Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sex and sex exercises for you and not only...

Try these at home!
These exercises use techniques employed by psychosexual therapists to help people get the most from their sex life. Some are to be done on your own and some with a partner - and the idea is to have fun!

Sensate focus
Touching is an important part of any sensual relationship, but is all too often forgotten. Here i decribe sensate focus, a series of exercises designed to help couples become more comfortable with touch and build trust and intimacy.


* This exercise takes about an hour, so make sure you put aside enough time.
* Start by preparing your space (Take a moment to think about the look of the room. Do a quick tidy-up if you want and definitely make sure there are no unfinished jobs that could catch your eye. Spying a huge pile of ironing tends to kill the mood.
A quick tip is to invest in a satin throw to set the scene wherever and whenever you want to make love.Think about the lighting, too. Tinted light bulbs can change the mood of the room, or alternatively nothing beats candles for a touch of romance and candlelight.What do you want to hear while you're making love? Would you like background music? What mood would you like to create?Whether you choose energetic and pumping tunes or something a little more relaxing and ambient, beware of distracting lyrics. And make sure it's quiet enough so you can still hear your partner.There are a number of ways you can create atmosphere with scents. You could burn incense sticks or light a scented candle. Whichever you choose, try them out beforehand. Some of them are really pongy!An oil burner can be a good investment as there's a huge range of essential oils for different moods. Ylang-ylang is generally considered one of the most sensual. Alternatively, just spray your favourite scent around the room (but be sparing). )
* You'll be naked, so put the heating on at least an hour before so you'll be warm enough.
* Make sure you won't be disturbed. Unplug the phone and lock your door.

Ground rules

Before you start, it's important that you both agree this isn't a prelude to sex and genital touching is out of bounds. You may find you become aroused during the exercise, but this isn't the aim.

Take it in turns to be the touched and the toucher.

The touched
You just need to lend your partner your body for 30 minutes: 15 minutes lying on your front, then 15 on your back.

You don't need to say anything unless something's uncomfortable.

The toucher
Explore your partner's body from head to toe, first the back then the front. Avoid the genital area.

Focus totally on your sensations of touch. Think about the different textures and temperatures of your partner's body.

Think about how it feels to use hard and soft, long and short strokes. Use your fingertips, palms and the back of your hands.

Remember - this isn't a massage. The point is to focus on the pleasure of touching your partner, not giving pleasure. You can do that another day.

When you've finished swap over.
After the hour's up, don't analyse it straight away. In fact, agree that you won't talk about it for 24 hours. This will help you focus on the sensory experience, rather than rationalising the process.

Sensual touching techniques
By discovering how responsive your bodies are to certain sensations you and your partner can heighten your potential for sexual arousal.

* This exercise should take an hour, so leave yourself enough time.
* Before you start you could prepare your space.
* You'll be naked, so put on the heating an hour before so you'll be warm enough.
* Collect some different textured objects (soft, silky, smooth, warm, cool etc).

The partner being touched
Lie naked on a bed or wherever's comfortable. If you're brave enough, you can be blindfolded to heighten the experience.

The secret of success is to make sure you're lost in the moment. Allow yourself to feel every sensation to the full by thinking of nothing else. Remember to give feedback to the toucher.

The partner doing the touching
Before you start, you could use an old-fashioned hairpin to find your partner's non-genital erogenous zones. Slowly run the hairpin over their body. Most of the time they'll only feel one point of contact, but on the highly sensitive erogenous zones they'll feel both.

It's your job to provide a wide range of different stimuli for your partner to experience. Work from head to toe experimenting with a range of different objects and textures.

Try using a silk scarf or a soft blusher brush. Can your partner tell the difference between suede, leather and velvet? How about rubber or a feather? Now try touching with a massage roller or ball.

Experiment with different pressures and different strokes too. Heighten the sensory expectation by making random rather than predictable movements.
Remember to ask what feels good and what feels best.
When you've had enough, swap roles. But be warned - it could be a long night!

Erotic bath
An erotic bath uses a combination of scent, sight and touch to relax, stimulate and satisfy both you and your partner.

You'll need:
* candles
* bath oils, gels and scented soaps
* large, warm, fluffy towels
* loofahs, flannels, sponges

Set the scene
Get in the mood by packing every safe and available surface in your bathroom with candles, then turn the lights out.

Scents and oils
Fill your bath with hot water, and add a generous amount of bath oil or gel for that touch of luxury. You could also use incense or burn essential oils in a purpose-made burner.
Sexy scents:
* jasmine
* rose
* orange blossom
* sandlewood
* ylang-ylang
* ice cubes

Herbal mixtures
Most of these come in sachets or as tea bags so just throw a few of your chosen ones into your bath.

