Get Lucky….and happy and relaxed and inspired. Think you’re not up for it tonight? Think again.
Tailor your bedroom antics to your mood and you could open up whole new avenues of sexual pleasure…
Sex isn’t supposed to make you feel good – like toe-curling, spine-tingling, back-arching good. But while expressing yourself physically is sure to put a smile on your face, researchers believe that your sex life will be hotter than ever when there’s something emotional you want to express. (Bonus: research published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior also shows that you’re more likely to be sexually assertive when your lovemaking is emotionally changed.)
“We grow up with the message that the only worthwhile sex is when there is explosive chemistry and desire”. “But sex can fulfil a number of needs beyond the physical.” So when you’re having an off day, asking your partner to turn you on could be just what the love doctor ordered, even if it’s not top of mind. It could also be a way to add new dimension to your relationship. “Just like different exercise at gym keep different muscle groups in shape, mixing up your sex styles keeps your partnership fluid and conditioned.
Of course, you could always just tell him you’re feeling lonely, down or angry – but getting naked is so much more fun. And, by choosing your stash of Lindt and a trashy novel over him, you’re giving the cold shoulder to one of the best mood-enhancing therapies on the market. So ditch the dressing gown, scroll down this menu and brace yourself for some memorable moments.
1. When You’re Feeling Blue….
- Comfort Sex : “Having sex stimulates the release of endorphins, which give you a feeling of euphoria. These feel-good hormones activate pleasure centres in the brain that create feelings of intimacy and relaxation.
This is sex in its slowest, most intimate form – and it’s highly underrated. “Begin by asking him for a massage, then set the scene by feeding each other strawberries or grapes”. This isn’t about satiating your wild each other skin-to-skin without worrying too much about the outcome. You want to create as much body contact as possible, so stick to the missionary position. Direct him to the places you most enjoy having touched, or ask him to rub his whole body over yours.
Keep each movement slow. “One full stroke of penetration should last one deep breath in, and the out stroke one deep exhale.” Engage in some deep eye-gazing and look at his face as he orgasms. You might want to lie in each other’s arms for a while afterwards.
- The Upside: “Comfort sex can remind you of all the reasons why you are together. It’s all about good emotional contact, trust and connectedness. “You’ll also experience emotional growth by allowing yourself to be vulnerable with your partner.”
- The Danger: If you engage in this type of sex too often, your guy might start to see it as too much one-sided hard work. Also beware of comfort sex with an ex, which can keep you from actively seeking a new partner, Swart cautions.
2. When You’re Feeling Angry
- Make-Up Sex : Forget the candles and the massage oil. This is sweaty, grinding, howling sex at its most fiery. Experts agree that if the desire for it is mutual, make-up sex is a healthy way to take the edge off disagreements. An aggressive quickie while pining your man to the wall can diffuse your anger quicker than you say “yes, yes, yes”. “Use the emotional arousal you feel after an argument to your advantage”. “Explore the erotic possibilities that stem from this increase in adrenaline and dopamine – your desire hormones. It’s okay to have the discussion about your argument later”. “By then you’ll be able to express your needs better.”
A condom-free encounter could also have added benefits. According to a 2002 study conducted by psychologists, women who have sex without a condom are likely to be happier than those who don’t. This is because semen contains mood-alternating chemicals, including cortisol (known to increase affection), estrone, prolactin, oxytocin, thyrotropin-releasing hormone (which all elevate mood) and even serotonin (perhaps the most well-known antidepressant neurotransmitter). Your vaginal walls absorbs all this happy goo into your system. Steady on – we’re certainly not advocating unprotected sex, we’re just reporting findings.
- The Upside: “Sex is a very effective way of communicating”, and better at diffusing conflict than giving your man the silent treatment. “Sometimes we want to say, ‘I forgive you and I still love you,’ but are simply more fluent in sexual language”. Nothing wrong with that, we hear him say gratefully. After your hot ride, you’re more likely to be open to peace talks.
- The Danger: Are you avoiding dealing with your real thoughts and feelings? “Sex isn’t a panacea; it can’t solve all your problems. “When couples rely on make-up sex, often doesn’t get dealt with.”
3. When You’re Feeling Sadness Or Grief…
- Life-Affirming Sex : When Louise’s father died, she suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to have another baby. The 43-year-old left her husband for a man 10 years younger. “I was mourning, but was also driven by the need to be adored and desired again,” says Louise, adding that her decision to make a baby with her new man added a whole dimension to her lovemaking. “It was intense and intoxicating,” she says.
