Thursday, January 6, 2011

7 Tips for Better Sex This Winter

By Rosemary Black
Reviewed by QualityHealth's Medical Advisory Board
The bone-chilling temperatures, blizzard-like conditions and icy roads that keep everyone hibernating indoors for the long winter months can actually have a positive effect on your sex life. Unlike summer, when people are busy with a variety of outdoor activities with friends and family, winter can be a good time for couples to reconnect. People stay inside on snow days, there's more time for reflection, and besides, it's always more fun to snuggle when it's chilly outside.

"It's also a good time to think about the importance of sex in your life," says Alexandra Katehakis, MFT, CSAT-S, CST, clinical director of the Center for Healthy Sex in Los Angeles. "And the winter can be a time to reinvigorate and restore your sex life."

Why is that so important? If you've got kids, it is crucial for them to see a positive emotional connection between their parents, Katehakis says. "When children feel that they are in a loving home environment, they feel the love and it makes for more pleasant times as a family."

Kids or no kids, it's crucial for a couple to feel connected in order for their relationship to be healthy. Having sex makes it easier to reconnect, Katehakis says, "largely because the neurochemicals that are released during and after sex help couples to bond more deeply."

Here's how you can heat up your sex life during the coldest months of the year.

1. Bed never seems as inviting as it does in the winter. Turn on the electric blanket, pile your bed high with soft pillows, and you'll be ready to turn in early with your partner.

2. Don't like electric blankets? Outfit your bed with flannel sheets and cozy comforters, with lots of fluffy pillows. The more inviting it is, the more you'll want to spend time under the sheets.

3. Have breakfast in bed together, Katehakis suggests, after you have sex. "Have a cup of hot chocolate or your favorite coffee with the breakfast, and snuggle and watch a movie together afterwards."

4. Rich, heavy meals are more popular in the winter months, but they can cause drowsiness after a meal. Consider having sex before dinner, suggests Bat Sheva Marcus, Ph.D., clinical director of the Medical Center for Female Sexuality. "Mix things up a little," she says. "Having sex before dinner gives you both a chance to work up an appetite, too."

5. Light a fire in your fireplace. "There's something very sexy and erotic about fire," Marcus says. "Winter's a good time to enjoy your fireplace." Don't have a fireplace? Plan a weekend getaway together and book a room at an inn that has fireplaces in the rooms.

6. Hot showers and baths are a wonderful way to warm up together, Marcus says. Be sure to use moisturizers and body creams (on each other) afterwards.

7. If your sex life is less than steamy, winter can be a great time to assess what's going on and take steps to rekindle the passion in your relationship. "If you don't want sex, don't assume it's due to exhaustion," Marcus says. "Sometimes a low libido can be due to relationship problems." Make a conscious effort to spend more time together working on your relationship. Since winter's generally less hectic than summer, now's the perfect time to rediscover the qualities that made you fall in love with your partner in the first place.

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