NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Sunday, January 16, 2022

Sexual Wellness: Savoring Pleasure

Just like a delicious meal is best appreciated by savoring it, slow intense sex is much more pleasurable than rushed sex (see my articles: Mindful Sex and What is Rec-Relational Sex?).

Savoring Pleasure

Although there's a time and place for fun quickies, a longer sexual buildup adds to pleasure and can lead to more intense orgasms (see my articles: Rethinking Foreplay as Just a Prelude to Intercourse and Closing the Orgasm Gap Between Women and Men - Part 1 and Part 2).

Savoring Pleasure
When it comes to pleasurable experiences, delicious food and good sex have a lot in common. With delicious food, you might think of it as starting with a much-anticipated reservation at your favorite restaurant.  

The pleasure of this experience begins after you've gotten the reservation and you're thinking about what you'll wear, how you'll slowly sip your favorite wine before appetizers arrive, being made to feel special by your server, the ambiance, choosing your favorite food, enjoying every tasty morsel, and pacing your experience to enjoy every moment.

Many individuals and couples who come to see me in my psychotherapy private practice in New York City tell me that they don't have time for sex and, even when they have time, they're too exhausted.  

Others say that the thought of scheduling a time for sex feels unnatural and they think it should happen spontaneously. But when they try to be more spontaneous, it doesn't happen--except, maybe, when they're on vacation.

Scheduling time to have sex might feel counterintuitive at first, but when you know you have the time and privacy to enjoy sexual pleasure, you can relax more and give yourself over to a pleasurable experience.  You'll enjoy sex so much more when you're free of your usual responsibilities.

In addition, scheduling time for sex often increases the anticipation and buildup of sexual pleasure. 

For instance, if you and your partner plan to have sex on a Saturday night while your children are staying with your parents, you and your partner can fantasize about what you want to do together, which massage oil and sex toys you'll use, and which sexual positions will be most fun (see my articles: Accessing Your Sexual EnergyDiscovering Your Peak Sexual Experiences and Reviving Your Sex Life With Your Peak Sexual Experiences).

Other couples, who have been together for a long time, complain in couples therapy that they've become so bored with their sex life that they've just stopped having sex (see my articles: Improving Sexual Intimacy in a Long Term Relationship and Overcoming Sexual Boredom in a Long Term Relationship).

Changing Your Sex Script
It's easy to get into a sexual rut where you're doing the same things and deriving less pleasure from them (see my articles: Changing Your Sex Script - Part 1: Sexual ArousalPart 2: The Beginning PhasePart 3: Understanding Sexual Motivation).

When you have time to be sexually intimate, you want to pace yourself in much the same way you would pace yourself when you're enjoying a special delicious meal.  

You can enhance your experience by using Sensate Focus techniques, which were originally developed by Masters and Johnson:
  • Taking Turns With Hand-riding: Hand-riding begins with non-genital touch. The partner being touched places a hand on top of the hand of the partner who is touching and gently guides them on how they like to be touched--where, how much pressure, etc. 
  • Adding Lotion or Massage Oil: According to Masters and Johnson, one way to increase pleasure is to change the medium of touch.  So, adding lotion or oil can add a new dimension to make touch more pleasurable.
  • Mutual Touch: Using hands, lips and tongue, you explore each other's bodies at the same time (rather than taking turns during the initial stage of Sensate Focus with hand-riding).
  • Sensual Intercourse: Masters and Johnson emphasized sensuality, so they used the phrase "sensual intercourse" instead of "sexual intercourse."  Rather than beginning with sexual thrusting, sensual intercourse focuses on first experiencing the sensations of warmth and touch, like brushing genitals against each other.
Savoring Pleasure During Solo Sex
Savoring sexual pleasure isn't just for couples.  

Whether you're in a relationship or not, as I mentioned in my article Sexual Pleasure and Developing the Erotic Self, you can also enjoy solo sex by taking the time to discover what's pleasurable to you.  Knowing what you enjoy sexually can also enhance partnered sex.

Getting Help in Therapy
Many individuals and couples need help to establish or revive their sex life, but they feel too ashamed to seek help (see my article: Why It's Important to Talk to Your Therapist About Problems With Sex).

A skilled psychotherapist can help you to overcome the barriers that keep you from having a more fulfilling life, so rather than struggling on your own, seek help.

About Me
I am a licensed New York City psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, EFT, Somatic Experiencing and Sex Therapist.

I work with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 or email me.