Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Love & Sex, A herbal delight!

Love & Sex, A herbal delight!

Herbs & spices from your kitchen can perk up your sex life…

IT NOT just spices up your curries, but also punches up your sex life.
Researchers have found that fenugreek or methi can increase the sex drive by a quarter, according to a report in the Daily Mail. When libido levels of 60 healthy men aged between 25 and 52 who took an extract of the herb were checked, it was found that their scores were much higher than those who took dummy pills.

Six Foods to Help you Have Great Sex

They say sex is a great stressbuster. They are right because love-making has been found to relive the pressure of the burdens of life, ease stress, soothe chronic aches and pains, spur creativity and rev up the energy levels.

Experts say that anything that makes you feel good, alive and physically excited will make you feel as if you've shed years. And all these things are associated with sex.

You are probably aware of the basics of terrific sex, but let us suggest you a few aphrodisiacs which can add zing to your sex life.

Figs have been found to be brimming with minerals like magnesium, manganese and zinc and also Vitamin E. All of them can do wonders to spice up your sex life.


The flashy-red watermelons contain a substance called citrulline, which sends the body the signals to release arginine, which relaxes blood vessels. This produces an effect similar to Viagra. And need we give you details about what Viagra does?

 You've tried whiskly, you've tried wine but didn't feel the buzz. Pick a bottle of champagne and feel the difference. It enters the bloodstream faster than the wine does, so make sure you don't drink too much of it. Many champagnes have been found to have the same amount of antioxidants as red wine.

The Red Hot Chilli Peppers can bring out the hotness in you. They help recreate the symptoms of arousal: flushed cheeks, a quiver on your tongue, and more kissable lips. They also up the heat in the body.
Cheese releases 10 times more endorphins than the great ol' aphrodisiac - Chocolate. It will help you set the right mood.

Chocolate has been your trusted friend when it comes to having a great sex. You just need to maintain the bond. Its aphrodisiac property has been ascribed to two chemicals. One, tryptophan, which is the building block of serotonin, a brain chemical involved in sexual arousal. And two, phenyethylamine, a stimulant.

So the kind of food we gorge upon can do wonders with our sex life. Right food can make you positively sexual.

Bring back the romance

While it takes two to tango, it takes one to trigger change. Here's how to revive your love life.…

You are late to work and you have the most important meeting of the year in an hour. Just when you are frantically going to through your presentation, your girl calls to wish you luck. You vent out all your frustration on her and blame her for everything.

Relationship must-ask: How many times a year do you fight with your partner?

You realise that everything your partner does now begins to annoy you, from banking to the bedroom. All the things you loved about her now irritates you. You want to shut shop but you still hold on to the memory. While it takes two to tango, it takes only one to trigger change. 

Relationship expert Sonali Bedi tells you how to restore your relationship back to its health:
  • Date night
Nothing comes for free and that includes your love life too. You have to put an extra effort to make the cogs run well. With your work pressure, deadlines and family commitments, you are hardly left with any ‘your’ time. Set aside one day in the week as a date night where you two get to be with each other. Shut out friends and family or any other distracting factors for just one night.
  • Use technology
Don’t let distance play havoc in your relationship. Use mails, video chats and phone to be close to your special one. You don’t have to write love ballads to make her feel special but a little note on how much she means to you will do the needful. You don’t have to wait for the other person to call, just dial the number and surprise her.
  • Touch therapy
Like Winnie the Pooh said, "There is no such as too much hug". So go ahead and hug your loved one to show how much you care. If you love someone, show it everyday with cuddles and kisses, hand holding and snuggling up on the sofa. The first step should be to gradually build excitement and enthusiasm for touching, stroking and caressing each other. If you are both relaxed and happy with each other, things will progress from there.
  • Set the mood
It doesn’t take much to impress a woman and a man who can cook is a turn on. You don’t have to be a Michelin chef to win her heart. Set up popcorn and drinks and watch a movie together. And while you are at it, why not kiss and cuddle?
  • Play games
You need not have an intercourse every time you make out. Remember, sex should be fun and not a task. Find ways to giggle together and things to laugh about even when you’re in bed. Sharing a naughty joke, tickling each other silly can be fun. Or how about playing board game and stripping. You won’t mind losing at this game!
  • Make up
Fights are a part of all relationships but one should know where to draw the line. Don't rake up old dirt for more brownie points during the fight. There are some who believe that couples must make up before going to bed while some would rather sleep on it before continuing. Whatever you do, take time off to cool down.
  • Communicate
For a healthy relationship, it is important to keep the lines open and that is also true when it comes to lovemaking. Even after being together for years, most couples are clueless about what gives the other satisfaction and therefore they are left guessing. So you need to tell your partner that and share with him something that you might like to try. When he is doing something you like, spur him on so that he knows he’s on the right track.

