For many people, switching from daily life into sexy mode is not always a simple transition. It can be difficult to let the day's stresses go and just focus on the fun. Thankfully, though, there are some things you should do before intimacy to totally get in the mood. Best of all, none of these tips take a lot of time, because you're probably eager to get to the main event anyway.
Sure, you'd love to take a romantic getaway where you and your partner only have one another to think about for days on end. But for the majority of people, intimacy is something that takes place in the course of a regular day, likely when the dishwasher is running and the kids are in bed. But you can still make the most of these everyday moments. For the most part, it's all about making sure your mind (and maybe the bedroom) are as free from distractions as possible. These freedoms will allow you and your partner to focus on each other, to the point where it just might feel like you've had a long, romantic vacation. Read on to see what you should do (and in some cases avoid) right before getting sexy.
1. Put Away Electronics
Sure, few things ruin the mood faster than a mid-coital phone call. But simply having the devices nearby may be a distraction from romance for many people. "You have that image a couple in bed at night; they’re both on their phones, on Facebook, or what have you," said Brooke E. Wells, an associate professor at Widener University’s Center for Human Sexuality Studies, in Health. In general, tech could be responsible for diminishing many people's sex lives, as Wells further explained. Tuck those phones, tablets, and laptops away in a drawer, or banish them from the bedroom completely.
2. Relax Your Body
Give yourself a little time to chill out beforehand. For many people, muscle relaxation is a great way to unwind and get in tune with the body. "When you tense every muscle you connect with every single muscle in your body and then when you let it go, you let them all go," as Elena Harder, the founder of mindfulness program JoyGasm, told Bustle. This technique can be easier than simply telling yourself to relax, which can actually stress out some people.
3. Get Mentally Turned-On
In the hours or minutes leading up to intimacy, bring your turn-ons to mind. "Start thinking sexy thoughts and think about what’s going to turn you on," said Rachel Sussman, a licensed clinical social worker in New York City, in Women's Health. It can help get your head in the game, so to speak.
4. Get Into Sexy Mode
You play many roles throughout the day, and turning off your "professional" or "parent" brain for long enough to enjoy sex can be difficult for some people. If that's the case, create a ritual that helps you get into a sexier state of mind. "Your role ritual should be something that helps you to relax, be playful, and ultimately, be the best version of yourself," as Astroglide's resident sexologist " Jess" O'Reilly told Bustle. "You might play a song, sip a glass of wine, alter the lighting, change your clothes, switch your phone to airplane mode, write in a journal, close the blinds, stretch, read a few pages of a book, or have a dance party — it’s up to you." It's a wonderful opportunity to find out what makes you feel more sensual.
5. Take Care Of Business
If you tend to get distracted by tasks that are hanging over you, then make a to-do list before getting busy. "Those everyday things can get in the way of being able to focus on enjoying sex," said sex researcher and relationship therapist Sarah Hunter Murray in HuffPost. "So if you feel things piling up in front of you, make a list of what needs to get done and then put that list off to the side so you can just focus on enjoying sex for a few minutes." Whatever is on the list can wait for later.
6. Practice Mindfulness
Getting more connected to the present moment outside the bedroom could help you focus more when you're actually having sex. "Any minute of any day, take a moment to focus on one sensation, whether it's sight, smell, taste, touch, or sound," said therapist Angela Skurtu in Health. By the time you're engaged in intimacy, that ability to focus will be more like second nature.
7. Have All The Ingredients Ready
Before creating a meal, chefs have a practice known as "mise en place," in which they lay out every ingredient within easy reach. The same concept can apply to your intimate times. Go ahead and make sure any "ingredients" you'll need, such as condoms, lube, or toys, are within arm's reach of the bed. It will save you an awkward trip across the room when things start heating up.
8. Connect With Your Partner
Take a moment or two to sync up with your partner. "Most couples are so rushed, and it can feel like sex is just another thing on the to-do list," as sex therapist Vanessa Marin told INSIDER. "So quality time together, where you're not looking at your phone, you're not looking at the TV, you're not on your computer, you're just together, the two of you." By letting everything else go and focusing on your partner (and yourself), intimacy can be even more fulfilling.