Valentine’s Day has come and gone – those of you who have been in long-term relationships, what makes it work? Please share your thoughts below.
When is the best time to have sex? Most couples tend to think of nighttime, but you might be surprised to learn that there is even a more appropriate time to get busy.
Does your sex life need a wake-up call? If you and your sweetie are finding that daily stresses are taking their toll, morning sex may be just the answer you’re looking for.
You’re more rested and recharged after a night of sleep, and the two of you have been spending quality time lying next to each other all night long. The groundwork for intimacy has been laid, not to mention that you’re already in the right location. All you need to do is make that first move!
Another perk of sex in the a.m. is the effect of higher testosterone levels — they’re at their peak first thing in the morning. Remember, testosterone is fuel for the libido and improves genital sensation. Morning sex not only feels better, but the resulting endorphin high can put a smile on your face that lasts the rest of the day. So wake up and make a move in the morning!
Flirting in the A.M. and Beyond
Switching up your sexual routine might get you thinking about your partner in a whole new light. Flirting is oft-neglected in long-term relationships yet is a crucial part of staying sexually connected. Awakening your partner with a good-morning kiss is flirtatious, but when you turn that good morning kiss into good morning oral, you have definitely taken things to the next level. Consider other flirting tips:
Let your partner know you want her, such as by sending her a sexy text during the day. Make it as sweet or as naughty as you want, just remember to make your desire for her clear. Nothing is sexier than knowing that your partner wants you. Keep this sexual energy flowing by exchanging perfunctory pecks for deep, sensual kisses, and stay connected physically by touching her more often. Hold hands, make-out in the back of the movie theater, snuggle together on the couch as you watch television, and make time in the morning for some a.m. action.
Treat each other like lovers, not roommates. After years of living together, it’s easy to slip into a habit of wearing old sweatpants, letting your grooming slip, or even forgetting to shut the bathroom door. This can really wreak havoc on your relationship. Not only will you not feel sexy and desirable, but your partner won’t feel that you are sexually interested in him and his sexual self-esteem can suffer as a result. It’s important to treat each other as lovers, and not slip into a platonic roommate routine.
Get ready for date night. Ask your babysitter to come over an hour before you actually have to leave the house. This will give you time to get ready a leisurely pace and relax before the date. Take some time for yourself and maybe even take a hot bath. Get sexy energy flowing by reading a chapter or two of an erotic romance novel while you are in the tub, or just wear that sexy bra and panty set you have been saving for a special occasion.
What are you waiting for? Get your flirt on!
A good kiss can make all your nerve endings tingle or may open the door to lasting love. We often use a kiss to gauge the potential for a bed mate, or a life mate.
What’s in a Kiss?
It’s a way of testing the waters, sampling the goods — before you commit.
It all starts with a kiss. Whether long and sensual or short and sweet, a kiss is the ultimate form of sensual expression. If done right, a kiss can light the flames of passion; if done wrong, it can bring adelicious infatuation to a less-than-rousing end. A kiss is the doorway to what comes next.
Many women will tell you that a kiss is the ultimate deal-breaker. A good kiss is both a matter of personal style athe undetectable chemicals of attraction that work through our sense of smell. The kiss delivers us to the most primal parts of our minds, which may be why there is so much potential for satisfaction and disappointment. nd what feels right for the moment. But what is it about a smooch that can send you to the stars or smack you right back down to earth?
A kiss puts you in close proximity with a partner’s skin and scent. Skin is the delivery site for pheromones —
For many, kissing is one of few sexual acts they’ve engaged in with a wide range of people. Again, since a kiss can make or break an attraction, it is often the case that we end up kissing far more people than we bed. It’s the supreme technique of sampling the goods with little emotional or physical investment.
