9 natural methods to add fun to your sexual life

9 natural methods to add fun to your sexual life

1. Make Getting in the Mood for Sex a Priority

Sometimes, having more and better sex simply requires clearing your schedule. “It's hard to be in the mood when you have a million things on your to-do list and not much time to do it,” Dr. Sadaty says.

Scheduling sex might sound unromantic, but you put most of your important plans in your calendar, so why not sex? It’s best to schedule enough time to do something relaxing first rather than hopping straight into bed, since women, especially, need to be relaxed before their libido kicks in, Sadaty says.

2. Avoid Negative Thoughts

If your brain is running a feedback loop of reasons you’ve picked up along the way — about how you should feel guilty about sex or maybe that your body is too fat or ugly or, well, whatever — it’s time to stop it in its tracks. Recognize the thought when it appears and change it to a more helpful one.

Practicing sex positivity — the idea that all consensual sexual activities are healthy and positive — can lead to improvements in sexual enjoyment, researchers say.

This means accepting that sex is an essential part of overall health and that you have the right to enjoy sexual activity free from judgment. Examples can include telling your partner what excites you, setting healthy sexual boundaries, and exploring sexual fantasies, which has been shown to improve sexual function and satisfaction.

3. Don’Forget to Use Lubricants

Vaginal dryness can be common among women, affecting as many as 17 percent of females 18 to 50. according to the Cleveland Clinic.

A number of factors can contribute to vaginal dryness, including a drop in hormone levels due to menopause, breastfeeding, and certain medications. Sex can be more pleasurable if you add a lubricant, which cuts down on friction and irritation and, therefore, discomfort, gynecologists say. You can buy lubricant from the drugstore or use a household oil like coconut oil. (Be sure to use a nonlatex condom if you DIY, because these oils can damage latex.)

Don’t try to hide your need for a lubricant from your partner. Make it part of your sexual routine and have fun with it.

4. Move Your Body

You may not think that the exercise you do for your heart and muscles is important for sex, but remember that blood flows to your genitals as much as to your heart.

Men with erectile dysfunction, for example, can often see improvements in this condition with healthy lifestyle changes such as exercise. A review of 10 studies concluded that 40 minutes of aerobic activity of moderate to vigorous intensity four times per week is associated with reducing erectile problems in men with ED.

In women, research shows that physical activity can also improve sexual function, and even a little can go a long way. One study found that women who engage in regular physical activity (one to six hours per week) have higher levels of sexual desire, arousal, and lubrication than women who are sedentary.

5. Get Enough Sleep

Not getting enough sleep can have negative impact on your sex drive. One reason is that hormone secretion is controlled by the body’s internal clock, and sleep patterns likely help the body determine when to release certain hormones related to sex.

For both men and women, feeling tired when you get into bed zaps whatever libido you may have had even moments earlier.

Plus, for women, research has found that sleeping longer is associated with greater next-day sexual desire, and an increase of one hour in sleep led to a 14 percent higher likelihood of engaging in sex with a partner.

6. Practice Mindfulness — and Yoga

It may seem like sex is the ultimate practice of mindfulness. And while orgasm pretty much is — likely no one has made their grocery list or planned a work report in that moment — you may become distracted by random thoughts in the time leading up to that orgasm.

Keeping your attention on what you’re doing and feeling is a powerful way to enhance your pleasure. Research has shown that women who practice meditation at any level experience improved sexual function associated with better overall mental health compared with those who never meditate.

Similarly, the mind-body practice of yoga can aid your libido. When a group of 40 women were instructed to practice an hour of yoga each day, their average scores on a sexual function questionnaire for desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, lower pain, and overall satisfaction increased, according to another study.

The yoga postures they did were basic poses believed to improve pelvic muscle tone, release tight hip joints, and boost mood, followed by breathing exercises and relaxation techniques.

7. Consider Acupuncture Treatments

The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture, in which a practitioner strategically places needles in the body, can also enhance your sex life. Balancing and relaxing the body with acupuncture has long been used to boost libido, says Baljit Khamba, ND, a naturopathic doctor and an assistant professor of naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University California in San Diego.

Dr. Khamba coauthored a study in which 35 men and women with sexual dysfunction, likely caused by antidepressants they were taking, were treated with nine acupuncture sessions. At the end, libido had improved in women, while erection, timing of ejaculation, and ability to orgasm were enhanced in men.

In another study, a six-week course of acupuncture treatments with 18 sessions led to significant improvements in erectile dysfunction in men.

8. See What Some Herbs, aka Aphrodisiacs, Can Do for You

Some herbs are used by cultures around the world as aphrodisiacs. Some are believed to stimulate nerves in your genitals; others increase levels of nitric oxide, which increases blood flow to the genitals, and the feel-good chemicals in your brain.

Some of these herbs include Chinese ginseng, cordyceps, ginkgo, and muira puama.

Not many scientific studies have been done on these supplements, though some evidence suggests L-arginine, an amino acid, may be tied to increased sexual function. One study of 120 men with erectile dysfunction found that taking a combination of supplemental L-arginine (5 grams) and tadalafil (5 milligrams), a medication to treat erectile dysfunction, for six weeks led to more significant improvements in the condition than taking either the supplement or drug alone.

In another study that included 77 women, researchers found that taking ArginMax for Women, a supplement containing ginseng, ginkgo biloba, damiana, vitamins, minerals, and L-arginine, for four weeks was associated with increased sexual desire and overall satisfaction in women.

9. Masturbate or Self-Stimulate for Better Sex

By experimenting on yourself, you can come to better know what satisfies you sexually — information you can then convey to your partner.

For women, masturbation may have other benefits as well. Vaginal dryness and pain may be reduced when you spend time stimulating yourself, notes the Cleveland Clinic.

That’s why sex therapists often recommend masturbation as a tool for women having trouble reaching orgasm. You might want to add a vibrator for enhanced stimulation.

Medical Reasons May Be Behind Sexual Problems or Disinterest

Of course, there may be a medical reason why your sex life is flagging. Diabetes, thyroid issues, cancer treatments, and cardiac problems can lower sexual desire. Nerve issues, endometriosis, or other problems can cause sex to be painful for women. And certain medications — like some for blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and even birth control — may inhibit desire.

That’s why it’s important to get a medical checkup if you are experiencing symptoms that affect your sex life and get your condition properly treated. You can also ask your doctor if it’s possible to switch your medication to something without a sexual side effect.

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