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A Better Sex Life? Take the Slow Route

Try these 6 strategies to improve sensual pleasure

4. Lights + camera = action

To make an experience more sensual, think like a set director — that is, arrange the lighting in your home to its most flattering effect. In winter this may mean cuddling (or more!) in front of the fireplace; in summer you can create a similar effect using a campfire or fire pit.

In the bedroom, you have three options to create a more visually sensual environment:

a. Use a dimmer.

b. Change the color of the ambient light; try peach, blue or even red for a more highly charged atmosphere.

c. Rather than lighting just one candle, try setting 10 or 15 votives around the room.

In short, never underestimate the romantic impact of underlighting a scene!

5. We all love in a material world

Touch is intimate — we can bank on an immediate physical response when someone we love touches us — but what about other kinds of touch? Consider the super-sensual feeling of satiny sheets, or the luxurious sensation created by other materials such as a cashmere scarf, a merino-wool robe or a pair of silk pajamas.

One sure ingredient to include in any sensual recipe is high thread-count sheets: These are practically guaranteed to make you feel splendid in bed, with or without someone else present.

6. Have your partner eating from the palm of your hand

It can be a turnoff to witness another couple feeding each other in public. Done in the privacy or your own kitchen or bedroom, however, being fed feels downright nurturing. And when the foodstuff in question is specially prepared hors d'oeuvres or bite-sized desserts, the effect can be incredibly sensual.

To heighten the sensation, you might consider having the person who is being fed also be blindfolded (restricting one sense intensifies others). With or without the sense of sight, being fed chocolate-covered chilled strawberries, or small spoonfuls of chocolate mousse, or a ripe slice of peach or mango verges on foreplay. Take your time … savor each bite … and it all adds up to a deliciously sensual experience.

Pepper Schwartz is AARP's love and relationships ambassador.

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