12 Months of Amazing Sex

In 2016, we’re saying “no” to bad sex! From kicking lacklustre guys out of your bed to uncovering your deepest fantasies, this guide will eliminate the libido killers so you can have an orgasmic year ahead.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
 In 2016, we’re saying “no” to bad sex! From kicking lacklustre guys out of your bed to uncovering your deepest fantasies, this guide will eliminate the libido killers so you can have an orgasmic year ahead.
Corbis/Click Photos
Corbis/Click Photos


Write down your vision

Or draw it! Some sex positions are better described with illustrations. OK, so we might be joking about harnessing your erotic-drawing skills, but we’re serious about setting clear intentions for 2016 – especially if you’re so bored by run-of-the-mill romps that you’d rather check your social media feeds in bed.

So think about how you’d like to feel during and after sex. Imagine the kind of attributes your partner will have. And we’re not just talking about his length and girth, but his personality traits.

For example, is he a kind and affectionate guy? It might sound boooring, but sex with the wrong guy can leave you with a bad aftertaste – and possibly a case of the dreaded chlamydia.

According to a study on goal-setting, the three percent of Harvard MBA students who wrote down their career and financial goals ended up earning 10 times more money than the rest of their classmates combined.

Now just imagine if they had replaced the word “money” with “amazing sex”! If reviewing goals helps you stay focused, why not? Because a happy personal life is just as important as a satisfying career.

So write down your intentions and look back on them regularly throughout the year to make sure you’re making decisons that keep you on track to achieve your goal of a more satisfying sex life.


Give that nice guy a chance

That cute guy from Tinder might have bumbled his way through your first date and used way too many emojis in his texts. And maybe you weren’t instantly attracted – but at least he didn’t swan into the bar 30 minutes late and then claim to have not seen your messages – for three days.

So in the month of love, bid goodbye to men who don’t treat you well. Bad boys can seem instantly exciting and sexy, but as time goes on, you’ll be left unsatisfied, in and out of bed. Maybe it’s time to give that really sweet but emoji-challenged boy another try – chances are, if he’s thoughtful and attentive towards you in real life, he will hit the right notes in bed too.


Feed your body with the good stuff

Sometimes, food and sex can mean sexily devouring a fruit platter off your partner’s stomach. But we’re actually talking about ensuring your body’s in the best possible state to have a sexual appetite in the first place. Nutritionist and herbalist Cassie Mendoza-Jones explains: “If you aren’t in the mood, it could be because you’re tired. So look after your energy levels and balance out your hormones by eating foods with B6 vitamins, which help manufacture sex hormones. Try bananas, berries and almonds.”

Zinc is also important for hormone balance, and you can find it in oysters, grass-fed beef and lentils. Iodine, which is good for hormone production and fertility, is found in eggs, cheddar cheese and oysters (no wonder they’re considered an aphrodisiac!).


Forget about orgasms

Well, not completely – they’re still pretty awesome. But it’s also important to relax and – to borrow a phrase from cheesy reality TV stars everywhere – enjoy the “journey” to O-town.

“When we focus too much on hitting the big O, we can often get distracted from really enjoying the pleasure of the sexual moment,” says sex therapist Christina Spaccavento. “This makes you feel less aroused and your orgasm can become practically impossible.” Take on Christina’s advice and forget about the destination, so you can take full pleasure in the ride.


Get bendy

Other than becoming so flexible that you can finally try those feetbehind- the-head positions that flood your Instagram feed, practising yoga has emotional benefits. Manyia Vale, owner of Bikram Yoga Noosa and Kawana, says the deep breathing and stretching help to balance out your emotional state.

Manyia says this is especially important if you tend to bury your emotions with food, alcohol, or dramatic but doomed relationships. “Yoga opens you up and allows you to let go,” she explains. “And when you start putting a better energy out there, you’ll attract a better type of person.”

The eagle pose is excellent for women, as it flushes blood through the ovaries and uterus. But it’s great for men too, as “high-speed oxygenated blood goes straight to the weapon,” Manyia laughs.

Do the eagle pose by crossing your left thigh over the right leg, and then hook the top of your left foot behind your left calf. The arms are raised, parallel to the floor, with the right arm crossed above the left and then bend your elbows. The palms of your hands should face each other. You should hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds at a time.

“The best pose to open your heart is camel,” says Manyia. This is a deep backward bend from the kneeling position. Ensure your lower ribs aren’t protruding towards the ceiling. Hold this pose from 30 seconds to a minute, before repeating.

Corbis/Click Photos
Corbis/Click Photos


Heal your past

Now that you’ve started to open up with yoga, it’s time to heal your past relationships. Suppressed feelings of anger and sadness can be another reason you find yourself in unfulfilling intimate relationships, because “holding on to old thoughts and feelings towards past relationships can prevent you from being fully present and available to attract a new intimate partner,” says acupuncturist Amanda Tanner.

Think of it as trying to enjoy a nice bottle of wine, with the taste of bittergourd still lingering in your mouth. You can’t move forward to savour everything the wine has to offer, until you get rid of the taste that was there before. It’s the same with negative emotions – you need to take responsibility for your feelings, so you can let them go. And first, you need to acknowledge these negative feelings – the taste of bittergourd won’t go away by pretending it’s not there.

