6 Fun Ways to Boost Her Desire

6 Fun Ways to Boost Her Desire

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You’ve heard this advice before: Take a woman to see a scary movie, and the surge of fear-induced adrenaline will send her straight into your arms. But a new study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, published Sept. 29th, showed that fear tended to dampen women’s arousal and desire. Feeling happy, on the other hand, was associated with greater sexual desire in the moment — as well as the next day.

Past research has linked long-term emotional states, like depression, to sexual desire (or a lack thereof). But the researchers wanted to determine how women’s more fleeting feelings impact their willingness to jump in the sack. “There’s a lot about our day-to-day lives that’s tied to our emotions, whether it’s sleep or appetite or sexual functioning,” study author David Kalmbach told Yahoo Health. “There’s the term ‘being in the mood’ — some days we’re in the mood, and some days we’re not. I wanted to see what drives that.”

Over a two-week period, 171 young women kept daily diaries about their moods, as well as their sex lives. Only one emotion was linked to the women’s desire both in the present moment and on the following day: joviality, or what Kalmbach defined as “being happy, enthusiastic.” “I don’t know that it’s necessarily the happier someone is, the more they desire sex,” he said. “I think the happier or more enthused someone is, the greater their capacity for sexual desire is. Being happy is related to finding pleasure in things that we usually enjoy. And when we’re happier, we’re typically more motivated.” 

Related: Wife’s Happiness is More Crucial to Marital Success Than Husband’s, Study Finds

Even if your partner’s moods are totally unpredictable, you can still steer her in the right direction — and doing so may actually enhance the desire-boosting effect of happiness. “If a partner does something that increases both relationship satisfaction and someone’s mood, you’re going to see a strong impact on desire,” Kalmbach noted.

Ready to rev her engine? Try these five fun ways to make your girlfriend happy — and hopefully open the gateway to another kind of fun:

Take her to a sporting event.

This may seem like your idea of an ideal date — but the electric atmosphere will likely give her mood a jolt, too. In fact, a 2011 study in the Journal of Epidemiology Community Health found that attending sporting events is associated with higher life satisfaction and lower anxiety among women. Of course, happy gals may just be more open to catching a game. But there is something enlivening about sporting events. “Playing sports can give people a little rush of arousal. Watching might do that as well — the collective excitement, the suspense of who wins or loses,” said couples therapist Brandy Engler, author of The Men on My Couch

Even if your date isn’t a huge sports fan, you can easily engage her in the game by having her pick a team to root for — and then aligning yourself with the opponent. Creating a little playful competition makes the game’s outcome about you and her — not just the teams. Hint: Choose a fast-paced sport, like horseracing or basketball, so there’s lots of action to keep her on the edge of her seat.

Plan your next vacation.

Yes, it’s only October — but why not start planning your summer vacay now? Just lusting after those seaside villas in Italy will lift her spirits: A recent Dutch study suggests that anticipating a getaway may be a more potent happiness booster than the actual trip. “You’re planning together, working as a team. That activates excitement and affection for each other,” DeAnna Lorraine, a Los Angeles-based dating coach, told Yahoo Health. “To women, it’s like foreplay — we can get very aroused just by imagining and anticipating things.” Bonus: Researching a couples getaway can put her in the romantic mindset now, said Engler. 

Related: Reading ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ May Be Hazardous to Your Health

Borrow a friend’s dog for the day

Your buddy’s dog is your best friend — at least when it comes to winning over your date. “Women love seeing a man around animals,” said Lorraine. “It’s similar to watching him around children — it brings out nurturing instincts.” No pooch of your own? Offer to babysit a pal’s for the day, and head to the park with your partner. 

Just don’t spend too much of your time loving on Fido together: Oxytocin, the bonding hormone, “makes us feel lovey dovey, but not necessarily sexual,” explained Engler. “You want testosterone, which comes with physical activity and competition.” So grab the ball and play catch together. Or go on a jog and take turns holding the leash.

Embrace the outdoors

Go hiking, rockclimbing, kayaking — anything to get you outside and active. “When you’re stuck in your home, the energy can get stagnant,” Lorraine said. “But when you’re outside, it’s an unpredictable environment.” Read: You’re surrounded by novelty — whether you’re exploring a new trail or checking out a waterfall — and that’s a potent mood booster for both parties. “It’s primal,” said Engler. “When you’re engaging with the earth, you’re getting back in touch with your body.” And that physical arousal can easily translate to another kind of energy.

Sample gourmet chocolates

We don’t need to tell you that women love chocolate. But don’t just hand her a box of supermarket sweets — instead, take her to a gourmet chocolate shop, and let her choose a variety to try. Once you’re home, uncork a bottle of red wine, and sample them together. “Break off a little piece, place it in her mouth, have her close her eyes, and tell her to really taste it,” Engler said. “You’re getting into the senses together.” 

Tap into your creativity

Turn game night into a bonding experience: Choose an active, creative game that requires a timer, like Pictionary or charades, and compete against each other. “The timer heightens the arousal even more,” Lorraine said. “And you’re forced to be dorky and silly—these games create playfulness and laughter automatically.” 

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