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Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Elevated Erotic Feelings Can Enhance Your Mood For Sex

In my prior article, Core Erotic Feelings: What Emotions Help You to Get in the Mood For Sex?, I began a discussion about core erotic feelings (CEF) mentioned in a book by Dr. Jessica O'Reilly and Marla Renee Stewart MA called The Ultimate Guide to Seduction and Foreplay.  In the current article, I'm focusing on another idea from this book called elevated erotic feelings (EEF).

Elevated Erotic Feelings Can Enhance Your Mood For Sex

What Are Elevated Erotic Feelings (EEF)?
Whereas core erotic feelings (CEF) are the particular emotions you need to get in the mood for sex, elevated erotic feelings are what enhance the sexual experience, according to Dr. O'Reilly (see my article: What is Eroticism?).

She indicates that elevated erotic feelings (EEF) make the sexual feelings more intense in a specific way and could be related to:
  • Physical pleasure
  • Psychological thrill (see my article: The Thrill of the Chase)
  • Emotional fulfillment
  • Intimate connection
  • Spiritual experience
  • Some other benefit derived from sex
According to Dr. O'Reilly, core erotic feelings tend to be fairly stable, but they can also change over time.  

In contrast, elevated erotic feelings (EEF) often vary within the same time period, which means one day you might need a particular EEF and the next day you might need a different one.

As I mentioned in my previous article, there are some people who tend to be in the mood for sex most of the time, so they don't need to focus on a CEF or EEF.  Some of the examples below illustrate this point.

Examples of Elevated Erotic Feelings (EEF)
The following examples, which are fictionalized scenarios, illustrate both CEF and EEF, and how EEF can take a sexual experience to the next level:
  • MaxineTo get in the mood to have sex, Maxine needs to feel calm.  So, she and her partner, Ed take time before they have sex to do some deep breathing and meditation to overcome the stress of the day and transition into their sexual time together.  To enhance her sexual experience, Maxine enjoys when Ed tells her that he loves her.  Feeling loved by Ed is Maxine's elevated erotic feeling and it makes sex more pleasurable for her.  Feeling challenged is what enhances sex for Ed (his EEF) at times.  So, when he tells her he's in the mood to be challenged, Maxine responds by being playful and alternating between seducing him and then pretending to withhold sex.  This challenge excites Ed when he's in the mood for it.
    • Core Erotic Feeling for Maxine: Feeling Calm
    • Elevated Erotic Feeling for Maxine: Feeling loved

Elevated Erotic Feelings

  • RobertaIn order to get into the mood to have sex, Roberta needs to feel sexually desirable.  So, her partner, Sara, makes sure to let Roberta know she thinks Roberta is beautiful and sexy.  This isn't a problem at all for Sara because she genuinely feels that way.  Sara is someone who is in the mood for sex regardless of whatever emotions she's experiencing at the moment, so she doesn't need to focus on a CEF or EEF.  However, she knows that Roberta's elevated erotic feeling (EEF) is taking a risk (when Roberta is in the mood for this).  So, they sometimes come up with ways to make sex more exciting for Roberta, like camping out in a tent in their backyard.  They have privacy in their tent and they know that no one can really see them. But even the thought that a neighbor who looks out the window might think Roberta and Sara are having sex feels risky enough to get Roberta even more sexually excited.  
    • Core Erotic Feeling For Roberta:  Feeling Sexually Desirable
    • Elevated Erotic Feeling For Roberta: Taking a Risk

Elevated Erotic Feelings

  • Tod: Tod's core erotic feeling is being playful.  So, his partner, Mike includes an element of playfulness when they have sex.  He knows that when he and Tod laugh and tease each other, Tod gets turned on.  There are also times when Tod wants to take it to the next level and he lets Mike know that he wants to be surprised.  So, Mike surprises him by including new sex toys that get Tod excited.  Sometimes Tod likes the thrill of being blindfolded when Mike uses different sexual props, like feathers, to enhance the physical thrill.  Mike tends to be in the mood for sex most of the time, so he's not focused on a CEF or EEF.
    • Core Erotic Feeling For Tod: Feeling Playful
    • Elevated Erotic Feeling For Tod: Being Surprised

Elevated Erotic Feelings

In the examples above, these individuals have communicated beforehand what they need to get sexually aroused (their CEF) and what will enhance the experience (their EEF), except in the cases where one of the partners doesn't need EEF or CEF to get sexually aroused.

Each person also needs to be attuned to their partner to know what they need at any given time to make sex more pleasurable for them.

Dr. Jack Morin's Book: The Erotic Mind
Many of the concepts in Dr. O'Reilly's book bring to mind Dr. Jack Morin's ideas about core erotic themes and peak erotic experiences from his book, The Erotic Mind.  See my articles related to the topics in Dr. Morin's book:

What Are the Four Cornerstones of Eroticism?
In The Erotic Mind, Dr. Morin also discusses the four cornerstones of eroticism.  See links below for my articles which explain each of these cornerstones:
What Are Emotional Aphrodisiacs?
According to Dr. Jack Morin, there are also emotional aphrodisiacs.  Surprisingly, some of them might not be what you would expect because they have a paradoxical effect on the person who is turned on by them.  See my links below for my articles about emotional aphrodisiacs and their paradoxical effect (see my article: Embracing Your Internal Contradictions and Paradoxes):

Sexual Turn-ons and Fantasies Don't Always Coincide With Your Usual Values and Beliefs

What turns on certain people behind closed doors might not align with their usual values and beliefs in everyday life.  This relates to the internal contradictions and paradoxes mentioned above.

For some people, this creates inner conflict, guilt and shame because they might not understand that internally each of us is made up of a multiplicity of selves (see my article: Understanding the Different Aspects of Yourself That Make You Who You Are).

They might also feel like they're being hypocrites to feel one way in their everyday daily life outside the bedroom versus how they feel sexually behind closed doors.

According to Dr. Justin Lehmiller, a Kinsey sex researcher and social psychologist, there might not be a particular reason why someone has a sexual fantasy that's contradictory to their everyday beliefs and values.  However, for some people, their sexual fantasies are related to their particular emotional needs.  

More about this in a future article.


Core erotic feelings are the emotions a person needs to feel to get into the mood for sex, and elevated erotic feelings enhance and intensify sex, according to Dr. O'Reilly.

Although core erotic feelings tend to be stable, they can also change over time.  

Elevated erotic feelings can vary from day to day depending on what a person needs to intensify sexual arousal at any given time.

Getting to know what you need to feel sexual (your CEF) and what enhances sex for you (your EEF) can make your sex life more pleasurable.

Communication between you and your partners(s) about what each of you needs can enhance partnered sex.

Getting Help in Sex Therapy

Sometimes guilt and shame get in the way of sexual pleasure.  

If you have been unable to work through these issues, you could benefit from seeking help from a sex therapist.

About Me

I am a licensed New York City psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, EFT and Somatic Experiencing therapist.

I am a sex positive therapist who works with individual adults and couples (see my article: What is Sex Therapy?).

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 during business hours or email me.