If you hadn't already gathered, giving her a prod in the back probably isn't enough to get her going. But if you're finding that your other methods of seduction aren't quite cutting it, new research might have figured out why (and found a solution).
A study – published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy – suggests that for women with low sexual desire mental arousal may be more important than physical.
For the study, researchers had 64 women watch a series of erotic videos while they were hooked up to a device that monitored physical markers of arousal (pulsing in the vaginal canal and increases in blood flow to the clitoris). The women also indicated how turned on they felt throughout the video by pressing a button when they feeling more or less aroused. The two measurements were then matched up.
They found that women who had trouble getting turned on tended to have more alignment between their genital arousal and their mental arousal.
“The mental experience of arousal, or feeling turned on in one’s mind, may contribute one’s body getting turned on, particularly in women with low sexual desire,” Kelly Suschinsky, a postdoctoral fellow at Queen’s University, told PsyPost.
This explains why physical seduction alone doesn't always work.
So what does this mean for you? Well, there are a couple of ways you can help get her in the mood mentally.
1. Start early
Seduction starts long before any clothes come off, says relationship expert April Masini of AskApril.com.
“Women are a lot slower to warm up, so if you start their engines early and often, you’re more likely to score later,” she says.
If you want her to be in the mood later, start foreplay (or, well, a PG-13-rated version of it) in the morning, before you leave for work. Text her a sexy message in the morning, play footsie under the table at dinner, indulge in some PDA, shower her with compliments. By the time you get to bed, she should be extra, er, hungry for sex.
2. Help her de-stress
"Studies show that in order for a woman to achieve orgasm, the part of her brain associated with stress, emotion, and anxiety has to shut down," sex therapist Ian Kerne says.
If she's keyed up after a stressful day, give her a back massage to ease her into a more laid-back state. Turn off your phones, lock your doors, hit the lights, and put on the slow jams: Music and candlelight will help calm her central nervous system, says licensed marriage and sex therapist Dr Kat Van Kirk.
3. Spark her imagination
Sex expert Sammi Cole suggests experimenting with a few methods for getting her mind in the mood whether its reminiscing about your most heated sexual experiences together, describing your favourite fantasies to each other or trying visual stimulus like porn.
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