Plan sex in advance, as unromantic as it sounds. Schedule it one or two days a week and start as soon as dinner’s done and the kids are asleep.  

Our reader’s tip:
“My husband and I call Wednesday and Saturday nights 
our ‘happy hour nights’. We never fail to make love on these 
two nights, no matter how busy or tired we are. Scheduling 
sex has forced us to reconnect on an intimate level – it 
has brought us closer and improved our marriage greatly.” 
– Danni, 41, lecturer  

Take off your clothes and just lie in bed with Hubby, pressing your bodies tightly together. Research shows that a few minutes of this will get you in the mood, as skin-on-skin contact releases pheromones – chemical signals that trigger desire.

Another idea: Chew on liquorice, thought to mimic the effects of oestrogen and progesterone – critical female hormones for getting you turned on. A Chicago-based study in the late 1990s revealed that women who were exposed to the scent of liquorice had a 13 per cent hike in blood flow to their nether regions. But take note: Buy only those that contain real liquorice root extract.  

Our reader’s tip:
“My husband and I practise what we call ‘naked yoga’. When we manage to strike and maintain a pose well, we ‘celebrate’ by kissing. This usually gets me passionate enough to get naughty midway through the session.” – Lily, 32, 
fitness trainer

Carve out 10 minutes each night to relax. Research shows that for women to feel aroused and experience orgasm, the parts of their brain linked to external stressors must deactivate.

If all else fails, chomp on a banana or two. Bananas are a rich source of vitamin B, which converts carbohydrates into energy – so you’ll literally have more energy for monkey business. Bananas also help your body to 
produce sex hormones like testosterone – which means that having the fruit a few hours before nookie time can keep you pepped up, says Dr Hilda Hutcherson in her book, Pleasure: A Woman’s Guide To Getting The Sex You Want, Need And Deserve ($19, Amazon.com).

Our reader’s tip:
“If I’m feeling exhausted and my husband insists, I’ll squeeze in a 10-minute power nap first. I don’t want to deny him the pleasure, as we work 
long hours and barely 
see each other. So I ‘meet’ both our needs by resting before indulging him. It works each time.” – Mary, 38, 
accounts manager

Try strip aerobics. To master the art of disrobing, pop in a DVD of Baywatch babe Carmen Electra’s Aerobic Striptease – In The Bedroom ($16.45, Amazon.com), which is part of her fitness collection series. Your new moves are guaranteed to be a sight for Hubby’s sore eyes.

Our reader’s tip:
“I picked up belly dancing to lose weight and jazz up my love life. I thought the slinky moves and shimmies would help me seduce my husband better. And they did. Now, we are thinking of signing up for salsa as a couple – I hear those moves are raunchier!” – Lena, 36, civil servant

Slip on something that makes you feel sexy all over. This can have a positive effect on your confidence, especially when you tune in to how much he’s admiring your body.

Our reader’s tip:
“I have a go-to nightgown that I put on each time my insecurities set in. It hugs my curves and boosts my cleavage, so I feel like a vixen whenever I put it on. 
My worries about my dimpled thighs, sagging tummy or flabby arms just disappear.” – Laura, 42, lawyer

All the more reason to make love. Research has shown that satisfying sex can chase away a niggling migraine – scientists believe it is 10 times more effective than painkillers. But it can’t be just-lie-there sex – 
you need to get really involved in 
the horizontal tango (better still, hit 
your climax) to trigger the release 
of endorphins, the body’s natural 
pain reliever. If you’d rather alleviate that headache first, down a palmful of almonds – they contain magnesium, which helps to relax constricted blood vessels (a cause of headaches) and improve blood flow.

Our reader’s tip:
“There’s some truth to how sex can cure a headache. My migraine disappeared halfway through intercourse with my husband. I also read that sex may alleviate a flu as it builds up antibodies, boosting immunity. My husband jokes that whenever I get the sniffles, it’s time to meet the love doctor – him.” – Myra, 29, graphic artist

Sniff a few drops of ylang-ylang essential oil. The scent can help calm your nerves and heighten sexual feelings. Then have a heart-to-heart with your other half before bed. Tell him why you’re furious with him – when you’re more relaxed, you’ll be more open to his reasoning and advances. Make-up sex, anyone?

Our reader’s tip:
“I commit to couple time about 15 minutes a day. My spouse and I discuss anything, from vacations we want to take, to what we disagree about. We do this with no interruptions – no phones, no television, no children. We also discuss our deepest fantasies about twice a week. Our love life has improved so much since we started doing this three years ago.” – Valerie, 35, 
social worker

Have your trysts as and when you can. Head home during lunch or take half a day off and check into a nice hotel.

Our reader’s tip:
“My sex life came to a standstill after my children were born. My husband and I didn’t want the lack of intimacy to affect our marriage, so we decided to use any stolen moments we could find. We’re both lucky to work near home, so we sneak back during lunch for a quickie at least once a week. About twice a month, we take half-day leave, pack our kids off to our parents and check into a hotel to chill out and reconnect.” – Rina, 32, writer

Carry a photo of him that shows him at his best. When you’re only seeing him in a negative light, pull out the photo and have 
a good look. Find one quality that you love – his hands, his lips, his eyes – and focus 
on that.

Our reader’s tip:
“I’ve always been attracted to my husband’s arms – they’re very manly
 and make me feel protected. Although he has developed a paunch and is balding, on days when I feel less physically attracted to him, I stare at his arms and remind myself why I found him sexy in the first place.” 
– Candy, 37, stay-at-home mum

This article was originally published in Simply Her September 2013.