Sex, like life, doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes you never get started, sometimes you don’t feel satisfied, and sometimes you get distracted halfway through and lose your wood. Other times, things like different sex drives, lack of time, and stress cockblock you. You’re so not alone.
Here’s everything you need to know to get—and–stay in the mood.
Getting in the mood doesn’t always just happen
Despite what you see in movies, books, and everywhere else. It’s plain not true.
There definitely are times you and your sweetie look at each other and BOOM! are ready to go. This is called spontaneous desire. Its more common amongst cis men and/or when the context is right.
What happens more often is that you and/or your partner(s) need something more.
Being in the mood is a balance of turn ons and turn-offs
Not sure what I mean? Try this:
Think about all the things that turn you on. Pay attention to how you feel. Now think about all the things stressing you out. Suddenly you don’t feel so turned on anymore, right?
Turn-ons and turn-offs vary from person to person. Maybe your best friend loves being spanked but you’re just not into it. They’re also mediated by what society deems attractive, hot, acceptable, and expected—or not.
They also can change over time and often do with major life changes like a new diagnosis, becoming parents, moving somewhere new, starting a new job, and other major life stressors.
Your body & brain need to shift from your day to being intimate
Say you and your sweetie have sex scheduled. You feel tired, stressed, and not really in the mood when the time comes. Once you start talking, kissing, touching, and connecting, though, that changes and you’re ready to go!
This is called responsive desire. It’s really common, especially (but not only) among women. More importantly: it is totally healthy and normal.
As the name suggests, responsive desire is when you get aroused after sex things start to happen. That might be a steamy makeout session, a sensual massage, or cuddling. Its why you don’t always want sex until after you start fooling around.
There are things you can do to get in the mood more quickly
Some of these you can do throughout the day so you’ll be ready to go when it’s sexy time. Others you can do on your own…and no I’m not talking about masturbation (though that’s totally a good idea if it’s your thing).
11 Ideas for How to Get Turned On Fast
- Think about sex all day. Start with morning cuddles and a long kiss before you before work. Read something sexy (like this blog or a romance novel) on your lunch break or commute. Fantasize about what you want to do to your partner and what you’d like them to do to you.
- Touch. A lot and all over. Touch the back, face, feet, neck, chest, stomach, etc. Hug, kiss, cuddle, massage. Maybe even use some props like a massage candle, feather tickler, or scalp massager.
- Do it “before dinner.” In other words, have sex first. Don’t wait until nothing sounds sexier than a tummy rub and a nap.
- Roleplay. You don’t have to invest in outfits or props (unless you want to). Instead, keep it simple and meet your sweetie at a bar or restaurant and pretend to be strangers. Invite them back to your place and let the magic happen. If you want to take it up one more notch, incorporate one of your fantasies. Maybe one of you is a pilot, traveling salesperson, etc.
- Flirt. With everyone and especially your partner! Bat them eyelashes, be playful and sassy, strike up a conversation. If you take public transit, have a lil’ eye sex on the subway. Chat up that cute barista. Take a sexy selfie (you don’t have to share it). Generally be playful and sassy. That sexual energy spills over into the bedroom too.
- Sext. If you and your significant other enjoy it. Talk about what you want to do to each other. Share photos. You’ve been thinking about sex all day right? Go on and share those thoughts by sexting. Use words, pictures, or even video if you’re feeling extra sassy and bold.
- Hop into the shower together. Its practical and sexy. Washing each other is intimate, you get to relax and unwind, and you know you’re both clean. Plus its environmentally-friendly and you have someone to reach those hard-to-reach spots (AMEN). If you have a bathtub, even better. Just remember: use silicone lube for sex in the water. Hint: we <3 this one.
- Shut out the world. This is especially important if its been a stressful day. Take some time to meditate, dance, journal. Do whatever you need to shift from “on” to “turned on.”
- Have a dance party! Put on your favorite sexy tunes and move however feels good for you. This helps you get out of your head and into your body and physically start the arousal process. Its like foreplay with yourself. You and your sweetie can always dance together too.
- Pamper yourself. Put on some lingerie, set out some candles, play some sexy tunes, spritz your sheets, dab on some perfume, use essential oils. Maybe shave each other if you prefer being bare down there.
- Foreplay, in the more traditional sense. All the foreplay- kissing, stroking, caressing, licking, sucking. Have a make-out session, fondle each other, explore each other’s bodies, go down on each other, use sex toys…the list is endless!
Getting in the mood doesn’t have to be that hard
Choose just one of these to start doing right away. Customize it to work for your life and relationship, using whatever language and tools help you feel your sexiest. The next time sex doesn’t go quite as planned, you’ll be prepared.
We all have different things that get us in the mood
You may find one of these is the magic key. Or you may discover that you need a few of these or to switch things up regularly.
Both are totally normal, healthy, and more-than-okay.