They say that foreplay begins with the man taking out the rubbish and there’s a lot of truth in this approach. When a woman feels safe and cared for, her body…
They say that foreplay begins with the man taking out the rubbish and there’s a lot of truth in this approach. When a woman feels safe and cared for, her body relaxes. Naomi Wolf, in her book Vagina: A New Biography, makes a strong case for the vagina being the “brain below the waist”. Its neural responses and the hormones associated with it can determine whether sex is on the cards or not. So how do we increase the likelihood of a positive response to sexual advances? Here are just a few techniques for success:
1 SEE EYE-TO-EYE
Anyone who’s attended a tantric workshop knows that there’s usually a lot of deep eye gazing involved, and it turns out that there is a neurological reason why this is effective. It may have something to do with mirror neurons. Nerve endings in the eyes lead straight to a structure in the brain linked to emotion and empathy, the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). When this is stimulated we generate feelings of empathy and connection with the other person. And, when we feel connected to our partner, we are more open to sexual interaction.
Try lying comfortably opposite your partner, far enough apart that you can see each other clearly. Without touching just allow yourselves to look into each other’s eyes and notice how you feel.
2 REMEMBER WHEN…
The mind is rather easily duped in some ways.For example, when we recall old memories our bodies respond as if they’re happening now. Remembering what attracted us to our partner in the first place can help to re-trigger those same feelings of desire and excitement that we had when we started out together.
Do the eye gazing above but add memories of what used to get you hot about your partner. Recall specific moments of passion and how it was to yearn for their touch. You’ll soon find your body responding.
3 ACTIVATE THE CUDDLE HORMONE
Oxytocin has become famous for its role as the bonding hormone. When oxytocin is released we feel increased feelings of trust and safety (remember that safety is the key to allowing sex). It also reduces cravings (good for those wishing to diet), and increases receptivity to sex.
You can easily stimulate oxytocin release in your partner. A hug engaging the full body, including heart and genitals, and which lasts for longer than 20 seconds, will stimulate oxytocin release. Add eye gazing and you’ll also be triggering those mirror neurons into even more empathy. Another way to trigger oxytocin release is by placing a hand on your partner’s belly and heart since a key part of the SNS, the vagus nerve, runs through them and responds to the warmth and contact of touch.
4 GET ADDICTED
The more sex you have the more you want. Sex, and especially orgasm, is the biggest legal drug hit a body can have. When we have positive sexual experiences our body releases dopamine (associated with the brain’s reward centre) and oxytocin, among other things. The more of this we get, the more we want. So once you start having good sex, you’ll want even more of it. There is a good case that many arguments happen between couples 3-5 days after their last orgasmic sexual experiences. This may well be because the hit of dopamine has been absorbed and the body is craving more of it. The best way to stop this happening is to have sex again at least every three days – just to be sure you don’t let your dopamine levels get dangerously low! While good sex is addictive, as Naomi Wolf points out in Vagina: “bad sex – inattentive sex with a selfish or distracted partner – is actually chemically dispiriting and damaging psychologically to women”.
One key component in libido is testosterone. High testosterone means high sexual desire – in both men and women. When we have sex we produce more testosterone, so again the more you have the more you want it.
5 AND FINALLY…
Whatever you do, remember, variety is the spice of life. Your sexual energy is your life force energy; cut it off and you cut yourself off from life itself. Engage with it and you’ll feel more alive – however long you’ve been in the same relationship!
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