Spice up your bedroom routine and reignite the fires of passion. The Lovers’ Guide shows you how.
1 Pamper yourself
Sensual loving begins with a loving and sensual sense of your own body. If you’re stressed, tired or run-down, or you just haven’t taken enough time out of late to enjoy your body, you’re probably not going to feel fully switched on, involved and aroused when you have sex. It’s time to give your body a treat, to indulge yourself and awaken your five senses.
This can be as simple as pausing to look when you see something, or someone, beautiful, to savour an unexpected smell, of baking bread, for example, or to feel the wind in your hair or the sun on your face. The everyday world is full of sensory delights, which we often miss but can appreciate fully when we’re in tune with ourselves and our bodies.
Self-pampering gives our senses a kick-start. A good massage leaves us feeling relaxed and stimulated. We come out feeling cleansed and more aware. Pay an expert to massage you! A few hours at a health club can also make us feel far removed from the stressful sides of our lives, but so too can a quiet evening in – with scented candles, oil in a hot bath, and beautiful music. Lying back, closing our eyes and deep-breathing can unlock our potential for relaxed, alert, physical pleasure.
If you’re used to thinking of your body in terms of the sensory delights it can offer you, you’ll be more ready than ever to let go of any anxieties you have and feel great when you’re having sex.
2 Enhance masturbation
We can tend to be a little goal-oriented when we masturbate. Women and men alike tend to reach orgasm in a matter of minutes. That’s usually fine, but it can be rewarding to prolong the experience of masturbation.
When you masturbate, and this includes when you use a vibrator, let your hands wander all over your body, seeking the most sensitive body bits and lingering on them. Try stroking your breasts and your stomach. Your buttocks and inner thigh can be especially sensitive. Even touch your face.
Touch yourself as you like a lover to touch you – then, when you are with your partner, masturbate together and show each other how you like to be touched. The more you and your partner can arouse each other all over, not just through the genitals, the more sensual your lovemaking can be.
When you’re masturbating, having sex, or just relaxing, indulge in fantasies. Where would you like to be when having sex? With whom? What does that dream lover do that’s just right?
Some people worry about their sexual fantasies, but really there’s no need. Your fantasies are a healthy expression of your inner life. Don’t worry if you wouldn’t really do them in real life. This isn’t ‘real life’ so you can let yourself go.
They might be romantic fantasies, or involve ‘kinky’ toys and clothes, or sex in public or with more than one partner. They might even be forced sex fantasies – expressing an inner, often unconscious desire to break free of any sexual limits and strictures – repressions, for good or ill – that you may have.
Indulge them. Imagine. You might also want to share your fantasies with your partner – or play a few out.
4 Become more emotionally intimate
One thing that can get in the way of our feelings of sensuality when having sex is that we don’t feel we can be fully emotionally open with our partner. There might be things we feel we can’t say. We might be afraid of being hurt – if we’ve had a bad experience of being let down in the past. We might feel, men especially, that emotions are something we shouldn’t express.
What this actually means is that we can’t communicate fully or properly with our partner. There’s a distance between us – and that distance shouldn’t be there during sex.
Make sure, in the relationship as a whole, you are able to say how you feel to your partner. Make sure you’re able to ask for an ‘emotional hold’ when you need it – be that a hug or some words of reassurance – and that you’re able to offer the same when it’s asked of you. Make sure you’re able to show your partner your ‘bad side’ – any weaknesses you have, for example, or ways in which you feel you don’t quite match up.
What happens when you have sex is a reflection of the rest of the relationship. A healthy level of emotional intimacy with each other will come through in the bedroom.
5 Walk sexy, talk sexy… Think sexy!
If you feel confident with yourself as a sexual person, that confidence is going to help you get the most out of every second when you’re having sex. Try thinking of yourself as a sexual – and sexy – person as you go about everyday life. After all, you are a sexual person. Why hide it?
When you’re mixing and mingling, or just heading down the street, stand tall and flaunt it! Even if you’re not feeling confident, faking confidence will help your find real confidence, not least through the ways other people will respond to you, and maybe treat you differently.
You feel you haven’t got that much to show off about? That yours isn’t a model figure? Get over it! Try imagining yourself as a lover would see you. Imagine desiring you. Other people tend to see us as we see ourselves: they’ll see you as desirable if you do.
Once you’re confident expressing your sexiness, another possible hang-up will be gone and you can give yourself up to your and your partner’s pleasure when having sex.
6 Create a sensual space to make love in
Is your bedroom sexy? Is it well and truly dedicated to making love? (Well, okay, so you sleep there too!) Take another look – now! – and see. Would you want to make love there?
There are the basics to get right. Is it clean, crisp and fresh – like virgin snow ready for you to despoil? Or does it look like a lot of people just did that in here already?
Then there are the small, sexy touches to get right. What is there in this room that reminds you of sex? Anything? Nothing? How much red is there here, for example? (A picture? A flower?) And ask yourself, how much is definitely not about sex? (Are those fluffy toys looking at you again?) For a few minutes, create a setting you’d like to make love in. Then position the mirror!
Do something in this room for each of your senses. In terms of scent, lavender can be especially arousing. In terms of music, a tinny old radio-alarm-clock just won’t do! Your bedroom should relax you and help you to feel aroused – and sensually switched on.
7 Talk while you’re having sex
The more you talk, and otherwise communicate, while you have sex, the more fully and openly the experience of sex can be shared – and the more sensual you can therefore allow yourself to be as a lover. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll each be giving the other a running commentary and directions – though that can be a great way of learning what each other likes. It does mean you’re feeling free to express your feelings of pleasure to your partner – and hiding nothing.
Why shouldn’t we feel free to talk? Usually, it’s because of repressions – the nagging sense that sex is a bit secretive and should be kept apart, sectioned off, from the rest of who we are. Social and religious training alike can make people think this way.
Why should we feel free to talk? Because sex is a natural, beautiful expression of who we are and of our love for our partner.
Keep it gentle, if you like. Don’t feel you have to put on an act to ‘talk sexily’. But do use words. If you do, another block to your sensuality will have been broken down; you’ll feel completely, sensually involved with your sexual self and your partner.