It happens: Sex sessions go on autopilot, and before you know it your bedroom routine is as stale as week-old bread. But you're not going down like that, sister! To shake things up, you don't have to whip out chains and edible undies (unless you're feelin' them). "Just make small changes," says psychologist Lori Boul, Ph.D., author of DIY Sex and Relationship Therapy. "You get the payoff without the anxiety you might feel when suggesting a major leap." Need some erotic inspiration? Read on.
1. Just Breathe
The simple act of breathing in sync with your guy can heat things up and heighten intimacy. Consider it a literal blow job. "Rhythmic breathing helps you match and balance emotional and physical states with your partner," says Susan Kaye, Ph.D., a relationship therapist and tantra coach. "This will make you feel more connected, which can intensify arousal."
Although synchronized breathing is an integral part of tantric sex, you don't need to assume a pretzel-shaped position or clear your schedule for seven hours. You can incorporate the breathing techniques into any ol' romp. Kaye recommends alternating your breathing during foreplay. As he exhales, you inhale, and vice versa. Try to visualize taking in his breath, and continue this pattern for three minutes.
Once you're comfortable with thatÃ¢â‚¬”or once you can do it without gigglingÃ¢â‚¬”bring the technique into sex. When you synchronize the thrusting with your inhales and exhales, you'll enhance the tingly feelings.
2. Touch and Go
Getting handsy in the sack is a given, but switching up where you place your pawsÃ¢â‚¬”and what you do with themÃ¢â‚¬”can lead to a whole new level of ecstasy. "Activating certain points on the body helps stimulate sexual energy and improve responsiveness," says acupressure instructor Michael Reed Gach, Ph.D., director of AcupressureForLovers.com. One such point is the sacrum, the bony area right above your butt. That little area is chock-full of nerves that are connected to your genitals, and when stimulated, has been shown to increase lubrication and intensify orgasm. To put this acupressure point into action, Gach recommends lying on your stomach with your partner sitting on top of you, straddling your butt. With the heel of his hands, he should gently press down on the base of your spine as you breathe deeply into it. A couple minutes of this pressure will prime you for serious action.
Return the favor by stimulating an acupressure arousal point on his foot known as the "bubbling spring," located in the center of the sole, between the two pads at the base of the ball. "This is a powerful point to hold with your thumb during oral sex, because it can make the intense feeling stream throughout the whole body," says Gach. To initiate this move, have your guy lie on his back with his legs apart and knees bent. While your mouth is otherwise occupied, place your palms around the outsides of his feet so that your thumbs are near the bubbling springs. Then press the points with your thumbs to unleash a more powerful full-body O.
3. Clench and Ignite
In the simplest sense, an orgasm is a buildup of tension that releases into a flurry of feel-good reverberations. So when that tension is increased, you get a greater release, which can trigger an even more powerful peak. But how do you generate that buildup? Put a twist on your usual Kegels by making it a full-body contraction. Clench your pelvic-floor muscles as you're approaching orgasm, but then expand the muscle tension to your legs, butt, and stomach. "Usually it's the brain that triggers arousal down to the body, but in this case you're increasing arousal from the bottom up, from the body to the brain," explains sex educator Emily Nagoski, Ph.D., author of The Good in Bed Guide to Female Orgasms. When you gradually create the tension physically (instead of relying on your noggin to spark the reaction), it makes it easier to kick arousal into high gear and, in turn, to experience an even more explosive release.
4. Power Down
Women can climax only if they can put their rattling anxious thoughts on mute, says a study from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, because the parts of the female brain associated with emotion need to "turn off" during orgasm. Instead of trying not to think about whatever's stressing you outÃ¢â‚¬”which can be difficult, if not impossibleÃ¢â‚¬”channel your focus on what's happening below the belt, zeroing in on the various touches and how they feel.
One particular approach is called orgasmic meditation (OM), a practice that combines mindfulness and pleasure to help you strip away those mental to-do lists. To practice OM, you focus purely on the awesome sensation as your partner strokes your clitoris for 15 minutes, says OM creator Nicole Daedone, author of Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm. Yeah, maybe you're not going to dedicate that much time solely to clitoral stimulation, but you can use the same principle during foreplay. "Ask your partner to lighten his touchÃ¢â‚¬”think feather light," says Daedone. "Then, rather than swimming in the stories in your head, drop into your body and feel what is happening physically. And don't move to intercourse until it's utterly irresistible." By go time, your mind should be clear and in ideal form to be blown away.
LICENSE TO THRILL
Couples who are sexually adventurous have more satisfying relationships, according to research from Good In Bed, a group of sex and relationship experts founded by Ian Kerner, Ph.D. But if you're not exactly the Evel Knievel of coitus, try one of these easy mind tricks to help stoke your daredevil spirit.
When you're trying a new position but thinking about your thigh dimples, shift the focus.
"You need to be a participant, not a spectator," says therapist Ava Cadell, Ph.D., author of The Sexy Little Book of Sex Games. Is what he's doing to your nipples making your toes curl? Tell him so. It'll bring you back to the moment.
Bring It On
You can put yourself in a freaky frame of mind by taking the lead.
"Women can light their own fire, so to speak, by initiating sex," says Cadell. "Sometimes desire actually follows arousal." Turn up the heat by pouncing on your partner and telling him exactly what you're about to do to him. Subtlety is for suckers.
Use Your Imagination
Take a mental inventory of your fantasies, and then pretend you're 10 times bolder than you actually are and push those boundaries, suggests Cadell. Broach the steamy subjects with your guy: Even if you put a pin in any kinkier plans for now, your openness lays the groundwork for future wild sexcapades.