Whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not, you might be feeling inspired to turn up the heat. You may have found yourself Googling “how to have better sex.” If so, you likely came across lots of tips about creative positions to try, new toys to order and the dire importance of foreplay. That’s all great advice, but there’s more.
A rock-solid sex life isn’t just about trying new moves or experimenting with risque toys, and it’s definitely important more often than one day out of 365. Your state of mind is just as important as any physical position you can get into, and better sex requires year-round TLC — not just an annual checkup on Feb. 14. So, by all means, get into new positions, but also consider these ideas for improving your sex life over the long term.1. Get a Handle on Your Stress Levels.
While sex can certainly be a form of stress relief, stress can also hinder your sex life. According to a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, higher levels of chronic stress are associated with lower levels of sexual arousal. Not only is stress a distraction — an obvious issue when you’re trying to get in the mood — but stress also increases your cortisol levels, impacting your libido.
Another study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that increased cortisol is associated with decreased sexual function. The solution? Practice turning manic moments into mindful moments so you can better manage your stress. Taking it home with you in the form of hiked cortisol levels certainly won’t do you any favors in the long run.
2. Cook Together (With Mushroom Powder)
Hear me out on this one. Ever heard the adage that couples who cook together stay together? There’s something to it. First of all, research has shown that couples who share household responsibilities — such as cooking — have more sex and better sex. So, there are two great reasons to share kitchen duty.
But that’s not all. Psychologists have found that the simple act of eating a meal together helps you feel more connected to your partner. Give the experience the added benefits of organic superfood mushroom powder — specifically, the Cordyceps mushroom, which has been used for hundreds of years in Traditional Medicine to support sexual function — and you may find yourself between the sheets more often. Cook it into a spicy dip as an appetizer or into a chowder as an entrée. Just make sure you do it as a team.
3. Make a Daily Habit of Feeling Good About Yourself
A negative self-image can creep into your sex life pretty quickly. Of course, we all have our moments, and turning off negative thoughts is easier said than done. But if feeling low about yourself is becoming normal, it may be time to turn up the dial on self-care. As sex therapist Laura Berman told Shape, one way to combat a negative self-image is to do things that make you feel good in your body — and do them daily.
It could be as simple as wearing a favorite pair of jeans. A workout could do the trick, as could getting outdoors to hike or jog. If you can swing it, treat yourself to a facial or a spa day, take regular baths to relax, or add an adaptogenic Reishi mushroom superfood powder to your morning smoothie and start the day with a few moments of conscious breathing and calming meditation. Find moments, both simple and indulgent, to invest in self-care, and hopefully those positive feelings will seep into your sex life.
4. Communicate Like It’s Your Job (a Fun Job)
Good communication is Healthy Relationship 101, but it’s not just important for getting through a natural rough patch or being on time for your date. Communication is especially important for a healthy sex life. How else will you tell your partner what you like and don’t like — constructively? Not to hammer the idea of cooking together too hard, but it can be a great way to practice your communication skills. Think about it. You’re working and learning together toward a common goal.
At the end of the day, a lot of factors affect your sex life, but there’s more you can do to have better sex than buy gadgets or contort into new positions. Focus on taking care of yourself on a daily basis and communicate when things get tough. That should help combat any dulled intimacy.
Catherine Conelly is a former beauty and health editor turned freelance writer and digital marketer.
She’s written for Shape, Thrillist, PopSugar and StyleCaster. Her work has also appeared on Forbes,
Entrepreneur, the Glassdoor blog, and Adidas Game Plan A.