The tests were carried out by the Centre for Integrative Clinical and Molecular Medicine in Brisbane, Australia. Fenugreek seeds contain compounds called saponins which are said to stimulate the production of male sex hormones including testosterone.
The local grocery store or even your household kitchen can prove to be the best apothecary for shooting up the sexual drive, as supplying the right food to the brain can turn you on. For example, the ubiquitous spices like black pepper, chilly pepper, cumin, fennel, flax seeds, and turmeric powder can work wonders for distraught couples. These and other herbs can stimulate the libido, perking up people’s sex lives.
Experts have since long suggested the use of Chinese herbs such as Ginseng — a sexual stimulant — and native African Kola nuts — known to be great energy boosters — among others. These herbal aphrodisiacs are most sought after, as they are cheap, effective and have minimal side effects.

Sex tips for busy people

Studies have also shown that a diet which includes soy can raise the temperature in the bedroom as soy is beneficial to the prostate — a very important male sex organ. A food rich in granola, oatmeal, cashews, walnuts, garlic and onion, can lead to improved blood circulation, also boosting the male sex drive. Even a diet rich in iron and zinc can prove helpful for those having a tough night life.
Many experts say that an unhealthy supply of Vitamin E can affect the sexual function as well. A diet rich in dopamine can lead to greater results. Dopamine is a feel good chemical released by the brain. It motivates people to pursue pleasure and have sex.
  • Also, fish, legumes, cottage cheese, red meat, milk, beetroots and peas if included in the diet, can increase the sexual stamina.
Ayurvedic experts have their own dose of suggestions. Tribulus, Sarsaparilla, Siberian Ginseng, Saw Palmetto are herbal plants which have a proven record of increasing the sex drive, according to them.

You're finally earning a 6-digit salary, your career's on fast-track. It's tough but you're managing to squeeze in a 45-minute workout three times a week. You also ran your first marathon this year- and can't wait for the next.

In this dream scenario, fit in a forever blinking Blackberry, everyday pressures and a working wife (that = work stress x 2) an increasing number of urban Indian couples are losing their sex lives to ambition and success. Here's how you can avoid the trap...

Remember when you first had a steady girlfriend you couldn't keep your hands off? Your single mates envied your persistent public displays of affection and you'd gloat over those sneaky-quickies that followed. You hated parental restrictions for getting in the way of a five-minute under-the-shirt action and fantasised about a married life, minus the rules and packed with lust. You thought this lust would last forever, didn't you?

Now picture this reality. You're home from a 12-hour workday and an hour-long commute to find her on a conference-call, making throatslitting gestures to her absent boss while you collapse in an exhausted heap on the couch. Forget your favourite wine, you're seriously thinking about drinking a glass of milk every night, you've been told it'll help you sleep. Sex? Shudder- you're almost praying for her to have a headache!

It isn't an exaggeration to say the sex lives of urban couples is in crisis mode these days. Workplaces from hell, killer commutes, bills and loans, snarky colleagues and 24/7 cricket on ESPN, none of it is geared to make you feel sexy. You're not alone.

