Cold Weather, Hot Nights

It’s getting cold outside. The holiday shopping crowds have gone from festive to offensive, and if you never hear “The Christmas Song” again it’ll be too soon. Alas, it looks like a long winter of cold nights inside for you and your one and only. Whatever will you do to pass the time?

20 Questions
Set yourselves up for an evening of discovery with a one-on-one tournament of truth. Choose your questions carefully to satisfy your curiosity about your partner’s mysterious past, honest opinion or sexual fantasies. It’s okay to have a cheat sheet — you may even want to prepare ahead of time to make your questions count. After all, half the fun is discovering what you still don’t know and didn’t realize you were dying to ask. The other half is where you end up. Depending on where your games take you, you may find yourself dreaming together by a blazing fire…or igniting a little blaze of your own.

Secret Santa
Nothing gives you a better excuse to try something new than an extra toy or two under the tree. Agree to a naughty secret Santa, and exchange gifts on a special night; or surprise your partner with an unexpected present. Be creative. Aside from the usual toys, there’s a wide array of other options out there, like evening wear, sensual foods and adult games. Dress up, dress down, or choose a game that will spark new ideas and mutual exploration. It’s not just about sex. As you better understand your partner’s desires and insecurities and work toward banishing emotional inhibitions, your relationship will grow more satisfying along with your sex life.

Sugar and Spice
Evidence links the smells of baking and other food and spice aromas to mood elevation, and some studies suggest that scents can function as aphrodisiacs. For instance, Dr. Alan Hirsch of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Center found that aromas like those of cinnamon buns, doughnuts and pumpkin pie have a significant effect on arousal in men and women. What’s not to love? Throw a little something in the oven and you’ll turn up the heat, turn on the passion and, when you’re ready, there’ll be another tasty treat waiting.

Play with your Food
Everyone likes to talk about mixing the edible and the erotic, but once you’ve moved the snacks into the bedroom, what do you do with them? Slathering whipped cream on the obvious spots is delicious…but not terribly creative. Now that you have an excuse to stay in, why not experiment? Flavor combinations definitely add a little something: try pairing that cream with chocolate or get creative with honey and peanut butter. Dab a few on your favorite hotspots and let your partner sample your creation. Slowly tracing designs on your partner’s body with warm chocolate syrup is an agonizing tease that will leave you hungry for each other. And for contrasting sensation, you can incorporate a few chilled strawberries; use them like a paintbrush or graze them over lips (and other erogenous zones). Want to add a little mystery? Blindfold your partner and let him or her, with no hands, find and follow the savory trail you’ve designed. When it’s too cold to go out (or when you pretend it is) stay in and satisfy your appetite. You may find you’ve acquired a few exotic tastes.

Make a List; Check it Twice
Plan an entire night in, only your partner makes the agenda. Anything is fair game. You could find yourself preparing a favorite meal, painting a pedicure masterpiece, taking a dip in the Jacuzzi or bath and putting her to bed to her favorite tunes. Maybe he wants a favorite movie, followed by an expertly delivered massage and a special request for after hours. If you like, you can make your list interactive by providing multiple choice categories for each phase. It’s a great exercise in asking for and getting what you want and an opportunity to dedicate an entire evening to your partner’s pleasure.

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