Whether you're single, attached, or married, there's something to be said for more fulfillment from your sexual relationships. Chances are, you've heard tons of expert recommendations on how to improve your experiences with your partner. You probably know most of the basics—communication, patience, and creating the right environment can do wonders.
But what if there was stuff you could do outside the bedroom? That had nothing to do with "the deed" itself? We asked a bunch of experts on human health, mood, and sexuality to learn how to boost our bedroom experience on our own.
Meditation is just one form of mindfulness practice. You could also do yoga or deep breathing. Any mindfulness technique can work to bring your stress levels down, which could cause your libido to skyrocket. Counselor and wellness coach Elizabeth Scott is a firm believer in reducing stress to have sex. This works the other way, too—sex is a great stress reliever!
2. Sleep More
If you're too exhausted to hit the sack for some play time, it's probably wise to consult with your doctor about getting a sleep study done. Sleep medicine specialist Dr. Robert Rosenberg writes that in one study of women experiencing sexual dysfunction, over half suffered from sleep apnea.
Rosenberg states that painful sexual encounters and other dysfunction issues were caused by "nerve tissue and blood vessels" in the case of women with sleep disorders. Even if you're not suffering from sleep apnea, getting enough rest can't hurt your sexual life.
3. Take Time For Yourself
If you're a social butterfly, your sexual life could actually be suffering. Sexologist Dr. Jess Reilly has found that "if you don't have any alone time, you'll be so busy recovering on date night" that intimacy won't be a major factor.
Feeling overbooked? Prone to social burnout? Chances are, you need a few hours this week with your phone turned off more than you need another commitment in your calendar. You'll probably return feeling refreshed and ready for some sexy time.
4. Don't Overdo The White Wine
Grabbing a cocktail or three on your date night probably isn't helping you enjoy time with your partner later. The Mayo Clinic says "too much alcohol can blunt your sexual responsiveness."
An occasional drink shouldn't harm your libido or responsiveness, but it's probably wise to stay within the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines of fewer than 8 drinks per week. If you're concerned about your drinking affecting your sexual health—or the volume of your drinking in general—it's certainly wise to check with your doctor.
5. Eat A Healthy Diet
You've probably heard that certain foods can have a positive impact on your libido. Oysters, avocados, almonds, and strawberries are all great foods for sexual desire. Nutritionist and author Kaayla T. Daniel is an advocate of healthy, natural fats—not the kind from fried foods, but the kind you get from whole foods like nuts, avocados, and dairy products. However, your best bet is to most likely to consistently eat a healthy diet for physical well-being, including great times in the bedroom.
6. Go For that Second Latte
If you've failed on your no-caffeine New Year's resolution, that's probably okay. A bit of caffeine is actually a great factor for sexual health. A recent scientific study indicated that two cups of coffee per day may be the magic number for boosting women's drive for sexual intimacy. Don't take this as permission to drink all the energy drinks, though. Excessive caffeine can contribute to other health problems.
7. Don't Be Afraid to Confess Fears to Your Partner
Confidence is sexy. We've all heard it before, and chances are that it's often true. However, communication is also a powerful tool to have better intimacy. If you're dealing with work stress that is cutting into your mood or other issues, don't keep it a secret. Therapist Barry McCarthy states "you have to be open to talking about what you value and your vulnerability."
Magazines often boost diets and miracle workout moves to improve your sexual performance. While there may be some truth to their claims, your best bet is most likely to develop a reasonable, sustainable habit of consistent exercise. OB-GYN Dr. Jennifer Landa writes "when you exercise, the brain produces endorphins that stimulate the release of sex hormones."
Engaging in physical activity can boost your mood, confidence, and sexual drive. For best results, include both cardio and strength training exercises in your regimen.
9. Keep A Sexy Journal
Even if you're not quite brave enough to share your fantasies with your partner, consider jotting them down in your journal. To start opening communication gateways with your partner that could help you discuss your fantasies, Therapist Alex Caroline Robboy recommends "mak[ing] a list of your sexual turn-ons."
If you want to find out if you and you partner share the same kinks without risking embarrassment, Mojo Upgrade is a great (and free) tool. You both fill out a survey of sexual interests, and at the end, you're both shown a list of only mutual interests.
10. Put Down the Cigarettes
When you get aroused, there's a lot going on with your body's physiology. It involves some pretty complex collaboration between your brain, blood, and nerves. Studies confirm that nicotine intake, even in the form of gum, definitely has a negative impact on female sexual response and sensation.
Turns out, your lifestyle outside the bedroom can definitely have an impact on how you feel when you're with your partner. While most of these very unsexy sex tips aren't groundbreaking, it's important to take care of yourself. With regular exercise, a great diet, healthy caffeine, and some "me time," you could enjoy the best sex of your life!