The One Thing Women Can Do For A Better Sex Life
Whether you’re coupled up or flying solo, it’s worth asking yourself if you’re truly satisfied in the bedroom. Sex isn’t a trivial topic, after all—if you’re not having mind-blowing orgasms on the regular, then you’re missing out on the kind of pleasure that helps create a full, healthy, hormonally balanced life.
But you don’t have to be a total sexpert to unlock the secret to a more stimulating, satisfying life between the sheets. All it really takes is the addition of one simple lifestyle tweak that will give you game-changing insight into the exact kind of stimulation you need to get to the big O and feel sexually fulfilled every day of the month. The solution is so straightforward, you owe it to yourself to give it a try.
Your libido changes over course of the month.
Sometimes you’re in the mood for something intense and passionate, and sometimes you want your partner to be more emotional and sweet. Then there are those times you just want to be left alone! We all wonder—is this normal? What can you do to have more consistent pleasure?
At various points in your cycle, your hormonal levels will signal your body and mind to crave very different kinds of affection and sexual pleasure. When you pay attention to where you are in your cycle, you might notice that your feelings about your partner, your energy levels, and your interest in sex changes depending on which phase you are in at that time. This is completely natural, and it actually makes perfect sense when you understand what's happening with your endocrine system.
In the first half of your cycle, you will feel a growing sense of desire that spikes around ovulation. This is because your estrogen and testosterone levels are ascending to their highest peaks, revving up your sex drive. Evolutionarily, this makes a lot of sense: Your body is at its most fertile right at ovulation. Then, in the second half of your cycle, as you approach your period, you are less interested in sex.
Instead of being frustrated when you're "not in the mood," work with your body—not against it.
Of course, if you have a hormonal imbalance resulting in an unaddressed issue like PMS, PCOS, or other endocrine problems, then low libido is an indication you may need some more serious endocrine healing. And yes, stress in all areas of personal and professional life can definitely dampen your desire. But in a general sense, women's needs, emotions, energy, and attraction fluctuate from week to week of each cycle, and those hormonal ups and downs have a major effect on sex drive and performance1.
We've all been there—in an intimate setting with a partner who's raring to go and wants things hot and heavy. That scenario can be great if you're in your ovulatory phase. But if you're midway through your luteal phase, you'll be biologically craving long, sensual make-out sessions and a lot of drawn-out clitoral stimulation before you even think of getting hot or heavy.
There's nothing more frustrating than feeling that kind of incompatibility in the bedroom. But the great news is that you can both get what you need if you just educate yourselves on your female physiology. And this insight is so important for single ladies too—understanding your cycle can transform your solo play experience (which is critical for optimal hormonal health).
Here's your guide to using your period as a blueprint for your sex life.
No matter what time of the month it is, foreplay should always come first. It's the one way to immediately ensure you'll be ready to receive pleasure, and it guarantees maximum pituitary (hormone-balancing) benefits: It stimulates oxytocin and nitric oxide production and helps regulate ovulation.
All that said, here’s your phase-by-phase guide to better sex:
Follicular phase—after your period, before you ovulate.
Try something new to get you in the mood as estrogen levels are low but rising, so leverage novelty to bring your head into the game and spark your desire. Make sure to use lube as you're in your dry phase!
Ovulatory phase—when you're ovulating.
You have increased desire due to a spike in both estrogen and testosterone, so you will be naturally in the mood and enjoy it more easily; you’ll be in a wet phase and are less likely to need a lubricant.
Luteal phase—before you have your period.
As progesterone increases, your sex drive will decrease, so increasing foreplay and taking more time for clitoral stimulation is essential to maximize your pleasure; it’s not in your head, it’s in your hormones, and the workaround is good for you! This is also a wet phase, so you may find you need less lube once you get warmed up, but you may want to use it at the beginning to get things flowing.
Menstrual phase—your period.
Hormones reach their lowest levels, so it's a low-desire time and a dry phase (menstrual blood is not a lubricant, so you would need to add that if you are engaging in any activity). However, pressure from the enlarged uterus for some women can create pleasurable pressure on nerve endings connected to the erectile tissue in the vagina. As such, desire will be created by the physical structures of the body, not by your hormones.
Tracking where you are in your cycle, understanding how your hormones affect you in each of the four phases, and having a regular cycle are all critical components of having the sex drive and sexual response you are designed to have. Using an app like the one I developed will help you know what phase you're in and help you address your period problems naturally. If you struggle with PMS and irregular periods, of course it's going to throw off your libido. If you want a better sex life, you need to make your period better. It's all connected.
You can also hack your period for better sleep. Here's how.
Alisa Vitti is a women's hormone and functional nutrition expert and pioneer in female biohacking. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Vitti has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, Lifetime, and has been a regular contributor for Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, and Women’s Health. She is the founder of The FLO Living Hormone Center, the world's first menstrual healthcare platform that has helped hundreds of thousands of women around the world put their period issues like PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis, and PMS into remission naturally using her highly effective FLO Protocol and the FLO Balance Period Supplements, and the creator the MyFLO period app—the first and only functional medicine period tracker. She is also the author of the best-selling book WomenCode. She has presented at SXSW, TEDx, Talks@Google, Summit Series Outside, and SHE Summit and regularly trains women in the workplace on how to use her Cycle Syncing Method for greater creativity, productivity, and wellbeing at work.