Life is full of surprises. Some of the best are those that make your heart beat fast, eyes widen, senses heighten, and leave you wanting more to come…and come again. Here are some of the most unusual ways to update your bedroom repertoire and get intimate with your partner—all backed by science. Try one or try them all. You’ll both be pleasantly surprised.

  1. Keep the Sexting Rated PG-13.

Think of sending suggestive messages as all-day foreplay—a titillating hint of what may happen after you get home from the office. Just don’t get too explicit. “Your rule of thumb for sexy texting is that if someone happened to see your screen they wouldn’t be disgusted—they’d just be jealous of your relationship,” says Aline Zoldbrod, PhD, a certified sex therapist based in Boston.

  1. Headaches Are Actually The Perfect Excuse To Have Sex.

Blaming headaches for not wanting to have sex with your is an age-old adage passed from generation to generation. A study by researchers at the University of Munster in Germany found the opposite. According to the authors, “Our data suggest…that sexual activity can lead to partial or complete relief of headache in some migraine and a few cluster headache patients.” Time to retire that cliché.

  1. The Language of Love—Or Make That, L’Amour.

According to a survey conducted with over 270 dating agencies, potential partners who speak two or more languages are considered sexier, more attractive, and more intelligent. Brush off your high school textbook or download a foreign phrase app to surprise and seduce your significant other.

  1. Forget Cologne, Try Licorice Instead.

Or cucumber. A study by Alan Hirsch, MD, of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, exposed research participants to a variety of scents and monitored the arousal of blood vessels in their body’s erotic zones. The winners for women were a combination of licorice and cucumber. Men favored pumpkin pie and lavender. The runner-up? Banana-nut bread. At the very least, it’s an excuse for a late night snack or breakfast in bed.

  1. For Maximum Pleasure, Ditch the Louboutins.

In Naomi Wolf’s most recent book, Vagina: A New Biography, Dr. Eden Fromberg of SoHo OB/GYN shed light on some of the most astonishing research about women and sex. Although some high-end shoe designers have sought to make their heels mimic the arch of a woman’s foot during orgasm, being a slave to your stilettos could have the opposite effect. Wearing towering heels automatically tilts the pelvis. Fromberg explains, “An orgasm is like going from zero to 60. If you’re already at 55 [from wearing heels], you’re not going to have a full experience.”

  1. Facial Hair is more Than Just a Hipster Trend.

According to Professor Ian Gibbins of Flinders University in Australia, the reason why men still have facial and chest hair (and women don’t) is most likely due to sexual selection. “So if you’re a good enough feeder or hunter or breeder… to have enough energy in reserve to make some flashy show then it means you’re probably ahead of the pack.” If you want to get really specific about stubble: 10-days growth hits the sweet spot.

  1. Make a Love Nest by Cleaning Up your Bedroom 

Slobs take note: “We do know that women, more so than men, are prone to cognitive distractions—thinking of other things in ways that interfere with sex,” says Debby Herbenick, PhD, author of Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction. Sexy solution? De-clutter, purge, or straighten up the unnecessary mess. Neatly make the bed and let it become undone when you’re both wrestling in the sheets. Don’t forget to light a candle to set a romantic and relaxing mood.

  1. Turn on the TV to get Turned On.

Contrary to the common wisdom that TV “ruins” people’s love lives, a recent UK survey found that couples with televisions in the bedroom had twice as much sex as those who did not. The over 2000 respondent’s reasons were diverse, from being bored by a program and jazzing up the evening with a make-out session to watching sexy shows together. However, all could agree that curling up with their lover in the dark to watch telly was a legitimate form of foreplay.

  1. Savor the Spice, but not the Sugar.

Dr. Mark Hyman, physician and best selling author explains how sugar directly impacts both male and female sexual desire and performance. “The biggest culprit that continually knocks sex hormones out of balance is sugar, in all its many forms (including all flour products), which raises insulin and creates a hormonal domino effect. Once you understand how insulin can impact other hormones, you begin to connect the dots about how excessive sugar can wreck your sex life.” In other words, grab your partner for some high quality sweet loving rather than a candy bar that provides a false sense of bliss.