Does this sound familiar? Menopause kicks in and sex takes a backseat. It’s no surprise. Not wanting sex or not feeling sexual is normal throughout life, and the impact of hormones upon our sexual responses can be huge. So when menopause arrives, sex often loses out to the brilliant book by your bed that you can’t wait to get back to. Along with low libido, there’s the vaginal dryness and tightness and decreased sexual sensation all making sex either painful, uncomfortable or simply too much like hard work.
If you focus on penetrative sex as the only way to enjoy sex, then giving up on a sex life altogether is often the result. And it can be hard to get back into enjoying sex again. But intimacy is about more than penetration, and it doesn’t have to be confined to the bedroom. Finding ways during the day to be intimate with your partner, even when you are not together, is important. Which is where the sofa comes in.
From that morning kiss, sharing a cheeky text when you are at work, enjoying a meal together later in the day and cuddling up on the sofa, there are so many ways to remain intimate even when penetrative sex is off the cards.
In fact, taking the focus off penetrative sex is one simple way to actually boost your libido and help you feel sexual again – especially if the thought of penetrative sex fills you with dread.
Our lips are highly sensitive erogenous zones yet we often underestimate the power of a kiss. Kissing triggers a cocktail of hormones and neurotransmitters and as these neural impulses bounce between the brain, facial muscles, lips and skin, they produce a number of neurotransmitters which influence how we feel.
Kissing promotes the release of dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter which helps us to feel pleasurable sensations. Kissing passionately can raise our levels of serotonin as well as adrenaline, both of which affect the body: blood vessels dilate as oxygen levels increase in the brain, resulting in flushed cheeks, dilated pupils, a racing pulse and irregular, deeper breathing. Some women can even experience an orgasm from prolonged kissing, without genital stimulation.
Give the look of love
Just looking at someone in a certain way or being watched, can create sexual pleasure and sensations, from shivers down your spine to feeling breathless. Pupils dilate when we are aroused, making us appear more attractive. The longer the eye contact between two people, the greater and deeper the intimacy.
When we’re trying to attract a new partner, we employ all our talents of flirting – but we often drop this act when we settle into long term relationships. Yet a little flirting can really add some spice to your sexual fun. Having a secret code in the form of a special look you can use across the dinner table or across the room at a party is great fun. It can mean anything naughty, but only the two of you will know.
Get in touch
Skin is one of the most erogenous zones in our body and a simple cuddle causes the release of oxytocin, a feel good hormone. When we’re sexually aroused, oxytocin levels increase significantly, a main factor in achieving an orgasm, which in turn, causes the release of more oxytocin.
A brief stroke on the back of the neck, along your arm, your ears, even in the palm of your hand can help you reconnect. Gentle breath on the back of your neck, a brush of the knee or feather-like kiss on your hand can produce a sexual sensation. Using the lightest of touch, being caressed or caressing your partner, even through clothing, can send pulses racing. However and wherever you enjoy being touched, finding your own erogenous zones is fun and will increase your sexual stimulation, so start exploring – you may be surprised at what sets your pulse soaring.
Sensory deprived sex
Whether you take your sex play to the bedroom or get comfortable on the sofa, your sense of touch, hearing, smell and taste are all heightened by sight deprivation. Not knowing what is coming next increases sexual arousal, so try combining blindfold play with slow sensual all over body massage. Touch your partner or be touched with a feather-like caress, using a feather, silk scarf or tickler. Feed them with tiny morsels of chocolate, honey from your fingers or lips. Tracing an ice cube or drizzling champagne over your partner’s stomach, penis or clitoris will make them shudder with surprise and desire.
Explore sex toys
Sex can become boring over time if you have the same routine, so spice things up by incorporating sex toys into your sex play. A simple bullet vibrator is a great way to start your sex toy journey, great for clitoral stimulation, nipple play, around the head of the penis and along the shaft.
Using a sex toy can help you discover new ways to enjoy sexual stimulation, especially if you find yourself struggling to orgasm or sex simply is not working for you anymore. Letting your partner take control or take control yourself when using a sex toy can be highly arousing, too. Use a good pH balanced sexual lubricant to make mutual masturbation feel even more pleasurable.
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