Better Sex as a Fit Woman

Are you fit enough for a better sex?

Over the past few years, researchers have made some important discoveries about the body and brain connections of sex and exercise. “Being physically active seems to be a potent aphrodisiac for women,” says Tina M. Penhollow, Ph.D., an associate professor of health promotion at Florida Atlantic University, who has published research on how exercise affects sexual self-esteem.

Passionate Couple In Bed…BOOSTS FOCUS

All too common: He’s kissing your neck, but you’re thinking about that major work deadline. Exercise can help sync your mind to your body, as well as quiet your racing brain so you can focus on the task at hand, says Lori Brotto, Ph.D., director of the Sexual Health Laboratory at the University of British Columbia in Canada.


Studies have shown that women who frequently exercise become aroused more quickly and are able to orgasm faster and more intensely. University of Texas at Austin researchers found that female study participants were 169 percent more aroused (as indicated by blood flow in genital tissue) while watching a short porn flick after 20 minutes of vigorous cycling than when they watched it without riding beforehand. When you get excited, blood surges into the clitoral bulbs, making the entire region around the vagina responsive to pleasure. Cardiovascular exercise can help blood pump faster to the right parts of your body; it can also reduce chronic inflammation, which can damage blood vessels and decrease circulation, putting a damper on your sexual bliss.


A healthy pair of lungs helps express your elation with more gusto, of course, but you’ll have a lot more to scream about if you learn to control your breath. Partners who breathe in tandem may create a bigger buildup, which can intensify pleasure. And women who take short, quick breaths as they reach climax—rather than holding their breath—may reduce carbon dioxide in the blood, possibly intensifying vaginal contractions. Yoga can help women focus on their breathing, while high-intensity interval training increases lung capacity—which ensures you’ll be vocalizing your gratification through the grand finale.


During a single strength workout, your body produces higher levels of growth hormone and testosterone, hormones that play a pivotal role in muscle growth–and sex drive. A 2013 study found that hitting the weight room regularly (three days a week) keeps levels of these hormones higher. That, along with the stress-busting benefits of pumping iron, can stoke greater sexual desire, says Kim Chronister, Psy.D., author of The Psychology Behind Fitness Motivation.


Some women can take 12 minutes—or longer—to orgasm. If your body fizzles out prior to that, you may be missing out, says sex therapist Denise Onofrey. Regular physical activity improves stamina and trains your muscles to hold out longer by using energy more efficiently. The result? You won’t have to pause prematurely to give your aching arms or tired legs a break during your next epic sex session.


Exercise transforms the way you view your body—and how you enjoy sex. Penhollow found that women who exercised frequently and reported higher levels of personal fitness were more likely to rate their desirability and sexual performance high above average. But it’s not necessarily because of a slim physique. Researchers found that women of all sizes who reported greater body appreciation (for their physical abilities, such as progress in the weight room) were more easily aroused, enjoyed sex more, and had more orgasms.


Even feeling just a little down in the dumps can weaken desire, says Chronister. Exercise leads to an immediate rush of mood-lifting, stress-dissolving endorphins; it’s such a potent anti-depressant that some research suggests regular workouts are as effective as psychiatric medications.


Some women get seriously distracted–even totally turned off–when their partner touches one of their less-than-favorite body parts mid-romp. A consistent workout routine can help: When Italian researchers put a small group of obese women with sexual complaints in a supervised weight-loss program (that included diet and about 10 hours of low-intensity exercise per week), they not only lost an average of 35 pounds but also reported higher levels of lubrication and sexual frequency after 16 weeks. Study authors note that weight loss does more than improve body image: It also helps improve insulin resistance. Overweight women whose bodies can’t use the hormone to process glucose also tend to have lower levels of testosterone, which dampens self-confidence and sexual response.


And we don’t mean crying during sex. The tissue that forms the clitoris contains 8,000 nerve fibers that extend into the entire pelvic region, including the vaginal walls. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that physical activity was able to prime a woman’s body for sexual activity by making her more sensitive to touch and increasing the efficacy of stimuli, likely by revving up a network of neurons known as your sympathetic nervous system, which controls your arousal, says Brotto.