So just how much experience are most of us getting? A nationwide survey conducted by Close-Up toothpaste got up close and personal with 2,200 men and women to shed some light on our modern kissing habits. It seems that men and women are definitely getting their practice in: The average woman kisses 17.5 men before she settles down and the average man kisses 24 prospects before he locks lips forever. Women rh for introducing it to us. The term actually entered the English language in 1923, in honor of the très passionate country. I suspect the French kiss was around long before anything — or anyone — French.
The study also considered geographic differences in kissing trends. Evidently the best place to live if you are an active kisser is in the Northwest, where people exchange more kisses per day (5.5) than anywhere else in the country. The Northeasterners are the most confident in their kissing abilities. Wondering about the Midwest? It seems they’re the most honest in relationships. They’re more likely than any other region to confess to a partner after making out with someone else — not to mention that they’re late bloomers. Compared to the rest of the nation, the first kiss of a Midwesterner comes somewhere between 16 and 18 years old, about five years later than the smoochers in Hawaii. So if you want a good kiss-filled vacation, you know where to go — but don’t forget to brush your teeth!
Source: Dr. Laura Berman
Slow down and engage in some erotic foreplay.
Foreplay is not only fun and exciting, it also helps to ensure that both you and your partner have an amazing time and are that much closer to reaching orgasm. I always say that if men are like microwaves, then women are like slow-cooking ovens. For most men, all it takes is the mere suggestion of sex and they are ready to go, but women are a little different. Not only do their bodies often take longer to respond, but they also need some time to make the mental switch from “mommy” or “corporate star” to “sex kitten.”
It doesn’t help that women are often multitasking machines, which means that they have a million things running through their heads at any given time during the day or night. Letting go of that to-do list and getting into a sexy frame of mind isn’t as easy as hitting a switch, and that’s where foreplay can help. Here’s how:
- Begin by making sure that you will have enough time to enjoy foreplay before the main event. Just a mere 10 or 15 minutes can make all the difference. Not all of this foreplay needs to be physical. You can also use this time to unwind, cuddle with each other, have a glass of wine, kiss, or talk. (Dirty talk preferably!) It will be a lot easier for both of you to feel sexual and enjoy the moment if you aren’t still stressed out over work or worrying about the kids. Take a few minutes to put the world on pause, breathe deeply, and reconnect. Think of this as mental foreplay.
- Men, try running your fingers gently along your partner’s back or in between her thighs. Kiss her along her breasts or neck. Spend time engaging the erogenous zones, and when it’s your turn, simply lie back and enjoy the sensations your partner’s fingers and tongue can create.
- Don’t feel like you need to be the “giver” or that you are selfish if you enjoy your partner’s advances. Instead of thinking of receiving pleasure as selfish, think of it as a way for your partner to feel connected and intimate with you. Notice how he enjoys making you feel good, and how much more bonded and sensual you feel when pleasure is a two-way street. Think of foreplay as a dance: You each have a role to play and steps to perform, and it shouldn’t be a solo routine for either of you.
- Foreplay doesn’t have to begin right before sex, or even in the bedroom. If you know that you don’t have time for sex, or if you are somewhere you can’t have sex (the middle of a restaurant, a wedding, etc.), you can tease your partner by giving him just a little taste of what’s to come. Give him a deep kiss when no one is looking, lay your hand on his thigh, or whisper to him what you want to do when you get back to your bedroom.
You don’t want to rush through foreplay; nor do you want to feel like there is a set amount of time you have to fill. If you are attune with each other’s bodies, it should be natural and evident when it is time to move on, and the switch from foreplay to sex should be organic and smooth.
Source: Dr. Laura Berman
No matter how long you’ve been together, every relationship needs a healthy dose of flirting.
When most people think of flirting, they tend to think of their early days of dating when capturing each other’s attention and affection was of the utmost importance. However, flirting plays just as important a role in long-term relationships as it does before a couple’s attraction grows into love and turns into deep commitment. Without flirting, affectionate touches, and playful teasing, couples risk losing the spark and passion that separates romantic partners from platonic friends.
