What’s the last thing you did to add more fun or pleasure to your sex life? When we hear the phrase “spice up your sex life,” it might be easy to leap to the wildest depictions of sex we can think of. But spicing things up doesn’t have to mean hanging naked from a chandelier, getting super kinky or taking part in an orgy.
Sometimes turning up the heat means making time for a sensual massage with a partner at home, trying out a new toy, or using an old favorite in a different way. It might mean finally adding lube to the mix (hint hint!), scheduling solo or partner play or reading a sexy story. Other times, spicing things up involves nothing sex-specific at all. If you’re stressed out, anxious or tired, for example, getting support or making more time for rest could be the key—not only for better sex, but for a better life.
Regardless, I love hearing the different ways folks cultivate spice and pleasure in their lives and relationships. Lived experiences are such awesome teachers, and we never know what ideas someone else’s might inspire.
I recently spoke with six authors of steamy books, including a few you’ve heard from on Girl Boner Radio before, about their own favorite ways to turn up the heat in the bedroom. I think you’re going to really appreciate what they, and Dr. Megan Fleming, had to say in the new episode, Spicier Sex Inspo from Erotica Authors + Low Libido Tips.
Stream the full episode on Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify or below! Read on for a few highlights.
7 Ways to Spice Up Your Sex Life
1 Flirt your heart out
Author Autumn Bardot has been married three times, including over 20 years to her current partner. Her decades of experience in long-term relationships have taught her the importance of flirting for hotter sex.
“To me, flirting with your man or woman or your partner is play, and people respond to play, actually, in every aspect: sexually, emotionally,” she said. “if you can do something playfully, it’s not so in your face. It’s not so pressure-filled. It’s just relaxed and easy. And I think that’s why you need to take that kind of ease and relax and bring it into the dynamic dynamics of a relationship. It makes it more fun.
Flirting also tells your partner you’re open and ready and that you want them…not just sexually but emotionally, the whole person,” she “That’s like a huge aphrodisiac. Definitely, that’s a step of foreplay. That’s the appetizer.”
2 Simmer all day long
One of my favorite practices Dr. Megan Fleming often recommends is keeping your “sexy pilot light on.” Doing so can help us stay more connected to our sexuality and help us flirt your way to steamier sex. The idea, Megan said, is that we want to simmer all day long. “You really want to seduce your partner,” she added. “And so texting or sexting is a fabulous way to do that—everything from you can’t wait to later tonight and being really suggestive of what that’s going to be and including maybe pictures of lingerie that you’re going to wear or your new favorite sex toy.”
And don’t forget the power of sexy glances. There’s a reason big screen love (and lust) interests lock eyes across crowded rooms. Little feels as intimate as eye-to-eye gazing, whether you’re inches or feet apart from a partner. Dr. Megan loves this method of flirting fun, too. “I think it’s about catching a glance and holding their gaze and then putting a really big smile, maybe cocking your head a little bit and just sort of giving that ‘come hither’ motion,” she said. “Just sort of giving that expectation of you see them and you want them and what’s about to come. No pun, or perhaps the pun, intended.”
3 Set the room aglow
Lauren Emily, author of young adult and erotic fiction, told me she relates to the common conundrum of harassing judging your own body. Given that poor body image can really stand in the way of sex and desire, she wants you to know that you’re “perfect just the way you are, and you’re going to have so much fun with your partner or partners.” And trust her, she said, “they are not looking at anything you perceive as a flaw. And if they’re not just happy you’re here then you got the wrong partners.”
When you want to delight in sex and you’re not feeling as confident as you’d like, Lauren recommends sensual lighting and ambiance. “I think candlelight is awesome because everybody looks and feels amazing,” she said. “And if you aren’t as confident about being under the lights and everything’s out there, I think any type of low lighting can be really really nice.” Choice music, too, Lauren added, can help whisk us away from negative self-talk closer to yes, yes, yes-level fun.
4 Negotiate your sexy plans
Rebecca Grace Allen told me she writes the “dirty words, because why the hell not?” The books she writes are the happily-ever books she loved as a child, she said, with all the smut she loves as an adult. One of her books, His Contract, illustrates this hotter sex tip well. In the story, the hero, Jack, is overcoming the loss of his spouse. The heroine, Lily, is trying to overcome a previous relationship with an emotionally abusive dominant. And Jack won’t even think of beginning to play with Lily until he’s certain she’s comfortable, going so far as to asking her to read articles on risk-aware consensual kink and safe, sane and consensual play, and to fill out a complete checklist. “He wants her obedience, but more than that, he wants her trust,” Rebecca added.
Those negotiation scenes are some of Rebecca’s favorite to write, because of the sheer honesty. And they may turn out to be your favorite ways to move toward hotter sex, if you giving similar open communication a try. For a simple means or to spur ideas, use a Yes, No, Maybe list or create one of your own.
5 Stay open to feedback
Staying open to feedback and constructive criticism can be pretty important for inviting better sex, too, said Logan Pierce. The former porn star and author of the memoir, Between The Sheets: Rise of a Working Stiff, shared that these sensitive topics too often end up undiscussed. Many folks “keep it inside and they hope that their partner will just read their mind and do what they want,” he said. “And in that case, a lot of people are left unsatisfied.”
While navigating this is still a work-in-progress for Logan, he’s learned that the flip side is really positive. “If your partner is satisfied, you will be satisfied,” he added. “I mean, at least in my life I find that I usually get a lot of satisfaction out of making people happy. And once again, your partner is the closest person to you. That’s the person you love, the person you want to give everything to. So if you can make them happy, it will bring happiness into your life as well.”
6 Masturbate together
Little is as hot as side-by-side solo play. Take it from author Kitt Crescendo, who shifted gears to writing spicy stories after she was let go from a long-time corporate position. When she told one of her former bosses about her career aspirations, she was stunned by Kitt’s answer: she wanted to write erotica and erotica romance. “Wait, are you kidding me?” the boss asked. “Aren’t you religious? What about Mary Kay?” Kitt is religious, believes sexual pleasure is a God-given right and considers mutual masturbation one of the steamiest ways to experience it.
“I’ve found that when mutual masturbation is at play, there’s a psychological side, but there’s also the visual,” she said. “It gives you a show and you’re also working together towards an end goal that’s totally spicy.” This practice also allows you to learn new ways to pleasure your partner and watch as your partner gets increasingly turned on by you. “It tells you, ‘Hey, you’re sexy to me, and this is what you do to me,'” Kitt pointed out. “And that sometimes is missing and it feels like a chore for some people. So when you can put it in that perspective, I think that’s just terrific.”
7 Read or listen to erotica
If you’re familiar with the erotica book genre, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered Rachel Kramer Bussel‘s work. The writer, editor and columnist known for the anthology series she edits, Best Women’s Erotica, and more has been reading erotica for over two decades. When we spoke for this episode, she told me that reading this art form has opened her mind up to the vast variety in sexuality, from different types of fetishes to different ways people talk to each other about sex. It’s also given her specific ideas to act on or think about and brought creative exploration more to the forefront of her mind.
If you’d like to use erotica to spice up your sex life, she recommends enjoying it on your own first to discover what turns you on and what doesn’t. Once you’re ready to bring a partner or partners into your erotica-inspired play, share a particular scene or story and say, “What do you think of this?”
“I think the biggest thing is you want to create a safe space…to share your thoughts and feelings,” Rachel said. “I feel like erotica is a starting point, you know. Yes, the story or novel, whatever you’re reading, has a beginning and end, but you are free to insert your own fantasies and feelings into it. You can pause it or stop it. You can read to each other. You can really make it your own thing.”