Sex is fun, feels great and brings you closer to your partner—and regular intimacy is also good for your mental and physical health. Making love can improve your heart function, lower your stress and anxiety levels, reduce aches and so much more.
Unfortunately, some seemingly innocent habits before and after sex could cause problems in the sack,…
1. Don’t eat super spicy foods or a meal high in fat
If you’re planning to have sex, tone it down on the hot sauce. Spicy foods like curry and peppers can trigger symptoms of acid reflux, including heartburn, a burning sensation in the throat; this may make it difficult to get in the mood. And if your body is sensitive to fiery foods, you may not be able to hold in farts or burps.
That’s not all—rich, heavy foods that are high in fat (think fried chicken), citrus fruits, carbonated drinks and caffeinated beverages can also give you heartburn, since they’re harder for your body to digest.
So, go easy on your tummy. Foods like bananas, oatmeal, apples and graham crackers are less likely to give you heartburn.
2. Don’t take an antihistamine
Feeling stuffy? You may want to hold off on taking cough and cold meds if you’re planning to get busy later. While antihistamines help dry up runny noses, that’s not the only thing that’s going to dry up. Women may notice that their vaginas are less lubricated, too, since these drugs cause mucous membranes to dry up all over the body.
Sandpaper sex isn’t very pleasant—in fact, it may cause burning, itching or pain. When you have to take allergy meds, be sure you have a water-based lubricant handy for sex. Lubing up will ensure you’re wet enough down there, so you can feel pleasure, too.
3. Don’t drink too much
While a beer or two may put you in the mood, men should be careful about overdoing booze before sex. Alcohol is a known risk factor for erectile dysfunction (ED), a condition that makes it hard to get or keep an erection strong enough to do the deed. Though a couple of alcohol-induced incidents don’t necessarily mean you have ED, frequent heavy boozing could lead to long-term problems.
In general, it’s best to curb your alcohol intake—remember that no more than two drinks a day for men is considered OK. And, if you are limiting your alcohol and still having problems in the sack, you may want to avoid it completely. See your healthcare provider if erections are hard to come by more often than not.
4. Don’t shave right before
Is shaving your preferred way of grooming your lady parts? No problem—but you should plan ahead. Shaving makes the skin around your genitals fragile, more sensitive and prone to irritation caused by friction during sex.
So, lower your risk by shaving the day before being intimate. To reduce your chances of irritation even further, always use shaving cream or gel, shave in the direction the hair grows and apply a fragrance-free lotion when you’re done.
5. Don’t skip peeing if you’re prone to utis
Sure, sex makes you feel good, but there are some downsides, too. Getting intimate may force germs into your urethra, which can cause a urinary tract infection (UTI). So, it’s ideal to pee before and after sex when you can, since it will reduce your risk of UTIs.
Waiting five minutes to enjoy the afterglow of sex is normally okay, though. If you’re sexually active and getting UTIs a lot, you’ll want to be especially diligent about going immediately before and after.
6. Don’t skip the foreplay
If you’ve got the time, foreplay can help you and your partner get in the mood. Foreplay can include kissing, cuddling, massaging and oral stimulation—and the benefits are astounding.
Foreplay gets your genitals ready for sex. Women may start to get wet since there is increased blood flow to the clitoris and men may start to get an erection since blood flow is increasing to the penis. It also raises your heart rate and may help you feel more connected to your partner as you begin to get intimate.
The act can also help you relax and focus on the activity at hand. It’s also a good time to bring out the lube—a water-based liquid or gel can help keep the vagina and penis wet—which makes certain sensations feel even better.
Instead of heading right to the main event, try spending a few minutes beforehand kissing and cuddling with your partner. Whether it’s a massage or a little oral stimulation, you and your partner should talk about the types of things you both enjoy, and make time them when you can.