Here are ten easy ways to bring flirting back to your relationship:
Remember when you used to get ready for a date by buying new lingerie or booking a blow-out at the salon? Get back to those days when you had so much fun seducing him, and allow yourself to experience the confidence boost that comes from looking and feeling your best.
Compliment Him On Something Unexpected
He knows that you find him attractive, but when is the last time you complimented his sexy forearms or marveled at his kisses or the way he holds you? Give him an unexpected compliment and you will boost his mood — and his ego — for the rest of the day.
Grab his hand in the middle of the supermarket, stroke his thigh under the dinner table, or sexily hop on his lap while you are watching television. Touch him every chance you get, and seize all opportunities to be physically close. Let him know, clearly, that you can’t keep your hands off him.
Have a Naughty Fantasy
Sometimes the best way to rev up your sexual energy is to spend more time focusing on sexy thoughts. Allow yourself to have a naughty fantasy or read some erotica to inspire your sexual imagination, and then channel that surge of sexuality into your relationship by flirting with your mate.
Send a Flirty Text
Technology can sometimes serve as a distraction in a relationship, but it can also be used creatively to generate some sexy sparks between you and your partner. Send him a text during the middle of the day that says, “I can’t stop thinking about your …” or text him during the middle of a double date and say, “Let’s get out of here so we can be alone.”
Be More Vocal
Your partner isn’t a mind reader, so when he does something you love inside the bedroom (or outside the bedroom), speak up (in words and groans of delight) to let him know. Positive feedback is one of the best ways to generate more good vibrations. Just acknowledging your pleasure strengthens sexual attraction and intensifies your flirty behavior, and he will take it as a compliment.
Lose Some of the Clothes
If you are in the habit of wearing sweats to bed, it might be time to swap out your usual nightwear for something a little sexier. Rethink your bedroom wardrobe and opt to slip into a teddy or a sexy pair of boyshorts and casually put lotion on your legs while he watches…riveted.
Go Ahead, Flirt With the Waiter
(A little.) While flirting can sometimes cross the line — and cheating is never okay — a little flirtation with other men can go a long way to remind your mate how irresistible you are. Just be super-nice to the waiter or the mailman. It can give you a boost of confidence to see that other men find you sexy, and it will make your partner doubly glad that you are going home with him!
Take the chance to exchange some of your most erotic imaginings with the idea of being open to trying them out. Tell your partner exactly what you want him to do, and then ask him to tell you as well. It will be highly erotic to discuss these hidden fantasies and will lead to you both receiving the touches and strokes you desire.
Be Bold and Make the First Move
Don’t wait for your partner to make the first move. If you want more flirting in your relationship, then you need to take the initiative and start flirting yourself. Your partner will likely respond by matching your playful, sexy mood. And flirting will become more organic and natural in your relationship.
Source: Dr. Laura Berman
Learn more about attachment-style theory to discover more about how you and your partner relate and react when you are in relationship.
When we look for a partner, there’s a whole host of factors that play into the process. Our relationship and personal histories, for one — including romantic, familial, and even workplace — have a huge impact on our love lives.
Considering our diverse and varied experiences and the unique connection formed by two people, every relationship is completely different. Still, research shows that when it comes down to how we form and behave in relationships, pretty much everyone falls into one of three categories: anxious, avoidant, or secure. It’s called the attachment theory, and according to astudy published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, about 20 percent of people are anxious and roughly 25 percent fall into the avoidant camp, while the rest of the population are considered secure.
Anxious People who have an anxious attachment style crave intimacy and closeness. They love being coupled, but they consider relationships fragile and are sensitive to even minor shifts in a partner’s mood and the subtle nuances of relationships. A little thing, such as a partner neglecting to call, leaves them feeling vulnerable and insecure. Anxious-attachment-style people generally have a harder time telling love interests what they want because they don’t want to rock the boat or create conflict. Instead, they’re more likely to mope, withdraw, or even lash out: They ignore the calls they so anxiously await or flirt with others to make their mates jealous. This method of reacting doesn’t bode well for creating communicative, stable relationships.
