Determined not to fall into the Valentine’s Day dinner trap this year? You know – the one where you drop a couple of hundred bucks on a three-course dinner and you’re then so stuffed you can barely muster the energy for a half-hearted quickie before you drift off into a food coma? Here are three V-Day activities that will amplify your sex drive according to brain science!
Choose a Scary Movie
If a night out at the movies (or Netflix on the couch) is on the cards this Valentine’s Day, skip the latest cheesy rom-com and head straight to the Horror or Thriller categories.
Scary movies are a date-night favourite for good reason. Not only do they give you a good excuse to cosy up and bond over a few jump-scares – and resulting giggles – they also result in physiological responses that make movie goers… well, horny!
Typically, when we’re scared, our adrenaline and cortisol levels go up, and our heart rate goes up. This is part of the fight-or-flight response, but the same kinds of bodily changes also happen during arousal. When we’re scared, our blood is naturally pulled to our extremities so we can run faster, and when we’re turned on, the blood flows to our genitals. Cortisol levels go up both when we’re scared, and when we’re aroused – particularly in situations with new partners, or when there’s a novel aspect to sex.
Obviously, the key here is to choose a movie that’s psychologically scary or thrilling, rather than repulsive or gory (ie, avoid anything in the Saw or Hostel film franchises). Not sure what to pick? A classic 1970s or 80s slasher flick has nostalgic value, will be pretty tame by today’s horror standards, and is likely to contain the odd gratuitous nude scene for good measure!
Get Sweaty Together
Love the great outdoors? Taking a hike or nature walk together could well result in a roll in the hay you’ll never forget!
Exercising gets your heart rate high and blood pumping, in the same way that the body reacts to sexual stimulation and when we’re aroused. Exercise also releases happy hormone endorphins, which eases stress and makes more space for arousal.
And as with foreplay, the more intense the build-up, the greater the rewards, so choose a hike in a beautiful location that will be a medium to high intensity workout according to your fitness levels. Don’t be tempted to bite off more than you can chew though – because pulled hamstrings can be a real mood-killer.
Hiking not your thing? Go on a bike ride, or – even better – hit the local adventure park or adrenaline forest to do a high-wire climb or zip-line together. You’ll reap the benefits of a workout, while adding in the adrenaline associated with doing something outside your comfort zone.
De-Stress and Unwind
While getting your heart pumping can certainly kick your libido into gear, you can also take the complete opposite approach this Valentine’s Day and get in the mood by focusing on relaxation together!
Book in for a couple’s massage, hit a meditation workshop or even take a long bath together to unwind, let go of your stressors and let the good vibes begin the flow. After all, there’s a reason almost every civilization since the beginning of time has some sort of mating ritual before sex! Setting the mood can help you relax before sex – and when you’re relaxed, you’re more likely you are to enjoy it.
Meditation, massage and bubble baths are all linked to the brain producing more dopamine and serotonin: bliss chemicals in the brain that help increase sexual appetite, and the intensity of orgasm.