Rediscover your va-va-voom

Woman with heels on and legs in air

Learn to flirt

‘The best flirts radiate the three Cs: confidence, cheekiness and charm,’ says Sue Ostler, author of Flirt Diva (MX Publishing, £11.99). ‘The key is to look like you’re having fun,’ she adds. ‘Learn from other great flirts – if they’re celebrities, watch their interviews and study what makes them special.’ When flirting face to face, maintain eye contact to keep attention, use positive body language to convey interest, such as leaning in towards the person you’re chatting to, and focus on the art of banter – short, sharp, lively exchanges. For details of Sue’s London-based flirting workshops (from £25), visit vodkaandchocolate.com.

Get scentual

If you’re feeling frumpy, change your mood by recalling a time when you felt sexy, suggests Keren Smedley, life coach for over-45s (www.experiencematters.org.uk). ‘One of the easiest ways to recapture past sexiness is to hunt out a fragrance you used to wear.’ Studies show that memories are better triggered by scents than by pictures or sounds. Try Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps (£21.99 for 30ml, theperfumeshop.com) or Cacharel Lou Lou (£14.49 for 30ml, Superdrug) and wear under the duvet for maximum scents appeal.
Find the fragrance to suit your mood: take our quiz

Strike a pose

We might not always feel it, but women over 40 have the capacity to ooze more sex appeal than ever, says ‘orgasm coach’ Dr Lisa Turner (the-o-coach.com). ‘By mid-life, many women have more self-confidence than ever before,’ she says. ‘And there’s nothing sexier.’ Capture that sexiness on camera in a boudoir photography studio session, often run by female photographers – poses are designed to be as flattering as possible. It’s not cheap, with sessions costing from around £200, and prints are extra, but on down days the pictures can help remind you what a gorgeous, sexy woman you are. Try missboudoir.com (0161 222 6468), or look for a ‘boudoir photographer’ near you.

Perfect your pout

A slick of red lipstick sends out a powerful sensual signal – lips swell and flush when you’re aroused. Follow this advice from top make-up artist Kelly Cornwell: Apply lipstick with a brush. Keep the rest of your make-up neutral. Orange-reds are warming and suit most skin tones, and creamy textures are easiest to apply. Translucent reds are age-forgiving. Watch make-up demos on YouTube, or book a make-up lesson at virginexperiencedays.co.uk (from £39) or colourmebeautiful.co.uk (from £30).

Take up yoga

It’s been said that no one who practises yoga has a bad sex life! ‘The word yoga means union, or bringing together,’ explains yoga teacher Amanda Denton (amandadentonyoga.com). ‘You’ll develop a greater awareness of yourself and your body. From a physical aspect, the pelvic floor is strengthened, giving greater control and more orgasms.’ With improved fitness and flexibility, you should also enjoy increased stamina and the confidence to try new positions.
Tighten your pelvic floor

Be naughty

Sex toys and naughty novels may not be something you feel you have the time or inclination for, but sex expert Kate Taylor believes we should all be exploring our saucy side. ‘They can help unlock your sexuality,’ she says. ‘And it’s never been more pleasant to shop for them. At online sex shops like Sh! (sh-womenstore.com), friendly female staff offer shopping advice via email, while Coco de Mer (coco-de-mer.com) only allows couples or women into their London stores, so there’s no chance of bumping into a sleazy man in a dirty mac! You can also read free erotic stories at literotica.com.’
Top erotic books to read
Designer-style sex toys

Get touchy feely

We all know that having a massage helps to put us in the mood, but giving one can also make you feel sexy. ‘Taking a massage class can help you feel more confident in sensual massage techniques,’ says sex therapist Rachel Foux (sexandrelationshipcoaching.com). ‘It’s a nice thing to learn as a couple, too. You can take massage to a new level, exploring the whole body.’ For classes, visit tantralink.com.

Be a tease

Dream of working your body like Dita von Teese? Burlesque classes (based on the old-fashioned art of seductive, theatrical dancing) are springing up across the country, and teacher Yvette Cowles says they can enable women of all ages and sizes to become body-confident. ‘Learning to dance burlesque helps you unlock the old-fashioned art of seduction,’ she says. In group classes, you’ll be given feather boas and gloves as props, and taught to get in touch with your playful, provocative side. For a class near you, visit burlesquebaby.com or try polestars.net.

Dress for seduction

‘No one feels sexy in a sweatshirt and jeans, so dress to enhance the bits of your body you like,’ says Kate Taylor, author of Domestic Sex Goddess (Quadrille Publishing, £14.99). This doesn’t mean buttock-skimming mini-skirts or plunging necklines. Sex appeal is about feeling comfortable in clothes that emphasise your natural assets. ‘Anything that draws attention to your waist is good – make the most of the amazing control underwear in the shops,’ says Kate. Don’t make the mistake of harking back to a style you wore when you were 20: ‘Your body will have changed. Use a personal shopper to help optimise your assets, or emulate a sexy celebrity you admire.’

Walk in heels

Flat pumps are comfy, but there’s nothing like a pair of killer heels to help you reach the height of your sex appeal. Heels exaggerate the female form, by pushing out your boobs one way and your bottom the other. But, says dance and deportment teacher Sarah Toner, you’ve got to be able to walk properly in them: ‘Relax your legs to bring a gentle swing to your hips, and move your arms gracefully for balance. Work on strengthening your core muscles to keep you upright.’ Sarah’s Fabulous in High Heels London masterclass is £150 for 90 minutes (maximum of five friends; fabinhighheels.com).

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