Last week my girlfriends and I were discussing our sex lives and we kept repeating one complaint -- we just weren't having enough of it lately.
For me, it seemed like something had changed between me and my boyfriend, we went from doing it, well, a lot, to hardly doing it, all in a matter of months. And sadly, I saw my love life turning into a depressing American trend: being unsatisfied in the bedroom department. (And I'm not even close to being married yet!)
My friends assured me that everyone goes through sexual ups and downs, and with time things will go back to "normal." While I was glad to hear it, I also wanted some expert advice, so I turned to Emma Taylor and Lorelei Sharkey of the blog EmandLo.com and authors of "Sex: How to Do Everything": Why does sex wane as a relationship progresses? Em & Lo: We're lazy. We like variety, and we start to take each other for granted.
So how can I break these bad habits? Em & Lo: Boring, same-every-day sex is the first step toward having no sex at all. And who wants that?! As far as laziness goes, it's kind of like going to the gym: Once you're in the habit of being more creative in bed, it'll start to come more naturally, but if you let yourself get into a same-position-every-time rut, it's kind of like skipping the gym for a month -- it's much harder to break out of the bad habit. Click here to read more sexy suggestions.
Avocado Avocado trees were called Ahuacuati, or "testicle tree," by the Aztecs. And they were forbidden by Catholic priests for their sex appeal (no joke).
ulterior epicure, Flickr
Chocolate The Aztecs worshipped this treat for its supposed aphrodisiac properties. While that's not scientifically proven, it does affect serotonin and the circulatory system. When both of those are kickin', it's definitely a lot easier to get in the mood.
Asparagus On top of making your pee smell funny, these phallic-shaped veggies are rich in Vitamin E, which is essential to a healthy sex drive and to producing sex hormones.
Cinnamon Buns Cinnamon buns are the number-one smell that turns guys on, according to research from the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago.
Eggs Eggs are a symbol of fertility (duh) dating back to ancient Greece and the Indian Kama Sutra. Choose eggs that are naturally fertilized -- many factory-laid eggs are not produced with an actual rooster, resulting in eggs with less hormones. A study showed that men who ate naturally fertilized eggs showed increased libido, sexual activity and stamina.
Epimedium grandiflorum This plant is known by many as Horny Goat Weed for its er, happy effect on goats. It's popular in Chinese medicine and has been around for over 2000 years. It's frequently found in pill form and is considered to be safe.
Spanish Fly The most famous of aphrodisiacs is made up of crushed beetles and more than a little is believed to be fatal.
Ginseng Thought to posses "aphrodisiac properties," Ginseng is also a popular Chinese medicine. It also translates as "man root." So maybe that explains it.
Spicy Stuff Chilies and peppers are known to pep up the sex drive, so if your guy can handle the heat, bring it into the kitchen. Chili peppers can stimulate the nervous system and pump up the drive in girls and guys alike.
Turkey If you thought you felt a little tingle on Turkey Day, you were probably not alone. Turkey is often blamed for making us sleepy, but it turns out it is the same element that causes drowsiness, tryptophan, that's actually sending us to bed for a different reason.
As for variety, there are so many things you can do to bring variety into your sex life without cheating on your partner -- toys, role playing, getting a bit kinky, sharing fantasies, to name just a few.
And as far as taking each other for granted -- why not keep a gratitude diary and each week, write down five things that you appreciate about your partner. And make sure that at least one of them is X-rated! For me, it seems like the longer I'm with my boyfriend, the more I'm turning into a horny teenage boy. What's with that? Em & Lo: For many women, the longer she's in a relationship, the more she'll want sex -- sometimes to the point of complaining about not getting enough sex herself.
Often, women start to crave sex more and more as they get to know their partner better and feel more comfortable around him -- and he starts to get to know his way around her body more.
So, how much sex is enough sex? Em & Lo: If you feel satisfied, then that's enough sex for you! Maybe it's twice a day, maybe it's twice a month, and in some cases even twice a year.
It's pretty unlikely, however, that your partner will have exactly the same "enough" rate as you. So in relationships, it's all about compromise. (And it should be a mutual compromise -- not just the person with the higher libido compromising, and not just the person with the lower libido either.) Tell us: Do you find yourself wanting more or less sex the longer you're with your man? What do you do to make sure your sex-tank is on full? Kristen Rollins blogs about sex and relationships for Lemondrop.
Myth: Women have to be in a relationship to enjoy sex. The Truth: Your orgasm potential has nothing to do with whether you're single or committed. Having great sex has to do with physical sensations, not your status. What's more, many women report having stronger orgasms when they masturbate than they do with a partner.
Myth: Women don't (and shouldn't!) masturbate as often as guys. The Truth: Ha! There is absolutely no rule as to how much you should get yourself off- do it is much as you'd like. In fact, the more you do it, the more you'll understand what it takes to reach climax and that can help you guide your guy when your in bed together.
Myth: Guys love lingerie. The Truth: Many men just find lingerie complicated. Think about it, all those snaps and ribbons and straps are confusing and a pain in the ass to get off of you when he wants to get some. Most guys will tell you they much prefer a woman naked.
Myth: Vaginal orgasms feel better than clitoral orgasms. The Truth: There is no such thing as a better orgasm... they're all pretty fantastic. They definitely feel different because they originate in different spots. Try experimenting and achieving the various types- clitoral, vaginal, g-spot- to see which you prefer.
Myth: A woman should be able to orgasm during intercourse. The Truth: Putting that kind of pressure on yourself may prevent you from having an orgasm at all. A lot of women are unable to reach their peak through strait penetration. Most need clitoral stimulation as well. So don't feel bad touching yourself, having your partner touch you, or even using a vibrator while thrusts.
Myth: Women don't get turned on by porn. The Truth: There's no hard rule on this one. Some chicks like naughty flicks, others don't. If porn doesn't do the trick for you, try erotic literature- lots of women prefer it because it allows them to use their imagination when picturing what's going on.
Myth: If you're good in bed, you should be able to please anyone. The Truth: Some people have instant in-bed chemistry, others have to work on it. That means, you could sleep with ten guys and they would all have a different opinion of your skills (and you of theirs!). Communication is key to being able to have good sex with someone. Tell them what you like and don't like and ask them to do the same. If you're too shy to say it, show them by guiding their hands.
Myth: Men prefer women who sexually pursue them. The Truth: Evolution tells us the exact opposite. Most men like to feel like they've worked for a women's attention. However, that doesn't mean that you have to sit in the corner and wait for a man to approach you. Go ahead and signal to a guy that you're interested by flirting. Just avoid things like grabbing his crotch in a crowded bar.
Myth: Happy couples always have good sex. The Truth: No one always bats a hundred in the bedroom. You could be in the best relationship and have an off night if one of you isn't feeling well or is stressed. If you are always having bad sex it may be a bigger problem. If this is the case, discuss what you both need in bed to enjoy yourselves more
Myth: African American males have bigger penises. The Truth: Sorry, but there's no evidence to support this one. A study from the Porterback Clinic and Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield and St. James' Hospital in Leeds, United Kingdom found that the size of a man's package has absolutely nothing to do with his race.
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