Want to spice things up in the bedroom? Discover game-changing sex toys & top tips – all courtesy of Smile Makers

Take care of your body

If you want to tap into your sensuality, it can help to reconnect with yourself with a little nurturing first. If you’re finding yourself stuck inside, make sure you move, stretch yourself, spend some time by the window (or outside if you can) and enjoy proper daylight. Pamper yourself with your favourite skincare – we recommend a face mask while luxuriating in a warm bath. And take time post-soak to massage in body oil to nourish your skin, while noticing your body’s curves. And don’t forget to eat well, too – feeding your body helps your mental and emotional health (which needs to be in a good place to be aroused!).

Create a 'sex nest'

We don’t all have the luxury of a lot of space, but here are a few tricks to create a sensual nest – a little space where you can feel relaxed and ‘in the mood’. Ideally, make it a phone and screen-free zone, play some gentle ‘mood’ music, light some candles and scented diffusers, and dim the lights. Unable to let go of your worries due to all the bad news? Visualise yourself cocooning, remind yourself that you are in a safe space and rationalise any intrusive fears.

Bye, bad news – hello, erotica

Give your mind a break from the news completely and indulge in some erotica! You can read some steamy romance novels (or download the Bookrix app for some sexy, free e-books), listen (search ‘erotic audiobooks’ on YouTube) or even write – aka sensual journaling – a great way to become more self-aware and confident. Jot down your favourite sex memory or your most creative fantasy. Have some fun with a sex toy and write down how it made you feel (try Smile Makers The Tennis Coach Vibrator – it’ll help you reach the big O by hitting your G spot).

If you’re still stuck, here’s some good things to think about as a starting point:

I feel sexy when…

I love myself when…

I feel aroused when…

I would like to try…

I don’t like….

If you’re feeling a bit inhibited, try to visualise yourself in the future as your most confident and sexually-fulfilled self and write as if you’re already there. Jot down how you feel, what you enjoy, how you communicate about sex and what fantasies you have.

Take yourself to sex school

If you feel sexually curious but not physically interested, you can always take time to check out what other women are talking about when it comes to female sexual pleasure and empowerment. Listen to podcasts like Laid Bare, Project Pleasure, Brown Girls Do it Too and the Hotbed Collective – you can put any tips you pick up into practice later!

Prioritise your sexual health

Taking control of protection, whether it’s for pregnancy prevention or to avoid sexually transmitted infections (STIs), is important and empowering. It also means you can relax and enjoy having sex with your partner instead of worrying. And as stress can play havoc with the vagina’s natural lubrication (and there’s a lot of stress around right now!), it’s worth keeping a lube handy (go for water-based as oil-based types can damage the rubber in condoms) – even for solo-sex sessions. Try: Smile Makers Generous Gel.

Push your pleasure boundaries

Whether it’s sex with a partner or on your own, why rush it? After all, our current confined-to-home, commute-free lives equals a bit more time than usual. You could also think of it as an opportunity to break away from tried-and-tested moves and find new ways to feel pleasure, like exploring a new body area, trying a new type of touch, or testing a new toy (use the Smile Makers The Millionaire Vibrator for a fast-track to the pleasure zone).

Try touch to awaken a lost libido

If your desire has plummeted, relax – it’s completely normal when adjusting to a sudden change of routine. One way to ride it out (no pun intended) without completely shutting your partner out is to try other types of intimate contact: massage and sensual touch, making out for a prolonged time (just like being teenagers all over again!) and, of course, hugging. Sure, a hug might not sound like a sexy move, but the hormones released when cuddling a loved one make us feel more connected and trusting, which might inspire a romantic mood. Another top tip? Mutual masturbation could be a good way to initiate things, too (or you could keep it as the main event). Ask your other half to use the Smile Makers The Frenchman to find your most pleasurable spots – it can be used anywhere from the back, belly, neck and breasts to the clitoris, inner thighs or anywhere else that gets you going!

Time for an orgasm break?

Post-lunch sex? Morning sex? Happy hour sex? If you don’t share a home with friends or family, you probably now have the freedom to have sex anywhere in the house, at any time of the day. Although many of us still have work to do, why not switch that lunch-hour into an orgasm break on the sofa? (Just make sure you’ve properly logged out of that online meeting first!).