The idea of preparing for sex —either with a partner or solo— might seem silly, as some of the best romps are spontaneous. But taking time to feel comfortable isn’t silly at all. Physical hang-ups aside, preparing for sex can help you feel more confident, and lend itself to more enjoyable sensations and and a major boost to your libido. Think of it as pre-foreplay :)
If you’re not sure where to start, here are some of the ways you can prep yourself for a roll in the hay...
Rub a Dub Dub
While cleanliness and basic hygiene and certainly appreciated by a partner, taking a shower or bath can be a really nice way to get in the mood when you’re flying solo. It’s a moment of downtime and meditation, where all the crud from the day can be washed away (literally and figuratively). Not only are baths and showers relaxing, they also let you get in touch with your naked bod. Take the time to wash yourself slowly, with something that smells amazing, and appreciate everything you love about your body.
Once you’re all clean and warm, this is the best time to apply your favorite cream or body oil. It might sound crazy, but we recommend starting with your least favorite part of your body. Show it some love. Spend a moment to really massage the area, rather than just slapping on some moisturizer. Your body is a pretty incredible thing, so take some time to really appreciate it! Bonus, you’ll be smooth as a baby’s butt and smelling amazing. Try buying body products that are made with essential oils, because the strong, natural scents can be a real turn-on. We’re obsessed (!!) with Lovers Oil, which has a super beautiful aroma of rose, cedar, and jasmine, but really, anything that gets you going is good.
Hair Down There (or Anywhere)
We covered pubic hair in this piece, but we all know that hair grows all over our bodies, in all kinds of interesting places. Consider how your body hair makes you feel, and then act accordingly. You don’t have to change your body because someone asks you to, even a partner, ‘cause it’s your body. But if you love the smooth feel of a Brazilian and a fully shorn bod, then go for it. On the other hand, you might discover that letting your body hair grow makes you feel more sexual and in touch with yourself. This is incredibly personal, and so long as you keep up some basic hygiene there’s no right or wrong way to do it.
Peeing. Sexy right?! You may have heard that it’s super critical to pee after sex (or after using sex toys), but do you know that it’s also a great idea to pee first? Letting pee hang out in your bladder is a great way to get a UTI, so if you’re prone to these super uncomfortable infections, do yourself a favor and pee before and after.
If you’re a fan of anal play, either with a partner or as part of your self-lovin’, going to the bathroom, and cleaning up really well, will not only help you to relax but will reduce the chance of cross contamination that can result in some pretty nasty infections. If you’ve ever considered douching before booty play, we’re here to give you a few pointers. Are douches dangerous? While the act of occasional, warm water douches can be relatively safe, they can potentially irritate or scratch your rectal lining, which can increase your chances of contracting an STI. Do douches make some people feel more comfortable about anal? Sure. Are douches necessary? Nope.
While secret Kegel exercises at your desk or on the bus can help increase strength in your pelvic floor and boost the intensity of your orgasms, doing some clenches right before partnered sex or masturbation can really start to warm things up. You can either use an exerciser, like a yoni egg, or simply contract and release those muscles. To identify the right muscles, imagine that you’re peeing :) and now clench the muscles that would stop the stream. Hold for 5 seconds and release for 5 seconds. This technique can really help if you’ve been struggling with a sluggish libido (and if so, read this article!) as it focuses your attention towards your pelvis and gives it a little wake-up call. Hold, release, hold release.
Feel confident in any sexual situation by not relying on others to bring the party favors. Buy your own lube, toys and condoms, and you will A) feel like an amazing and powerful sexual creature and B) won’t end up in potentially terrible situations that can range from having bad, uncomfortable sex all the way to having unprotected sex.
Clean Your Toys
OK, while this last one may not get you raring to go, it’s still super important. Cleaning bodily fluids off of your toys right after you use them is critical, but cleaning dust and dirt off of them before you use them again is also really important. Hopefully you’re keeping them stored in a special bag or box...but we polled you and 30% were just tossing them under the bed 😬. Make sure you read Zen and the Art of Sex Toy Maintenance to know how to care for your specific toys.
So now that you’re all prepared, go forth and be spontaneous! Get hands on with yourself when the feeling strikes or tumble into bed with a partner. Taking these steps can definitely help you to feel amazing, relaxed, confident and safe.