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Give Your Libido a Lift

How to get in the mood for love

The Power of Touch

Other than eating a balanced diet, how can we de-stress and make the switch from indulging our overactive minds to enjoying our bodies after a hard day at the office or at home?

Besides an inspiring environment that includes romantic music and candlelight, Weston recommends trying the power of touch. It instantly sends the message that you are worthy of being touched and loved, and it helps many people relax within minutes.

Being the touch-er instead of (or in addition to) being the touch-ee can also help you de-stress, Weston adds. Whether you're on the giving or receiving end, you're still making a connection.

Three easy ways to use touch to increase desire is with:

1. Massage. Use a nice scented oil or a rich lotion (maybe one with shea butter) to help your hands glide over your partner's body. Don't worry if you aren't a trained massage professional. You have some options here:

  • Teach your spouse how you want to be massaged by massaging him/her the same way.
  • Rent a how-to massage video.
  • If you really want to get serious, take a massage class along with your partner. Check at community centers, hospitals, spas, and sports clubs for classes in your area.

2. A back scratch. You don't need long nails for this. This may sound silly, but when I can't sleep at night because too much is going on in my head, I scratch my husband's back -- it relaxes me. And FYI, some men really like to have their backs scratched.

3. A dance for two. When was the last time you slow-danced with your spouse? Was it Uncle Bob's 50th birthday bash, or your best friend's wedding? Do you remember how nice that was to take a few minutes to hold him or her close and just feel each other and the music? When you get the chance, try the power of touch through the art of dance. Hint: It doesn't matter how great a dancer you are when there are only two of you in the room!

Work Your Body

Regular exercise is not only good for the huffing-and-puffing aerobic aspect of sex, but it also helps you feel better about your body. Even without any change in weight, the simple act of getting regular exercise helps overweight or obese people feel better about their bodies, according to research I've seen over the years. Weston agrees that if we feel better about our bodies -- as well as stronger and more energetic -- we're more likely to want to get close to someone sexually.

But now we have more scientific proof that exercise is a powerful libido-booster. Results from a recent five-year study of menopausal women show that exercise can fight the decreasing sex drive often seen in midlife women.

"Sexual satisfaction appears to increase with increasing frequency of exercise," explains Judith Gerber, PhD, a researcher with the University of Vermont, Burlington.

In fact, exercise was the only one of the various factors the researchers measured (including financial and career satisfaction, testosterone levels, etc.) that was linked to sexual function. They found the connection between exercise and sexual satisfaction at the beginning and the end of the five-year study.

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Reviewed on February 12, 2005

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