By Marjie Killeen, Guest Contributor
Although my 17 year-old son calls me a "Sexpert", I'm definitely not one. I have no special sex training or credentials. But, during the last year of writing my column, "Sex & the Suburbs " for MakeItBetter.net , I've interviewed many people who really are experts in the areas of sex, sensuality and relationships and I've learned a thing or two along the way.
I'd like to share these tidbits of wisdom with you - just in time for Valentine's Day.
Valentines day 1. When Mama's Happy, Everybody's Happy
Honey, here's the good news. Being sexy is all about YOU. Women are often so busy trying to please everybody else, we lose touch with our own bodies and what brings us pleasure. Pamela Madsen , the author of the provocative new book, Shameless , says we deserve it.
"Women don't have to earn the right to have pleasure in life. We don't have to lose three pounds, or jog, or take out the garbage, or get a raise. We're all entitled to have pleasure, just the way we are! And when we finally figure that out, pleasure can transform our lives," she says.
Instead of planning a romantic evening around your man, plan it around you. Do you want an hour alone in the bathroom to primp? Do you want oysters and champagne and a foot massage? Set it up, girl! Ask for it. Your sweetie will find nothing more seductive than a woman who knows what she wants and expects to get it.
2. New Stuff is Hot Stuff
According to Licensed Family and Marriage Counselor David Klow, "Familiarity is the enemy of eroticism." If you're in a long-term relationship, it's important to shake things up once in a while.
Cheryl Sloane, owner of Chicago's sexy G Boutique for women, urges, "Try one little thing that may create change. It will enhance all parts of your relationship." Her feminine shop (and website) is chock full of fun products to sample: lingerie, sex toys, lubes and literature.
But sometimes a change of venue is all it takes. One of my favorite date nights is a "sleep under." For the price of a meal at a good restaurant you can catch a last minute deal at a boutique hotel, spend a few memorable hours there, and be home in time to pay the babysitter. Who needs to eat?
3. Good Sex is Good For You
Maintaining a good sex life with your partner has lasting benefits. It helps your relationship and makes you feel positive about yourself and life.
Psychiatrist and marriage counselor Art Nielsen says, "All of the dynamics of a relationship-power, play, control, trust, love-are active in the bedroom. If the sex is good, you feel good about the marriage." On the flip side, many of the couples he sees in therapy haven't had sex in a long time.
Dr. Todd Newberger, an internist agrees. "Physical intimacy is an enormous part of healthy adult relationships," he says. "It helps people maintain closeness and feel young and vibrant." And there are real health benefits as well. "If the equipment is being used, it is likely to keep performing well."
4. Spontaneity is Overrated
It's nice to think that you and your guy will passionately fall into one another's' arms, but most couples benefit from a little planning and anticipation. Whether it's Valentine's Day, your anniversary, or next Wednesday at noon, take the time to plan a romantic encounter and remember to spice it up with something different that appeals to you.