Our brains like routines. They take a lot of guesswork out of life by training us to just do the next thing on our list. Developing healthy habits, and keeping them in a routine, can make sure the things you tend to forget get done.
Many people have skincare, hair care, or self-care routines, but sometimes our “sex-care” gets pushed to the wayside. However, maintaining good sexual health is important for a satisfying sex life. Moreover, many of the habits you should develop to help your sex life are important for your general health. Having healthy sex makes you feel good, and addressing sexual problems can help increase your self-confidence and reduce any bedroom related anxiety you might have.
Most of the things on this list are done outside of the bedroom so when it’s time to do the nasty everything else is already in place. What kind of habits go into a sexual health routine? Let’s take a look at a few simple things you can do.
Clean Your Equipment
Sex toys can be a great part of any satisfying sexual experience. Whether you’re going solo, or use them with a partner, it’s essential that you clean your sex toys after every use. Not only can they get pretty gross, it’s an important part of preventing sexually transmitted infections.
If you don’t want to break up your pillow talk, add cleaning into your morning routine the next day. Most toys can be boiled to sterilize them, but like most electronic devices, you shouldn’t submerge your motorized toys. Soap and water or an organic sex toy cleaning spray should do the trick nicely.
Stretch It Out
Stretching can have a lot of benefits for sex, so consider adding yoga into your routine. While it can seem like a significant commitment, even just 10-15 minutes can have a real impact. Take some time right before bed to unwind from the day with just a few poses.
While any stretching can be helpful, there's a few that can help your sex life specifically.
- Bridge pose can help strengthen your pelvic floor. Start on the floor by laying on your back, then plant your feet on the ground and lift your hips. Hold for ten seconds and repeat.
- “Happy Baby” stretches your groin. Start on your back again, but this time bring your knees up and grab the soles of your feet. Your angles should be inline with your knees, and just outside of your torso.
In between these poses, return to child's pose by starting on your knees, and stretching your arms out in front of you—your forehead resting on the floor. You should feel the stretch opening your hips.
I know, I know. This isn’t the most fun thing on the list. Bars are a great place to find people, and you don’t have to tell me how nice a post-sex cigarette is. However, tobacco and alcohol aren’t great for sex.
Alcohol consumption can make it harder to get erections, and as a depressant, it forces your body to slow down and be less responsive to stimuli. Needless to say, all of those make it harder to have sex. You don’t necessarily need to go stone sober, but if you know you’re going to be having sex, think about limiting yourself to one or two drinks.
Hot take, but smoking isn’t healthy. You probably already know most of the ways it’s bad for you. However, you might not know how smoking impacts your sex life. Not only can smoking affect fertility, sexual desire and satisfaction, but it also can decrease sexual performance and has been linked to erectile dysfunction.
Panayiotis M. Zavos, PhD, director of the Andrology Institute of America and professor of reproductive physiology and andrology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, claims that “Smoking has a direct, negative effect on the sexuality of a man on every level.” If you haven't already, consider quitting. It might just revive your sex life.
Try Some Cardio
If you’re not already active, this can be the most intimidating suggestion on the list. However, good cardio is essential to having a better sex life. Regular cardio boosts blood flow, reduces stress, and can increase sexual performance. For men, taking up running can even help to prevent erectile dysfunction. Try to get 20-30 minutes of good cardio into your routine at least 2-3 times a week.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get moving. If running isn’t your thing, try biking, swimming, or even just a brisk walk. Adding any of these activities into your sex-care routine can have a profound effect on your sexual health, especially if done with your partner.
Use an Alarm
Clocks and alarms are one of the most helpful tools for creating a routine. If you or your partner take a hormonal birth control pill, you probably already know to take your medicine at the same time every day. Sticking to this schedule can take some uncertainty out of sex, keep you in the moment, and prevent unplanned pregnancies.
Find a time that works best for you, and set an alarm on your phone for when you plan to take your meds. Some people add their medication to their morning routines, while others find it easiest to take them right before bed. On the other hand, medications that are “take as needed” can be harder to add to a routine. So, for instance, if you struggle with erectile dysfunction, consider switching to a medication like daily Cialis for ED. That way, you’re ready whenever the mood strikes you.
Find the Bathroom
If you’re at an unfamiliar place, maybe try to scope this one out before you start. Going to the bathroom is one of the most important things to do after sex. After vaginally penetrative sex, peeing can help to expel any harmful bacteria from your urinary tract. This can help prevent UTIs, as well as help guard against some STIs.
Moreover, taking a quick shower to help rinse off can be an important part of your sexual health. Leaving lube, sweat, or other bodily fluids on your skin too long can cause irritation, so invite your partner in to wash each other off. This can extend your session while keeping your skin and private parts healthy.
Do Some Kegels
Pelvic floor muscles are essential for great sex, so kegels should absolutely be part of your sex-care routines. While typically thought of only for women, people of all genders can benefit from kegel exercises.
For men, kegels can help to improve bladder control, as well as alleviate premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. A strong pelvic floor can help women with incontinence, reduce pain during sex, improve blood flow to your vagina, and even increase vaginal wetness.
Fortunately, it doesn't take much to strengthen these muscles. Start simple.
- Flex your pelvic floor muscles, hold for 5 seconds, then relax.
- Repeat this exercise for 10-20 reps.
This exercise can be done while you're sitting, standing, or during other parts of your routine. Start off just once a day to get it under your belt, but once you feel comfortable you can try up to 3-4 sessions every day!Paragraph
Taking care of your sexual health is important for men and women. While some of these ideas can be intimidating, you don’t have to try all of them at once! Start by adding just one or two of them into your routine and see how it feels. As you get more comfortable, you might start trying other things.