Women's Health

Getting in the mood with Lisa Rinna

Courtesy Lisa Rinna

Courtesy Lisa Rinna

To me, the gift of sex is simple: Good sex makes me happy, and when I feel happy, my life just seems better all around. But to be honest, I haven’t always felt sexually confident, which is why I decided to write The Big Fun Sexy Sex Book with sex therapist, Ian Kerner.  

My journey to a satisfying sex life has taken me from a series of unhealthy relationships to a wonderful marriage with my husband, Harry. But I didn’t get here on my own. Along the way, I’ve consulted friends, therapists, “sexperts,” pole-dancing instructors, and even Howard Stern! 

What I’ve learned is this: It doesn’t matter how hot you look; it matters how hot you feel. Sexiness and sensuality come from within, and there’s no more powerful aphrodisiac than confidence. Being sexual means being vibrant, being alive, and being comfortable in your own skin.

It’s pretty clear that we women crave the intimacy and connection that sex offers. But as the main caretakers for our families (not to mention trying to also be the perfect wife, mother, daughter, and worker), achieving the relaxed state we need to stay in that sexual moment can be a challenge. For a woman, getting in the mood for sex has more to do with what’s happening outside the bedroom than what actually happens between the sheets.

With that in mind, here are five of my favorite tips to get the woman in your life sexually primed:

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-Give each other a 30 second hug. Sounds like a long time, but studies have shown that hugging for 20 to 30 seconds boosts levels of oxytocin, the feel-good “cuddle hormone” that helps bring couples closer. Thirty seconds may seem almost uncomfortably long—at first, you may find yourselves giggling self-consciously, making jokes, and wondering how much time has passed. And some of you guys will end up checking your watches. But hang in there: It gets easier, and the results are worth it. They create a bond that lasts throughout the day—and night.

-Get into the 5 to 1 zone. The difference between those relationships that succeed and those that fail is the ability to maintain a high ratio of positive to negative interactions. The ideal ratio should be 5 to 1 — five positive interactions for every negative one, and that’s why I always try to have a positive outlook, especially when interacting with my husband. Those positive interactions are like little deposits into a “sexual bank account” in which withdrawals are made later.

-Engage in “choreplay.” Women often complain that one of the main reasons they’re not more interested in sex is because of all the chores around the house and how it stresses them out. The goal of choreplay is your partner to move sex to the top of that list by helping you cross off some of the less scintillating items.

-Turn off to turn on. In a long-term relationship it’s often a challenge to stay friends with your partner and to keep that friendship expanding. And in today’s world of social networking and Facebook, we’re often so busy “friending” others that we lose precious opportunities to strengthen our friendship with our spouse.  So turn off (the digital devices) and turn on (to your partner.)

-Transform your bedroom into a love nest. For most of us our bedroom is just that: a room with a bed. (And probably a whole lot of clutter.) But your love life is something that feeds off of all of the senses, and your bedroom should facilliate that sensual stimulation: from soft sheets that make you want to get between them, to lighting that is warm and makes you feel good about your body, to music that helps you relax, think about all those little touches that add a sense of coziness and sensuality. And if you have kids, this might include installing a simple lock on your bedroom door.

So there you have some of my favorite “out of the bedroom” tips. I have loads of in the bedroom ones too, but to have a healthy sex life, you have to be in the sort of relationship that supports having a healthy sex life. Start there and the rest will follow.

Lisa Rinna played Billie Reed on Days of our Lives, heated up Melrose Place as Taylor McBride, earned two Emmy nominations for Best Talk Show host for her show Soap Talk on SOAPnet, was featured on Oprah for her boutique, and has made a name for herself as an actress, a television personality, and a businesswoman. She is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Rinnavation. Lisa lives in Los Angeles with her husband (actor Harry Hamlin) and her two daughters. To learn more about Lisa and The Big Fun Sexy Sex Book, please visit lisarinna.com