Sometimes you have to follow your nose! When sex expert and sexuality counselor Ian Kerner stopped by Mondays With Marlo, he told me that when a woman likes the scent of her partner, she is more likely to be sexually attracted to him. When women view a man as a friend or in a brotherly way, they won't like his scent or just feel neutral about it.
For more tips on improving your sex life, see Ian's tips for better sex:
Give Your Partner A Hug
Transition into evening with a 20 second hug. Studies show that a 20 second hug will raise oxytocin levels, which facilitate a sense of love and connection. Men need to be hugged three times as much as women to get to similar levels, so go for a full minute of hugging.
Stay In Touch
Engage in random acts of intimacy. Non-physical intimacy outside the bedroom is the key to a loving, intimate sex life inside the bedroom. Desire isn't a light switch: you don't just turn it on and off. Maintain physical connections by holding hands when you're on the couch or smooching when you're loding the dishwasher.
Get Into the Five To One Zone
According to eminent marriage therapist John Gottman, the difference between those relationships that succeed and those that fail is the ability to maintain a high ratio of positive to negative interactions. The ideal ratio should be five to one -- five positive interactions for every negative one. You can't go through life tallying every interaction, but you can know whether you're fundamentally in positive or negative territory and start swinging the pendulum back to where it belongs.
Engage In "Choreplay"
This one is for the guys. When one person is doing most of the chores around the house, and often it’s the woman , there can be a complaint that one of the reasons they're not more interested in sex is because of the stress caused by all those chores. Stress works against desire on a neurological level. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that chores consume precious time and energy. If you start doing your share, your partner will have less stress and be more open to intimacy.
Turn Off To Turn On
Today's modern couples exist in a world of digital distraction. More and more evidence is mounting that these technologies stimulate addiction centers in the brain, which make it increasingly difficult for us to disconnect from our devices and reconnect with our partners. In a long-term relationship, it's often a challenge to remain friends with your partner and to keep that friendship expanding. We're often so busy "friending" others that we lose precious time to strengthen our friendship with our spouse. Don't let your time together disappear into a digital black hole. Let yourself unplug and unwind.
Transform Your Bedroom Into A Love Nest
Be careful that your bedroom doesn’t become just a room with a bed. Your love life is something that feeds off all of the senses and your bedroom should facilitate that sensual stimulation: from soft sheets to warm lighting to music that helps you relax to fresh cut lilacs and roses that add beauty and fragrance. Think about all of the little touches that add coziness and sensuality.
Invest In Some "Non-Sleep" Aids
Your love life shouldn't be a snooze and every couple can use some sensual pick-me-ups. Some basic necessities include: <ul> <li>Massage oils -- From flowers and fruit to a spectrum of flavors, look for products that are natural and less likely to be greasy</li> <li>Brain pleasers -- Sex is all about teasing, tantalizing and creating a sense of anticipation. From sharing fantasies and sexy scenarios to videos and books that jumpstart our imaginations to toys and books that keep the process humming, the possibilities are endless. </li> <li>Personal lubricants -- Lubricants are designed to keep sex wetter and better, and are applied directly to the genitals.</li> </ul>
Make The Night Last
Studies have shown that a little extra foreplay can mean the difference between the best sex ever and the best sex never. Nerve receptors in the skin become easily habituated to familiar sensations, so keep touch novel and unpredictable. If you're not sure what to do, use a lubricant to enhance sensation where it counts the most.
Freshen Up Old Positions
After you've had sex with the same person at least a hundred times, it's easy to fall into a routine or take things for granted. But even the most basic positions can be infused with passion and presence. <ul> <li>Man on top -- This is the most common position in the world. To enliven this position, stare deeply into each other's eyes throughout the entire experience.</li> <li>Woman on top -- This position most easily ensures female satisfaction, and allows for a woman to feel strong and empowered. To enliven this position, women can wear a piece of lingerie that provides some peeks and can be easily removed.</li> <li>Side by side -- This is an ideal position to take things slow and extend lovemaking. To enliven this position, focus on getting your breathing in sync. </li> <li>From behind -- This position allows for deeper lovemaking, but keep in mind, deeper pleasure can sometimes be painful, so this is an ideal time to use lubricant.</li> </ul>
Turn Negatives Into Positives
Think about what you want to say, and then turn it into a constructive compliment. Try to express your desires as a positive turn-on. Instead of telling a man he's bad at foreplay, tell him you had a sexy dream about him and describe the foreplay you'd like.
Don't Fight Or Take Flight
Talking about intimacy issues can lead to confrontation, especially when egos are easily bruised. Fighting will increase your heart rate and increase blood pressure. Bottling up emotions can lead to stress, anxiety and depression. If you find yourself in either position, let these gut responses pass through, then resume talking.
Try A Side-By-Side Conversation
If talking face to face isn't working, you can try talking side by side. Women are comfortable with direct eye contact, but men can sometimes view this as confrontational. To avoid a fight, try having a sex talk while taking a walk or a drive, shopping or watching TV.
Ask A Professional
We all get into relationship binds and ruts, and it's okay to seek out professional help. Sometimes one or two sessions with a counselor or therapist can bring issues into light, so you can go back and make the most of your nights. To find a therapist in your area, go to <a href="http://www.aasect.org/">www.aasect.org</a> (the website for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.)
Don’t Rely On Medication
Viagra helps out many men with erectile dysfunction, but beware – it is not a substitute for stimulating desire. At first, the drug will help stimulate arousal and desire, but the effect on desire will diminish as time goes on. The brain is the biggest sex organ we have, so continue having sexy talks, going on dates and rousing desire in other ways.
Keep Things Fresh
We talk a lot about sexual novelty, but there is also a place for comfort sex. Every time you try something new, you’re tasking your brain. If you know something works, you can just relax and enjoy it. For women, relaxation plays a big role in achieving orgasm. Couples should expand on foreplay – read erotica, watch porn, or wear new lingerie.
Find The Intensity That Suits You Both
It’s common for some men to prefer speed and pressure while having sex. Since it’s so easy to access porn on the Internet, men get used to a certain pressure and friction from their hands that doesn’t equate well in other settings. There are positions where the woman can take control, like being on top or using a coital alignment technique, which focuses on deeper penetration and a rocking motion. If this doesn’t satisfy both parties, there is always manual and oral stimulation.
Figure Out If You’re Sexually Compatible
Chemistry is key when assessing sexual compatibility. Ask yourself these questions about the dimensions of sexual compatibility: <ul> <li>Are you attracted to the person?</li> <li>Are you able to talk to the person about sex?</li> <li>Are you able to have orgasms with the person?</li> <li>Do you have roughly the same libido?</li> <li>Do you like the way the person smells?</li> </ul>
Take Responsibility For Your Sex Life
It takes effort and commitment to get on the same page sexually. Couples should stay in the habit of courting each other – don’t assume that you’re going to have sex just because you’re married. People who have healthy sex lives are happier, more successful at work, live longer and are more likely to diet and exercise.
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