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4 Small Ways to Be More Surprising in Bed

When you’ve tried the old bells and whistles, and it’s time for something new

Man and woman lying in bed under sheets wearing underwear
Muriel Liebmann/The Licensing Project

If your partner is suddenly more exhausted than usual when date night comes around, it’s probably just because they’ve had an especially busy workweek. Probably. I mean, that has to be it, right? 

It can’t be because of you — could it?

On the off chance that your bedroom performance has been dampening the passion embers, there are better options than chugging oysters and blue pills and hoping for the best.

If you’ve read men’s magazines over the last 50 years, you’ve been inundated with sex advice that promises incredible results — mind-blowing lovemaking if you just stretch your hamstrings more or something. (“Order That Replacement Headboard Today!” was one memorable coverline.) 

Well, we won’t promise to turn you into the deus ex machina of the female orgasm. But we can suggest a few small, sneaky and (mostly) practical ways to up your sexual game and surprise your significant other with some new moves.

‘Can I pencil you in for 8 a.m.?’

“Everyone thinks sex should be spontaneous when it rarely is,” says Megan Fleming, a sex therapist. You can use that fact to your advantage.

“The biggest sex organ is the mind,” says Fleming. “So, turn yours on, anticipate it, plan for it. Even take a nap and conserve energy for it.”

Scheduling your sex life sounds lame, but it doesn’t have to be. It gives you the extra mental space to prepare, figure out your game plan and even take advantage of the time you really want it. Like, say, in the morning, when testosterone is at its peak.

It’s (dirty) storytime

You might eye roll at romance novels, with their covers featuring long-haired beefcakes, but it’s a gazillion dollar industry for a reason: Women love a story.

“Men are visual consumers, which is why classic porn is primarily for [them],” says Lisa Paz, individual and couples counselor and sex therapist. “Females are storyline-triggered, which is why dime-store romance novels were the historic female porn.”

Before it’s time to get down, set the mood by sending her links to some erotic lit — or make your own. Google Docs is free. Just get that narrative going, and you’ll be rewarded for the results. 

The man (and woman) in the mirror

You know that scene in American Psycho where Patrick Bateman (played by Christian Bale) has sex in front of his mirror? Well, there might be something to that.

“The bathroom mirror is the perfect height to be able to watch each other, creating double the pleasure,” says Celeste Hirschman, a sex and relationship coach. “You have all of the sensations of physical touch plus all of the visual stimulation of watching each other.”

Just don’t do all that other Patrick Bateman stuff.

Use your nose

“When you breathe through the nose, nitric oxide is produced in the body,” says Amanda Pasciucco, a sex therapist. “This doesn’t happen when mouth breathing.” Think of it “as a sort of natural Viagra,” she says.

Nasal breathing before, during and after sex can improve your trysts by reducing stress, balancing hormones, regulating your nervous system and stress responses, and improving circulation in the body, Pasciucco adds.