And Now for Something Completely Different
Know what you want.
One Woman's Sexual Success Story continued...
She learned some of what fueled her desire: soul music by
Marvin Gaye and James Brown, dancing, delicious food, good wine and stimulating
conversation. Now in a long-term marriage, she's found that a sensual ambiance
keeps the sexual pulse alive with her husband. For example, getting
dressed up in a sexy outfit and meeting him at the bar of a swank restaurant
gives a kick to their sexual energy, she says.
She also stumbled on other techniques of arousal. "I like
seeing the latest pornography magazines," she says. "I'll go to a store
-- a store I don't usually go to -- and look at them." She also likes to
peruse the magazines with her husband in bed or watch X-rated videos with
Do Something Different -- Something New
Reading erotica, whether romance-laden or hard-core, is the easiest way to add
some spark to your sex life, says Lonnie Barbach, author of Turn-Ons:
Pleasing Your Lover While You Please Yourself. Reading about sexual
fantasies can give you ideas you and your partner can try. Some women find, for
example, that dressing up in silky lingerie makes them feel more erotically
aware. Other women (and men) may enjoy role-playing.
"Often people find the things they think they wouldn't
like, they like, and the things they thought they'd like are a dud," says
Barbach. The important thing is to make some kind of change. "It's more a
matter of doing something different, something new," she says.
Sex therapist Zilbergeld offers several exercises to help
figure out your sexual desires. One he calls "simmering," which
involves tuning into surges of sexual energy that typically occur throughout
the day, even for people who say they aren't aroused very much. When you're
aware of a sexual feeling, focus on it and develop a fantasy of what you'd like
to have happen, he says.
Every few hours during the day, bring the image to mind. This
works for both men and women, and doing Kegel
exercises -- squeezing your pelvic muscles as if you're trying to prevent
urination -- can increase sexual tone and pleasurable pelvic sensations for
both sexes, too. If you'd like to act on these feelings when you get home, make
a phone call to your partner to see if the timing is right.
What Are Your Own Special Requirements?
Another exercise recommended by Zilbergeld involves defining
your preferred "conditions" for good sex. Compare exciting sexual
encounters with those that weren't as satisfying, he suggests: Are there things
you enjoyed in the past that you'd like to try again? Do you need to have sex
at a certain time of day to enjoy it the most? Make a list of your conditions
and act on them. Some women say they get an erotic charge hearing their partner
utter the words: "I'll do the dishes." They could make doing the dishes
a condition for having sex.