Want a better sex life? You're not alone - 47 per cent of marie claire readers wish there was more going on between their sheets. Apparently, what's "normal" - wanting and having sex at least twice a week, according to sex therapist Dr Gabrielle Morrissey - and what happens behind closed doors can be two very different things. And it's no surprise that how much sex you're having (or not, as the case may be) can result in curt conversations and sulky cold shoulders. Try these tips to strike a balance in the bedroom.
More housework equals more sex, according to new research published in the Journal of Family Issues. If either of you gets more domestic, you'll increase your chances of having sex up to 15 more times a year.
Go heavy on the cucumber: studies show it's a great scent for female arousal. If you don't like the taste, try a perfume, such as Marc Jacobs Cucumber, $99.
Get stir-crazy - oats increase testosterone levels, which then boost your libido. Add honey for an increased effect, thanks to its B vitamins and minerals.
Make room in your diary for some loving the week before your period, when oestrogen levels dip and testosterone drives your desire higher.
Getting at least 400mcg of folate - found in leafy greens and fortified cereals - will increase your dopamine levels, which, in turn, can boost your sex drive.
Q: I want sex more often than he does. What should I do?
A: "It's a fallacy that men want sex all the time and women don't," says Dr Morrissey. "It's normal for your libido to fluctuate."
The most common problems, she says, are often temporary - like stress or heavy drinking, which play havoc with libido-firing testosterone levels. It's important to talk through these things with your partner - outside the bedroom.
Your Healthy Libido Guide
5 dos and don'ts to get you in the mood for love.
Get your blood pumping down there with regular exercise – studies show women who work out are more easily aroused.
DON'T: Drink Coffee
Stimulants, like caffeine and alcohol, boost the feel-good chemical serotonin, but the sudden spike can leave us too hyped to get in the mood.
DO: Relax and eat a balanced diet
Testosterone is reliant on the steroid hormone DHEA, which starts to drop when we’re stressed. Boost its production with vitamins B and C, and magnesium.
If you need another reason to kick the habit, try this – nicotine restricts that all-important blood flow to your nether regions, dulling arousal and sensation.
DO: Move the TV out of the bedroom
A 2006 Italian study found that couples with television sets in their bedrooms had half the amount of sex as those without one in the room.