Obligations, fatigue, or an inability to “switch gears” at the end of the day can make sex the last thing you feel like doing. But there are ways to get turned on quickly that will put you in the right headspace for sex, if that’s where you’re trying to be. Whether you’re gearing up for some fun with a partner or just some much-needed solo time, it doesn’t have to take all day to get in the mood.
The first thing to keep in mind when trying to get in the mood is to avoid putting pressure on yourself to feel a certain way. “Give yourself time and cut yourself some slack. Don’t expect to be spontaneously aroused without some build up,” Dr. Rachel Needle, a licensed psychologist in West Palm Beach, Florida and co-director of Modern Sex Therapy Institutes, tells Romper via email.
In addition, it’s easier to get in the mood quickly when you already have a solid idea of what turns you on. “Figure out what you like,” Dr. Ashley Grinonneau-Denton, Ph.D., AASECT CSTS, co-director of the Ohio Center for Relationship & Sexual Health, tells Romper via email. “I find that erotic scripts in people can coincide with their preferred learning styles.” For instance, visual learners might enjoy watching their partner do a striptease, whereas auditory learners may be into dirty talk. Experiment with your partner (or do some exploring on your own) to learn more about what you like.
Taking a few minutes to relax, let your mind wander, and even just fantasize can mean the difference between “I’m just not feeling it” and “Let’s go!” Some of these ideas involve the senses (such as a warm shower or a great-smelling candle), while others require nothing more than the power of your own mind. Basically, going from 0 to 60 doesn’t have to be an impossible task. And hey, if you’re motivated enough to even want to get turned on, then you’re already halfway there.
1. Get Mentally Stimulated
Use the sexy power of your brain. “Think sexy thoughts,” says Dr. Needle, whatever that may be. “Either look at something that turns you on or think about something that is sexually arousing.” For some people, it might mean thinking about a specific fantasy you have or even mentally revisiting a specific chapter from a super steamy novel that you can’t get out of your head.
2. Use Scents
Aromatherapy can help rev your engines. In fact, scents such as lavender, pumpkin pie, and licorice can help to increase blood flow to the genital area, as Dr. Alan Hirsch, Neurological Director of The Smell and Taste Research and Treatment Foundation in Chicago, explained in Good Housekeeping. (Maybe that's why pumpkin spice lattes are so popular.) If you’re particularly sensitive to smell, try seeing what happens when you get a whiff of one of these food-based scents, or even a fragrance or candle that you associate with a specific person or experience that turns you on.
3. Create A Relaxing Atmosphere
Make your space work for you. "The foundation of arousal is relaxation," said Megan Fleming, Ph.D., relationship and sex therapist, in Redbook. Take a moment to make your space more inviting and chill by lighting a few candles or putting on some mood music. Having fewer distractions around can help you focus, no matter what your goal is. So if you’re the type of person who can’t concentrate when you’re surrounded by clutter, then take a few minutes to clear your space so you can clear your head.
4. Be Mindful
Mindfulness practices can help you become more aware of the present moment, making it easier to enjoy every touch and sensation, says Dr. Needle. This kind of practice is just one of the ways mindful meditation can improve your sex life. Being more in tune with the present moment can help you enjoy the whole experience of sex, and not just race for the finish. If you are new to meditation, don’t be surprised if you don’t find it particularly easy, as the practice can take some, well, practice. Feel free to start small.
5. Soak In A Bubble Bath
If the shower feels like too much work, then a relaxing bubble bath may be more your speed. "A bubble bath is like a sensory-deprivation tank: It shuts out noise, work, and responsibilities," Dr. Scott Haltzman, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry, said in Women's Health. "One of the fundamentals of female sexual arousal is being able to push daily concerns out of your mind." All the more reason to go for a soak.
No, seriously. "Not only will you feel more energetic after a sweat session, but you'll get your endorphins — which put you in the mood for sex — going as well," Dennis Lin, director of the Psychosexual Medicine Program at Beth Israel Medical Center, said in Woman's Day. As it turns out, going to the gym is good for more than just your fitness level.
7. Listen Up
Visual stimulation isn’t the only way to get revved up. In fact, “those who are auditory learners may enjoy listening to their partner(s) talk dirty to them in person,” says Dr. Grinonneau-Denton. Experiment with your partner: let them tell you what their fantasy is, tell them what your fantasy is, and collaborate on stories together. With an open mind and a little willingness to experiment, it’s possible to get in the mood super-fast.
Dr. Rachel Needle is a Licensed Psychologist in West Palm Beach, Florida and Co-Director of Modern Sex Therapy Institutes, a continuing education provider company that trains mental health professionals and sex therapists around the world.
Dr. Ashley Grinonneau-Denton, Ph.D., AASECT CSTS, Co-Director of the Ohio Center for Relationship & Sexual Health
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