It used to be so easy: You'd lock eyes across the dance floor, brush your hand along his thigh in the movie theater, linger just a little too long during the kiss goodnight. You remember: At the beginning of your relationship, the tiniest gestures made your man putty in your hands—and got your pulse racing too. But then life intervened. Now, that pleading glance across a crowded room is more likely to mean, Can we leave soon? The Tonight Show starts in 10 minutes!
Hey, there's no reason you can't still channel the seductress you used to be. Your guy might not read as much into your every gesture as he once did, so "you'll probably have to be a little more obvious," says Scott Haltzman, M.D., a REDBOOK Love Network expert and author of The Secrets of Happily Married Men and The Secrets of Happily Married Women. "But not that much—he is still acutely sensitive to his sexual needs and your passionate wiles." (sex advice)
With these 15 sultry moves, you'll not only put a smile on his face, but you'll also strengthen your bond with him—not to mention give yourself the confidence boost that comes with remembering how very sexy you are. And at the next party, you can bet that your early departure will have nothing to do with late-night TV.
1. FOR SUPERHOT SEX:
To switch gears in lovemaking from sweet to spicy, you need to mix things up a bit. "Hot sex is all about the anticipation of something different," says REDBOOK Love Network expert Ian Kerner, Ph.D., author of Love in the Time of Colic. "It's about changing your approach and who you think you are in the bedroom. Don't be afraid to take a risk."
- Share a steamy fantasy. Always wanted to go at it in an elevator, a la Fatal Attraction? Been daydreaming about a Grey's-style fling in the hospital on-call room? Tell him. "Maybe it's something you'd never do, like have a threesome, but you could tell your guy about it in the context of a fantasy," Kerner says. "It stimulates the mind in a new way and can lead to unbelievable sex." Let your imagination run wild—just the thought of something totally risqué or out of your comfort zone is enough to get you both hot and bothered.
- Blare rock music. Your beau knows the score when you press play on Marvin Gaye—which is all the more reason to send him a signal that tonight's the night for something different. Pop in AC/DC's Black Ice with a wink and a nudge. The more intense the tunes, the more testosterone will pump through his system. Before you know it, he won't be able to keep his hands off you.
- Get a haircut. Or a new outfit. Or wear red lipstick instead of your typical clear gloss. "Men like variety," says Kerner. "If you're the girl who goes to bed in white undies, throw on a garter belt one night. It lends novelty and excitement and sets the scene for something hotter."
2. FOR SWEET LOVIN':
Sometimes you want to have sex just to rekindle the intimacy with your man—and he probably does too. "It's the reason missionary is still the most popular position in the world," Kerner says. "It's about the face-to-face connection, the sharing of affection and emotions." So ramp up the tenderness for a sweet, slow session.
- Make eye contact. When men look at pictures of women in the buff, they're more likely to look at a woman's face first, according to a study by researchers at Emory University. Why? Women can easily tell by looking at naked men whether guys are in the mood, says psychologist and study author Kim Wallen, but women's bodies don't reveal much, which could be why men zoom in on their faces. "It's cryptic," Wallen says, "but facial expressions are one way of showing an indication of interest in and enjoyment of sex." Staring into your lover's eyes lets him know that you're as into him as he is into you.
- Massage his feet. Tickle his back, or rub his belly—anything that makes him feel relaxed. "Stress is one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to arousal for men," says Sharon Moalem, Ph.D., author of How Sex Works. "If you can counteract his cortisol [or stress] levels by relaxing him, then you can set the mood for connective sex." In other words, he'll be able to concentrate on you rather than on those Excel reports due on Friday.
- Look at old pictures together. By doting on memories the two of you have made, you'll trigger those same feelings of overwhelming love (and lust) you had at the beginning of your relationship. "My wife and I will go back and look at photos of the two of us in Italy before we got married or photos from our honeymoon," Kerner says. "It always evokes a feeling of tenderness, wistfulness, and affection."
3. FOR THE QUINTESSENTIAL QUICKIE:
There's a reason they called that old game Seven Minutes in Heaven: because passion can hit even higher levels when it comes in bite-size pieces.
- Try the 90-second make-out. If time is really short, passionately kiss, touch, fondle, and fool around for a minute and a half. "It doesn't always have to lead to sex, though it certainly can," says Kerner. "But even that short amount of time is enough to get you hot and build anticipation for the next time you can touch each other."
- Make a sex date. Know that your kids will be watching Dora the Explorer when they get home from school? Tell your guy you'll have a 15-minute window of opportunity at 4 p.m. and wink. It's an appointment he's sure to keep.