Avoidant The behavior of avoidant types can often be difficult to predict. Deep down they do crave intimacy, but they often think this connection will rob them of their prized independence. People in this category may feel uncomfortable or suffocated if they sense love interests getting too close. Often this leads them to pull away.
Although avoidants may seem like prime candidates for eternal singlehood, they do want to form deep romantic connections. However, to protect themselves from potential heartbreak, they repress those feelings and create distance between themselves and their partners. For example, avoidants may feel annoyed or even angry if their partners seem “needy,” and they opt to keep them at arm’s length. Or they may get overly annoyed and focused on the “small stuff,”like how they don’t wipe down the sink or crack their gum. They may use these perceived flaws to temper their romantic feelings.
Secure People who fall into the secure category are reliable, relationship oriented, and do a very good job at communicating what they want as well as responding to their partners’ needs. When disagreements crop up, secure people tend to stay calm and are ready to talk things out. They are comfortable with intimacy: So instead of shying away from conflict resolution, they are willing to address relationship problems and thus work to grow closer and deepen their bonds with others.
Let’s face it, not all of us have a secure attachment style. But if you don’t fall into this category, don’t fret. Based on our changing life experiences and deepening self-awareness (and often therapy ), you can shift your attachment style. It’s not rigid or immobile. Our relationship patterns constantly evolve and change.
Source: Dr. Laura Berman
Female sexuality is mysterious, so it’s no wonder that men struggle to understand a woman’s sexual responses.
The female body is complicated and mysterious, and this is especially true when it comes to sex and orgasm. Many women don’t understand their anatomy or sexual response, so it’s no surprise that men are even more baffled about what makes a woman tick sexually. And, thanks to myths and urban legends, misinformation only further complicates a man’s understanding of the female body.
Here are the top-ten female-orgasm myths that many men still believe:
Intercourse Should Always Lead to Orgasm
Intercourse alone usually does not lead to orgasm. Only 30% of women reach orgasm from intercourse alone. The rest need added clitoral stimulation to achieve pleasure.
All Positions Are Created Equal
Not so! There are some positions that make female orgasm much more likely, such as woman-on-top, as it gives her the added clitoral stimulation she needs to reach orgasm.
Women Can Easily Reach Orgasm
Pornography and Hollywood movies make the female orgasm seem effortless and straightforward. However, the truth is that most women need up to 20 minutes to become aroused and orgasmic, which is why foreplay is so important.
Vibrators Are a Replacement for a Man
Sex aids can help to greatly improve your partner’s sexual experience as well as your own. However, vibrators are not a replacement for a man, and they cannot help your partner achieve the same feelings of intimacy and pleasure.
Women Don’t Like Quickies
While most men can reach orgasm faster than a woman can, this doesn’t mean that quickies aren’t fun or that they cannot serve a purpose in your relationship. If you don’t have time for foreplay or a full-on sex session, a quickie can keep you bonded and close for the time being.
Condoms Complicate Sex and Delay Orgasms
Recent advancements in condom manufacturing have make condoms thinner and less noticeable than ever before.
You Can Always Tell if a Woman Is Faking
Not always! Some women deserve an Oscar for their acting performances; however, it’s important to remember that faking orgasm cheats both of you. Ask your partner if she likes what you are doing or if she needs a different touch to reach orgasm.
Women Like Only Soft, Gentle Sex
Sometimes they do, but sometimes they also want sex that is more animalistic and wild. Explore that side of your partner’s fantasies by asking her what she wants and taking the lead.
Women Can Easily Achieve Multiple Orgasms
Unlike a man, a woman doesn’t need a refractory period before she can be orgasmic again. However, it’s not always easy to achieve one orgasm, let alone many! Hence, while some women are multi-orgasmic, not every woman knows how to harness that power. Practice makes perfect!