“For some, the desire for sex and the impetus to procreate seem higher in times of loss and grief”. While it’s a deeply personal expression of yourself and your needs, it also helps ground you when you are dealing with life’s blows. “It takes the focus away from your present sadness and back to your body, which is strong and powerful and delivers the message that even in times of turmoil, you are attractive and alive.”
Your urges may also have a more physical motivation. Researchers evaluated 59 premenopausal women before and after hugging their partners. They found that the more contact, the higher the oxytocin levels. This love hormone enables us to nurture and bond, meaning you’re more likely to feel connected to your partner after sex.
When you’re in this extremely vulnerable space, the focus should be on sensuality and slow, deep caresses that flow over your skin, bringing subtle sensations to the surface. “During sex, take deep breaths to relax your body completely. Allow the pleasure to build, spreading the energy through you and taking you to a place where sex becomes a spiritual experience.
- The Upside: When you are battling with grief, this bonding experience with your partner could help the healing process. “Touch from a person you love and trust is a major emotional resource. It’s also a way of regulating your emotions when you are upset. “Couples who use touch to comfort, compliment and seduce are bond to be happier.”
- The Dangers: As with any unresolved emotion, grief can lead to some risky and self-destructive behavior. You really don’t need an STI or unplanned pregnancy to deal with on top of all your worries.
4. When You’re Feeling Bored…..
- Pushing-The-Boundaries Sex : “Sex is the primary way we play together as adults, “and there’s no need to take it seriously all the time.” If you always have the same type of sex, it gets predictable and it can lead to a lack of intimacy, adds Few. For starters, move your lovemaking from the bedroom to other rooms. Even better, book a weekend away. This is also the time to broaden your mind about props, outfits and toys. Read erotic literature, talk about your fantasies, watch porn together. “Allow him to take time off from having to take control. “Play with blindfolds or handcuffs and indulge in some light domination. Making the shift from being a passive recipient to being the active seeker can be exciting for both of you.”
- The Upside: Playing around with novel, experimental types of sex allows you to uncover sexual preferences and fantastic you never knew you had. “As you evolve as a couple, adding different dimensions to your sex life will strengthen your relationship outside the bedroom too.
- The Dangers: You might get so hooked on that latex nurse’s outfit that more intimate sex no longer features in your repertoire. try to keep things balanced – every night can’t be a memorable marathon.
5. When You’re Feeling Anxious
- Maintenance Sex : When you’re wound up with anxiety and worry it’s difficult to enjoy sex without a million thoughts spinning around your head. But actually, having sex could be one way to help you combat stress – studies have shown that people who have orgasm more regularly are more likely to have lower blood pressure than their less fortunate counterparts. In addition, research revealed that people who had intercourse at least once over two weeks were better able to manage stressful situations such as public speaking.
Maybe you feel like being sexual, but are too distracted to orgasm? No need to ditch the idea of sex entirely. “Perhaps your need for closeness will be satisfied if he enters you from behind when you are lying spoon-style before falling asleep. “Tell him what you need and enjoy the ride. Reassure him that when you’re more rested, you’ll return the favor.
- The Upside: Oxytocin released during orgasm is also a fabulous sleep-promoter. And the more rested you are, the more you are equipped to deal with stress. “Recent data shows that sex, probably through multiple mechanism involving pleasure, socialisation, dopamine and oxytocin release, as well as feelings of greater intimacy, really does help people sleep.
- The Dangers: You don’t want this to be the only type of sex you have. While there’s nothing wrong with peaceful pleasure every night of the week, there’s the risk of falling into the routine trap. “Don’t allow maintenance sex to become a regular habit. If you find yourself opting for it too often, try the 10 minute rule. Give yourself 10 minutes to get in to the mood and you might be surprised how long your interest lasts.
SMSing can be an effective way to communicate your feelings…if you follow these rules
- Be Positive : Couples who use words like “happy” and “great” in their SMSes stay together longer than twosomes who don’t use such upbeat words.
- Ditch Sarcasm : Corresponding in a straightforward manner boosts your bond. Pairs whose SMSes are direct are happier than those who trade loaded remarks.
- Be Future-oriented : Phrases like “Can’t wait to see you” and Looking forward to tonight help partners feel valued and connected.