In the opening episode of "Masters of Sex," the new series detailing the research and personal life of 1950s sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson, Dr. Masters tells an uninhibited study subject: "Think of yourself as Sir Edmund Hillary leaving base camp."
Since then, we've learned a lot about what makes sparks fly and what dampens desire:
- High heels can interfere with a woman's orgasm. While shoe designer Christian Louboutin may claim the arch of his heels replicates the arch of a woman's back in the throes ... those sky-high perches actually trigger chronic contraction of pelvic floor muscles. That means there's less muscle motion during orgasm - and less sensation as a result.
- A couple of drinks may loosen you up, but alcohol can dehydrate, and that dampens (how ironic) orgasms for women and men. Good hydration positively affects semen volume, vaginal lubrication and muscle tone and contraction.
- You may gobble bar food on date night, but what you need to keep blood flowing (essential for erection and orgasm) and to reduce inflammation (which can cause aches and pains that make intimacy difficult) is nutrition and muscle power. So take half a multivitamin twice a day; 900 IU of DHA fish or algal oil daily; and eat foods that deliver the recommended daily allowance for 19- to 50-year-olds of calcium (1000 mg), magnesium (310-400 mg) and zinc (8-11 mg). And keep blood vessels flexible by taking 10,000 steps a day and getting 30 minutes a week of resistance exercises.
Now who's the master of sex?