Science is probably the farthest thing from your mind as you make plans for Valentine's Day next week. But for this popular holiday dedicated to romance, it occurred to me that you should keep a few of the suggestions from earlier Physics of Sex posts in mind.
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If you're a regular reader, suggestion number 5 is a new one that you haven't seen here yet. The rest are taken from earlier posts.
1. Opt for a low fat dinner. Fat from your meal rapidly moves into your blood, making it sticky, thick and more difficult for your heart to pump around. Reduced blood flow dampens erectile vigor (in the genitals of both men and women), and can reduce lubrication in women. So skip the foie gras on the 14th. Salads and other low fat foods are sexier for your Valentine’s Day dinner. See the entry Pumped Up and Ready for Love, part 2 for more information.
2. Tune your bed and body for better sex. Different beds have different rhythms: firm beds are better for faster sex, and soft beds are better for slower loving. For the most versatility, start with a firm bed and add pillows or thick comforters to slow things down. If you want to take even more control of the pace, experiment with sexual positions. You will find that various positions often encourage distinct natural rhythms. See Sexual Rhythms for more details.
3. Mix it up for sensory bliss. The sensory cells that respond to touch, temperature and other information tune out sensations that don’t change much. (That’s why you may forget about the sunglasses resting on top of your head, for example.) So mix things up in bed – change how and where you touch your lover to keep the sensory cells firing and the excitement levels up. See Sex and Sensibility, part 1
4. Keep going longer with sensory repetition. If you or your lover suffer from premature ejaculation, you may be able to stave off the inevitable with the start-stop method. (The method is essentially the opposite of the suggestion above.) Just as the sensory cells and nerves in your scalp soon forget about the sunglasses stowed there, repeatedly taking a man to the brink of orgasm and stopping briefly makes the sensory system less responsive, and can help him last longer in bed. See Sex and Sensibility, part 1
5. Hum a low pitched tune. Human ears can detect high frequencies, but the nerves in the rest of your body can’t register vibrations much over 500 hertz (roughly the B note above middle C on the piano). So if you give the gift of a hummer this Valentine’s Day, keep the pitch low for the best effect. The details of this suggestion will be in the upcoming post Sex and Sensibility, part2.
6. If you still need to find a Valentine's Day date, try looking the physics way. I can't guarantee results, but researchers have found that some approaches are better than others when it comes to cruising for mates. (Valentine's Day is a week away, so you still have one more weekend to try it out.) The details are in last week's post The Physics Guide to Hooking Up.
Before Valentine's Day gets here, check out other Physics of Sex suggestions in the entry Skip to the Tips.