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Sexual pleasure involves so much more than just what your genitals are doing.
Engaging the senses is a crucial element to heightening sexual pleasure.
Just as the experience is more enjoyable and satisfying the more you engage the senses and make it a whole experience when you eat - think grabbing a bite to eat on the run as opposed to a sit down meal - so it is with sex.
Our whole obsession with ‘food porn’ is so much more than just eating. There’s the ‘plating up’ so that the food is beautifully presented, there is the texture and visual beauty of the tableware, the cutlery. Flowers and candles present more visual beauty and olfactory delights. The right music adds auditory ambience. All these elements combine to create a heightened experience of the eating, much more so than if you scoffed the same food on the run.
Within the food itself, ideally there are wonderful contrasts of texture, tastes, smells.
With sex it’s the same. You change the experience by changing the sensory elements.
Music that is serene versus music that is uplifting, trance dance music is different to elegant classical, silence, the lack of sound has it’s own effect. You can get further creatively with other sounds, crystal bowls, chimes and drums.
Scents that are sweet have a different effect to those that are citrusy, which are different again to warming scents. Flowers, candles, incense, scent sticks, perfume and oils on your bodies, not to mention the scents that your own bodies release during love-making.
Including food and drink into your love play adds the element of taste. Blindfold your partner and offer them different delicacies. Or if you want to be a little wicked, mix in contrasting flavours - such as, pickles then chocolate. Blindfold each other and attempt to feed each other chocolate mousse. Bite into a liqueur chocolate and kiss your partner deeply. Pour liqueur over your lover’s body and lick it off. Fill their belly button with vodka and drink it. Don’t just limit yourself to the obvious, your larder has a lot more to offer than chocolate body paint or chemical-filled edible lubricants.
Playing with texture offers endless possibilities. Go and collect six items each from around the house and see how they feel. Try running the edge of a card or the tines of a fork along your skin. Run silk, velvet, fur over your body.
Sight can be the overpowering sense, so try removing that sense, either with a blindfold or simply closing your eyes, and feeling more with your other senses.
Or use the visual to heighten your pleasure. Ensure the environment in which you make love is beautiful. The colours that surround you, the lighting of the space, the use of mirrors, art that is evocative, even erotic - these all influence the quality of the experience.
This is a creative endeavour, heightening the senses requires the best use of your brain and it’s creative abilities. Engage the creative, aesthetic part of your brain, and you’ll engage the senses for heightened pleasure at all levels of sexual engagement.
Jacqueline Hellyer BSc, BA, Grad Dip, MSc (Sexual Health), is a PCC Sex Coach, Sex Therapist, Relationship Coach, Tantra Teacher, Speaker, Author, Blogger, Radio Show Host. She is one of the world’s foremost experts on relationships, sexuality and positive sex. Jacqueline believes that she is fascinated by all matters of sex, love and intimacy from the biological to the psychological to the spiritual.