focus is the art of focusing on the senses.
We often become so anxious or intent on achieving orgasm
or performance that we don’t enjoy
the full experience of
sexual engagement. Not only does this mean losing out on much of the
pleasure of sex, but it can prevent orgasm. Sensate
focus exercises can help us let to go of inhibiting
anxieties and intent and tune into the
The cardinal rule when you begin sensate focus exercises is that
you are not trying to have an
Rather, the goal is to expand your awareness of sensation,
other objective or pressure. Be completely in the moment.
Exercises for Developing Sensate Focus:
your left foot in your hands. Feel the warmth and texture of your skin,
the weight of your touch, the shapes of your hand and foot. Are there areas
that ache, want to be touched? Are there areas that feel relaxed?
Begin to explore your foot with touch, focusing on
the feeling of its
textures. Try touching
in different ways; light, tremulous, firm with long
and notice how each
touch feels. What do you enjoy? Massage
any areas that
breathing with your
You can touch with more than your hand; try using your elbow, hair,
Allow yourself to express emotion through your touch.
Expand Your Range Patiently
Over a period of five days, expand this exercise
to your whole body, including the genitals on the last day. Remember: stop
before you have an orgasm.
not your objective; sensate focus is.
Repeat the exercise with a partner. The individual who touches
concentrates on active giving; the individual whose foot is touched
on passive receiving.
Now repeat the exercise with the individual who receives touch being as
consistently directive as possible: clearly tell and show your partner which
sensations feel pleasurable. How can their touch be made more pleasurable?
Do you want deeper or lighter pressure, to be touched here or there, longer?
Be clear about
your desires, and take charge of getting as much pleasure as
A sensation map is a chart of your body’s erogenous sensitivity zones. It’s
a great tool both for developing your self-knowledge and for increasing
intimacy with your partner. You can learn a lot about yourself and each
other doing this fun and enlightening exercise.
For this exercise you need:
-A large sheet of blank paper. Construction paper will do – anything you can
lay out on the floor.
-A large mirror.
-A comfortable, private, well-lit place where you won’t be disturbed.
Draw your nude body on the paper. Draw your front and your back, using the
mirror where you can’t see.
Starting with your feet and working to the top of your head, slowly touch
your body and note which areas enjoy what kind of touch. You can rate the
areas sensitivity to pleasure on a scale from 0 – 10. As you discover your
sensitivities, map them on your drawing.
You can also use words, colors, and any other means of notation to describe
Now study your map. Did you leave out any part of your body? If so, map it
Now your partner will draw you, and then touch you. You give them feedback
on a scale of 0 – 10 on what feels pleasurable, and they’ll chart a map of
your erogenous zones.
When you’re done, switch roles.
Take time afterward to talk about what you’ve learned.
Tuning In to Your Senses
We long for touch from the moment we’re born. Our senses respond
language of touch long before
we develop verbal expression. Children who are not touched
often lack developmental social adjustments that are
essential to their wellbeing.
Touching elicits and expresses emotion. Touch grounds us in our
body and soul.
One of the main reasons relationships fail is the inability to share
Touching with Your Fingertips
Sit across from your partner. Feel the air between you.
Reach out your hands. Feel the energy in your hands and in the space between
Then open your senses to receive touch, connecting at the very tips
of your fingers. Let one partners hands move down the others fingers, palms,
wrists, inner and outer arms, elbows and inner crook, biceps, triceps,
Paint with your fingertips. Imbue your touch with different physical
qualities. Respond with touch to the different shapes and textures you feel.
Stay attuned to your partners’ feelings.
Touching with the Whole Body
Repeat the Touching exercise with your whole body – caress your partner with
your face, legs, back, soles of feet, backs of hands, eyelashes, breasts,
etc. Be attuned to each other.
When you’ve finished, share with each other what this felt like.
You can explore touching yourself and each other with
different textures; feathers*, flowers, silk: let your imagination
my girlfriend, I had no idea why
she was so unfulfilled with me; as far as I knew, getting an erection was all
sex was about. What else wppppp
A series of
experiences brought us emotionally closer, and with her courage in showing
me her feelings through passionate and tender touching,
I began to understand that touch is a
form of communication I had never learned. It was
difficult for me to open up; I had no idea this level of sensation and
vulnerability existed. Eventually,
I craved this intimacy more than
For me, the
real importance of touch is in conveying emotion. That’s always what I look
for; what touch expresses, conveys, reveals. It’s a world of emotion beyond
Sela: "I remember being touched very lovingly and naturally by my parents
as a baby. Then when I was around five, they stopped showing me any physical
affection. I was bereft and very jarred by their sudden physical distance.
