6 Surprising Libido Boosters
You’ve heard (and tried) it all before: down a dozen oysters, watch a marathon of sultry movies, get a couples massage. Even if these usual turn-ons work for you, sooner or later they start to feel tired—which may make you less likely to respond to them, says Irwin Goldstein, MD, director of sexual medicine at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego.
Luckily, science has discovered a few more offbeat things that crank up your desire. Try one out tonight!
Consider taking a surfing lesson together instead of a romantic walk on the beach. After being in an adrenaline-pumping situation (say, watching a suspenseful flick or going zip-lining), men and women find the opposite sex more alluring, suggests a study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
“When you’re doing something exciting, your heart is racing and your nervous system is activated, much like they would be if you were sexually aroused,” explains Cindy Meston, PhD, the study’s lead researcher and co-author of Why Women Have Sex. Just don’t use up all your energy riding the waves!
Swap bubbly for red wine
Romantic dinner? Order a glass of Pinot Noir or other red wine: Women who drank a glass of red daily reported higher levels of sexual desire and vaginal lubrication, compared with those who sipped any kind of alcohol only occasionally or those who didn’t drink at all, according to a study in the The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Researchers suspect that red wine’s high levels of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant, may help blood vessels widen, which can increase blood flow to key arousal areas. Stick to one glass, advises lead author Nicola Mondaini, MD; any more may extinguish your libido.
Be a poser
Yoga does more than just get you limber—it may boost your libido, too, suggests a review published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy. Getting your om on makes you more familiar with your body, which in turn can help you get more in touch with your sexuality.
While the report looked predominantly at women with sexual problems, “certainly anyone can benefit,” says Lori Brotto, PhD, the lead author.
Bonus: Yoga may also improve your orgasms by increasing blood flow down there.
Locking fingers with your sweetie is, well, sweet—but can it make you hot and bothered? Absolutely. “Even little acts of touching your partner release oxytocin, a hormone that may boost closeness and arousal,” Dr. Goldstein says.
The trick is to be spontaneous, he adds. That out-of-the-blue excitement is what prompts your body to pump out oxytocin and other neurotransmitters related to sexual response, so choose unexpected times to get a little grabby.
See (him in) red
Turns out, your man wearing this fiery hue can put you in the mood, suggests a University of Rochester study. “Red is a signal of status and power, and that turns women on,” explains psychology professor Andrew J. Elliot, PhD, lead author of the study. So, crazy as it sounds, urge him to wear the red shirt on date night—you may want to tear it off him before dessert.
Take a whiff
Chances are, the smell of a sweaty gym does not get you all worked up. But the scent of your man postworkout might do just that. Sniffing his sweat can increase your level of the stress hormone cortisol, which may boost arousal, reports a study in The Journal of Neuroscience.
Consider hitting the gym together (exercising has also been found to flip our switch), or just snuggle close when he walks in after his workout. Then hit the showers—together.