Improving marital and couple intimacy
12-31-2007, 04:26 PM (This post was last modified: 01-01-2008 05:43 AM by solar.)
Improving marital and couple intimacy
31 days to the best sex ever
[article from this link]
December 28, 2007
Day 1 -- Sleep naked
What's more deliciously sexy than skin-on-skin contact?
Even if you're not in the mood when you slip into bed, the absence of his-and-hers pjs might get something going. Sleeping naked not only feels liberating and sensual, but it sends a confident, "I'm hot, and I know it" message to your partner as well as yourself.
Day 2 -- Work out
Pushing through an extra incline on the treadmill or a third set of weights does more than shape you up; it preps you for sex by reducing stress and releasing endorphins, two musts for lust.
"Physical activities that get the blood flowing to the thighs and buttocks are especially beneficial," says Dr Susan Kellogg. So add lunges to your usual workout.
Dr Kellogg says patients consistently report an increase in sexual interest the day they start working out.
Day 3 -- Lighten up at drinks
If drinking a glass of wine helps you unwind, indulge.
"In small quantities, alcohol quells anxieties about sex, which may increase arousal," says Dr Kellogg.
Just don't overdo it. Too much depresses the central nervous system, inhibiting the firing of nerve endings, including those key to arousal.
Stick to one drink.
Day 4 -- Turn in a bit earlier
"In order to maintain desire, you need to get an adequate amount of sleep," says Dr Ian Kerner, clinical sex therapist and author of She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman (HarperCollins, R204).
"Sleep is important for regulating normal hormonal cycles, which is key to maintaining sexual health."
Besides, when you crawl into bed exhausted, you know zzzs will trump orgasms every time. Your body is best off with about eight hours a night; so get there by gradually extending your pillow time and going to bed 10 minutes earlier every evening.
Day 5 -- Play doctor - for real!
Gather up your over-the-counter and prescription medications and check for those known to have sexual side effects.
Top offenders are antihistamines, antidepressants, the Pill and high blood pressure medications, says Dr Beverly Whipple, co-author of The Science of Orgasm (Johns Hopkins University Press, R244).
Call your doctor's office to ask about potential side effects of medications you take regularly and discuss alternatives. Whenever you get a prescription or pick up a new OTC drug, ask your doctor or pharmacist the same question.
Day 6 -- Stop eating at least two hours before bed
Feeling full can diminish desire, and if you dine late and fill up on processed carbs (like white pasta) and fatty sweets (ice cream), you risk bloating.
"Heavy meals may cause women to feel less sexy," Dr Kellogg says - not exactly a winning strategy for hitting your joy spot.
But don't skip dinner; there's nothing sexy about starving.
Keep a stash of quick-fix light bites, including frozen meals and prepared dishes, so that you can microwave your meal quickly and get down to more interesting business.
Day 7 -- Watch a comedy
Laughter gets your heart pumping, and the boosted blood flow just might tickle something else, too.
Plus, sharing a laugh with your partner is bonding and makes you both feel more affectionate, says Dr Pepper Schwartz, professor of sociology and author of Finding Your Perfect Match (Penguin Putnam, R278). Schedule some fun viewing or hire a comedy, and there'll be no shortage of good times ahead.
Day 8 -- Keep it real
Don't ever fake an orgasm for him - you short-change yourself and your partner, who'll think he's got all the right moves and should continue.
If you can orgasm on your own, Dr Kellogg suggests placing his hand over yours and teaching him without words what pleases you.
In the heat of the moment, we bet he'll be an A student.
But women who find orgasms elusive may benefit from consulting with a sexual medicine specialist or sex therapist; ask your doctor for a reference.
Day 9 -- Read a book at bedtime
"Sexually, you get the quickest return on your time investment by reading something erotic," Dr Kellogg says.
"For women who are multi-taskers, erotica quietens distractions in the mind."
Read alone to put yourself in the mood, or together. Two recommendations: The Erotic Edge by Lonnie Barbach (Little, Brown Book Group, R146) and Nancy Friday's My Secret Garden (Quartet Books, R143).
Day 10 -- Buy clothes that flatter
It doesn't have to be bedroom-specific (although that never hurts!)
Pick up something that makes you feel pretty right now, even if you're not happy with your size. When you get home, toss out one item in your cupboard that doesn't fit you well.
Every time you shop, repeat the buy-purge process until you've built up a new wardrobe that shows off your body as it is. If you feel sexier, you'll walk sexier, act sexier and exude body confidence, which is, well, sexy.