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Original Article

Oysters—Ready for a Romantic Week

“Yes, I do think these molluscs are aphrodisiacs. If the male is having difficulties, they have to eat a lot of mussels or oysters.

Casanova, the 18th century lover who used to breakfast on 50 oysters, has been vindicated by a study that proves they really are aphrodisiacs.

And spring, the scientists say, is the time of year the shellfish have their greatest aphrodisiac quality.

The team of American and Italian researchers analysed bivalve molluscs – a group of shellfish that includes oysters – and found they were rich in rare amino acids that trigger increased levels of sex hormones.

The link was announced to 15,000 scientists in San Diego, California, at a meeting of the American Chemical Society last week.

It generated possibly more interest than any other discovery in the society’s 126-year history. “I am amazed,” said George Fisher, a professor of chemistry at Barry University, Miami, who led the research team with his graduate student Raul Mirza and Antimo D’Aniello, of the Laboratory of Neurobiology in Naples.

“I have been a scientist for 40 years and my research has never generated interest like this.

“For centuries, old wives’ tales have said that eating raw molluscs – oysters in particular – would stimulate the libido but there has really been no scientific evidence as to why and if this occurs.

“We think this could be the first scientific evidence of some substance.

“Did Casanova’s 50 oysters really make him frisky? Could be.” Previous speculation about the powers of oysters has centred on the refuelling powers of their high zinc content.

Zinc is found in sperm and men lose between one and three milligrams per ejaculation.

Dr Fisher and his team, partly funded by the United States National Institutes of Health, bought samples of bivalve molluscs – which also include mussels and clams – from fish markets near Dr D’Aniello’s Naples laboratory.

They then used a process called high-performance li-quid chromatography to identify which amino acids were present and in what quantities.

They found two unusual ones – D-aspartic acid (D-Asp) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA).

“They are not the normal amino acids that Mother Nature uses,” said Dr Fisher. “You can’t just find them in a vitamin shop.”

Dr D’Aniello had found in earlier experiments that injecting the amino acids into rats triggered a chain reaction of hormones that ended with the production of testosterone in males and progesterone in females.

“Increased levels of those hormones in the blood means you are more active sexually,” he said.

How to Remedy a Low Sex Drive

For many people, reigniting your feelings for your partner through talking and sharing more deeply is enough to get desire back on track.

I remember once going to see a film called The Tin Drum with my male partner, a film we both agreed was erotic and arousing. In a post-coital chat afterwards, it turned out that we had each found completely different scenes in the film to be a turn on.

Our sex drive is a highly personal and quixotic thing, which ebbs and flows with life’s events. The fact that sex is unpredictable, as we open up ourselves to our partner in the act of making love, the stakes are high. Sex has the power to repair a relationship, to bring people together, and to renew love.

Conversely, when desire falters, we often find it hard to accept. Couples can be devastated and worry that the relationship is coming to an end. One person may feel rejected, the other feels a failure. The stress levels can ratchet up, making things even worse.

Where is the lust?

A loss of desire can have physical or psychological origins or a mixture of both. There are many physical causes for loss of desire, associated with changes in the body as a result of health conditions and ageing. Hormone levels for both men and women are important influences as are alcohol, drugs, some medications and contraception which can often result in quite rapid changes.

The difference between desire and arousal

If you are concerned about “going off” sex, it is important to understand the difference between desire and arousal. Often the body will still respond to touch and caress so it’s still perfectly possible to have an active sexual relationship, but the desire to do so may be reliant on one partner to always initiate.

Even with some conditions like diabetes, where a man is no longer able to get a natural erection, the desire remains. The issue is that the body does not become aroused.

It’s also important to consider that in men, loss of libido isn’t the same as erectile dysfunction. A drug such as Viagra will help a man to have an erection, but not give him the desire to have sex.

Too stressed for sex

Psychological causes of the kind we see regularly at Relate can be linked to a number of relationship issues as well as life events and the effects of stress. The body does tend to cope well with everyday pressures and tiredness – there will be days when you don’t feel the desire to be sexual. However, prolonged loss of desire is often associated with more extreme difficulties such as a bereavement and other significant life events that are likely to have an impact on all aspects of your life, not just your sexual libido. Just plain weariness after the birth of a baby is a common and normal passion killer.

