Can You Create Sexual Chemistry If It Is Not There?

It is one of the most disappointing feelings in the world. You're on date with a really great guy. He's smart, sweet, funny and just your type. He's perfect. Well, almost. When he goes in for that kiss, nothing. No electricity, no goosebumps. Tingles. Nothing. "Chemistry is complicated," says Bat Sheva Marcus, Ph.D., founder of the Medical Center for Female Sexuality in New York. "It's not binary. Chemistry is much more gradient than that." So we know it can't be turned on and off but you can nudge yourself in the right direction. Here are some expert offered strategies:

1. Work Up a Sweat

One guaranteed way to boost your sexual energy is to workout together. A pulse elevating workout can increase blood flow, oxygenate your blood, and release feel-good endorphins, says clinical sexologist Patti Britton, Ph.D. You will feel more excited and alive with an increase to your self esteem. If you want to be subtle about it, plan a more active date. Think rock climbing or dancing.

2. Imagine He's Hard to Get

The power of a perceived obstacle can be really strong, says Britton, referencing the work of noted sex therapist Jack Morin, Ph.D., who created a formula for enhancing sexual chemistry called the erotic equation: E = A + PO (Excitement = Attraction + Perceived Obstacle). If your guy is ultra nice and available, imagine an obstacle between you two. Suggest he take a weekend away with the boys and spend that time thinking about how much you miss him. When he's away on a business trip, send him longing messages. This absence will increase desire in you both. We want what we can't have.

3. Make Fantasies Work in Your Favor

Lots of women date good guys but are aroused by bad guys. "I’m a big believer in fantasy," says Marcus. "If you're with Mr. Nice Guy and you want to be tied up by three men, let your head go there." And don't feel guilty about it. You are willfully choosing to be intimate with your guy, so your mind wandering isn't really a big deal. Depending on the level of openness in your relationship, you could even share your fantasies. Now there is a sexy thought.

4. Experiment with Different Locations

So, things felt too platonic at your place. Try his. This change of scenery might knock something loose that just wasn't there before.  If you're feeling adventurous, Marcus recommends trying somewhere totally new, like the back of a movie theatre. "Different places can bring out different parts of people," she says.

5. Add Some Aroma

"What a lot of people don't realize is the strongest of all our senses is smell," says Ava Cadell, Ph.D., founder of and author of NeuroLoveology, "If you really want to create lasting chemistry, you have to find out what your favorite aromas are." Set the stage with your favourite flowers or perfume and you are far more likely to be seduced. This also works with food fragrances, like licorice or banana bread for many women and vanilla or cinnamon for most men.

6. Keep Trying...Up to a Point

If you tend to have a 'one and done' attitude, you may not be giving your encounters enough time. One less than stellar encounter may be the exception rather than the rule. It could have something to do with your mood or even what you ate that day, says psychosexual therapist Sara Nasserzadeh, Ph.D. But if you try a whole bunch of times and he still doesn't satisfy, you may never actually have chemistry. "Don't linger if you feel like it's not there," she says. "Trust your instincts." How do you determine how long is too long to try? Marcus suggests being intimate with someone at least six times before calling it quits. "And if you feel like the spark is just not there, either decide you can live without the spark or just move on," she says. Tell us what you think. Can you grow chemistry or is it something that has to be there from the get go?  

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