- Text for sex. If you heat things up when you're apart, you'll both be boiling over once you get together. "I have a friend who texted her husband one morning, 'Burning with desire,' " says Haltzman. "On his lunch break, he showed up at home, ready to take her up on her promise. Just knowing that his partner is thinking about it is enough to get any man in the mood."
4. FOR AN ALL-NIGHT (OR ALL-MORNING) ROMP:
Yes, in a long-term relationship, marathon sex may feel like a luxury you can't really afford, but it shouldn't be off the table altogether. "Make a special point to carve out more time together and dedicate it to sex," Kerner says. The two of you are worth putting something else on hold for.
- Play tennis. Or run together, or climb a mountain, or play a board game. Anything competitive will do. "Competition will spike both of your testosterone levels for extended periods of time," Haltzman says. Translation? You'll be randier for longer.
- Give him a pomegranate martini and a smile. According to a new study from Sussex University, pomegranate juice boosts men's sex drive. The men in the study were found to kiss more passionately after drinking the juice and looked at photos of scantily clad women 16-percent longer than other men. Bottoms up!
- Plan a trip and pack light. Surprise him with a vacation to a beachy destination. Give him the tickets, a skimpy bikini, and note that says, "This is the only thing I'll be wearing the entire time." He'll get the idea. Or, if your budget is tight at the moment, try turning your home into a spa for the night. Take a bubble bath, light oodles of candles, give each other massages, and remind him that the same rules apply: only your teeny-weeny bikini—or birthday suits—allowed.
5. FOR MAKE-UP MOJO:
Big blowups used to mean steamy reunions afterward. Now that life (and fights) are more complex, sex is often the furthest thing from your mind in the wake of an argument. But getting physical might be the very best thing you can do. "Sex is healing," explains Kerner. "It can take you to a place where words often can't."
- Be ready to forgive. "If you want to have make-up sex, you have to be willing to make the first move," Kerner says. "A lot of guys won't initiate make-up sex because they feel like their ego is on the line." Saying a simple "I'm sorry" takes the pressure off him and can get the ball rolling in the right direction (toward the bedroom).
- Tell a joke. Sometimes after a big blowout, the best way to push things in a more harmonious direction is to lighten the mood. "Often after a fight with my wife, there will be a period of silence. Then she'll walk over to me and say, 'What am I going to do about you?' " Kerner says. "It's playful, close, and affectionate, and signals that the fight is over. Often it leads to really great sex too." Try a flirtatious smile to diffuse the tension in the situation, or a sexy joke. You'll send him the message that it's time to kiss and make up. Literally.
- Hug him. "Once you're in his arms and pressing your body up against his, unless he's suffering from hormonal imbalance, he's going to shift his thinking toward sex," Haltzman says. If all else fails: "Take your clothes off and say, 'I want to have sex.' " Before long, neither of you will even remember what you were fighting about.
6. Seduction by the Senses:
We all know that guys are visual creatures (hence the enduring popularity of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue), but that lacy garter number from Victoria's Secret isn't the only way to get your guy revved up. Here's how to seduce him using all five of his senses.
Wear red. Researchers from the University of Rochester in New York had 149 men rate pictures by level of attractiveness of women wearing or framed by white, gray, blue, green, and red. Red won out, possibly because of reinforced cultural norms. "Due to the association with hearts, Valentine's Day, lingerie, and things like that, red takes on a sexy meaning," says study author Andrew Elliot, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester.
Skip the perfume. Your natural body odor is a bigger turn-on than you think. "We each have a distinctive odor that is our very own scent signature," says Sharon Moalem, Ph.D., author of How Sex Works. "That scent has the power to trigger significant arousal and plays an often underappreciated role in the chemistry of attraction." So forget lathering up with lotions after a shower—your scent is the best aphrodisiac.
Open up that box of chocolates. Feeding truffles to your guy can be sensual on its own, but the taste of chocolate is associated with the release of serotonin in the brain, a hormone that induces feelings of relaxation and pleasure—similar to what we experience when we fall in love. Sweet!
Make some noise! "One of the biggest complaints men have about women is that they are too quiet when it comes to intimacy," Moalem says. You don't have to praise the heavens at the top of your lungs if that makes you uncomfortable, but a simple sigh and "Right there!" goes a long way.
Snuggle. Think men don't like cuddling? Think again. "When men or women get a soothing touch from their partner, the brain releases oxytocin, or the love hormone," says Moalem. "It reaffirms the bond between the two of you, making sex even better."