You’ve cleared your schedule, had enough sleep, and ate a light meal. You’re feeling energized and excited. Your partner is on the same page. You both are ready to have a little fun in the bedroom.

But if you find it difficult to express that you’d like to try something new or are simply feeling a bit unsure about how to let you partner know what you like to begin with, don’t worry — this is natural. The most important thing is to be genuine, accountable to your feelings, and to practice.

Research shows that the combination of nonsexual and sexual communication is associated with relationship and sexual satisfaction. Being able to openly discuss sexual desires or concerns has been linked with greater sexual satisfaction, sexual well-being, and having more satisfying relationships.

Use this short questionnaire that looks at the five senses to figure out what arouses you the most, as well as how you can use this information to ramp up the heat during your next bumping session.

If so…

Adding scents — think oils, perfumes, and scented candles — to your bedroom play can help enhance your experience. For fun, why not try an infusion of vanilla and musk to get you in a sexy state of mind? This combination is rumored to be a natural aphrodisiac and can also put folks at ease.

How to start the conversation
  • “That lotion/cologne you wore the other day really makes me blush.”
  • “I really love it when you wear [cologne/fragrance].”

If so…

Decent mood lighting can make all the difference and help get you and your partner in the mood. Get a lava lamp or throw a bold red shirt over your lamp shade. It’ll create a sexy ambiance and provide low lighting that’s flattering.

And when it comes to clothing, it depends on what you’re comfortable sporting. While some might favor a pair of stilettos and a piece of lingerie, yoga pants might be more you. Ultimately, it’s about what leaves you feeling confident and comfortable.

How to start the conversation
  • “It really turns me on when you wear X.”
  • “I like it when you light candles and turn on the lava lamp to set the mood.”

If so…

Immerse yourself in the sound of your partner’s voice. Share with them what you fantasize about, and then ask them to nibble in your ear and repeat it back to you.

Or perhaps what gets you in the mood is listening to a certain genre of music. Music evokes emotion. Create a sexy playlist and get ready to have some fun.

How to start the conversation
  • “When you softly whisper in my ear about how much you want to taste me, I get all giddy inside and want to drop everything we’re doing and start making out.”
  • “When you play X song, it really gets me wet.”

If so…

Think about where you like to be touched. Do you like soft or rough touches? What do you like to be touched with? A feather? A paddle? A tongue? The most important thing is to give yourself permission to experience pleasure in order to feel more confident to let your partner in.

How to start the conversation
  • “I really like it when you do soft circles around my clit.”
  • “I really like it when you squeeze me tightly.”

If so…

Eat adventurously. By trying new foods that are bold or spicy, you’ll be in a novel mindset. This will allow you to be open to new experiences and sensations, one of the necessary ingredients for a spicy sex life.

The health app Lifesum conducted a survey last year and found that folks ate chocolate more often before and after sex. But popular aphrodisiacs aside, a diet rich in antioxidants, such as flax seeds, promotes cardiovascular health, thus leading to better blood flow to the genitals.

How to start the conversation
  • “I find myself desiring you more after we spend time exploring new lunch spots.”

Tips for getting into the mood

  • Manage your stress. When you’re running around all the time and jumping from one task to the other, your body will have a hard time relaxing.
  • Step out of your comfort zone. It’s perfectly OK to push your boundaries and try something new.
  • And remember: So long as it’s consensual, there’s no right or wrong way to experience pleasure.
Was this helpful?

Getting to know yourself is an adventure, and when it comes to sex, it can be a fun one. Learning what turns you on and getting more comfortable sharing your interests with your SO is essential to promoting relationship satisfaction, too.

Think outside the box and use your five senses to learn what turns you on. If you’re interested in other ways to spice up your sex life, check out some of these resources:

Janet Brito is an AASECT-certified sex therapist who also has a license in clinical psychology and social work. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship from the University of Minnesota Medical School, one of only a few university programs in the world dedicated to sexuality training. Currently, she’s based in Hawaii, and is the founder of the Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health. Brito has been featured on many outlets, including The Huffington Post, Thrive, and Healthline. Reach out to her through her website or on Twitter.