Whether you’re married with kids, an empty-nester, or just out of the habit, it’s time to bring that heat back into the bedroom. Enhancing your sex life doesn’t just happen in the sheets; in fact, it starts outside of the bedroom with some tips and tricks that you can do with your clothes on. Here are 8 ways, backed by science, that can help you and your partner get those sexy, spicy, touchy-feely, back-arching, toe-curling, feelings back.
Surprise your partner
Up to the same old tricks? Well, stop it! Break the rules every once in a while, step outside out of your routine, and try something new. Planning can make a well-intentioned idea seem blah and boring whether it’s dinner at the same restaurant or the same position in bed. Your days of experimenting and exploring aren’t just reserved for your younger years. We’re not asking you to do the splits, we’re simply suggesting that you bring back the element of surprise into your relationship. Take your partner by surprise and do something this weekend that he or she is not expecting such as inviting them on an exciting date night or initiating an afternoon delight. The Huffington Post cited a study that in just one week of living their lives more spontaneously, couples noted a remarkable change in their relationships.
Get scent-ual with your partner
Stimulate that sexual desire with all-natural scents and smells that are known to be aphrodisiacs, and get those ooos and ahhs back into the bedroom. Desire begins in the brain, so it makes sense that there is an olfactory response to scents such as jasmine, rose, saffron, lavender, peppermint, and cinnamon. These scents can boost libido, act as a powerful stimulant, and be used as a natural relaxant. For example, one study observed that a group of men given 30 mg of saffron per day (for four weeks) experienced greater improvements in erectile function than men given a placebo. A follow-up study in women reported that those in the saffron group experienced higher levels of arousal and increased lubrication, compared to those in the placebo group.
Let nostalgia take over
Remember when you tried that one thing in your 30s? What about that one time in the kitchen that summer? Whether it’s listening to a song that brings back a good memory, chatting about how you first met, or remembering some of your favorite times, reminiscing about why you came together as a couple in the first place can be a truly sexy experience. It can connect you with your partner in a way that nothing else can and it can remind you of those sweet desires, sensual kisses, and loving touches that you’ve been missing lately. According to the Huffington Post, “when we experience nostalgia, we tend to feel happier, have higher self-esteem, feel closer to loved ones and feel that life has more meaning.”
Extra firm, please!
Mind-blowing sex and powerful intimacy can start with your hands and fingers (no not that!). Massage can be a sexy way to create romance, get your hands on each other, and create a spark with your partner if you’re both in the mood. It doesn’t need to be associated with sex though, so don’t let those paws wander if you’re getting all of the signals that your partner is only in it for the relaxing massage. A 5-minute massage can be done daily and it doesn’t have to be followed by sex, but it will still enhance your overall feelings of intimacy. Studies have found that “massage can help reduce stress hormone levels, including cortisol and adrenocorticotropin, improving libido. Massage also enhances your ‘feel good’ hormones, oxytocin and serotonin, which profoundly helps intimacy.”
Stay, but go
While a warm beach and a cold daiquiri may sound sexy and just what your partner needs to get him or her in the mood, you don’t have to get on a plane to take your romance to new heights. Try a staycation and take your partner to a local bed and breakfast, a fancy hotel suite, or a lodging that brings back special memories. Go out to dinner and dance the night away before heading back to your suite for some private intimacy. Don’t even want to leave the room? Even better. That’s what room service and jacuzzi jets are for. Sometimes you just need to get out of the house to spark those feelings, and you don’t need a beach to rev things up. Whether you are looking to create more intensity in your relationship, experience new and expanded sensual and sexual experiences, or learn more loving forms of communication with your partner, allow for stronger connections to arise between the two of you by getting “away.”
Use a CBD lubricant
Dryness down there? We get it. According to Harvard, “within a few years of menopause, roughly 50% of women develop symptoms related to vaginal atrophy due to loss of estrogen. The most common symptoms are dryness, irritation, and pain during intercourse.” While using a lubricant may seem unfamiliar to you or if you find yourself cringing at the idea of putting a foreign substance down there, it can be a relief to discomfort and a boost to your sex life. Even Harvard recommends vaginal lubricants. Whether your body is producing less lubricant due to hormonal changes, menopause, aging, or medication, a CBD lubricant is a way to boost arousal, enhance sexual pleasure, soften your vaginal skin, and reduce friction during penetration. You can get back to looking forward to playtime instead of pretending you’re asleep when your partner is in the mood.
Did someone order a pizza?
Whether your fantasies stay tethered to reality or if it’s a position that would make the best acrobatic pull a muscle, fantasies are a normal component to your sex life. That’s right; I repeat, fantasies are normal! Fantasy is not taboo anymore, but it’s a normal part of your bedroom behavior that is inextricably linked to satisfaction. Always thought about the elevator? Love the idea of your man dressed up in costume? Do your thing, no judgement here. Sexual fantasy is a natural part of being human and it’s a fun way to spice up your sex life and create those romantic I want you, I need you vibes. “A lot of times, people don’t share their fantasies because of their own personal feelings of guilt, anxiety, or embarrassment. In cases like this, you need to figure out how to come to terms with your desires.” Try out a fantasy with your partner that you’ve always thought about but never done; ask your partner what their fantasy is and be open to being vulnerable.
No… not like that. I mean, unless you want to! While you may not be a talker in bed, communicating with your partner about sex will change your relationship forever. In a study from Iowa State University, 293 married individuals with an average age of 40 showed that disclosing sexual information was positively linked to relationship satisfaction and closeness. Another study stated that “sexual communication is linked to greater satisfaction through two main paths—the direct path, by which the disclosure of sexual likes and dislikes is used to educate each other; and the more indirect path, in which self-disclosure is used to increase intimacy, from which increased sexual satisfaction follows.” Maybe you used to like that but now you want this. Share with your partner and let them in on what you’re feeling these days.
So you’re reading this because you want to enhance the romance between you and your partner, heighten your levels of intimacy, and have the best sex you’ve ever had. Good for you. If I could enter an emoji here, it would be a high five, thumbs up, and maybe an eggplant. Rekindling that romance can happen in the bedroom but it can also start apart from sex. Making improvements in your romantic department will only enhance the intimacy levels between you and your partner, which leads to the kind of sex you’ve been dreaming about lately. Start small or go all in with a bang (pun intended), and show your partner that there’s still time to develop a romantic relationship and a sex life like you both desire.