According to a recent survey in the US by the National Sleep Foundation, one in four Americans who're married/living with someone say they're mostly too tired to have sex. "I would even say it's an epidemic," said Peter Fraenkel, a New York-based couples therapist, in an interview to CBS's 48 Hours. Another survey reports that nearly half of all married couples in the US have sex only between once and thrice a month.

Yet, sex is a basic need and it's critical to a relationship-not to mention, it's a ton of fun! What you need, then, are ways to factor sex into your life without feeling you're ticking off another task on your bottomless to-do list. Start here!

1. Planning is underrated
Do you show up at airports without booking a flight? No. Leave hotel reservations on vacation to chance? No. Hell, do you show up at a client's without an appointment? Naah. Fact is, planning pays big dividends. Yet, when it comes to sex, planning is considered unexciting. What's really unexciting, however, is the 'spontaneous' sex you're never having but want to nonetheless.

You don't have to detail every aspect of your sex lives ahead of time, but figuring out with your partner how often you both ideally want sex, then working towards making time for it, is hardly rocket science. There's no right and wrong frequency, just what works for the two of you. "My wife and I have been married five years and recently we found we simply weren't getting it on for weeks.

She was tired or I was, or we had social commitments that exhausted us post-work. I panicked-I mean, I was barely 30 and it looked like my sex life was over! We talked it over and have made a zero-tolerance rule ever since-Friday nights are ours alone. We don't go to parties, events or anywhere else. The only time the rule is broken is if one of us is travelling on work, or if either's parents have anniversaries/birthdays," says Rohan Nadkarni, 31, a Mumbai-based commodities trader.

"Friends made fun of us in the beginning and there was whining when we didn't show up at a pal's dinner or birthday, but over time everyone respects our choice. We go out to dinner or grab takeaways together-sometimes we'll stay in and cook, talk, open a bottle of wine. It's just the perfect, low-stress way to start a weekend. And most Fridays, we're having sex! Sure, we know it ahead of time. But that only makes it better when, Friday evening I'm driving home from work and I know what the evening-and the whole night- has in store," he laughs.

Have kids? Make one day a week non-negotiable for the two of you, and ignore anyone who says otherwise. Kids who grow up with parents that act like a couple, not just 'mom-dad', are way likelier to have a positive view of relationships in the future.

2. Stay edgy
We've all heard the homily about sex being between the ears and not between the legs; that's as true today as it was when you first heard it. Sex is the outcome of attraction, and attraction isn't a cactus plant-it won't grow on air and water alone.

It needs all the signs you first showed when you started dating-you stayed fit, dressed hot, laughed often, surprised her, flirted with her publicly, held her hand or put your arm around her waist. You played footsie under tables and had private jokes that no-one else got. You made out in the car and sometimes at parties in the dark. Your connection was intimate, naughty, urgent.

Sure, the urgency will recede, and the need to impress won't be allconsuming. And that's a good thing, it spells the end of initial insecurities about each other. What isn't good? Losing the intimacy that went with it. You can have one without the other, though. Touch each other, make certain gestures or conversations intimate instead of routine, and see how you can keep things simmering.

"I read something in a magazine once that sounded so simple, I didn't see how it could matter," reveals Sanjukta Shankar, 27, Gurgaon-based interior designer who's been dating boyfriend Amit Jindal, 30, for five years.

"It said touch each other even when there's no need to; like, if I wanted my boyfriend to give me the car keys, for instance, I should reach into his pocket for them instead of asking. So I did; we were at this bar with friends, and I deliberately slid my hands into the back pocket of his jeans to ostensibly get the keys. You will not believe how his eyes widened," she grins. "He was far more 'aware' of me the rest of that evening." That awareness is what keeps you tuned into each other physically.

