Off button: You’ve stopped chasing her
Women are socially and evolutionarily conditioned to get off on the thrill of being chased and putting potential mates through their paces. Without this pursuit, her excitatory neurotransmitters – epinephrine and norepinephrine – become lazy and don’t give her the same libido-lifting chemical hit. Which means dull sex for both of you.
On button: Get physical
University of California studies have shown that just one hour of exercise for a woman, three times a week, makes for more sex, stronger orgasms and a closer relationship. Plus, research published in Scientific American found the best way to jump-start those neurotransmitters is with physical exercise. This not only boosts her epinephrine and norepinephrine, but also increases blood flow to her genitals, making her orgasms easier and more frequent.
Can’t persuade her to join the gym? Plan B is to spank her. According to scientists at Northern Illinois University, women get a jolt of testosterone when they are spanked: it’s the body’s way of coping with the ‘stress’. Just be sure to ask her first: the testosterone rush isn’t as great from a slap in the face.
Off button: She knows your moves
The average couple have sex more than 3,000 times during their relationship. If you don’t shake up your routine she’ll find her orgasms are less intense and harder to come by. Edging Sophie Kinsella above you in the bedtime pecking order.
On button: Start a new relationship
Not with the MILF next door, with your partner. “At the start of a relationship, sex is going to be very hit and miss, but later, you think you’re supposed to know what you’re doing – and most men are afraid of looking stupid,” says sex and relationship counsellor Tracey Cox, author of Sextasy. However, unlike the early days, you’re comfortable enough to ask more detailed questions (‘Faster or slower?’ ‘Right or left?’) to which she can give one-word responses. You’ll be sure to hit the spot…
Off button: A nasty case of cohabitation
If the closet thing you get to dinner and a movie now is a microwave meal in front of The X Factor, it’s not your fault. Harvard University scientists found your levels of testosterone – the hormone that makes you want to impress your mate – will drop significantly once you’re coupled-up. The study’s authors concluded it was nature’s way of ‘civilising’ men, so they’ll take the time to look after offspring instead of pestering their partner for sex (or sit and watch The X Factorwithout complaining).
On button: The pub quiz
It’ll only take you seven minutes to re-kindle her interest. Studies published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that couples who indulged in ‘fun but novel’ activities for this period of time felt closer to each other. Create your own lab tests with a quiz. Just don’t let her catch you with your mobile under the table.
Off button: Her daily routine is dragging you down
If she’s stuck in a career rut, it’s your relationship that will pay the price, according to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Researchers found that if she feels trapped doing the nine-to-five and powerless to change her circumstances, she’ll project that boredom onto you, and try to create ‘excitement’ by picking arguments.
On button: Buy her yoga lessons
Help her channel that wasted energy by doing some yoga. A recent study published in Qualitative Research in Psychology found that women who took part in Ashtanga yoga were less bored than women who tried other means to combat their malaise. Yoga teaches you to relax, stay calm and learn patience. Added bonus: she’ll hone a smoking-hot body.
Off button: You’re a man of few words
According to a survey of 1,000 women by Women’s Health magazine, during their first 12 months together, 68% of couples talk after sex. But after that first anniversary, only a third bother. “You may think you know everything about your partner after a few years, but that’s not true,” says Dr Noelle Nelson, author of Your Man Is Wonderful. “People grow and change throughout their lives. When you lose interest in finding out what makes her tick, she’ll lose interest in you.”
On button: Engage her tongue
“Take advantage of her post-coital, semi-sleepy state by asking some ‘Have you ever…?’ questions,” says Tracey Cox. Don’t worry if you’ve asked her before, her answers will change over time as she gets more sexually confident. Make sure to mix romance and sex into the same question. “Save the really rude requests for when she’s fully aroused.” And preferably under a full moon/naked on a beach/tied up…