4 Quick Arousal Hacks

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Ever had a tough time getting turned on?

You’re not alone. Whether it’s a stressful time, or you’re on medication that affects your libido, or you’re just not feeling yourself at the moment…we’ve all been there.

But there are all kinds of ways to build arousal, and experimenting with different methods can be quite pleasurable. Once you introduce a new “stimulant” to the mix, you might find that getting turned on is easier than you thought. 

So here are 4 arousal hacks to play with, all based on research and data. Next time you want to get aroused in a hurry, try one of these ideas.

1. Cannabis

It doesn’t work for everyone, but for lots of folks, it’s just the thing to kick arousal into gear. Here are findings from a large-scale study* on cannabis and sex, published last year. After using cannabis: 

  • 70% of participants reported increased desire 
  • 70% of participants reported increased orgasm intensity
  • 62.5% reported enhanced pleasure while masturbating
  • 71% reported an enhanced sense of taste and touch

This study comes on the heels of several others* that all make the same conclusion: for many people, cannabis is a reliable tool for sexual arousal.

Does that mean you have to partake? Of course not. But if you want to try it (or try a new intake method), I love a brand called VIIA, whose products are legal and ship discreetly all over the United States. Their formulas are high quality, and their arousal gummy is infused with cannabis and libido-enhancing herbs that include damiana and horny goat weed. VIIA’s High Love Gummies, and reviews are rave. You’ll feel the sexy effects in 30-60 minutes. 

2. Lower body workout

Exercise boosts sex drive in general, because physical activity increases your levels of three specific neurotransmitters: dopamine, adrenaline, and serotonin. It’s a triple whammy of pleasure, energy, and positivity.

But when you work your lower bod specifically – think squats, lunges, hip thrusts, etc. – you boost blood circulation in and around your genitals. This can reverse-engineer arousal in a cool way: detecting blood engorgement in the genitals can trigger a sexual thought, intensifying the psychological experience of arousal.

And while exercise can trigger immediate sexual arousal, its long-term benefits to your sexual health are pretty remarkable. This 2023 study found that exercising for at least 30 minutes three times a week can be just as effective as Viagra and similar meds. 

3. Meditate

Relaxation is a precursor to arousal. It’s hard to flip a switch if your day has been stressful, or if you’ve simply got a lot on your plate. You might be in fight or flight mode, and not even realize it. 

But meditation doesn’t just soothe the mind, it also increases body awareness and sensual response, as this large-scale study review shows. Try having a meditation sesh in a clean, calming environment, with a candle and neutral, gentle music. Your nervous system will settle, your thoughts will clear, and you’ll find it much easier to tune into your bodily sensations.

4. Listen to audio erotica

It’s OK to use an external stimulant for your sex drive. Porn may or may not be your thing, but you know what tends to work for just about everyone? A hot audio story.

This 2023 study found that people with penises and vulvas demonstrated significant increases in genital response when they listened to audio erotica. “Erotic audios, such as moaning and thrusting sounds, represent a dynamic content of sexual experiences and may garner at least comparable or even much more attention than visual stimuli,” said study authors. I’m not surprised: listening to people have sex engages your imagination, giving you room to visualize the scene…and make it your own.

There are great apps for this, btw: Dipsea and TryQuinn are my faves. Try queuing up a story, and taking a walk around the block with your earbuds. Hi neighbors! 

No dice? Try a deeper approach

If a quick arousal hack doesn’t do the job, there may be a deeper issue at play. Here are my suggestions if getting turned on is a consistent challenge.

  • Therapy: an understanding therapist can help you get to the bottom of sexual struggles, and help you work through challenges like past traumas or partner resent.
  • Self-esteem: lots of people avoid working out because they don’t like the way they look in gym clothes. Others have consistently negative thought patterns that prevent them from seeing themselves as sexual beings. Working on your fundamental self-esteem through therapy, positive self-talk, time with friends, and self-care might be the key to unlocking your sex drive.
  • Menopause: this change in hormones is significant for those with a vulva, but it doesn’t mean your sex life is gone. Talk to your doctor about safe methods to support your hormone levels. 
  • Medication: if you’re taking SSRI’s or other medications, they might be having an adverse effect on your libido. Share this concern with your doctor, so you can adjust your care plan.

Have you gone through periods of having a low sex drive? What methods worked for you? Come find me on Instagram at @sexwithemily and let’s talk about it.

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