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Setting the Mood: Beyond Roses and Chocolates

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(from the Sexual Health Center)

Our partners can be remarkably out of touch with understanding what gets us in the mood. Instead of limiting seduction to fancy dinners and bottles of wine (which may be more likely to put you to sleep), suggest that physical intimacy on any given night is more likely if:

You are touched during the day. A lingering kiss in the hall, a hug, even a neck rub can all help get your head out of the laundry room and into the bedroom. If the only time you are ever touched is when your partner wants sex, it can be a turnoff rather than a turn-on.

You get help with household chores. Partners who cook dinner, clean the kitchen, check the kids' homework and take out the garbage, for example, give you some downtime. You may want to unwind in a bath and pamper yourself as a reminder that you're a woman, first and foremost, not just a household manager.

Intimacy is planned. Both partners should take responsibility to set times and dates to make love. Putting it on the calendar (like any other appointment) helps you mentally prepare for sex rather than having it sprung on you before you have a chance to get in the mood.

Your partner comes to bed clean and smelling great. Clean is sexy!

Your partner shares something intimate. Few things turn on a woman as much as hearing her lover open up and talk about feelings.

However, you can't put all the responsibility for your sexual desire onto your sexual partner. You have to take some responsibility for your own libido and help out a little. For instance:

Talk about what you like. Do you prefer to be touched here but you cringe when you are touched there? Do you want to have sex more often? Less often? Talk about it. Remember, no one can read your mind.

Surprise your lover—and yourself! Every now and then, break out of your comfort zone. Be the one to initiate sex. Wear something (or nothing) totally unexpected in an unexpected setting.

Practice. The tissues of your vulva, vagina and clitoris, as well as your pelvic muscles, need regular circulation and exercise to be their best.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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