Day 11 -- Spritz on a flirty fragrance
Ever notice how an aroma can instantly transport you to a particular place and time?
That's because our olfactory receptors are connected to the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls long-term memory and emotion.
Studies of the genital blood flow reveal that certain scents are turn-ons for each sex.
Men get hot by sniffing a combination of lavender and pumpkin pie; women prefer a cocktail of cucumber and sweets. Go shopping for a scented oil, candle or lotion you both like and use it to help set the scene. Before long, just a whiff will jump-start desire.
Day 12 -- Get out of your bed
When you fancy an electrifying experience, do some location scouting in the house.
Options abound if you get creative: try the car in the garage, the bath, on the stairs, wherever.
Have a contest with your partner to see who can dream up the most imaginative spot.
Day 13 -- Initiate a quickie
Have a quickie and you'll both be on the express train to slumberville - and happier, too.
"Quickies are validating because they let you know your partner is hot for you," says sex educator, Pamela Madison. They also keep you in the habit of having sex regularly, which is a good thing.
Day 14 -- Go solo
Every time you indulge in a game of sexy solitaire, you're priming the pump for the real deal.
"Self-pleasure encourages blood flow," Dr Kellogg explains. "This helps your body respond more quickly and dramatically when you're with a partner." In other words, the more you have it, the more you'll want it - and enjoy it.
Start that win-win cycle tonight.
Day 15 -- Have a "nooner"
Sneak away for a mini-holiday (and holiday-quality sex) by booking into a local hotel.
Slipping into a strange room in broad daylight feels deliciously naughty, especially if you leave your mental baggage at the front desk. If that's not in the budget, dash home and head straight for bed - no stopping for blinking messages, piles of mail or dirty dishes.
Long lunch, anyone?
Day 16 -- Appreciate
In any relationship, it's easy to settle into a routine that can come dangerously close to taking each other for granted, a sexual damper if there ever was one.
Make a point of complimenting your partner at least once a day (men also need reassurance of their appeal), and take time to talk about his (and your) day. The positive energy you put out will circle back to benefit you because the happier he is, the happier he'll want to make you, too.
Day 17 -- Bring your fantasies to life
Daydream about being tied up, doing it in a public place or in a fantasy outfit?
What's stopping you? Email your partner scenarios you find sexy, and ask him to do the same.
Anything that overlaps is a must. Beyond that, try ideas you both like and add favourites to your repertoire.
Day 18 -- Tear your "to-do list" in half
Be honest with yourself - many items could be handled by someone else or deleted altogether.
"Stress releases cortisol, which can inhibit testosterone production in women," Dr Kerner says. "And one study found that the parts of the female brain associated with stress need to partially deactivate for a woman to achieve orgasm."
The bottom line: delegate!
Day 19 -- Go commando
"Panties should be banned," says Dr Hilda Hutcherson, author of Pleasure: A Woman's Guide to Getting the Sex You Want, Need and Deserve (Penguin Putnam, R208).
"Being pantiless decreases your risk of vaginal infections and keeps you in touch with one of your most important zones." If living sans knickers sounds too extreme for you, then at least sift through your lingerie drawer and trash anything that's ragged, stained or otherwise unfit for public (or private) display.
Hint: if you wouldn't wear it to an appointment with your gynaecologist, consider it history.
Day 20 -- Do everything but?
You walk into a store and spot a 'Do Not Touch' sign.
So what do you have an instant and overpowering urge to do?
Likewise, agreeing in advance that intercourse is absolutely forbidden today, can make you crazy with desire (not to mention incredibly inventive).
Get into bed and touch, kiss, stroke, rub, fondle - you get the idea. And don't worry; if you're caught up in a sexual frenzy and can't resist going all the way, we won't hold it against you.
Day 21 -- Stock up on salmon and nuts
Your body needs some healthy fat to produce the sex hormones oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
Studies show that omega-3s help produce nitric oxide, a vasodilator that works to encourage blood flow, which is key to arousal. "Eat for your heart, and you're eating for your sex life," Dr Kerner says.
Get your fill of sexy fish like wild salmon and trout twice a week. Snack on a handful of nuts now and then (they're rich in healthy mono-unsaturated fats).
This is what we call eating for pleasure.
Day 22 -- Act like a man
Guys tend to live a more sexually focused life than women do - reacting to every touch as a potentially erotic opportunity.
