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A Better Sex Life? Take the Slow Route

Try these 6 strategies to improve sensual pleasure

Bed with rose petals. Six sensual strategies. (Quavondo/Getty Images)

In the bedroom, you have several options to create a more visually sensual environment. — Quavondo/Getty Images

En español | Smartphones, tablets, texting, apps — life in the fast lane has made it hard for us to remember the joy of doing things slowly, deliberately and free of deadlines. We overstuff vacations with activities. We multitask even during a romantic dinner. And when it comes to sex, we often take the quickest route to orgasm, ignoring the sensual pleasures available along the way.

Now that we are older, however, both our bodies and our brains savor a slower approach. Sensuality — which is really nothing more than the full employment of our senses — makes sense. To slow things down and get back in touch with your sensual side, try these six strategies:

1. Soak it up

The Romans were obsessed with hot water. They scoured the ancient world in search of that rarity — a hot spring bubbling up from the ground — and built a steam bath for Roman aristocrats wherever they found one.

We take our hot water for granted these days, often forgetting its romantic potential. Don't let that happen to you and your honey! Spend some time together soaking in hot water laden with aromatic salts, letting the scent of eucalyptus, rose or lavender flood your sense of smell. You can also burn incense by the tub's edge. Smell is the quickest sense to reach the brain, so it can affect our thoughts and feelings almost immediately.

If your bathtub at home is big enough for only one aristocrat, find a hotel or public bathhouse that offers a larger soaking tub. I can't say enough about how the two of you will feel as tendrils of perfume entwine you: "Detoxed, renewed and seduced" almost begins to cover it!

2. Get — or give — happy feet

A favorite sensual strategy is to home in on one part of the body and pamper it like crazy. Our feet — those seemingly pedestrian body parts so often stood up or downtrodden — may be the most deserving of such attention. And if you observe the proper ritual, taking care of each other's feet can be a rewardingly sensual experience.

Believe it or not, you can buy a kit for this and follow its steps. They usually go something like this:

a. Soak your partner's feet in warm water.

b. Scrub them with a loofah, a mildly abrasive cloth or a pumice stone. Yes, you're removing old skin, but it should feel good.

c. Slowly and sensually apply lotion to her/his feet, massaging the toes, instep and heel. If you want to go over the top, paint her toes (rent Bull Durham to understand why this can be so sexy) or give him a bit of a pedicure. If this is too metrosexual for you, stop at the foot massage — but I guarantee that will be enough to feel a sensual connection.

3. Learn a new kind of necking

Ever had a proper neck massage? It's one of the sexiest things you can get — or give!

Pay slow, focused attention to the top of your partner's neck, where the hairline ends; the base of the neck where it connects to the shoulders; and even the temples and jawline. You will have to guide each other to deliver maximum pleasure; done well, however, moaning should ensue as the sensual benefits of this kind of touch hit home.

If this appeals to you but you doubt your talent for it, take a massage class. Knowing whether to use your thumbs, for example, or learning the perfect amount of pressure to apply to the temples can spell the difference between grace and groping. Just be prepared for your partner's slavish devotion if you perfect the art of neck massage!

Next page: How to create a romantic scene. »

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