Underlying Issues Why Your Man Can Experience a Low Libido

What happens to a man’s libido as he ages?

It is now possible to restore crucial intimacy and sexual spontaneity to relationships when men experience erection problems without pills or surgery.

Approximately five million men in the UK suffer from mild to severe erection problems as a consequence of the natural ageing process or other medical conditions. The ‘problem’ can have a devastating effect on relationships impacting confidence and intimacy. Both partners may suffer different anxieties, concerns and confusion and research shows that approximately 20 per cent of relationships break down as a result of the loss of intimacy.

Raj Persad a Consultant Urological surgeon explains the main reasons why men experience erection problems and tells us about a new long-term solution, which will restore crucial intimacy and sexual spontaneity to relationships without the need for medication or surgery.

What actually causes erection problems?

Some men are unable to achieve or maintain an erection long or well enough to perform sexual intercourse. For other men it may be that their erection is not as good as it used to be, but they can still perform to a limited extent. Reduced erectile function is an entirely normal part of the ageing process, similar to eye sight deteriorating. But, of course, as it’s an intimate issue many simply suffer in silence whereas they find it easy to go to the optician or ophthalmologist.

There may be other physical and psychological factors causing the reduced function. The most common causes are cardiovascular conditions, chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, medication use, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, stress and mental health problems – including performance anxiety and depression.

Adding to the challenge there are also a host of medications that can also impact on performance, including diuretics, blood pressure tablets, anti-anxiety and anti-depressants, antihistamines, muscle relaxants, chemotherapy as well as Parkinson’s disease and prostate cancer medications.

You don’t have to accept the situation. There are options. Here is what you can do to help your partner and rejuvenate your relationship.

Sexless? Here are Remedies for a Reboot

Stuck in a sexless marriage? You’re not alone.

According to data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, the top-searched marriage complaint on Google is “sexless marriage.” (What’s more, searches for “sexless marriage” are three and a half times more common than “unhappy marriage” and eight times more common than “loveless marriage.”)

Many of those searching for answers are women struggling to understand why their spouses aren’t reciprocating their desire for sex. We reached out to marriage therapists and sex experts to share the advice they give women stuck in sexually unsatisfying marriages. Read what they had to say below.

“Many women are the ones with a higher sex drive in their marriages but women commonly don’t discuss this dynamic openly with friends. Also, the media portrayal of relationships makes women think that males have a constant high level of sexual desire. On the contrary, many women struggle in sexless marriages. Outside of therapy, I’d say that finding a support system can be invaluable. There are forums online where women share their experiences, such as the Dead Bedrooms forum on Reddit.” — Samantha Rodman, psychologist and couples’ counselor 

“It may not be you, so stop beating yourself up. It is no indicator of how sexy you are as a woman if he is initiating or not. Many times men stop initiating sex because they are stressed or they are experiencing some kind of erectile dysfunction and they’re too afraid to tell you. Men define their sexuality by their ability to perform and if they cannot achieve an erection upon demand they may withdraw. Keep being affectionate and let him know there is no pressure to get to the ‘finish line.’ Let him know you still want to cuddle and be close and then if you still want a ‘happy ending,’ well, frankly, you can take care of it yourself. If he wants to participate, he might find himself more turned on than he thought himself capable. Don’t wait for him to take charge. It is OK as the woman to be the driving force of your sex life.” — Tammy Nelson, certified sexologist and sex therapist and the author of Getting the Sex You Want 

5 Natural or Holistic Ways to Increase Your Libido and Work Your Way Back Into Love

These all-natural tips can help you reignite the fire in your bedroom by tackling the common causes of libido loss.

At six weeks after the birth of my child my doctor gave me the green light for sex. Six months after that I still found myself creating excuses to avoid the bedroom. As a new mother, I was completely drained of mental and emotional resources, with nothing left to give my partner at the end of the day.

However, even after I regained some semblance of my normal sleep schedule and my life returned to what I considered normal, one thing never returned: my libido.

