Close your eyes and think of your last sexual encounter. You're probably recalling how it felt, since touch is the primary sense engaged during sex. But, invoking multiple senses at once has a hot payoff: It heightens each individual sense—like how an orchestra is more powerful than a single instrument playing. "Different senses arouse different areas of the brain," says Ian Kerner, PhD, author of Passionista. "So, combining several creates a more arousing experience."
Try these menus out with your husband, boyfriend, or the guy you've been seeing, to add something special to your regular bedroom routine. Each menu is designed to lend a particular vibe to your session. It doesn't matter if, for example, you're staying indoors on a rainy day; you can still have a summery sexcapade.
1. Sensual Lovin'
Creating a warm, intimate atmosphere will stoke some serious slow-burn passion between you.
Taste: The smooth, rich flavor of chocolate is incredibly sexy, so share fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies or a sundae topped with hot fudge sauce. Cocoa contains the mood-lifting chemical phenylethylamine, which is said to mimic feelings of being madly in love.
Sight: Catch his eye. Research has found that holding the gaze of a person you trust triggers bonding. It can also make you feel vulnerable, and since most men don't make eye contact often, doing so underscores the singular bond you two have.
Smell: Light a pine, cedar, or sandalwood candle. Woodsy scents conjure up thoughts of cozy nights and lit fires. Plus, sandalwood is an ancient aphrodisiac, believed to enhance sensuality.
Hearing: Assemble a playlist of favorite songs that turn you on (Norah Jones has a sensual vibe). Listening to music you dig can also help you loosen up.
Touch: Slip naked between flannel sheets. According to a Swedish study, soft caresses stimulate the insula, the region of the brain that processes emotion and is involved in the release of the happiness-boosting hormone dopamine. Slide on top of him into cowgirl, and caress each other's chest and thighs.
2. Steamy Session
Nothing beats an island escape…or the mind-blowing sex it allows. Here, revisit that no-holds-barred nookie.
Sight: Put lush flowers or plants in your bedroom for an exotic vibe. It will also reduce stress, according to research.
Hearing: Vacay sex is hot because you aren't worrying about stuff you have to do later and can fully surrender to the moment. Also, being in a new environment adds excitement. To score a similar effect, pop in a rainforest CD. The sounds of rain, wind, and waterfalls will drown out reminders of the real world.
Taste: Savor tropical fruits, like mango and pineapple. Research shows that sweets light up the brain's reward center.
Touch: Hop in the shower together. Angle your bodies so the water lands on your genitals, and then at the same time, stroke each other down below.
Smell: Rub a coconut-scented lotion over each other's bods. A study found that smell triggers powerful emotional memories. So, inhaling a fragrance you associate with summer and getaways will bring back the sexy frame of mind you experienced then.
3. Spicy Sexperience
These fiery tips lend your sack session a naughty, wild vibe.
Smell: Mist on a sweet-spicy perfume with notes of cinnamon or vanilla. Because it's a bold fragrance, it can make you seem and feel seductive and powerful. What's more, cinnamon is considered an aphrodisiac in many cultures, and the scent of vanilla has been shown to increase blood flow to male organs.
Sight: Don a red-hot bra or panties. Research has found that both seeing and wearing fiery colors stimulate desire, so the two of you will get a simultaneous rush. In fact, in word-association studies, red is the number-one color attached to sexuality.
Hearing: Turn on some Latin music. The strong, speedy beat revs up your energy level, excites you, and establishes a fun atmosphere. It also sets a fast and intense tempo for sex.
Taste: Set out spicy appetizers like chips and hot salsa. Chili peppers contain capsaicin, a substance that increases blood flow, thus boosting arousal. Then, pop in a mint and treat each other to oral. The tingliness intensifies the sensations.
Touch: In bed, evoke an animalistic attitude by gently nipping each other's neck and lips. Sexual arousal and aggression run along the same neural pathways, so a rougher touch can amp up lust.