When it comes to sex, there is such a thing as feeling too comfortable.
“Shaking things up a bit can add excitement and spontaneity,” says Ellen Barnard, a sex educator and owner of A Woman’s Touch, a sexuality and education centre.
The key words there: “a bit”. Experts agree that you don’t need to try (or buy) anything extreme to achieve a big boost in novelty and pleasure. Test one or more of these moves out tonight and see for yourself.
1. ENGAGE IN AFTERPLAY
Done with the main event? Now’s the perfect time to return to some foreplay favourites, says sex educator Emily Nagoski.
When your partner is already aroused, she may find that certain moves feel extra-intense, Nagoski explains.
Not only that, but if you’ve always been curious about trying something new, say a type of toy, after intercourse can be a great time to engage because you both may be less inhibited. Plus, there’s no pressure on the change-up to actually work. You’re just having fun for fun’s sake.
2. OPEN THE WINDOWS – BUT CLOSE THE CURTAINS
The feeling of the breeze on your bare skin and the ever-so-slight possibility that the neighbours might hear your moans can be incredibly arousing, says Harlan Cohen, author of Getting Naked.
Or, if you’re feeling even more daring, instigate a make-out session in your backyard as it gets dark. Even though it’s remote, the fear you could get caught produces an adrenaline rush that adds a layer of excitement and urgency to the encounter.
3. SCRATCH HER HEAD
The scalp contains tons of nerve endings – that’s why that mini-scalp massage when you get your hair cut always feels so good.
Even though the touch is G-rated, the skin-on-skin contact can trigger a flow of bonding hormones like oxytocin that can make you both feel more connected, explains Ian Kerner, author of She Comes First.
And because the act isn’t automatically linked to sex, it can pave the way for a long evening of back-and-forth foreplay before the main event, which often gets lost in long-term relationships
4. CORRUPT THE COUCH
Start with making out high-school style and then amp up the action by having her straddle your knee. Here, you can rock back and forth while you’re kissing, which provides direct stimulation to her clitoris, says Emily Morse, a sex expert and host of the podcast Sex With Emily.
5. RAID THE FREEZER
Experts agree that plain old ice cubes can make any encounter extremely hot. Not only does the chill of the ice stimulate the same part of the nervous system that’s responsible for arousal, but the sensation jolts your brain away from work and into the here-and-now.
Try running one along her hips and up her thighs, or ask her to do the same to you, suggests Barnard.
6. LUBE UP
Women who used a water or silicone-based lubricant rated sexual pleasure and satisfaction higher than when they had intercourse without a lubricant, according to an Indiana University study of nearly 2500 women.
To avoid interrupting the action, have lube on the bedside table or in a convenient drawer. Then help her apply it sensually during foreplay, suggests Barnard.
7. RELIVE YOUR FINEST MOMENTS
Fantasy sharing sounds great in theory, but in practice it can be complicated – does your wife really need to know what you and Margot Robbie would do together? (And do you really want to hear what she’d do with George Clooney?)
Instead, share the fantasies that star her. Start by giving the play-by-play of some of the exceptionally hot moments you’ve had together over the years. You’ve had them before, so who says you can’t have them again?
8. TRY A NEW MOVE
Kama Sutra–inspired coupling may seem exciting, but if you’re looking for pure pleasure, the deceptively simple Coital Alignment Technique (also known as CAT) may be all you need.
In the past two decades, studies have found that this technique consistently leads to female orgasm, even for women who have reported difficulty achieving orgasm from penetration in the past, says Dr Debby Herbenick, research scientist at Indiana University and author of Sex Made Easy.
To do it: start in missionary, but move downward during the thrust as she moves upward. The point is to achieve maximum clitoral stimulation, so you might have to experiment a bit until the position of your penis gives her the most pleasure.
9. TAKE A BREAK
Holidays may only come once or twice a year, but you can have hot holiday-style sex any day.
“When you’re on vacation, your focus is primarily on pleasure. To have a similar benefit, you need to get into a similar mindset at home,” says Cohen.
One way to do that is to get rid of as many distractions as possible. For some couples, that’s renting a hotel room in town for an evening. For others, it’s simply spending the night (or a Saturday morning while kids are at footy practice) in the guest room. Not seeing evidence of your everyday lives can make it easier to totally let loose.