Smart natural ways to lift your libido
Washington: After a hard day`s work, sex is the last thing on the minds of working women. But forget the need for a female Viagra - there are plenty of other ways to spice up your love life.
Experts have suggested some natural ways to lift your libido:
Spice up your menu
Amy Reiley, aphrodisiac expert and author of The Love Diet cookbook, says: If your libido needs a boost, plan a romantic meal. Seafood in general is great for the libido, but particularly Mediterranean mussels. An amino acid in them directly raises sexual hormone levels for men and women. Also, try celery or fennel, which have a natural oestrogen-like substance which can kick-start your libido.
Certain foods and wines can give off human pheremone-like smells (body scents said to excite sexual instinct). Try champagne or truffles for potent aromas. Or for something different, the scent of cucumber and licorice have been shown to arouse women, too.
Coffee can be a great aphrodisiac. It has beneficial antioxidants to help keep you young and improves mood. And that mood lifter with the zing of caffeine can be just what you need to inspire a move from the table to the bed.
Declare a weeklong bedroom ban
"Thanks to programmes like `Sex And The City` and glossy magazines, women often feel pressure to perform in the bedroom - even after a long day at work or with the children," the Daily Mail quoted Dr Lisa Turner, psychologist and founder of The-O-Coach.com, as saying.
"This can damage your sex drive, as it stops you being present emotionally. One method I recommend to help relax is eye-gazing - sitting naked in front of your partner without touching or speaking for several minutes to make you aware of your body again.
It can also help to ban intercourse for a week, but have sensual touching every day without expectation of arousal. We often become so orgasm-focused, we forget the pleasure of a loved one`s touch," she added.
Read a racy novel - or even Jane Austen
"Literature of any kind, particularly erotic literature, is a really safe place to experiment. A lot of women worry about love-making because they don`t know what they like," said KD Grace, erotic novelist and author of The Initiation Of Ms Holly.
"Unlike erotic images on screen, the written word is more subtle and allows us to use our imagination.
One of the most erotic books I`ve read is Gone With The Wind, although it has no blatant sex scenes. Jane Austen novels are extremely sexy, too," she added.
"A ballet instructor told me: `If understand your pelvic floor muscles, not only will your posture improve but your sex life will go through the roof,`" said Loren Barclay, personal trainer who devised `Coregasm` exercise classes at Gymbox.
Strengthening these core muscles that span the pelvis can spice up sex for all women. It improves your confidence in the bedroom and can increase sensation.
One simple exercise is a parallel squat with a netball (or equivalent) between the legs - this builds tension from the thighs to the pelvic floor," he added.
Make more - or less - time for each other
Paula Hall, Relate sex and relationship therapist, said: "If sex is no longer on your agenda, think about whether there are any difficulties in your relationship. Often, lack of intimacy is down to couples spending so little time together due to work or children. So schedule time for each other. Drop the kids off with your mother or a babysitter. Talk on the phone at lunchtime.
"But you may even have the opposite problem - too much time together. This often affects couples who work with each other. Take a step back - discover separate interests to make time together special."
Invest in stockings and suspenders
Andressa Rando Favorito, lingerie buyer at Figleaves.com, said: "Buying some beautiful luxury lingerie can instantly make you feel more powerful and sexy.
Instead of putting on an unattractive pair of tights for a romantic dinner, or even before a day in the office, try hold-ups or lacy stockings and matching suspenders teamed with a cheeky pair of knickers. It gives your confidence a boost. There`s something to make you feel sexy whatever your shape."
Get him in a pinny
Siobhan Freegard, founder of Netmums.com, said: "In a major survey we conducted, thousands of women revealed their top tips to boost their libidos.
They didn`t want chocolates and flowers from men, but preferred offers to do the washing up or put the kids to bed. Those precious minutes to relax can get you in the mood for sex.
Also, be nice to each other. Have a hug. Tuck the kids up, get an easy-cook meal and have a `date` night in."
Location, location, location
Sam Roddick, director of Covent Garden`s erotic emporium Coco De Mer, said: "In a long-term relationship, confining your love-making to the bedroom can get boring. Why not enjoy other rooms? You don`t have to race upstairs if the mood hits you.
"Also, think about your love life if you`re decorating - good lighting can create exciting, sexy moods."
Just do it
Keren Smedley, over 45s life coach at Experience Matters, said: "As we get older, women`s bodies change. We tend to compare ourselves to younger women or gorgeous, toned older ladies like Helen Mirren, which can dampen our libido. So focus on the bits you do like. You may still have great eyes or fantastic legs. But most of all, just get on with it. Once you start, you may be surprised by how much you still enjoy sex."