Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on
 

Crank up your sex drive

By Cristina Tudino, Health.com
updated 10:36 AM EDT, Mon September 24, 2012
Fuel your desire with these natural techniques guaranteed to get you in the mood.
Fuel your desire with these natural techniques guaranteed to get you in the mood.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tune in to all your senses to achieve sexual arousal and satisfaction
  • Sometimes sexy lingerie can really kill the mood
  • Hugs can be sexy too -- hold on for at least 20 seconds

(Health.com) -- You've tried lighting candles and slipping into something lacy, but let's face it: After a long day it sometimes feels darn near impossible to get in the mood.

"Women do so much juggling, they can put their sexuality on the back burner and lose that connection with their sensual side," notes Marianne Brandon, Ph.D., author of Reclaiming Desire.

But it's not a lost cause, she adds: "By taking a few deliberate steps, you can reconnect with your sensuality."

1. Heighten your senses
Tune in and turn on: Women who regularly focus on what they see, smell, feel, and hear report higher levels of arousal and sexual satisfaction, reports a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

To get in the habit, choose one snack a day to eat thoughtfully, suggests lead researcher Lori Brotto, Ph.D. Note the food's texture, taste, and aroma, as well as the emotions it evokes. By practicing being more present, you'll be better able to plug into the sights, sounds, smells, and sensations that get you hot and bothered, from the smell of his skin to the feel of the crisp cotton sheets on your body.

Health.com: 7 foods for better sex

Lionel Richie's recipe for romance

2. Change the conversation
We're guessing your daily dialogue with your man revolves around decidedly unsexy things, like who's calling the cable guy. So even the slightest allusion to racy thoughts can put you in a more passionate state of mind, notes Yvonne K. Fulbright, Ph.D., a relationship expert in New York City. Shoot him a text from your desk that hints at some sexy moment: "Remember the time we did it in the kitchen?"

"This sort of flirty texting puts sex on both of your radars, and builds anticipation for it," Fulbright says.

3. Don't put on sexy lingerie
Unless it makes you feel sexy, that is. For some women, a lacy get-up can feel like a straitjacket—not helpful. "Wear what makes you feel sensual, not what your partner thinks is hot," Brandon says.

It will make a bigger difference to your libido, she adds, if you rock these pieces outside the bedroom. Don a silk blouse that feels like heaven on your skin or dangly earrings that graze your neck. "It shifts your attention to your body," Brandon notes, "reminding you that sensuality is a part of who you are."

Health.com: The 10 best workouts for your sex life

4. Get your heart racing
Whether it's yoga or running, doing any exercise that kindles body confidence can boost your sex drive. A study in the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality found that the more often we work out, the more desirable we feel. "Women who exercise have higher sexual self-esteem, which means they may have a greater desire to have sex," says lead researcher Tina M. Penhollow, Ph.D.

No time for that Zumba class? Even a brisk walk around the block can increase blood flow throughout your body, upping arousal.

5. Soak in a sweet photo of him
In a Rutgers University study, MRI scans revealed that when people looked at a photo of their significant other for 30 seconds, it triggered activity in the area of the brain that produces the libido-helper dopamine. "As the chemical courses through your brain, it produces feelings of wanting," says lead researcher Helen Fisher, Ph.D.

Her advice: Pull out your camera phone on the way home and look at a favorite shot of him. The feelings stirred up by that 30-second act last long after you get home.

Health.com: 12 secrets for better orgasms

6. Go in for a 20-second hug
While the average hug lasts for 3 seconds, a study showed that hugging for 20 seconds increases your levels of the bonding hormone oxytocin. "Touch triggers feelings of deep attachment, which often leads to sexual desire in women," Fisher says. So linger a little longer in that kiss, or touch his arm while you recap your day—every bit of contact helps.

Political differences and the bedroom

When sex is a pain in the back

Beyond 'Fifty Shades': Sex experts share their favorite books

Copyright Health Magazine 2011

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 2:18 AM EST, Fri February 8, 2013
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT