You don't need candlelit dinners and expensive negligee to have a great sex life. There are plenty of other, more manageable ways to up the romance-factor in your relationship. In fact, you may be surprised at the different things that will leave you scrambling for the bedroom. Read on for five unexpected (and oyster-free!) aphrodisiacs.
Along with helping you cultivate a greater awareness of your body, practicing yoga also encourages you to live in the moment and ignore nagging thoughts. How does this help you in the romance department? When you're able to focus on your own enjoyment without worrying about what's going on outside the bedroom, you'll be able to engage in much more satisfying sex. Plus, many yoga poses increase blood flow to the pelvis and strengthen your pelvic muscles, which means more mind-blowing orgasms for you. And you're not the only one who should be rolling out the yoga mat: men can also reap the benefits of a healthy practice. According to Debby Herbenick, PhD, research scientist at Indiana University and author of Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction, a study found that yoga can help men with premature ejaculation last longer during intercourse.
If you want to improve your sex life, experts recommend––guess what?—having sex. It's not rocket science, but many of us don't realize that sex can quite literally be addictive. According to Helen Fisher, PhD, and author of Why Him? Why Her?, if you start having sex more often—even when you're not in the mood—you can actually boost your libido. Intercourse triggers testosterone production in your brain which makes you want to have even more sex, she says. And, according to sex expert Josey Vogels, there's something to be said for having sex when you're not in the mood. "It's kind of like going to the gym when you don't feel like it," she says. "Once you make yourself do it, you feel great, and want to workout even more often."
"Meditation can enhance women's arousal by helping them focus on their emotions and physical sensations," says Dr. Herbenick "Both are valuable for a more pleasurable sex life." Because women tend to be more easily distracted than men during sex by passing thoughts––about laundry, work, whether or not they left the oven on––mindfulness can be especially important for their sexual satisfaction.
Researchers have found that indulging your sensory pleasures by listening to your favorite music can boost your libido and put you in the mood. A seductive playlist can also be a good way to mask any "sex sounds" from roommates, children or close neighbors, says Dr. Herbenick.
Yep, you read that right––pumpkins can actually boost your sex life! According to Lou Paget, author of How to Be a Great Lover, your partner's fragrance (whether it's natural or manufactured) is a key component in attraction. Most women are attracted to men who have a scent that is unlike their own––researchers believe that it's mother nature's way of guaranteeing variety in the gene pool. But what's really surprising is the type of smell that men find most attractive. (Hint: it's not Chanel No. 5). Research has shown that the scent of pumpkin lights up men's erogenous zones, says Paget. So ladies, if you want to get your partner in the mood, you may want to bake him a pumpkin pie!
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