These herbs are said to be stimulating:
* lavender
* lemon verbena
* rosemary
* sage
* thyme

These are said to be relaxing:
* chamomile
* jasmine
* limeflower
* vervaine

Dissolve stress
Listen to the sound of lapping water, watch the flicker of candlelight and revel in the soothing sensation of oils and foam.

When you're fully relaxed, use a brush or a loofah and plenty of shower gel or soap to work up a lather. Scrub each other all over and add a blast of cold water or rub an ice cube on sensitive spots to get your skin tingling.

Follow with soft flannels and sponges to soothe and smooth. The key throughout is contrast: use scratchy back brushes followed by smooth oils, and have ice cubes on hand to stimulate your heated bodies.

Finish by wrapping each other in large, warm towels.

Make an aphrodisiac meal
Sex and food have always been linked, and no more so than when it comes to aphrodisiacs.


* Set the table so you have a nice place to eat.
* Buy a range of small treats and finger foods.

Mood food
Certain foods have a reputation for putting you in the mood for love. For example, the sight, smell and taste of oysters is reputed to put a woman's lover in mind of her intimate parts, while asparagus is equally suggestive to a man's partner.

Whether these foods are actually aphrodisiacs is debatable. It's not widely thought that they can affect your sexual organs or sexual desires to make you any more aroused, but using aphrodisiac foods or drinks as part of your seduction technique can bring something extra to your sex life.

Cupboard love
Spend time preparing your meal together. Simply sharing this task can bring you closer.

Choose foods that have to be assembled by hand - either laid out on plates, or sliced, mixed and stirred.

Don't be afraid to get cream, peanut butter, tomato sauce or anything else all over you and your partner.

Treat each other
Tiny treats and special nibbles (peaches, figs, spears of asparagus, etc) are the best foods to choose. They don't have to be expensive or exotic, just things you can pick up and eat with your fingers.

As you prepare your feast, feed little bits of food to each other.

The proof's in the pudding
One couple who found their relationship took a turn for the better when they started making their evening meals together are Mick and Siobhan.

Mick, who'd been brought up to expect men to stay out of the kitchen, found a whole new meaning to the term 'food lovers' as he and his partner Siobhan got into the habit of slicing and dicing, stir-frying and sautéing together.

Blind taste
Blindfolds and food have always had their places in sexual games, and they're a great way to bring fun and eroticism into the bedroom. Blind tastings build intimacy between you and your parnter.

* Before you begin, switch off the phone, lock the front door and make sure you won't be disturbed.
* Find a big throw or sheet to cover the bed - things may get messy!
* Get a blindfold or silky scarf long enough to tie round each other's eyes.

Go shopping
You can have whichever foods you like, but the wider the range the better. Think about the texture and smell of the foods, as well as the taste.
Here are some suggestions:

* exotic fruits
* yoghurts
* cheeses
* anything from the deli counter
* a range of crisps
* different types of bread
* sugary, syrupy, chocolate desserts

And don't forget to have some drinks to wash it all down - a choice of fruit waters, perhaps, or alcohol if you prefer.

Take it in turns
Blindfold your partner and gently caress the chosen food across their lips. Can they guess what it is by the texture? Can they describe how it feels and smells?

Slowly and tantalisingly, let them have a very small taste. Can they guess what it is now? If not, they may need a bigger bite.

Work your way through the foods, taking turns wearing the blindfold. Don't take it too seriously. Have a laugh, but don't be tempted to be cruel. Keep the chillies out of it!

Once you've finished, think about the following:

* How it felt to be so dependent on your partner?
* How did it feel to be in control?
* Did you have any feelings you weren't expecting?

Give a massage
Massaging each other can make you and your partner feel relaxed, sexy, valued and wanted.
* Find somewhere warm and comfortable where you won't be disturbed.
* Spread out a large towel or sheet for your partner to lie on.
* Make sure your hands are warm - dunk them in hot water to take away any surface chill.
* You'll need a base oil and perhaps add a few drops of an essential oil for scent.

The benefits
Massage can be used as part of foreplay, or to help you get rid of stress. Just taking the time to touch and be touched can be a pleasure in itself.

It also helps you to learn about your partner's body and their responses to contact, and reminds you of your connection and commitment to each other.

What to do
Spread a sheet or towel on the floor or bed and toss a coin to see who'll be first to have the massage.

If you're giving the massage, pour out a generous handful of oil, warm it up in your hands and begin by stroking and rubbing the neck, shoulders and back.

Base oils you could use:
* almond
* sunflower
* apricot kernel

Essential oils you could use:
* rose
* jasmine
* sandalwood
* ylang-ylang

Pass the oil all over your partner's body, kneading and pressing as you go. You can also try lightly scratching, slapping and nipping.

Listen to and feel their reactions to get directions about what feels good.
When you're being massaged

Pay attention to the sensations you feel when being massaged - you may be surprised by which parts of your body react and what types of stimulation lead to arousal. Make mental notes for later.

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