Most couples fall into the
relationship issue of a sex standstill at some point or another. What starts off hot and heavy can easily be derailed by stress, demanding jobs, family obligations and never-ending to-do lists. While breaking through the ennui can seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be.
We asked Dr. Jennifer Landa, author of
The Sex Drive Solution for Women, to share some of her best relationship advice for getting back on track between the sheets. She lets us in on her five day plan for better sex.
Day 1: Sex drive nutrition makeover
You might not think that what you eat affects your sex life, but diet and sex go hand in hand. “Poor energy equals a poor sex life,” Landa explains. The more tired you feel, the less likely you are to want to have sex, so the key is to eat for improved energy. Aim for small, balanced meals throughout the day so you never get too hungry (or too tired). Focus on lean protein, small amount of complex carbohydrates and an abundance of fresh fruit and colourful vegetables. Good fats are also important, especially when it comes to sex. “Fats feed our brain and many people say good sex starts in our brain so give it the food that it needs,” she says. Nuts, fish oils, olive and coconut oil and avocado are good sources of the fats your body needs to stay in balance. “This regimen will help balance blood sugar, giving you a good supply throughout the day but avoiding peaks and valleys that cause energy lows and sugar cravings.”
Day 2: Stress management & mindfulness
Chances are, if you’ve had a hard day at work, sex will be the last thing on your mind. This is not uncommon. “
Stress is the number one sex killer that I see every day. It significantly decreases the sex drives of men and women in my practice,” Landa says. One of the best ways to minimize stress is through mindfulness, she explains. Mindfulness means being present in the current moment, rather than getting caught up in the stress of tomorrow or yesterday. “When we can do this we can get much more in tune with our bodies and focus on what is going on right now,” Landa explains. Not to mention, the more focused you are on the moment – especially during sex – the better your experience will be. “This can enhance sexual enjoyment and pleasure in a very intense way.”
Keep reading for what to do from day three to five on the next page…
Day 3: Exercise with your partner
Rather than hit the gym alone, make fitness a couple’s activity. Go out for a run, hike or bike ride together to boost your energy and your sex drive. Or if you’re stuck inside, challenge each other to a game of Wii tennis. Not only will you have fun and get some quality time together, you’ll be taking a big step towards a better sex life. “Exercising releases all kinds of chemicals and hormones in our bodies which improve our likelihood to want to have sex,” Landa explains. “Some of these include testosterone, endorphins and dopamine which all play a role in your sex drive and sexual experiences.”
Day 4: Try something new
When you’re in a long term relationship, it’s easy to fall into a routine. “Make a list of new things that you’d like to try in your relationship and go out and make those things available for your next sexual encounter,” says Landa. If you’re interested in erotic literature, order a book online or go to the bookstore together to pick something out. If you want to spice up your lingerie drawer go to a lingerie boutique to get something sexy to wear to bed. If you’re feeling more adventurous, visit an adult novelty store and choose a new toy. “I always tell my patients to use their imagination and do whatever they and their partner are comfortable with, from mild to wild.”
Day 5: Plan a fantasy date night
Having fantasies is one thing, sharing them with your partner is another thing entirely. To really rev up your sex life though, you’re going to have to come clean. “Light a candle, take a deep breath and tell each other a fantasy that you haven’t shared,” Landa says. Now talk about what kind of date night would take into account each of your fantasies (plan two nights if needed). Pick a date, mark it on the calendar (to make sure it actually happens) and plan for it. Leading up to your date flirt and have fun by sending notes, texts and emails about how much you’re looking forward to the date and build anticipation. Also remember to eat well, exercise and manage stress before date night for the benefits discussed above.
Turning your sex life around is easier than you think. Five days might not seem like a lot of time but an open mind and the willingness to work through this plan together can go a long way in improving your love life this winter and beyond.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's bi-weekly newsletter