3. Sex-up the setting
If Arnab Goswami is the soundtrack to your bedroom encounters, it may explain why you're not in the mood very often. Sexy is a state of mind, even more so for women, who're very sensitive to atmosphere. No, that doesn't mean you turn into a sop with a frilly pink bedroom, but you certainly need to work at setting the tone for a relaxed, seductive space. A few small touches-chillout music, intimate lighting, a couple of candles-go a long way, with little effort.

The bigger challenge? Keeping your bedroom a no-TV zone; ditto for laptops and other stress-inducing gadgets. As for the Blackberry? Keep it on silent and out of arm's reach post 10pm if you want to have any kind of sex life at all!

This isn't all psycho-babble. As early as 30 years ago, Alvin Toffler, legendary futurist, warned us of information overload in his bestselling book Future Shock. Arguing that the human brain has a fi nite ability to process information, he demonstrated that unless we consciously limit how much information we access every day, mental and physical stress are inevitable. And as research has repeatedly shown, the first thing to take a hit when stress strikes a couple's life? Sex!

To prevent your sex life from becoming a victim of information overload, consciously turn your bedroom into a purely leisure zone.

4. Get creative
Half the battle is won when you can get your mind primed to think about sex often, despite a stressed-out, packed schedule. A trick that works? Turn it into a creativity game with your partner. Have a 'sexy' shelf/drawer (lockable, please, unless you'd like to give a nosy maid the shock treatment) in your bedroom to aid creativity: Start with a variety of condoms; lube; a silk scarf; erotic DVDs or even literature; a sex toy or two, if that works for you. Agree that each of you needs to add 'elements' to the shelf on a monthly basis; it'll keep you both thinking of creative things you can use in the bedroom, and put sex front-and-centre on the agenda.

"My girlfriend and I had great sex, but it was fairly typical," says Neeraj Dutt, 38, partner in a New Delhibased consulting fi rm. "Then, on a trip to Germany, I was transiting at Frankfurt airport and saw a 'naughty' shop. I strolled in out of curiosity and it was, of course, a fetishist's dream. The store attendants and other customers were so blase that it gave me the nerve to pick up a fun pair of handcuffs," he laughs. "To be honest, it's been three months and we haven't used them yet, but just bringing them home to Ritika (his girlfriend) has sparked things up hugely. We tease each other about how we'll use them; and who gets to go first."

The benefits aren't limited to the bedroom alone, though. "Sharing something quirky or intimate like this totally makes you closer, it's like a dirty secret only the two of you know," says Neeraj. "Ritika and I have this innuendo thing going on, sometimes even in company, all based on the handcuffs, except no-one else gets the jokes but us. It's sexy and fun, and I'm constantly amazed how one impulse buy has shaken things up so much for us."

5. Quickies exist for a reason
Yes, we've always said sex is something to savour, to bring pleasure and intimacy to your lives. But when your choices are no sex or the instant version? The latter, every single time! You find time to have a shower, read the paper, watch the news or make a couple of quick calls to friends, don't you? Then you've got time for a quickie. And having a quickie doesn't mean one of you is always shortchanged-make a deal where you focus on your pleasure one time, hers the next.

Tip: If sex is always the last thing slotted into your day, it'll invariably get struck off the list, because your body and mind are both typically drained by then. Morning sex, in-the-shower sex, beforedinner sex, got-to-go-out-and-buy-groceries sex; a quickie is great precisely because you can fit it in without needing large doses of time and intimacy. Take the hint and prioritise the act.

6 Make life simpler
Sometimes, the solution to being too busy or too tired for sex is simply to lessen the load. Sex isn't an add-on, something you fi t in after everything else is done. Instead, if mundane logistics are getting in the way of getting it on, cut some of them out and make your sex life the priority. Wife/girlfriend constantly tired because she gets home from work and hits the kitchen?

Fix two nights a week to order takeaway and give her some downtime. Nephews and neices running riot all evening? Bribe a young cousin to come look after them while you whisk her off for a real 'date'. You head to the gym for a rigorous session every evening? Sacrilege, I know, but cut it down to four times a week and give yourself a breather. You'll be setting the sheets afire.