They said "you're grown up now" when I tried to hug or touch them. So it
seemed that being an adult meant not touching or showing feeling through
I became very self-conscious and restricted about touch, almost
hyper-conscious about it. Then it became second nature to avoid it and I
didn't think about it anymore until I had children of my own. I had to
really work not to repress their affectionate natures in the same manner
I was repressed, but I'm so happy we're all connected by easy affection, and
that they're comfortable being themselves.
My husband also noticed my greater physical ease and comfort and it's
made our relationship better, warmer, closer."
* Synthetic feathers, please. Respect our fellow beings.
Because as children we often learn not to
express our sexuality openly, one of the first things we do when we
masturbate is repress sexual sounds in order to hide what we’re doing
from the adult world. This is unfortunate, because sound is a natural
part of our sexuality, and its repression often decreases or even cuts
off sexual pleasure.
Sex isn’t neat, clean or tidy - it’s
joyously free of these things!
If you’ve experienced verbal repression,
allowing yourself to make sounds during sex means giving yourself loving
permission to verbalize whatever natural sounds come up. Take back your
power to express yourself!
If you’ve suppressed the natural impulse
to verbalize for so long that it’s become your second nature to withhold
verbal expression, don’t be discouraged. Try consciously making sounds
as you move and respond to sexual stimulation. If this feels forced or
unauthentic at first, don’t let that deter you; instead, exaggerate the
sounds. If you stay with it, your sounds may gradually become more
organic, and open up new dimensions in your erotic experience.
Smell preferences are very individual and
very personal. It is not one of the senses that modern society
encourages developing – after all, what are you smelling when you’re
watching television or using your computer – but smell is pivotal to
What parts of your body to you enjoy
smelling? Are you comfortable after a day without washing, or to you
prefer your body smelling clean? Do you like the scent of fresh sweat?
Your breath when it’s minty or sweet?
Do you enjoy your partners smell? Can you talk openly about your
responses to each other's smells comfortably?
Try smelling the natural secretions of
your genitals. Do you like these secretions after you’ve washed, or when
they’ve marinated on your body awhile? Do different foods affect your
What other smells touch off your erotic
feelings - smells you associate with memories, smells that excite your
pleasure centers, uplift or sensually relax you? As you self-pleasure,
open yourself to this rich source of stimulation.
Allow yourself to visually cherish your
body as you touch yourself in front of a full mirror. Lie down if you’re
more comfortable that way. As you explore your body, watch your sexual
response build and see how intense, involved and beautiful you look.
Look at your genitals in a hand mirror.
Study the fabulous colors, textures and shapes. Countless magnificent
poems, sonnets, works of art and sculpture and photography are dedicated
to the beauty of the human genitals, and yours belong in the pantheon!
Try looking at different kinds of erotic
art and photographs. Put on an erotic movie or a snippet from one of
your favorite sex or love scenes in a film, and let them turn on your
Taste is absolutely primary to sex, and
it’s another sensory factor that we tend to under-address. Just as you
want to enjoy your lovers’ tastes, you should feel comfortable and
confident about your own taste. You can try tasting your genital
secretions: do you like your taste more after you wash, or when you
haven’t washed for a day?
Do you like the taste of your skin, your
sweat, your breath? What factors are present when you like your tastes,
and when you don’t? What you eat, your state of health, and hygiene are
the main factors influencing the taste of your genitals, skin, and
If you want to change these factors, you
can adjust your eating habits, life-style, and hygiene routine
Light, plant based foods tend to give the body and its’
secretions a lighter smell. Applying a consistent approach to healthy
living on all levels will improve your health and body odor, and simple
hygienic habits such as washing your genitals regularly, brushing your
teeth, and using a natural mouthwash will alter your body tastes.
If basic hygienic care does not improve
your body tastes, then there may be a medical cause that should be
investigated. Inform your doctor of unusual or unpleasant body odors.
other tastes do you find
sensually arousing? Do you enjoy the flavor of minty chocolate melting
in your mouth, or warm maple syrup? Maybe spicy or salty flavors excite
your senses? You can add the
exploration of different tastes to your erotic palate.
What about your partners body, breath,
genitals, skin? Can you talk comfortably about your responses to
each others smells together?
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Photographs 1,2,3 : www.Kozzi.com