It's all about confidence
Whether you want to feel body fabulous, try a new position or even just keep the lights on, we could all use a little extra confidence in the bedroom. From flattering undies to self-hypnosis, we’ve found the best ways to send your sex-pertise sky high.
It might sound counter-intuitive, but sometimes it can be far sexier to leave something to the imagination. Lots of men agree that half the fun of a sexual encounter is unwrapping the ‘packaging’ – and if that conveniently allows us to cover our wobbly bits, we’re not going to argue. Sisanda, 34, used this trick to deal with her shyness. “Of course, there are parts of my body that I’d like to change, but I know my man loves my curves. So I put on a figure-hugging dress, stockings, sexy heels and a trench coat. I felt really hot, and I let him unwrap me piece by piece.” Remember that a floaty camisole or lacy pair of French underwear can be both forgiving and tantalising, so go ahead and dress up!
SAY WHAT YOU THINK
If, like Nomsa, 36, and her man, Muzi, 41, you’ve spent the evening staring at the TV rather than talking to each other, you’re unlikely to want to make love as soon as you enter the bedroom. Instead, start the foreplay by spending quality time together. It doesn’t have to be a candlelit dinner: simply turn off the telly and while maintaining eye contact tell your man exactly why you find him so sexy. “It excited us to know that after supper, we’d cosy up in the couch before taking it to the bedroom,” says Nomsa. If it goes well, you might not make it to the bedroom…
If you’re going to prepare dinner, certain foods offer distinct bedroom advantages. “The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in fruit and vegetables can encourage blood flow to all areas of the body,” says sexual health expert and psychosexual specialist Dr Catherine Hood. “Pumpkin seeds, nuts and almonds all have high levels of arginine, an amino acid that helps increase the levels of blood in the genitals,” she says. According to Japanese studies, spinach is a potent source of magnesium, which helps dilate the blood vessels. The blood will flow to the genitals, creating greater arousal. So, increase your veggie intake and feel the change, literally.
READ A BOOK
Most of us have habits that we can’t let go of, like reading before we sleep. This time, put down that business book, and pick up a novel about romance and seduction. It doesn’t have to be the Kama Sutra, but a spot of stimulating bedtime reading could get you both in the mood and provide tips and inspiration. Try reading the racy paragraphs out loud! “My man and I are always reading financial news on our tablets before we go to bed. One day, I downloaded a racy book and read it out to loud to see if he was interested. Needless to say, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other after that,” says Sihle, 42.
“Close your eyes, breathe deeply and evenly and think of the sexiest woman you can,” says clinical hypnotherapist Lisa Jackson. “Analyse everything that makes her alluring, whether it's a couldn'tcare-less attitude about less-than-perfect hair (think Halle Berry), an I've-got-it-so-I'll-flaunt it approach to a certain body part (like J-Lo) or a stunning smile. Next, imagine what it would actually feel like to be her. How would you speak to your lover? What would you do? Repeat this exercise twice a day for a week. Then, when you're in bed, recall this imagined confidence and unleash your inner sex goddess.”
TURN DOWN THE LIGHTS
No, not ‘turn off the lights and dive under the covers'. Think soft focus rather than pitch black. If you don't want to change your lightbulbs, place a thin scarf or square of fabric over your lampshade to mute the glare. Siya, 29, says: “It's amazing what a dimly lit room can do to your confidence. There's just something sultry and seductive about it.” Dim lighting is more flattering and encourages your body to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone that makes you feel more relaxed.
BE HANDS ON
Sexual confidence often comes from how we make the other person feel – and making someone happy in the bedroom isn't just about sex. A sensual massage is a fantastic way to give your partner pleasure and, consequently, boost your bedroom confidence. “I used to dread foreplay because I assumed Senzo wanted to just get the sex over and done with. A read an article that suggested physical touch was a way to make sex more interesting. A massage was the easiest way to switch things up because it didn't require any extra tools,” says Zinzi, 35. Using light strokes, gently caress your man's body, remembering to always work towards the heart. A silky, beautifully scented oil helps, too.
BE MORE SENSITIVE
If your confidence is dented because you're finding it hard to reach orgasm, increase your sensitivity with a little herbal help and essential oils. Oils like ginger, ylang ylang, black pepper and nutmeg are known to boost your sex drive. Also, there is a wide range of sex toys that you can explore. Visit a shop with your man and find tools that both of you can experiment with in the bedroom. “My confidence has shot through the roof ever since I introduced a few toys in our bedroom. I did all the research, so Mandla thinks I'm a sex goddess!,” says Menzi. Or, be daring and try a few by yourself and surprise your man with new tricks that you've picked up on. Enjoy!