Recently, I was coaching a young couple on Sensate Focus. Sensate Focus (SF) is a skill that improves intimacy and communication between partners around the topic of sex and intimacy. SF reduces sexual performance anxiety as it refocuses the experience of platonic, sensual and erotic touch away from the ingrained, goal-oriented sexual patterns that exist, such as touching just to achieve intercourse and reach orgasm, for another focused on the sensorial pleasurable experience of touch of any kind. The cornerstone of SF is to feel pleasure, not to rush to orgasm. The technique was developed by Dr. William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson. One of the partners realized that they had never touched for their own pleasure, but rather, for the pleasure of the other person. Touching for one’s own pleasure was not only a foreign concept; it was also one that provoked a lot of thought and reflection. Changing the old paradigm for a new one was an intriguing objective.
Unfortunately, many people are stock in the loop of either only touching their partners to induce a reaction (get them aroused and ready for penetrative sex) or touching them as an automated response. Touching, however, is essential to create an intimate experience, deeper than an orgasm. Here are some tips to create a more fulfilling experience around touch.
- Touch for your own pleasure: This may sound selfish and confusing but in order to elicit pleasure on another, we must feel it ourselves. And vice versa; in order for another to feel the pleasure of our touch, we must know that they are truly present and enjoy it.
- Give yourself permission for pleasure: The world has come to condemn even the mention of the word pleasure, as if though any pleasurable experience was condemnable. Nothing further from the truth. Our bodies are wired to enjoy and appreciate and seek pleasure and what a better way to enjoy it than during intimacy and sex.
- Feel pleasure at any time: There’s no timing for pleasure. Pleasure can be felt and had with every sensation, touch, texture, word and gesture that we do or allow others to do onto us. The feeling of pleasure is not exclusive to sex. Even erotic pleasure can be felt when clothes are on, lights are bright and you are not alone.
- Your biggest sex organ: Your largest sex organ is your skin and it is this organ that has all the sensory terminals to feel touch. Use every inch of your body to feel and get yourself turned on. Be present with your skin and follow its lead.
- Your most important sex organ: Sex starts between the ears. Use your brain to create the erotic experience you want and have fun with your imagination.
Remember that touch is a gift you should give yourself. Touch for you, show up for yourself and make sure you communicate throughout so that all the parties involved can enjoy. Every moment is a good moment for touch (even if in your imagination or with yourself).