D.GOULD/PHOTOGRAPHER'S CHOICE/GETTY IMAGESBy Kimberly Dawn Neumann
Feeling tired, cranky or just not in the mood to do the dirty? Snap out of it with these easy turn-me-ons! We promise you'll feel hot and bothered in no time
Take a Steamy, Sudsy Bath
Since stress is a major libido inhibitor, relaxing rituals like bathing can help thwart nooky-killing notions like "Not tonight honey." Take it a step further by hopping in the tub with your honey. Research from the German Rheingold Institute indicates that couples who occasionally bathe together have a stronger connection than those who don't. "Take a steamy bath or shower with your partner and take the time to suds each other up and rub each other down," says Patty Brisben, founder of Pure Romance, Inc. Make things even more enticing by including the Pleasure Puff, a vibrator-hiding loofah ($22 at Pure Romance), in your bath-play!
Fondle the Produce
Keep your eyes open for seductive turn-ons in ordinary places. "Look for visual stimulation everywhere you go, then take think naughty thoughts when those opportunities arise," suggests Dana B. Myers, founder of Booty Parlor and author of The Official Booty Parlor Mojo Makeover. "For example, when you walk past all those thick, shiny carrots at the market, touch one and remember the hottest romp you ever had." Myers suggests keeping a little notebook of anything that makes you a little lusty. "It could be the produce section, the sexy stranger who brushed up against you in the elevator or the sight of yourself in a lingerie fitting room…if it gives you a tingle, jot it down," says Myers. "Soon, you'll have a whole notebook of turn-ons you can reference in a pinch when you need to fire up your spark."
Whip out all your toys and enjoy a sexy smorgasbord. "Create a sizzle sampler by laying out all your vibes and giving yourself a few seconds with each, enough to get you going but not completed," says Lou Paget, AASECT Certified Sex Educator, bestselling author of The Great Lover Playbook. Start solo to get yourself super-charged and turned on. "If you have a lover, tell him your toys help banish the daily blahs and get you in the mood for sex," says Paget. Be sure to add share! Offering to let a partner watch or get involved will instantly turn him on as well.
What makes you sweat (in a good way) at the mere thought of it? Want to be tied up, held down, stripped or have sex in public? Now's the time to seriously consider what sexual adventures you'd like to have before you're well…no longer sexual. "Write down five things that you and your partner have never done together and have him do the same," says Brisben. "Exchange lists and make an effort to do one thing each week." Just reading each other's lists can be a turn-on. No partner? Write your own list and start imagining how you might tick those items off, one by one. Even if you never try them, just thinking about your "to do" list will peak your interest to do other deeds.
"Working the pelvic floor muscles can get your juices flowing, literally," says Alyce Adams, RN, Kegel Queen and creator of the Kegel Success in Minutes a Day program. "Quickly squeeze and release the muscles several times by pretending you need to pee and pass gas and holding them both back at the same time, then rest for a few seconds. Do sets of five or ten quick squeezes as long as you like." Contracting down there will increase blood flow to these muscles and to the entire area around your clitoris and vagina. And more blood flow leads to arousal. Before you know it you'll be ready for action.
A study at the University of Florence (of course) found that drinking a glass or two of red wine per day can actually enhance a woman's sexual desire. The study of 800 women from ages 18 to 50 included those who drank one or two glasses, less than one glass or other alcohol and teetotalers. The red wine drinkers scored top marks on the Female Sexual Function Index questionnaire, a measurement used by doctors to assess women and sexual health. Researchers suspect the antioxidants in red wine could have a beneficial effect on widening blood vessels and increasing blood flow to ummm…key body parts. Sip on some 2010 Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto ($17.99), suggests Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, a certified wine and spirits expert (and the fourth ever female Masters of Wine in the U.S.). "With pronounced aromas of sweet raspberries and strawberries, it is sweet with soft acidity and luscious texture."
"Use candles to create your own catwalk, and stage a lingerie fashion show with all your favorite intimates," says Ali Cudby, author of Busted: The Fab Foundations Guide to Bras that Fit, Flatter and Feel Fantastic. "The show can be for your lover...or for yourself…eiither way, strike a pose and admire your own moves." Just seeing yourself in your fancy, sexy under-things can be a quick turn-on for you, and for anyone lucky enough to have a bedside seat.
"Going bare with a Brazilian bikini wax is absolutely a sexual stimulant, for you and for your partner," says celebrity aesthetician Christina Perrino. "Though your might twinge a little in the waxing room, the results are worth it. You feel more sensitive during the deed and knowing you're well groomed can make you more confident and ready for sex." Smooth nether regions are definitely a turn-on. But just getting the Brazilian can put you in the mood! Just make sure you wait 24 hours before you do the dirty. "It's important to give those little hair follicles a rest. There's nothing worse than getting ingrown hairs from improper aftercare," says Perrino, who also suggests avoiding super hot or super cold showers, swimming in chlorine or salt water, or any sweat-inducing exercise.
Call your lover and, without announcing yourself, just launch into a conversation relaying a sexual fantasy, suggests Joel D. Block, Ph.D., a sex therapist and co-author of Sex Comes First. "Yes, it's risky, but that kind of confession usually brings on an instant flush. Sharing a secret is very intimate and releasing a deep fantasy is like a hidden treasure of eroticism. It has an element of danger, which can sharpen your senses and give you an instant hormonal boost which not only gets you in the mood, but keeps on giving well beyond that."
Transform your bedroom into an intimate oasis, suggests Brisben. "Throw a red scarf over a lampshade, have champagne waiting....Just putting together your love nest will get you in the mood." Other ideas? Toss down a soft faux fur rug, light sensual smelling candles, sprinkle rose petals around, drape a gauzy fabric from the ceiling over your bed or leave out a few little playthings. Set the scene so the objective is unmistakable.
"Nothing like a slow grind of intimate, isolated undulations to hypnotize and awaken your primal nature," says former erotic dancer and now sexuality coach Billy Sunday Mars, author of Fit For Love. "Caress your curves, lightly graze your erogenous zones." Dance like you want to get it on. "The best part about sexy dancing at home is that the bedroom is only a few steps away," says Brisben. "Or who needs the bedroom? When it comes to lovemaking, any room will do!"
There are two acupressure points in your belly button region that can stimulate your sexual get up and go. "Certain acupressure points can work as energetic triggers to help activate your more amorous parts," says licensed acupuncturist Christine Brooks Bokhour. "Learn to open these pathways and you can turn yourself on without even disrobing. Think of it as a push button for your libido," she says. To stimulate the area, rub the spot a few inches below your belly button in little clockwise circles or massage up and down the center line between your pubic bone and navel.
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