It turns out, I’m not alone. While my experience was related to the birth of a child, most people experience regular ups and downs when it comes to sexual desire. A loss of libido will happen to most people at least once throughout their lives.

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Here are some natural ways you can handle it:

1.  Rose Essential Oil:

rose oil to increase libido

Rose oil is said to be incredibly calming and can help reduce anxiety levels which may be contributing to your lack of sex drive.

Throughout the history of aromatherapy, roses have shown up as an aphrodisiac. In fact, in ancient Roman times, men would sprinkle these flower petals on the beds of new brides to prepare them for their wedding nights.  

However, rose is more expensive than other essential oils. To use this remedy without breaking the bank, buy a small bottle of a pre-made essential oil blend including it. Dab this mixture on the inside of your wrists and/or the backs of your ears before a date or before getting in bed.

2.  Reflexology:

reflexology to increase your Libido

A good foot rub can be excellent foreplay. It can also help regulate hormone levels that may be wreaking havoc on your sex drive.

According to some holistic practitioners, pressing  specific points on the feet may help stimulate the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and ovaries, all of which contribute to the hormonal aspect of desire.

To find the correct points, make an appointment with a local reflexologist who can give you and your partner a quick lesson on which parts of the foot correspond to which body systems. For those who prefer a more DIY approach, a quick internet search should do the trick.

3.  Meditation:

meditate to increase your Libido

Two major reasons for loss of libido are distraction and stress, both of which are in high supply in modern American life.

The good news is that meditation may help focus your thoughts on the present and alleviate anxiety.

To start, find five to fifteen minutes in a day when  you can sit in a comfortable, quiet space. Noise cancelling headphones or relaxing meditation soundtracks are a good option for those in loud environments. As you’re sitting, breath in and out deeply and slowly, focusing on each breathe.

A mantra can also be helpful. For example, say something that makes you feel empowered and confident like, “I am beautiful” or “I love myself.” Repeat the mantra as you exhale.

Once you feel relaxed and focused, spend time paying attention to your body. Mentally check in with each part of yourself starting from your head, moving to your toes. Examine what hurts and what feels good. This can help you reconnect with your physical self, despite any changes that may occur from weight change, pregnancy, or exercise.

After meditation, many people find themselves calm and focused, which is a good time to ask your partner if he or she would like to play.

4.  Exercise:

exercise to increase libido

As a long-time runner, I know just how important exercise is for mental and emotional health. After all, endorphin output increases when your heart rate does. These feel-good hormones can help increase sex drive and, according to Mayo Clinic, decrease symptoms of depression (which can include a loss of libido).

If you think depression may be the reason for your decreased sex drive, check in with your doctor right away.

In the meantime, you can start integrating tiny workouts into your daily routine no matter how busy you are. For example, I didn’t have time to run after becoming a new mom so I started walking up the stairs to my apartment rather than taking an elevator.

Instead of bouncing my little one to calm him down, I did squats while holding him. Thankfully, YouTube has dozens of 15 minute workouts so even the most time-crunched people can squeeze in a fitness session. My favorites include any short session from the free Fitness Blender series.

5.  African Waist Beads:


From a less scientific perspective, body jewelry and lingerie can help you feel good about yourself, just like exercise. African waist beads are one alternative to traditional lingerie that may help women feel sexy. For >$15 – $20 a set, these are also much more affordable than a fancy neglige.

These beaded strings are worn around the waist and some sets have clay or porous beads that allow wearers to add scents – like rose essential oil – to increase appeal. In some cultures, these are used to signal when a woman is fertile or turned on. She might don her beads when she’s trying to attract her partner or gently rattle them to signal that she’s “in the mood”.

These might also help increase the drive of her partner as he or she learns to associate the sound or sight of the beads with arousal, turning it into a Pavlov’s dogs situation, but for sex instead of food.

I found these incredibly helpful as I didn’t always have the confidence to tell my partner when I was ready to romp around. Instead, I could use these beads as a signal, while also feeling sexy.

No matter which of these methods works for you, communication with your partner is always a top priority when it comes to sex and desire. Share your feelings and needs as they continue to change so both sides feel satisfied and included in the conversation.