The Goal of Sex Is to Have an Orgasm
Don’t think of orgasm as the destination. Sex should be about the journey and being in the moment. Stay attuned to your partner’s body and the sensations of closeness and passion, and let your orgasm and hers happen when they happen. Remember, there is no “right” time or way to achieve orgasm. Every individual and every orgasm is unique.
Source: Dr. Laura Berman
The parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems are two parts of the autonomic nervous system that keep us in balance and help power our sex lives.
Sexuality is a multifaceted interplay of the body and the mind. While it’s no secret that everything from hormones to happiness can affect our arousal, the vital function of the nervous system is often overlooked.
Understanding the Autonomic Nervous System The body is equipped with a special branch of the nervous system called the autonomic nervous system, which is vital for the health and well-being of the human body as it maintains a state of balance. The autonomic nervous system is divided into two separate systems: the parasympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system.
The sympathetic nervous system mediates sexual arousal, reaction to emergencies, and vigilance by increasing your heart rate, boosting your blood pressure, and speeding up your breathing. It’s responsible for the classic “fight-or-flight” response, which is mediated by two main chemical messengers, epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine.
The parasympathetic nervous system, in contrast, primarily counters the sympathetic one by mediating the body’s calming and relaxing functions. Eat a big meal, take a nap, meditate, and the parasympathetic is kicking in, slowing down your heart rate, breathing, and so on.
How the Parasympathetic and Sympathetic Nervous Systems Work (or Don’t Work) Together The parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems usually function in opposition to one another, creating a balance within the human body. For example, when the heart receives neural stimulation from the parasympathetic nervous system, the heart slows down. On the flip side, when the heart receives neural stimulation from the neurons of the sympathetic nervous system, the heart will speed up.
Problems occur when the autonomic nervous system is out of balance. For example, overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system can lead to such problems as anxiety, hypertension, and digestive disturbances. Overstimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system can result in low blood pressure and fatigue..
How Sexual Function and Dysfunction Are Tied to the Autonomic Nervous System Like the rest of the body’s functions, for both women and men, sexual response is affected by both the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, and proper sexual function requires an impressive amount of choreography between these two branches of the autonomic nervous system. During arousal, blood flow to the pelvis and genitals increases when the blood vessels relax, and this results in an erection for men and increased blood to the prostate. In women, it creates lubrication and engorgement of the clitoris and other spongy tissue.
When they work in conjunction, these two systems work great, yet mental and emotional factors that are involved in our sexual responses send other signals to our brains. For example, during times of stress, the male becomes too anxious to establish enough parasympathetic input to the penis to get an erection in the first place. The result is stress-induced impotence.
In another scenario, a man can manage to get an erection but then becomes anxious about something, and things rapidly shift from calm, vegetative parasympathetic to adrenaline-surge sympathetic. Things have gone too fast, and he suffers from either loss of erection or premature ejaculation (or both).
Women can experience painful intercourse, lack of desire, and a number of other side effects from an imbalance of the two systems. While it’s difficult in the heat of the moment to think about the science behind your sexual response, it’s always important to remember that there are a number of factors affecting your sexuality.
Source: Dr. Laura Berman
Pheromones are subconscious and silent sex cues that can help you feel attracted to someone, or send you running.
Pheromones are mysterious chemical signals that are released into the air by humans and animals alike. They are used to send subconscious messages and have been linked to everything from ovulation cycles to physical attraction. Some perfumes and colognes containing pheromones are marketed to people who are looking to attract the opposite sex.
However, while the science of pheromones is still relatively new, it seems that there is no way to exactly duplicate your own personal pheromones. They are as much a part of your genetic makeup as your hair color or your skin tone. In fact, researchers have recently discovered an olfactory nerve that they believe is the route through which pheromones are processed. Cranial nerve zero, as it is called, bypasses the olfactory area of the brain where scents are normally processed. Instead, it is linked straight to the area of the brain that processes sexual cues and creates attraction. Turns out, nerve zero isn’t a typical scent sensor; instead, it seems to be used to interpret sexual cues from potential mates.
