous desire,” it’s likely that she doesn’t know you need a little more time to warm up. If you love and trust your partner, you can probably let her get started before you’re in the mood, and chances are good that you’ll get there before she’s done with you. (Just remember to gently nudge her in the right direction – she might not know that your arousal style isn’t the same as hers.)
If you haven’t built up that level of trust with your partner yet, there is still another option: Be a self-starter! That is, take a few minutes to start pleasuring yourself and get the ball rolling. Doing this in front of your partner can be incredibly sexy, and you already know what gets your motor running – why not make things a little easier on both of you?
Keep it simple.
Most importantly, you need to remember that it’s okay to keep things simple. You don’t need a fancy toy or a wild position or some skimpy lingerie to have a good time. You also don’t need an activity that lasts all night – most people are satisfied with about 13 minutes of sexual activity. Since the average lesbian sex session lasts about 45 minutes, you’ve probably got it handled more than you think you do.
If you’re trying too hard to get in the mood, you’re not going to get in the mood. (It’s sad, but true.) You’re only going to stress yourself out if you put too much pressure on it. Instead, make peace with the fact that, some days, you’re just not going to be feeling it – and that’s perfectly okay. Don’t try to force it. Sex shouldn’t be a chore – it should be an act of intimacy!