10 Ways to Get in the Mood for Sex

Let's face it, sometimes you're really NOT in the mood for some lovin'. But just because you've been feeling pretty turned off lately doesn't mean that you can't turn yourself right back on! In fact, revving-up your sexual engine can be as simple as modifying your diet, changing some bad habits, going to bed earlier or reading a racy book - or two! So get ready, ladies. Here are the top 10 ways to fire up your sexual desire.

1. Stimulate Your… Brain
When it comes a woman's sexual desire, there may be no organ more powerful than the brain. Just look at the recent success of the male stripper movie Magic Mike or the erotic Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, which is said to be saving people's sex lives around the country. Women are finally allowing their minds to wander into fantasyland without feelings of guilt or shame. And any woman can tell you that once her mind is set on getting some lovin', the rest of the body will soon follow!

Related: Boost Your Sexual Confidence

2. Get Some Zzzzz's
Nothing puts a damper on your love life quite like feeling bone-weary. Ask any new mother and she'll tell you that an hour of sleep is way more desirable than an hour of sex, no matter which way you slice it! If you've been finding that you are too tired to get your groove on, it's time to make sleep a priority. It's recommended that the average adult get somewhere between seven to nine hours of sleep every night. To increase your slumber, experts suggest taking out the television from the bedroom and turning off your cell phone at night, as they can be very tempting distractions. Also, cutting back on caffeine during the course of the day can enable you to wind down that much quicker. Once you begin to catch up on your zzzs, you will feel well rested and ready to go.

3. Visit Your Gyno
If you've been experiencing discomfort during sex or simply have no desire to get busy with your husband, book an appointment with your gynecologist to see if there's a medical reason behind it. Menopause, hormonal imbalance, depression and even certain anti-seizure medications and antidepressants can impact a woman's libido. Fortunately, through hormone therapy, lubrications, and oral and topical medications, doctors can help fire-up your mojo. And don't be embarrassed to share all the details with your doctor - she's heard it all before.

4. Make "Me" Time
Between work and your family, chances are you have very little time to do the things that you enjoy doing. Taking time out just for yourself is a great way to get reacquainted with who you really are. Consider signing up for an art class or taking an evening stroll around the neighborhood. Whatever you choose, the goal is to do something solely for your pleasure, which will be a great reminder of other pleasures that you are missing out on.

Related:10 Ways to Spice Up Your Marriage

5. Smell the Love
Certain aromas are known to boost female arousal, so why not put your sense of smell to good use? According to his book, Scentsational Sex, Dr. Alan Hirsch, Neurological Director of The Smell and Taste Research and Treatment Foundation in Chicago, concludes that the smell of lavender, pumpkin pie, and licorice can help to increase the blood flow to the genital area. Who knew that getting yourself in the mood for a hot night of lovemaking can be as simple as lighting a scented candle and eating a slice of pie?

6. Shake It Up
Just because your libido has been low doesn't mean it has to stay that way forever. Taking a Zumba class can be the perfect way to shake up your stagnant mojo. Exercise releases testosterone, which increases sexual desire. By choosing a fun exercise regimen, like Zumba, you're more likely to enjoy working out-and therefore more likely to return to it regularly. An added bonus is that all those sultry Latin-inspired dance moves will help you feel like a sex siren in no time!

7. Change Your Diet
You've already heard that you can eat your way healthy, but you may not know that you can eat your way sexy, too. Foods like bananas, peanut butter and honey contain vitamin B, which helps to give your libido a natural boost. Celery (yes, celery!) can also help get you going, as it contains androsterone, a hormone said to aid in female attraction. The next time you need a midday snack, try a tasty treat like peanut butter-filled celery stalk or toast with peanut butter and sliced bananas. You might end up with more than a satisfied tummy…

Related: How to Keep Your Marriage Strong

8. Get to Know Your Cycle
Did you know that sex can be more enjoyable during certain days of the month? If not, then you might want to grab your calendar and pay close attention to this one! Days one through fourteen of your menstrual cycle are optimal days for lovemaking as a woman experiences a surge in testosterone, making it that much easier for her to get aroused and reach climax. Also, during days 24 to 28 a woman is said to have an increased libido due to the nerve endings that are stimulated by the thickening of the uterine lining, which means that you can actually predict the best days to get busy!

9. Kick Bad Habits to the Curb
As if you didn't already have enough reasons to toss that pack of cigarettes into the trash, it turns out that smoking can actually hinder your sex life. Cigarettes are known to narrow blood vessels, making it that much harder for blood to flow to your genital region (not to mention the rest of your body), which is crucial for sexual stimulation. And while you may think that wine is often the key to a romantic encounter, too much alcohol can actually put a major damper on your libido, as it is a known depressant. Feel free to enjoy a drink every now and then, but remember that when it comes to alcohol consumption, moderation is key.

10. Accept Yourself
So what if you aren't a size 4? Many women get stuck on the fact that they aren't as young as they used to be or as thin as they'd like to be, and ultimately avoid sexual encounters that make them feel vulnerable about their appearance. Put those negative thoughts aside, and don't let self-consciousness get in the way of enjoying your life. Sexual confidence is just that - confidence. It's time to realize that you deserve pleasure, even if you can't fit into your skinny jeans. After all, Marilyn Monroe was no size 0, and she was as sexy as they come!

Related: 10 Cheap Dates Under $15

How do you get yourself in the mood? Let us know in the comments!

More from Good Housekeeping: