Has your sex life gone stale? Between kids, work, the economy and other pressures, steamy sex may seem like a fantasy. (Although there’s a place for that too!) Are you ready to turn up the heat again? These tips will help get you in the mood, both physically and mentally…
Sweaty bodies, tangled sheets, moaning… It sounds X-rated, but it could be real life.
Read on for the top 19 tips and other things you need to know to have the best sex ever, even if you’ve already got a great sex life (there’s always room for improvement, right?).
1. Know That You’re Entitled to Fabulous Sex
So what if you haven’t lost the baby weight, certain body parts aren’t as high as they used to be or you have a pimple the size of a volcano. It doesn’t matter.
“When you’re in bed and making love, your partner’s not worried about any little imperfections a woman might have,” says Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., author of Pleasure: A Woman’s Guide to Getting the Sex You Want, Need and Deserve (Perigee).
Besides, his body probably isn’t perfect either. Do most guys let a large belly or back hair get in the way of a good time? Well, follow his lead.
2. Make a Date
Scheduling sex might sound too controlling to be much fun, but sometimes planning is in order. You book time in your calendar to work out and run errands – why not do the same to prioritize sex?
“This is important, so you have to make room for it and push it forward,” Dr. Hutcherson says.
Reconnecting with your partner as a lover – not roommates or parents – reminds you why you were attracted to him in the first place. And once you’ve made a sex appointment, the anticipation can be almost as titillating as the event. So kick it up a notch by trading racy texts or leaving a sultry voicemail on his cell.
3. Forget About “Normal”
Surveys show that American women have a wide variety of sex:
- 17% have tried bondage
- 20% have used a blindfold
- 30% have had anal sex
- 62% masturbate (usually three to four times a week)
- 40% use vibrators
- 14% look at online porn
- 70% need clitoral stimulation to slide into home plate
- 18% opt for oral sex
Your quirks and predilections aren’t so strange, so quit worrying and enjoy.
4. Leave the Porn Positions to the Pros
Unless Jenna Jameson is your alter ego, your guy probably doesn’t expect you to do the Reverse Cowgirl with a Half-Gainer in the bedroom.
“There are a lot of ridiculous standards out there about how women should be or look or act,” says Michele Sugg, a certified sex therapist in Branford, Conn. “Let all that go. Reality is, men are turned on by you.”
Your partner will be aroused by seeing you turned on too.
5. Lube Up
The right lubricant can make so-so sex great. There are several types of lube to try, including water- and silicone-based, so experiment to see what works best for you.
As a general rule, avoid anything that warms, cools or tastes like a fruit roll-up; these can irritate the skin, says Ellen Barnard, sex educator/counselor and co-owner of A Woman’s Touch in Madison, Wis.
6. Get Squeaky CleanUse mouthwash and baby wipes. Keeping everything fresh is just good manners, right?
7. Go Fish
Fish oil reduces inflammation, blood pressure and dangerous LDL cholesterol. But guess what? It also helps open up those very small blood vessels down there.
Plus, fish oil boosts the testosterone in your body (yes, women have this hormone, too), so “you notice your arousal more quickly,” Barnard explains.
You can get a hefty dose of fish oil by eating salmon, mackerel, lake trout, sardines or herring twice a week, but it may be easier to take supplements.
8. Trade Pain for Pleasure
Sex should feel amazing. If it’s painful, you need to figure out why. It may be a simple matter of changing positions or adding lubricant.
But it could also be a yeast infection, an undiagnosed STD, endometriosis, painful bladder syndrome, vulvodynia or even cancer. Don’t try to diagnose it on your own; see your gynecologist. And check out “5 Sex Problems Women Face.”
If you’re still hurting and nothing is medically wrong, consider talking with a certified sex therapist. (You can find one through www.aasect.org.)
“There can be emotional reasons for painful sex, particularly for women who’ve been raised in religious households or who’ve been sexually abused or raped,” Sugg says.
9. Medication Can Hurt Your Libido
Some medications can blunt your sex drive, including antidepressants, blood pressure medications, even birth control pills.
If you haven’t been feeling as frisky as you’d like, talk to your doctor about whether your prescription might be putting the chill on your libido. You might be able to take a lower dose or switch to a different drug.
10. Get to Know Yourself
Forget what you see in movies: Only about 30% of women reach orgasm through penetration alone. That means a whopping 70% of us need hands-on help to cross the finish line.