Second, understand how even negative feelings can help you learn. Maybe today’s wine wouldn’t taste as sweet if you hadn’t tasted bitterness beforehand? As Amanda says, “If you truly want to have a better romantic and sexually intimate relationship, you first need to develop a healthy relationship with yourself.”


Experience healthy pleasures

Do you feel like your weekends are becoming a bad re-enactment of the movie Groundhog Day, where one day repeats endlessly? If you’re waking up feeling bad about yourself and you’re stuck in a pattern of unfulfilling sex or bad relationships, it’s important to experience other non-sexual and healthy pleasures. So when you’re craving a pleasure hit, go out dancing or get a massage – anything sensual.


Manage your stress

Just like fatigue and anxiety, extreme and prolonged stress can lead to anxiety, depression and a loss of interest in sex. Psychologist Dr Timothy Sharp of the Happiness Institute says: “These emotions can also cause irritability, distractedness, sleep disturbance, social withdrawal and even loss of libido. It’s not hard to see how a relationship can suffer if you’re always angry, tired and disconnected.”

Dr Timothy points out stress is a normal part of life and we can’t avoid it completely, “But we can manage it better through exercise, relaxation and meditation, focusing on solutions rather than our problems, and talking things through with a supportive friend or family member”. Being active also helps – several studies show exercise can help lift depression and reduce anxiety because it helps burn off excess “fight-or-flight” hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.


Retire your inner movie star

We know the male heroes in rom-com movies are too perfect to be real. And we know the love scenes are scripted... yet they can still affect us, and not necessarily in a good way. Mood lighting, scripted pleasure and highdecibel sound effects are just some of the things that conspire to create an unrealistic portrait of sex.

“Yet some women feel pressured to live up to images they see in films, or they feel they should perform certain moves in bed,” says Christina.

Remember, to properly enjoy making love, it helps to stop “performing” what you think you should do, and start experiencing sensations in the moment.

So talk to him if something makes you feel uncomfortable, and be assertive about finding your own pleasure. Women in movies rarely have to move positions because they get a cramp in their leg, and no one ever says say, “Try it to the left,” or “That’s not working.” But this is your real life, not a movie scene.


Start training

Several studies show increased body confidence has an effect on how much you enjoy sex. What’s more interesting is that women who start exercising feel more body confidence and enjoy better sex – whether or not their body shape changes.

So what gives? Partly, it’s because you’ll start to feel healthier and more toned, which naturally lifts your mood. Strength training and cardiovascular exercise can also help your sex life in other ways.

“When you weight train, you naturally produce the hormone testosterone, which is known to increase your sex drive,” says personal trainer Sally Matterson.

You also improve your stamina and strength, which in turn can give you more confidence to try new bedroom moves and positions. And when you’re fitter, you have better blood flow to all parts of your body, including your pelvis – this increases the sensitivity and strength of your pelvic muscle contractions. Result? A more explosive climax for you.

Get started with this circuit from Sally. Warm up with a five-minute brisk walk to get the blood flowing. Then do 15 reps of these exercises as fast as you can, for four rounds:

JUMP SQUATS: Start in a squat then jump up explosively, landing back in the squat position.

TRICEP DIPS: Place your hands on the edge of a chair, fingers pointing towards you, and your feet about a metre in front. Dip your body by bending your arms, then straighten them up for one rep.

BURPEES: Lower your body to the ground as if you’re going to do a pushup, bring your feet in, then jump high.

ELBOW-TO-KNEE CRUNCHES: Lie on your back with knees raised. Bring your left knee in to meet your right elbow, extending your right leg at the same time. Repeat on the opposite side to finish one rep. Cool down with basic stretches. Do this circuit three times a week and say hello to a fitter, sexier you.


Enjoy some me time

A great way to rev up your love life is to take some solo time to explore your body and what makes you feel good. This way, says Christina, “You’ll tune in to what you like and whatever makes you feel good.” For more on throwing yourself a party for one, check out our Smart Report on page p98. Once you’ve done your homework, get ready to “report back to class” and share your lessons with your partner. So put on your teacher’s hat as you school him on the best ways to get you purring.


Be true to yourself

You’ve made it through the 12 months of eliminating bad sex. Congratulations! If it isn’t obvious by now, the secret to amazing sex is being true to yourself and feeling confident enough to express who you are and what you like. And this extends to your choice of partner.

“Have you ever tried to date a guy you weren’t really attracted to... even though he seemed a great choice ‘on paper’?” asks evolutionary psychologist Dr Peter Jonason of the University of Western Sydney. From his perspective, “If you try to override your “mate preferences”, you aren’t being true to yourself.

We’re constantly told we should find a guy who is taller, richer, with a stable job... the list of “shoulds” goes on and on. But what if that’s not you? What if you feel more attracted to a shorter, younger artist instead?

So if you’re really not into a guy, save both of you time and trouble by giving him an upfront “no”. And, on the flip side, if you find yourself gazing lustfully at someone you thought was not your type, give him a chance. It could be evolution giving you a nudge, this year.