Great sex starts outside of the bedroom.
Good sex isn’t just about putting your right hand in and taking your left foot out — a more holistic approach may be just what it takes to make the earth move for you.
There are numerous aspects of your daily life that can affect your sex life, from stress levels to sleep habits, and most especially, diet and exercise. A healthy lifestyle increases your energy level and self-esteem — and both are great for nookie. In fact, anything that does a body good will do your sex life good. As the hippies like to say, everything’s connected.
You’ve heard the old chestnut that your biggest sexual organ is your brain? Well, that saying has stuck around because it’s true. And if you don’t have your head screwed on right, you certainly can’t screw well.
- Depression or other mental imbalances can squelch a sex drive (though, it’s important to know, certain medicinal treatments can further dampen those drives).
- Festering resentment and miscommunication can foster bad vibes – often the enemy of intimacy.
- Abusing sex as a tool of power or manipulation demotes pleasure from its rightful top spot (unless all parties are on board with the power play, in which case it’s just kinky).
- Insecurities about perceived physical flaws or inabilities, often just the result of unrealistic expectations, can sabotage a libido.
- Letting [choose one: sexism/homophobia/transphobia/religious-intolerance] get you down: lack of access to decent birth control/ STD protection/abortion facilities, feeling objectified or slut-shamed, your pleasure not getting enough proper attention from ignorant luvvas, your gender identity or sexual preference being disrespected or worse — these can all be quite big bummers with negative reverberations in bed.
The list of internal (and in this last case, external) factors that can make sex more frustrating than fun goes on and on – especially, it must be said, for women. For all these reasons, it’s important to check in with yourself: analyze your motivations, communicate honestly (not critically) with your partner, fight for your equal rights, and seek therapy or treatment when needed.
It’s all about clearing your head of anything that might get in the way of a good time for you or your partner.
Make sure you’re getting enough quality rest. Because the more tired you get, the more your body will start to crave sleep over sex: nap becomes the erotic, and anything that prevents you from napping becomes, well, the opposite of erotic.
You need the energy from a good night’s sleep to have the stamina for marathon sex sessions and you need the cognitive function that only proper rest can give to succeed at any tricky techniques.
A sexy diet begins with the proper care and feeding of your libido. If you’re on one of those starvation diets, you won’t have the energy or stamina for sex, or even for getting in the mood.
Again, this is especially true for women, whose bodies have a self-defense mechanism to prevent pregnancy when they’re not physically up to it. As their weight plummets, their womb shrinks, menstruation stops, and their libido dwindles along with their dress size.
This is not a free pass to eat at Mickey D’s, however. Improving your cardiovascular health and lowering your cholesterol with a diet that’s high in fiber, fruits and veggies and low in fat improves blood flow to your genitals – which is exactly what happens when you get turned on. So, more blood flow means getting in the mood faster, heightened sensitivity and possibly even stronger erections for him. Broccoli, who knew?
Plus, all that fiber can do wonders for your digestive process, keeping things, shall we say, tidier, so you’ll feel more confident having all your nooks and crannies intimately explored. You heard it here first: bran flakes and prunes may just revolutionize your sex life!
And while alcohol or drugs might make you feel sexier initially, the impaired judgment, weakened immune system, poor sleep and taxed organs they result in won’t make sex better — in fact, just the opposite. Everything in moderation (except, maybe, orgasms).
Of course, diet is nothing without exercise. Regular work-outs are just as important – if not more so – when it comes to improving your cardiovascular health, cholesterol and thus blood flow to your genitals, and all the good stuff that entails.
More stamina means you can go the distance during sex without getting a cramp or needing to take a water break. Being in shape can also improve your orgasmic potential — the O’s just come easier, as it were. And over the long-term, exercise can increase your sex hormone levels.
Finally, firming up will give you more body confidence, which usually to translates to less inhibited, more dynamic sex (i.e. you don’t have to keep the lights off or always stay on the bottom to hide your self-perceived flaws).
This article was originally published at Em & Lo. Reprinted with permission from the author.