The Secrets Behind Sex Appeal

Looking to give your love life a boost in the bedroom? These tips — taken directly from scientific studies and experts — will help you increase your sex appeal from so-so to smokin’!

By Allison Kendall

f your sex life has recently cooled, it might be time to consult the books — science books, that is. According to Judy Dutton, author of Secrets from the Sex Lab, finding the cure for bedroom boredom is easy when you remember that sexual
Studies have shown that men deem ovulating women to be more attractive.
chemistry isn’t just a term ripped from the pages of women’s magazines, but rather, a very real and scientific truth. Check out Dutton’s suggestions below for making the science of sex work to spice up your own love life.

Plan dates around your cycle
Dutton advises women to schedule their dates during the time when they’re ovulating, which typically occurs 9-15 days after the start of their period, as studies have shown that men deem ovulating women to be more attractive. “In one study, strippers who were ovulating earned $20 more per hour than strippers in other stages of their menstrual cycle,” Dutton notes. “Men aren’t aware of this on a conscious level; they’re just more smitten with ovulating women and can’t put their finger on the reason why. It could boil down to a subtle change in how the woman smells, walks, or talks, scientists aren’t sure what it is. But whatever it is, it works!”

Give yourself a sexier nickname
In one scientific study published in Psychological Science, photos of people’s faces were posted on with a variety of names attached to the images. Linguists discovered that the vowels used in the spelling of your name can impact how — you guessed it — hot (or not) others believe you to be, physically. “For men, names with ‘a,’ ‘e,’ and ‘i’ in their spelling are perceived as hotter, like ‘Matt,’ ‘Steve’ or ‘Mike,’” Dutton says. “For women, names spelled with the letters ‘o’ and ‘u’ are perceived as being hotter, like ‘Lola’ or ‘Judy.’” Dutton goes on to explain that linguists theorize the reason for this perception shift is because the vowels a, e, and i sound “smaller,” and women prefer men with small-sounding names because it suggests the guy is less threatening and more sensitive. The vowels o and u, on the other hand, sound “large” by comparison, and men prefer women with bigger-sounding names because the sound suggests they’re more aggressive and outgoing. If you’re attached to your given name — but still in need of some good lovin’ — try finding someone whose name sounds similar to yours. Dutton says studies also show that we are most attracted to people whose names closely resemble our own. So if your name’s Jason, find a Jane — odds are good that you’ll hit it off.

Work your age to your advantage
If your sex life has hit a dry patch, Dutton suggests that women should seek out an older guy,
Apparently, some great things really do come in smaller packages!
while men should look for a younger woman. “Men who chase younger women are often seen as superficial or immature, but the reality is that humans are wired to find fertility attractive and a woman’s fertility declines steeply in her thirties, prompting older men to be most attracted to younger women — even if they don’t want kids,” Dutton explains. Not getting any younger, ladies? Try spritzing on a grapefruit-scented fragrance. “One study found that women wearing the scent of grapefruit were believed by men to be an average of eight years younger than their actual age,” offers Dutton.

Get CATty in bed
If your sex life has become ho-hum, Dutton recommends trying a scientifically-vetted sex position called the Coital Alignment Technique (or CAT): “To do it, assume the missionary position, but then have the man move his torso up a few inches so that his chin is closer to the woman’s forehead. Then he rocks, rather than thrusts, into his partner, keeping his pubic bone connected to hers at all time, which increases stimulation to the clitoral area.” One study found that the CAT position allowed 75 percent of women to reach climax during intercourse and 36 percent of couples to climax simultaneously with their partners. Couples can also rack up more orgasms by adding more variety to their sexual repertoire, Dutton says: “In one study, couples that engaged in straight intercourse without any frills enabled only 50 percent of women to reach orgasm, whereas couples who threw in two extra activities — such as manual stimulation and oral sex — boosted a woman’s odds of achieving orgasm to 90 percent.”

It’s motion in the ocean, not the size of the wave
Scientific studies show that — contrary to popular belief — penis size really doesn’t matter. “Scientists know this because they recruited volunteers, measured their below-the-belt parameters, interviewed their partners and found that large and small models gave the same number of orgasms on average,” Dutton explains, adding that 84 percent of more than 26,000 women polled in another study said they were completely happy with the size of their partner. Apparently, some great things really do come in smaller packages!

Try a novel approach
If your sex life has gotten stale but you’re unsure how to kick things up a notch, try spicing up what you do outside the bedroom. “Novel activities stimulate the brain’s reward system — the same circuits that get activated when couples first fall in love,” explains Dutton. So on your next date, try doing something you’ve never done before as a couple, like rock climbing or taking a Thai cooking class together. You’ll essentially be tricking your brain chemistry into making sparks fly — which is sure to heat things up once you get back home!

Allison Kendall is a freelance writer based in Atlanta, GA.
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