“It’s not all up to your partner,” Sugg says. “Share the responsibility and take on pieces of your own sexual pleasure.”
Touch yourself to bump up the heat, so you can have more – and better – orgasms, she says.
11. Give Him Direction
He may not want you telling him how to drive, but he’ll appreciate direction about what pleases you.
Just don’t be bossy about it (unless he’s into that, of course). A simple “It drives me wild when you [fill in the blank]” can work wonders.
If he’s still not getting it, take him by the hand and lead him down the path of your pleasure. Show him specifically where and how (lightly/firmly, slowly/quickly) you like to be touched.
The reward? A bone-shivering orgasm.
12. Cultivate a Rich Fantasy Life
You’ve heard it before: The most important sex organ is the brain. So stock it with sexy images to get your motor revved.
“It’s one more tool to bring to your play,” Barnard says. “There’s plenty of tasteful stuff out there, so you don’t have to expose yourself to something that’s going to offend you.”
Catch a couple of late-night movies on cable, or peruse erotica at bookstores.
Still missing that spark? Create your own porn by describing a favorite fantasy in a diary or post it anonymously on a blog. Other people’s comments may help fuel new scenarios you and your partner can use.
13. Create a Sexy Space
You want your bedroom to feel like a place for good lovin’, not an office or nursery school.
Remodeling isn’t required. Simply clear out the kid toys, put away the work stuff and add small touches like candles or flowers.
14. Get Some Comic Relief
Another thing that happens only in movies: sex without gaffes. In real life, something’s bound to go wrong – one of you farts, you pull a muscle, the dog jumps on you, you fall off the bed.
The only thing you can do – after checking for broken bones – is to laugh and roll with it. Nothing kills the mood like the pressure to have “perfect sex.”
15. Find Birth Control That Works for You
It’s impossible to let yourself go if you’re worried about getting pregnant. Which is why the best birth control is the one you’ll use without fail.
Fortunately, if you do slip up, there’s Plan B, an emergency contraception pill that you can use up to 5 days after sex. It’s available without a prescription for women 17 years and older.
“Plan B is a backup for the condom that breaks or the diaphragm that’s 20 miles away,” says Bruce Rosenzweig, M.D., director of urogynecology at Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago. “It’s not recommended as a primary form of contraception.”
16. Get a Handle on Vascular Conditions
Some health problems affect your sex life. For example, heart disease, arthritis, hypertension and diabetes “can profoundly affect our sexual health and pleasure,” Barnard says.
What’s the connection? Blood flow.
“Sexual arousal is completely dependent on the blood flow to the tiny blood vessels in our genitals, including the clitoris, which gets erect the same way a man’s penis does,” Barnard explains.
So anything that impedes the rush of blood to your nether regions can substantially curb your enthusiasm. See your doctor for help.
17. Catch Some Zzz’s
About 67% of women have trouble sleeping, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And, as many working women know, when you’re really tired, you’d simply rather snooze than get busy with your partner.
18. Get Fit Down There
You’ve probably heard it before, but there are good reasons why you should do your Kegels: “Orgasms are your pelvic floor spasming,” Barnard explains. So “if your pelvic floor muscles aren’t very strong, you’re not going to feel much.”
So how do you do Kegels? Just squeeze the pelvic floor muscles (these are the ones that control urination) for several seconds and release and relax the muscles for several seconds.
Make it more fun by squeezing them in sync to music while you’re driving, recommends Lauri Romanzi, M.D., an urogynecologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. Do several sets of 20 to 30 reps per set daily, she says.
To make sure you’re Kegeling correctly, put a mirror between your legs and watch as you squeeze.
“The perinea – the skin between the anus and vagina – should pull in, almost like someone’s pulling that skin into your body,” Dr. Romanzi says.
19. Take a Pilates Class
Why Pilates and not another type of exercise?
“Pilates works a lot of ancillary pelvic floor muscles, like the transverse, or higher, abdominal muscles,” Barnard says.
Working your transverse abdominals will strengthen your pelvic floor muscles too, similar to what Kegels accomplish.
How Sexually Adventurous Are You?
Would you, could you, do it in a park? How about in a car? Some women prefer their sex straightforward, while others aren’t satisfied unless they’re swinging from the chandeliers. Take our quiz to find out just how sexually adventurous you are.