But what are these sexual cues, and what exactly is nerve zero looking for? For one thing, we are more likely to be attracted to people whose scent is dissimilar to our own. Family members often share similar chemicals, so our attraction to differing chemical makeup suggests that sexual cues evolved to protect close family members from procreating together. On the other hand, pregnant women have been shown to be more drawn to people with similar chemical makeup, which might be due to the fact that during this crucial time, women are more apt to seek out family members than potential mates.
Furthermore, couples who have high levels of chemicals in common are more likely to encounter fertility issues, miscarriage, and infidelity. The more dissimilar your chemical makeup is from your partner’s, the better chance you will have of successfully procreating and staying together.
So how can you create the scent that will keep you and your partner in the land of happily ever after? Unfortunately, you can’t. Perfumes and colognes can’t fool nerve zero — the scents that humans and animals are attracted to are intangible and instinctive. Even the most expensive designer perfume can’t fool Mother Nature. When it comes to sexual attraction, nature’s nerve zero knows best.
However, if you are taking a hormonal contraceptive, you might be bucking an evolutionary tide. Women who are on the pill are more likely to be attracted to men with similar chemical makeup — most likely because their bodies are fooling them into believing they are pregnant, and so much like actual pregnant women, their nerve zero leads them to kin, not mates. So if you were on the pill when you met your mate, you might possibly experience a diminishing attraction when you cease taking it.
Only time will tell what role nerve zero plays in future sex research, but one thing is for sure: love is in the air!
Source: Dr. Laura Berman
Some psychologists believe that our attraction to our partners is tied to early experiences and crushes from our childhood.
Psychologist John Money coined the term “love map” to describe one’s blueprint for the perfect mate, both sexually and otherwise. It is the unconscious outline in your mind of what love should look like. Your love map is mostly the result of early childhood preferences and experiences. Much of it was imprinted before you knew what to make of it — a delicious smell, a beautiful hair color, a great sense of humor. It is a map of what is significant to you sensually, based on what resonated with you as a child.
Your love map is pretty fluid until about age seven and then solidifies in its most fundamental form. However, love maps can be redrawn throughout your developmental years as a result of big events or relationships in your life. Your first love might set a pattern of attraction, either because it went so well or so wrong. Or your parents’ divorce and your dad’s subsequent emotional departure might cause you to seek out unavailable men.
Understanding your love map can help you have better relationships. When you and your partner fit together like two pieces of a puzzle, it’s for a variety of reasons — both good and bad. The upside of being with someone who fits the outline of our love map is that we get to experience that frenzied, euphoric lust that sparks between two people who have a unique chemistry. The downside is that we may be drawn to someone who resurrects conflicts, big or small, from our childhood. It’s why we’re able to fall madly in love, only to find ourselves in a relationship tangle that seems impossible to manage.
Since our love maps are outlined before we even reach adulthood, they are generally based on watching the model of our parents’ relationship or from childhood crushes and societal structures. If you grew up with parents who exhibited a healthy and loving relationship, you will likely draw certain positive subconscious (and conscious) conclusions about what a relationship should look like. You will also gain very personal ideas about how men and women should treat each other, including how sexual attraction should manifest in a relationship.
Of course, few people have a perfectly idyllic childhood, but this doesn’t mean that your love map is doomed from thestart. Even if your parents didn’t have an amicable marriage, you might have gained valuable insights and a clear idea of what you want and need from a partner. Perhaps your love map might lead you to choose partners who challenge you or partners who make you look deeply at yourself and become the best you can be.
To make sure that you are following a healthy love map, it’s important to first examine what qualities attract you to someone and why. Identify the major factors that have influenced your love map, learn what you need and expect in a relationship, and commit yourself to finding a relationship that meets your expectations and needs in a healthy way. Like the old saying goes, those who don’t understand history are doomed to repeat it… especially when it is your history!
Source: Dr. Laura Berman