5 Ways to Boost Her Sex Drive
April 30th, 2013
Sex is a total-body experience. It’s not just touching her, or looking at her, or hearing her moan. It’s all of that—and more.
Where Does Pleasure Start?
With a glimpse of skin—or the first touch? Maybe it’s the sound of her key in your door. Let’s not overthink this, and just feel it. “We use our five senses primarily for purposes other than enjoyment,” says Justin Sitron, Ph.D., a sexuality researcher at Widener University. “Sex is a chance to use them to just experience your body.” And hers. And yours with hers. Employ all five senses, and sex is more than a roll in the sack. It’s pure pleasure.
Touch is a woman’s primary trigger for desire, according to a study in the Journal of Sex Research. “With the other senses, you’re not necessarily engaged while your partner experiences it,” says Sitron. “But touch is reciprocal: You can feel me touching you while I experience touching you.”
Take advantage with a sex therapy technique called “sensate focus.” Have your partner lie flat on her back with her eyes closed, and slowly caress her head and face—hair, nose, ears, lips; cover it all. “Pretend this is your last chance to savor her body,” says Sitron. Move to her torso and legs and feet, then flip her over and repeat.
The point is to chart new erotic territory. “The genitals, breasts, and inner thighs have the most nerve receptors, so they’re most sensitive,” says social psychologist Justin Lehmiller, Ph.D. “But almost any body part can become erotic if you learn to associate it with sexual pleasure.”
Your gym teacher may have convinced you to cover up your natural scent—but it may actually be one of the most powerful tools in your arousal arsenal. “There is some evidence that humans have pheromones,” says Alan Hirsch, M.D., founder of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation. “In one study, when a potential male pheromone was placed under chairs, females clumped in that area.”
So sweat together: Exercise activates your apocrine glands, the site of pheromone release in primates, says Dr. Hirsch. Each woman reacts differently, but his research shows that musk can decrease vaginal bloodflow; women may associate the scent with jerks. Instead, dust your bod in baby powder, which can elevate vaginal bloodflow, or for a first date, wear eucalyptus, camphor, and menthol. (Try J.R. Watkins Menthol Camphor Bath Soak.) “These scents increase empathy,” says Dr. Hirsch.
Your moaning may excite her, but it’s probably not what sends her over the edge. “Sounds cue men in to whether a woman is really enjoying sex, but women can physically see when a man is aroused,” Lehmiller says. What she really craves is communication. In the form of four-letter words.
If whispering explicit nothings doesn’t come naturally, simply tell her what you want during sex, but substitute naughty words for your normal sexual vocab. (Hint: She prefers “c*ck” to “d*ck” and “give brains” to “bl*w job,” a Journal of Sex Research study found.) “You don’t want her to feel out of control,” says Sitron. “Start by telling her to do things you already know she’s comfortable with.”
Or let music do the job for you. Explicit lyrics can have the same effect as dirty talk, Sitron says. Turn it into foreplay: Scroll through iTunes and reveal which songs you’ve always wanted to have sex to. Then do it. (Need suggestions for sexually seductive music? Here’s your playlist.)
Most women don’t want Weiner-style sexts. But not because they think your rod is repulsive; they just want to see all of you. “Men are often turned on by body parts, but most women are turned on by context and people,” says Sitron. As neuroscientist J.R. Georgiadis, Ph.D., explains, “When women look at sexual pictures, they look at many things besides genitals—what’s on the table, the color of the flowers.” It’s not that she’s more interested in the centerpiece than your penis: Women just use more visual cues to guide their attraction.
Research suggests that the most resounding cue may, in fact, be your face. Instead of shooting her a junk pic, “send a head shot with a sexy caption,” says Lehmiller. But in bed, let her see all the action: Have her lie on her back, knees up, and kneel between her legs. More of your muscles will be visible and activated, says Sitron. Plus, she can watch you penetrate.
Katy Perry kissed a girl. . .and what did she remember? The taste of cherry ChapStick. Women care more than men do about a pleasant-tasting mouth, possibly because their sense of taste is more finely tuned, reports Evolutionary Psychology. But Dr. Hirsch says the effect is more Pavlovian than primal: “If a taste reminds you of a successful sexual experience, it will induce arousal.” (This may explain why you love how she tastes during oral.)
If she doesn’t dig the taste of semen, you probably aren’t going to change her mind. So take the more obvious route to gustatory arousal: food. Choose a victual she rarely eats but enjoys—ay, chocolate-covered cherries—and feed it to her during foreplay. (She’s not a fan of cherries? No worries.
“The sex reinforces the pleasure of food, and the pleasure of food reinforces the sex,” says Dr. Hirsch. Eventually the food alone may be enough to trigger her arousal.