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Enhancing Your Sexual Pleasures
We devote time to work and making money. We devote time to the routines that maintain our everyday life. And we devote time to recreational activities, to sports, to movies and to our hobbies. But most of us devote too little time to the enrichment of our erotic life and thus do not honor our sexual selves adequately.

Many people, when thinking about enhancing their sexual pleasures, think only in terms of achieving orgasms more intensely or more frequently. This is a wonderful way to go, but tends to become an overly focused preoccupation. Here, we shall offer some more general suggestions for improving your sexual health and happiness.

Sexercise!
Physical health is important to sexual pleasure. Cardiovascular conditioning usually improves sexual functioning, and exercises, such as yoga and dance, that promote spinal and pelvic flexibility, as well as facilitating the movement of energy through the body, are helpful as much for self pleasuring as for partnered eroticism.

Also, your enjoyment of genital pleasure, both now and through the later years of your life, will be greatly enhanced if you regularly exercise the musculature of your pelvic floor. This is called Kegelling.*

Find the relevant group of muscles by stopping and starting your flow of urine while sitting on the toilet. Then, at a time when your bladder is empty, squeeze these muscles tight and hold them for a count of three. Repeat this until these muscles feel tired (initially, you may only be able to squeeze these muscles a couple of times before they feel tired, later you should be able gradually to work up to twenty repetitions.) Do these exercises twice a day, at least three times a week, preferably daily.

Men will benefit from Kegelling in terms of orgasmic intensity, the potential for control over ejaculatory timing, and the general health of the pelvic floor. Women will benefit from an empowering sense of comfort and control over their vaginal canal, intensified orgasmic capacity, and prevention of some of the health problems so often experienced by the elderly (incontinence, prolapses).

Avoid Anti-Aphrodisiacs!
Most of us have heard that alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and other recreational drugs enhance sexual pleasure. The truth is that, at best, they disinhibit sexual behaviors that are otherwise infused with anxiety, guilt, or conflict and , in the long run, all these drugs have serious negative effects on both sexual desire and sexual performance.

Great care must also be taken with prescription medication. Many drugs that physicians use frequently have adverse effects on your sexual pleasure. Common medications for ailments such as depression, hypertension, allergies, and many others, will likely diminish your sexual desire or impair your sexual performance, at least to some extent. Before you accept a prescription for any medication, ask your physician, "How will this affect my sexual life?" You have a right to know.

Find Erotic Playtime!
In his research on peak sexual experiences, Dr. Jack Morin discusses how important timing is to erotic life. Too easily, we get into routines that allocate a fixed amount of time for sexual interaction. Whether it's ten minutes three times a week, or a half-hour three times a year, our sexual life gets routinized, perhaps because we are all a little afraid of the spontaneous exuberance of our sexual energies. When routinized, the quality of the eroticism inevitably deteriorates. So breaking with routines is usually a "turn-on"!

"Quickies" -- brief or unexpected sexual encounters and stolen moments -- can be a wonderful form of sharing. However, scheduling special extended periods of time for relaxed erotic sharing is usually a blessing that invigorates your sexual life. Make time for sex, solo or partnered, when you are entirely unhurried, and not too tired. Create special occasions in addition to the routine pleasures.


Honor All Your Senses!
In this culture, our ideas about sexual pleasure tend to be too focused on genital stimulation and orgasmic release. Often, other sensual experiences are under-emphasized, treated merely as "foreplay," a prelude to the "real events." The individuals who are happiest with their sexuality, especially as they grow and age, are those who adopt a different attitude. Remember that sexual pleasure is as much mental as physical and the sensuality of your body extends to every part of you.

Create sensual experiences that cultivate non-genital pleasures as well as genital ones. Touch every part of the body in imaginative and varied ways. Use variations in lighting (candles), smell (exotic scents), sound (music), and setting (not always in the bedroom) to enhance your excitement and playfulness.


Discover, Experiment, and Communicate!
Sexual pleasure starts with your sexual self. So enhancing your erotic pleasure means a commitment to yourself, a commitment to your body, mind, and spirit. Only if you feel playful, relaxed and open-minded, will you discover the incredible potential of your body and spirit for erotic pleasure. While you should not do anything under conditions of stress or coercion, you will do well to spend time exploring your own body to discover what sensations you enjoy under what conditions. Then, under conditions of mutuality and respect, discover what sensations your partner enjoys, and tell him or her about what pleases you or "turns you on."

If you like to dress-up (or dress-down) and act out fantasies with your partner, do so, but always under conditions in which expectations, rules, and "No-Nos" are clearly communicated, preferably in advance. Your erotic sharing should be playful, imaginative and enriched by fantasy. Take time to make it so!

The secret of a happier sexuality lies first in your personal commitment to create a more pleasingly erotic life for yourself. Second, honor your sexuality in all its varied aspects by being more playful, open-minded and respectful in exploring what you enjoy. And third, practice and communicate. Our sexuality is one of the greatest blessings that life has to offer: make the most of it!


Reprinted with permission
Barnaby B. Barratt, PhD, DHS
Director, Midwest Institute of Sexology
Visit us at
MVSexual.com
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