Written by: Dr. Stephanie Bathurst, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
We're all on the hunt for the next best thing that promises youth, relationship stability, physical health, and general happiness in life. Fulfilling sexual experiences can offer ALL of those life wins in one yummy package. Here are some easy changes that you can put into practice today to improve sexual play and reap its many rewards.
Improve Sexual Fitness
Sex is a form of fitness because tapping into the body’s stimulation threshold for arousal and orgasm can be a physical feat that requires recovery afterward, just like other forms of exercise. Maintaining routine exercise can help with the stamina and endurance often needed for vigorous sexual play. Ideally, this is an exercise that works the full body and involves some level of cardio that is similar to activities such as swimming, jogging, biking, pilates, dancing, and some types of strength training. Too intensive cardio can cause an overproduction of stress hormones which can detract from your other bodily functions and needs. This then acts as a barrier to healthy sexual expression. So, do what you can to give your body the exercise it needs, but perhaps avoid HIIT classes that surge cortisol levels. Here are some tips to improve your sexual fitness for more fulfilling sex with your partner(s):
Pelvic floor strengthening through PFilates or Kegel exercises (for men, too!)
Learn how to use your breath to move energy and harmonize with your partner(s) during regular and sexual exercise with tantric breathwork.
Strength-training your core along with any supporting muscles that you depend on during common play positions, such as your shoulders or lower back
Sexual stamina can be improved by the regular usage of a sauna or cardio training
Biohacking Sex Tips
Sleep is when our other bodily functions take a rest and allow for the recovery and regeneration of hormone levels. Mornings are most optimal for heightened sexual energy because the body’s testosterone is highest upon waking. Better sex may be as easy as switching your initiation time from night to morning.
Red and Infrared Light Therapy, like Joov, on the genitals, is shown to increase testosterone levels. Testosterone is the key hormone in both men’s and women’s sexual desire. Please ensure that you use a safe form of red-light therapy meant for human use ONLY. This is a non-invasive and easy inclusion in your weekly routine since it only takes 10-20 minutes of light therapy each session for an average of 3-5 days per week to see dramatic results.
External things that can negatively impact your libido are: antidepressants, hormonal birth control, pesticides and environmental chemicals that contain xenoestrogens. These throw off your body’s hormonal balance. Chronic stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, which is our flight, fight, and freeze response. When this is turned on, our parasympathetic nervous system, the rest, digest, and sex response, is essentially turned off.
Stress drastically reduces sexual interest in most people and reduces sexual pleasure levels overall. Practicing relaxation techniques for your mind and body in concurrence with sexual stimuli is critical for reducing the negative effects of stress on your sexual experience.
There are specific ways that we can breathe to help activate our parasympathetic nervous system in preparation for sex. You can implement either left nostril breathing or alternative nostril breathing to promote regulation. This will allow your body to focus less on stress management from flooding cortisol and more on pleasure experiences.
Another type of breathing that encourages regulation is deep-belly breathing. This can be practiced together in synchrony with your partner(s) to elevate intimate bonds. This is a practice within tantric sacred sexuality. Increased oxygenation can give you a slight light-headedness that feels a bit euphoric while feel-good hormones flood your system. This is a great grounding activity before sexual intimacy.
Sex Cocktail: Know Your Hormones
There are 4 primary neurochemicals that play a critical role during sexual intimacy. Phenylethylamine, or PEA, is an adrenal hormone that gets released when we are excited and is amphetamine-like in its experience. This is why PEA has an addictive component to it. It makes you feel energized, upbeat, and optimistic. Behaviorally, this chemical is produced when engaged in novelty experiences. The early phase of a romantic relationship seems carefree, spontaneous, and filled with the excitation of new moments. This organic novelty phase usually only lasts from six months to a year. Responsible for the honeymoon phase of a relationship, it’s also a constituent in certain foods, such as dark chocolate that contains 70% or more cacao, beans, legumes, cabbage, cheeses, beetroot, and wine. This chemical is responsible for the most euphoric experience you can have during sex; what people often define as passionate sex.
Give it a try! Experiential Intimacy is just one of the 8 Forms of Intimacy that I teach my clients for optimal relational fulfillment. This particular form of intimacy offers the novelty experience, which PEA thrives off of. So pull out your bucket lists, as big or as small as they might be, and start checking them off with your partner(s). Add romantic, affectionate, and sexual practices onto the bucket list so that you have future-oriented, new experiences to look forward to that will flood your brains with a bit of euphoric yumminess. Enjoy the moment! This hormone burns hot while it's here, but it burns out very quickly.
Dopamine is a neurochemical that is often released alongside adrenaline. It is produced in response to sexual stimuli and feels like exhilaration or a surge of energy that focuses your attention entirely on the present moment. Associated with perceived risky behaviors, such as having sex in the laundry room of the house. Even if no one else is home, the brain may feel that the risk of being discovered is higher than in the bedroom and will flood with excitement hormones. a.
Give it a try! Consensual kink activities, such as using wrist ties during play or planning an exciting role-play scene with your partner(s), can flood your system with these reward-center hormones.
Serotonin is a hormone that is responsible for the regulation of mood, sleep, and learning. Very high levels are scientifically linked to all-consuming or obsessive thoughts for one’s partner(s). Often, this is the hormone that is most associated with feelings of joy and contentment within a romantic partnership.
Give it a try! Release Serotonin in the body through affectionate physical touch, such as warm oil body massages, practicing joint meditation, or listening to music that you both enjoy. These have all been linked to various studies showing an increase or sustainability of Serotonin levels.
Oxytocin is responsible for the rhythmic muscle contractions that create orgasm and ejaculate. The larger the oxytocin flood, the more intense the orgasm. This is the cuddle hormone. It largely floods women during physically intimate experiences like stroking touch, nursing infants, and orgasm. Men are primarily flooded during orgasm. This hormone gives you a blanketed warmth and loving sensation that allows you to feel deeply attached to another person. Sustained eye contact, like that during Tantric Sex or Karezza, can onset a flood of Oxytocin in the body, as well.
Give it a try! Have all 6 points face one another (eyes, shoulders, hips). Without speaking or diffusing the discomfort of silence with silly faces, engage in 2 minutes of eye contact with the intention of truly seeing your partner at a core depth that no one has seen before. Around 1 minute in, you will see and feel an emotional shift and come out of the exercise with a deepened bond.
Wishing you a life filled with secure attachments, fulfilling relationships, and passionate sex.
Interested in discovering more about what kind of energy you exchange in romantic relationships? Take a free quiz!
Dr. Stephanie Bathurst, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Dr. Stephanie Bathurst is an expert Clinical Sexologist, Relationship Therapist, and Holistic Healer who applies evidence-based techniques that blend holistic and traditional therapies. As a provider, she aims to energize relationships, unblock barriers in the 8 forms of intimacy, and treat the whole system for clients to see long-lasting effects. Acknowledging the heaviness in our world, Dr. Bathurst strives to lead unhappy partners toward better sex, effective communication, and release of resentment so that together we can create a more loving, more stable connection. With her primary office in Oahu, HI, Dr. Bathurst offers coaching to clients across the globe, couples retreats, and hybrid relationship programs for immersive healing. Dr. Bathurst is the CEO of Bathurst Family Therapy, LLC., and has won numerous awards of excellence in her fields. Her integration of degrees in counseling and sexology combined with certifications as an Integrative Medicine Specialist for Mental Health and Pelvic Floor PFilates instructor makes Dr. Bathurst a truly unparalleled provider.
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