But women are less likely to transform everyday encounters into sexy how-tos.
Today, see how many sensory experiences you can turn into sensual ones. Feel your skirt brushing softly against your bare legs or soapy water running down your back, and imagine your partner's hands following.
Give your partner a big hug when you come home at night and notice how his body feels. You may be surprised by how many physical, sensual chances pass you by because you're not paying attention.
Day 23 -- Go shopping
We're not talking about the monthly run for detergent and flip-flops.
Today, take a virtual field trip to an adult store and select a few toys to play with. Newbies might opt for edible body paint; the more adventurous can beeline to the fetish sections.
Check in once a month to pick something new to add to your sexy toy box.
Day 24 -- Have a girls' night
"Our friends are a powerful and under-used resource of sexual information," Dr Hutcherson says. She suggests inviting some of your more outspoken gal-pals for a night of talking about sex or starting a book club dedicated to erotica. (Aim for a lively mix of marrieds, singles and live-togethers.)
You could also initiate an email chain of tips and advice. "There's nothing like sharing personal experiences and tips in a supportive environment," Dr Hutcherson adds. "I've learned more from my girlfriends than I ever have from books!"
Day 25 -- Take turns
Tell your partner that it's going to be all about him tonight, and that it's your turn next time. Offer suggestions and ask him to choose one (or all) of your playful ideas.
Taking charge will make you feel powerful and sexy, and who knows what rewards he'll bestow upon you in exchange. (We're not making any promises, but don't be shocked if he washes and waxes your car this weekend.)
Tomorrow, remind him that tonight's your night - and early in the day, whisper in his ear precisely what you'd like him to do to you. You'll both be thinking about it all day long - and chances are your orgasm will be off the charts.
Day 27 -- Play outside
Whether you do it in your own backyard, on a deserted beach or on the (hopefully private) balcony of the hotel, alfresco sex is hot.
That's because when you're in a quasi-dangerous situation, your body responds by producing more dopamine, the neurotransmitter that ignites the pathways in your brain that push you to seek pleasure and reward. "This dopamine surge will intensify your feelings of sexual desire and make you more intent on finding gratification," Dr Kerner says.
Day 28 -- Update your work CV
A survey of wealthy people indicates that the more money you have, the better sex you have. (Hey, if you own a plane, it's easy to join the mile-high club.)
In fact, nearly 93 percent of the women surveyed cited higher-quality sex as the greatest sexual benefit of wealth (versus, say, having more partners).
But even modest salaries can have a big payoff if you love what you do.
"The more satisfying your job, the higher your self-esteem, and the more likely you are to be comfortable in bed," Dr Whipple says.
Whenever you finish a big new project, add it to your CV.
Day 29 -- Think sexy
Create a steamy mental movie - then, whenever you have a break in your routine during the day (to take a quick walk or grab some coffee), add another scene. You'll be primed for arousal; plus, imagining yourself to be a sexy stripper or hot Mrs Robinson could inspire you to come up with new moves.
Increase your confidence by modelling the character on you - with your face and your spirit.
Lights, camera, action!
Day 30 -- Channel Meg Ryan
You know it's no longer an option to fake an orgasm because you aren't in the mood or you want to stroke your partner's ego.
But exaggerating your sexual response can enhance your arousal by sending your brain a signal that a climax is coming.
Think about what your body does when it nears orgasm - you moan, arch your back, breathe faster - and embellish those actions.
"We've seen women in the lab have orgasms just by thinking about something sexy," Dr Whipple says.
So clearly the brain-body connection is especially strong in this department. Ah, the power of positive thinking!
Day 31 -- Boycott bedtime basics
You on top.
Although there are hundreds of documented sexual positions on the proverbial menu, most couples alternate between the same few, says Dr Whipple. Tonight, sideline your standards and see what you come up with.
Stumped for ideas?
Try some women-friendly erotic movies for sexy inspiration. Plus, your partner will be turned on by your new ideas.
Invest in couple time
Your guy feels close to you after sex; you want sex once you feel close to him.
To make both of you happy, make time for dinner, a movie or a weekend away. "When you show each other how important your relationship is, it builds intimacy, which enhances your sex life," says Dr Whipple.
A weekly date is the minimum.
If the evening's festivities lead to sex, great; if not, every quality minute you spend together makes a deposit into the Bank of Desire, famous for its returns.
12-31-2007, 07:28 PM
Improving marital and couple intimacy
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