If you have 0 minutes...follow the advice of that classic Nike ad campaign.
Most of us believe that desire sparks the idea to have sex, which ideally leads to us feeling like it's the Fourth of July when it's really the third of March. So if we're not already in the mood, then it's hard to for us to motivate to light some candles and change out of our yoga pants that are too baggy to actually wear to yoga. But the desire-then-sex formula can be limiting, says Laurie Mintz, PhD
, a professor of psychology at the University of Florida and the author of A Tired Woman's Guide to Passionate Sex
. Research clearly shows that women can have the idea to have sex, start having sex and then
become excited, and then become really really excited, Mintz says. Often, the trick is to just do it and tell yourself that you'll be glad you did. What makes the difference between sex-as-foreplay and sex-as-duty is your attitude, says Mintz (who acknowledges that yes, this is harder than it sounds). She says that what has worked for many women she's counseled is to practice mindfulness during sex—focus and immerse yourself in the smell of your partner's hair, the warmth of his skin, the feeling of his hand on your...you get the idea.
If you have 5 minutes...put on socks.
That's right, we're not recommending a lacy, filmy or revealingly clingy little something. Here's why: Researchers have found that warming up the feet leads to warming up other parts of the body
. The area of the brain associated with genital sensation is right next-door to the one associated with feeling in the feet, writes Daniel G. Amen, MD, in his book Unleash the Power of the Female Brain
. Some scientists think that when our feet are cold, it's harder for us to feel comfortable enough to let go in bed. In an orgasm study at the University of Groningen, half the couples were unable to make it to climax, but once socks were offered, the success rate shot up to 80 percent
If you have an hour...go to the gym.
More than 200 women reported in a 2010 online survey that they had experienced exercise-induced orgasms, says study author Debby Herbenick, a research scientist at Indiana University and the author of Sex Made Easy
. Insert your own "sexercise" joke here, and then start warming up for titillating workouts involving the captain's chair (you lift your lower body by contracting the obliques and pelvic muscles), Spinning (which causes friction between the bike seat and the pelvis), yoga (which improves mind-body awareness) and rope-climbing (see also: Spinning). Many of the women surveyed also said they felt excited by watching themselves perform strengthening and flexibility moves in the mirror
. Herbenick says that even if going to the gym isn't your means to an end, it can literally get the blood flowing so that you're more easily aroused by your partner when you get home.
Next: What to do if you have a week