Increasing intimacy with your partner

Despite what you may have read, many couples are choosing sleep over sex. In fact, in a recent survey, over 50 percent of women would rather read a book or go to sleep rather than have sex.

One culprit is predictability, couples are stuck in ruts and aren't mixing it up. The good news, it doesn't take much to spice it up (heat it up) this summer.

Shy about going to a sex shop or even browsing on-line? You have almost everything you need in your own house. And we have a few other ideas too.

Tips featured in the segment:

  1. Whipped cream, honey, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce: Re-think ice cream sundae toppings as luscious ways to reconnect with your partner. There are obvious places where you might dribble these, but you can also ask your partner to lick some off your neck or other hot spots.

  2. Hot packs: This is a great way to get the motor running. It dilates the blood vessels. You can place them on yourself or your partner to get in the mood. You might also try one of the newer arousal gels, many have vitamin B3, which also dilates blood vessels. ( can talk about vibrating toys here, as this is a family show - one study found that about 50 percent use vibrators.

  3. A calendar: Not sexy right? But this works, the fact is that most of us are busy with family, work and making time for our partners is low on the list: Pencil it in, research shows that when partners anticipate intimacy they do 2 things: 1. overlook things that usually dampen the mood 2. signal each other with looks, texts, phone calls to make the journey smoother.

    Look, the fact is, that the biggest reason why women aren't in the mood is that they're mad at their partner, when there's anger, there's not a lot of fun time. If you can, find ways to improve your communication.

  4. Spatula, scarf, feather, hand held fan: Hey, even the kitchen counter can be fun. the point is to go for the unexpected. spatulas for love taps? why not, when you think about massage, think outside the ordinary: a feather? a scarf, even a hand held fan pointed in the right direction can be used to drive your partner wild.

  5. Tried & true: Candles: There's a reason why all the romantic movies use soft candle light. It get's women in the mood and because let's face it most of us are a little self conscious about our bodies, we might feel a little freer and more playful with less light.

    Light one or 2, it sets a romantic mood, Put on some music and vary locations. Most people are intimate in the same place, so change it up, yes, even the laundry room will make you smile if you do more than just wash the clothes there.

  6. Personal lubricants: Close to 50 percent of women use some type of personal lubricant. Now, you know my favorite is going to be olive oil. Lot's of couples use wheat germ oil, butter or you can certainly buy lubricants at the drug store. there's lots to chose from. Astroglide is very popular, it was developed by NASA, but not for Sex in Space.

  7. Dance class videos -- Zumba, Salsa, Samba, Nia: All these help you connect with your body, feel more sensual and get your hips and shoulders moving in ways that help you feel more sexy.
Free Menopause and Martini Webinar:

In a few weeks, will be hosting a free Menopause & Martini Webinar.

It will focus on what you need to know to make the most of this time in your life. I'll cover everything from hot flashes and night sweats to changes in sexuality, a menu of options for treating symptoms that ranges from herbs and yoga breathing to hormones.

To find out more, simply go to and sign up to receive my newsletter, where the dates and times will be announced. And, in case you're wondering, the martini is optional, you can enjoy a margarita or any beverage you like. We'll have lots of fun while diving into the most pressing concerns this hormonal roller coaster.

For more information, visit

About Nurse Barb Dehn:

Nurse Barb Dehn is a practicing women's health nurse practitioner in Silicon Valley and cares for women from 11 to 99. She's also a popular and in demand national speaker on all things related to women's health and lectures at Stanford.

In addition to her daily health blog at, she is the award winning author of the Personal Guides to Health used by over 3 million women in the US, with titles ranging from fertility and pregnancy to menopause and breastfeeding.

Barb holds amasters degree at UCSF and a BS from Boston College. She has worked as a Pediatric Intensive Care and as a nurse practitioner in free clinics, high-risk hospitals and private practice.

She is passionate about providing health education in ways that people can easily understand and connect to.

Barb lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, son and dog, Cookie.

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