Friday, August 7, 2009

Have Better Sex

The World's Best Sex
The most orgasmic women on earth share pleasure principles that will make reaching your peak--and blowing his mind--better than ever
Carrie Sloan

We may lead the world in many ways, but when it comes to our sex lives, Americans are a little flaccid. According to the Durex 2007-2008 Global Sexual Wellbeing Survey, we rank third lowest in the world in how often we get it on. While less than half of us are content with our current erotic state of affairs, 81 percent of American women believe that sex is vital to health and happiness. So how do we go from knowing it to actually doing it? WH tours Brazil, Sweden, Greece, and Israel--four countries that set the standard for sexual satisfaction--to find the answers.

First stop: Brazil, where couples will try anything once
Brazilians rank second in the world in terms of the sheer amount of sex they have: 85 percent do it at least once a week. But Gisele Bndchen's homeland truly stands apart as a booty mecca because its citizens love to keep sex fresh and fun. Nearly a third of them are willing to give aphrodisiacs a whirl, and 77 percent have oral sex regularly. So deep is their belief in sexual play that there's even a Portuguese word that roughly translates to "Let's experiment with the world of erotic experience." Sacanagem!

That experimental attitude permeates the culture, says Carmita Abdo, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Sao Paulo Medical School. Abdo has conducted three comprehensive studies on the country's sexual behavior. "What makes Brazilians unique in their approach to sex is less prejudice and more curiosity, willingness to communicate, devotion to pleasure, and appreciation of different body shapes," she says. (They're so open-minded that a prominent former sexologist, Marta Suplicy, was mayor of Sao Paulo from 2001 to 2004.)

But Brazilians don't equate keeping sex hot with bed hopping. Seventy percent of Brazilian women believe that great sexual satisfaction comes from intimacy and commitment. And in Brazil, monogamy does not equal monotony. In Rio, Abdo says, the couple that gets outrageous together stays together.

Don't Hold Back
First, dedicate more of your time to really fooling around. "America is a very pragmatic society, very goal-oriented," says Esther Perel, M.A., a New York City sex therapist who specializes in cultural sex differences. "We believe in results and are rather uncomfortable with ambiguity," says Perel, who's also the author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence. The problem? Sexuality and sexual play thrive in the gray areas. That's why, she says, "sacanagem is an important concept. It's one way to say you're willing to leave reality behind and create an adventurous atmosphere in your bedroom."

But how do you cultivate your erotic imagination? For starters, Perel suggests taking a vacation from your comfort zone. Just as you can get into a rut always eating Cheerios with sliced bananas for breakfast, it's easy to fall into the trap of you-touch-me-here-then-I-touch-you-there, especially in a long-term, committed relationship. The best way to break free is to realize that seduction begins long before you hop into bed: "You can be flirtatious by leaving a provocative sticky note on the bathroom mirror in the morning or sending a suggestive e-mail midday," Perel says. Or devise a Choose Your Own Sexual Adventure story, with each of you adding a titillating nightly installment of what the main characters will do to each other. Perel says writing is often a safer place to explore fantasies and figure out which ones you want to turn into reality.

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