Sex has been scientifically proven to ease stress, lower blood pressure, boost your immune system, and increase libido—basically, sex begets sex, thus kicking off a never-ending cycle of pleasure. Who doesn’t want that? While we’re sure your sex life is great—transcendent, even—as is, there’s always room for betterment. Whether it’s whispering a few more sweet nothings or making the subtlest of changes to the most basic of positions, what follows is a comprehensive list of tricks to instantly improve your sex life.
1. Have more morning sex
We’re busier, more stressed, and pulled in more directions than ever before. In the crunch, things that aren’t deemed essential get sidelined. For couples juggling work and family commitments, 15 minutes of morning sex may seem like a luxury they opt to skip. Bad move! Sex in the morning is not only time efficient—you’re both there, in bed and unclothed—it’s also a way to start your day on a positive note. Plus, sex has been proven to speed more oxygen to the brain—meaning that by having some first thing in the AM, you could set yourself up for a more productive day. Just try your best not to fall right back asleep after the deed.
2. Quit smoking
If you’re a smoker, a 2011 study has shown that quitting will result in thicker, firmer, faster erections. To test the study participants’ hard-ons, researchers used something called a penile plethysmograph, which measures changes in circumference and hardness, while the men watched porn. During the 8-week study, the 31% of participants who had successfully quit smoking had fuller erections than before. And 75% of the quitters that suffered with erectile dysfunction at the beginning of the study, no longer did by the end.
3. Drink coffee
If you’re looking for a habit to replace cigarettes, choose drinking coffee for the sake of your sex life. A study released by University of Texas Health Science Center found that men who consumed between 85 and 170 milligrams of caffeine daily were 42 percent less likely to report erectile dysfunction than those who didn’t consume any. Researchers explained that caffeine makes the muscles in the penis more relaxed, allowing for increased blood flow and therefore stronger erections.
4. Fill your toy box
We’re living in something of a golden age for sex toys. Not only are they more effective than ever at making their users feel good, companies like Lelo and Jimmy Jane are designing beautiful toys and marketing them in a sophisticated and debonair way. Don’t think that sex toys are for solo play. Emily Morse, sexologist and host of the Sex with Emily podcast, says that of the 53 percent of women who report owning sex toys, 81 percent of them have used them with their partner. Your move? Be one of those partners.
5. Get in the zone[s]
Women (and men) have far more erogenous zones than the handful we fixate on. Stimulating one—her brain—by encouraging her to think about what she likes. Give a similar amount of attention to her scalp, ears, neck, wrists, fingers, and feet, and make tonight’s session an all-body experience. And while we’re at it, this is the perfect time to master your massage technique.
6. Eat dark chocolate
There’s a reason chocolate became a gift given before amorous activity. Cacao increases levels of the mood-boosting hormone serotonin, which can lower stress levels, boosting desire and making it easier to reach orgasm. And that’s not all: Cocoa also increases blood flow through the arteries and relaxes blood vessels, sending blood to all the right regions, which can boost sexual pleasure. As it so happens, in addition to the fact that chocolate can improve your sex life, it can stratospherically boost your workout too.
7. Drop a few pounds
An Italian study from 2004 demonstrated that overweight men with BMIs of 28.7 (that’s around 195 pounds for a 5’9″ male) have a 30% greater risk for developing ED than men of a normal weight. Additionally, dropping flab can effectively increase the size of your penis via a reduction of fat in your pubic area. A larger penis that you can rely upon when needed? What more motivation do you need for getting on the elliptical? If you need some extra tips to lose those extra pounds, you could do worse than mastering the lean-for-life workout.
8. Stay slow and steady
It’s not true of all women, but many report that a prolonged session of kissing and above-the-clothes groping can greatly heighten their level of arousal, often indicated by the amount of natural vaginal lubricant she produces. Although your unbridled enthusiasm will be appreciated, getting her all juiced up before your fingers have wandered between her legs will really pay dividends if you’re looking to make a lasting impression. If you see her squirming, rubbing her thighs together, spreading her legs, or simply grabbing your hand and placing it on her crotch, a successful session is practically in the bag. Pro tip: put together a great playlist you’ll both enjoy and spend three normal-length songs at first and second base. By the time you round third, she’ll be waving you in.
9. Strike a new pose
If you’ve been together for a while, you’ve probably found some sex positions that really work for both of you. It’s good that you know how to get each other off efficiently. But don’t let good be the enemy of great. Take some time to try a few new things. They needn’t be acrobatic: Just small variations on your old favorites can make a world of difference. For example: Coital alignment technique, or CAT position, is a subtle variation on missionary, but the increased clitoral stimulation it yields for her, the snugger feel and the up-and-down (as opposed to in-and-out) motion it requires from you can be a game changer. The CAT happens to be one of the sex positions she wants you to try tonight, so master that, and then brush up on the others to truly improve your sex life.
If you’re more confident about your penis, you’ll be more cocksure when you’re wielding it in the bedroom. One way to get it looking its best and biggest is to trim down an excess of bush. You needn’t go all Ken doll, but some modest manicuring may reveal an extra inch of shaft that’s being unnecessarily obscured. Grooming happens to be one of the things smart men do before big dates.
11. Share your fantasies
Sometimes we forget: Part of being in a long-term relationship is having a partner with whom you can share everything. If you’re close enough to sit on the toilet with the door open, you really ought to be comfortable sharing the thoughts that turn you on. Be open about what turns you on and accepting about whatever she tells you. Many fantasies will stay unrealized, while you may find that others end up being on your dirty to-do list. But whether they do or don’t end up happening isn’t really the point. The goal is for you and your partner to learn about other aspects of your sexuality.
12. Do yoga
An Indian study demonstrated that men who took up yoga were able to triple the amount of time they lasted in bed. Researchers concluded that yoga improved core strength and pelvic muscle control, which helped prolong the time until the men had an orgasm. To truly improve your sex life, learn the yoga moves for sex that will blow your (and her) mind.
Got a smartphone? Then you have a photo studio and editing suite at your disposal. Why not use it to send alluring pictures back and forth when you’re apart from one another. Sexting is remote foreplay, during which you can stimulate each other and build anticipation for the next time you’re alone together.
14. Watch porn together
A good way to realize your fantasies is to share some of the porn clips you like, or even search for new clips together. Seeing one another’s tastes in porn is a great way to know more about the kind of stimuli you respond to. Perhaps what your partner’s into isn’t your exact cup of tea, but make this a part of your sexy QT together and chances are you’ll find some dirty common ground. If porn isn’t really her thing, ask her to share erotic literature that turns her on, then take turns reading aloud to one another.
15. Talk to her
You can tell her anything, right? Then don’t be anything but direct—albeit gentle—about how you’d like things to change in the bedroom. It’s best to have this talk sooner or later. Does she do something you’re not particularly fond of? Use it as a pivot to tell her about what you do like. You can start this conversation by asking her to tell you what she loves about the sex you have and what she’s not crazy about.