There is a lot of cultural taboo that comes along with talking about sex. People are quick to judge and jump to conclusions when sex is the topic. Not only that, but even just talking to your spouse about sex can be a scary thing for many people. You don’t know if they will feel the same way about things, and it can be intimidating to share the deepest part of your sexual feelings with anyone. 

Desire

Being in a state of desire is an extremely vulnerable thing to do. We may think that desire fades over time, but the truth is that we kill it due to the vulnerability it takes to maintain a state of desire. Even the best love stories end in this life with tragedy when one of the partners passes away. Because of this, we are all too often guarding our emotions, and not allowing desire to fully work in us. 

In order to keep this desire working, we need to learn to enjoy touch. Touch is a powerful language to express desire. Our brains are exceptionally wired to associate touch with loving emotions. Touch does not necessarily need to be genital stimulation. Talk about it and get really specific with what you like about each other. 

We may think that spicing things up by doing different things in the bedroom is how we build desire. While these things are very useful tools, and certainly can help increase desire short term, long term desire comes from opening ourselves up to each other and staying vulnerable together. Try to pay attention to how you behave together, what things make you excited and what things make you nervous. Open up to the moments that you share with each other and express what you are feeling with your partner. Allow yourself to feel vulnerable and really learn to love that feeling!

Working Through Your Escapes

Because desire is such a vulnerable thing, it is easy to use little things to escape intensely intimate moments. A common way is to laugh off something intimate when you’re feeling anxious and nervous about it. It is important to find a way to work through whatever your escapes are that you are using to push through intimate moments that make you nervous so that you can truly revel in those moments and enjoy the time spent with your spouse. 

Work on developing your erotic mind. Our bodies change and will become less physically attractive over time. If you are relying solely on physical attraction to become aroused during sexual intercourse, then it will become very easy over time to just not become aroused at all. Where our bodies typically decrease in attractiveness over time as we age, our erotic minds actually become better and sexier as they mature. So work on that mind of yours! Allow yourself to open up and share, dig deep into your vulnerabilities, and let them help you grow. 

Here are a couple of exercises to help you develop this erotic mind of yours:

  1. Touch each other all over except in the genital area. Pay attention to what you like about your partner’s body, then get deep with sharing those things. Share what you liked, how it felt in your hands, and any fantasies you might have. Set an amount of time you would like to touch for, noticing all of these things, before you start sharing. 
  2. Set a timer for 10 minutes and grab a pen and paper. Start writing down all of your sexual desires. Ask yourself “what does my sexual self want?” and make a comprehensive list. Go deep. This will really help you learn your sexual self as well as help your spouse understand your erotic mind deeper when you share it with them without any expectations going in to the sharing. 

What is Foreplay?

Foreplay is thought of as something that happens before sexual intercourse. It is everything that happens leading up to the peak of a sexual encounter. Foreplay is EXTREMELY important- especially for women! Due to differences in the hormone testosterone, men are typically able to get in the mood for sex in mere moments, where it takes much longer for women to get in the mood. Testosterone is the hormone that influences physiological desire and helps with our mental desire as well. 

Testosterone is measured by doctors in nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl). In their 20’s, men have an average of around 700 ng/dl as compared to women having at best 70 ng/dl of testosterone. By the time they hit the age of 40, women’s levels have dropped to around 20 ng/dl, with men staying between 500-600 ng/dl. Then once women are menopausal, a normal range for their testosterone level is right around .2 ng/dl, with men not having dropped any more and still hanging out around 500-600 ng/dl. This shows us that we can’t rely on hormones alone for women to become aroused. Foreplay has probably never seemed as important as it does now!

Only about 15% of women can orgasm from what is referred to as “hands off”, penis-in-vagina intercourse. Women orgasm best from stimulation to their clitoris, either from external (more on that in a minute) or from within pressing on her G-spot. However, women tend to not appreciate their clitoris being touched until she is already aroused, so 15-20 minutes of foreplay and time for her to get in the mood and clear her mind of the to do list she has constantly weighing at the back of her mind will go a long way to helping both of you ultimately enjoy sex a lot more. 

The Clitoris: Little Red Riding Hood

Here is an analogy that might help both of you through better understanding the clitoris. Think of the clitoris as Little Red Riding Hood. She starts out in a little puddle. As she gets aroused, she stands up a little straighter (womens clitoris gets erect in a similar way to how a male’s penis gets erect!). As she stands up, she is a little bit stooped over, her hood is drawn, and her face is looking at her vagina. Her face is the glands of the clitoris, and that is the very most sensitive part of the clitoris. 

There is a seam on the back of her cloak called the shaft that is another very sensitive part. Her labia is kind of the cloak of the clitoris. The darker the woman the darker the cloak. It’s common to have a darker labia after childbirth as well. Then she has feet, which are the root of the clitoris. That’s another deeper place of the clitoris that can be stimulated. Her cloak comes down and can be stimulated from the underside as well as the feet of the clitoris by touching her G spot inside the vagina. Good foreplay and physical arousal for women include working from the outside-in and slowly helping Little Red Riding Hood stand up out of that puddle more and more!

Flexibility

Sometimes you need to work to redefine sex so that you can enjoy the entire experience, not just the time spent with the penis in the vagina. Really intimate touching can often be the best part of your intercourse experience! Oxytocin is the bonding hormone and it is released in intimate touching. Cuddling naked is a great way to get that oxytocin flowing! Be flexible with your sexual experiences with your partner. Be sure not to have a set script of how your intimate time has to go. “Flexibility is sex insurance!” 

Black Belt Tips

Laurie Watson gave us 2 of her favorite black belt tips to help implement what we have talked about today:

  1. Get away to a hotel room. She can go alone early, check in by herself. take a nap, take a long bath and get all dressed up. Meet each other down in the bar. Enjoy some appetizers or a nice meal. Then go upstairs and have hot sex, away from your familiar space, away from the children. Then maybe she stays there all night long and sleeps in while he goes back home and relieves the babysitter. 
  2. Play a game called “Don’t Come”. Arouse your partner to the brink of orgasm and then stop the stimulation. Stay in the high arousal state, and let it drop down a little bit. Then start stimulating again near the brink of orgasm. Do it a couple of times. Then the 3rd time, let them go over the edge and orgasm. This changes your psychological mindset of what’s supposed to be happening, and makes the orgasms more intense and pleasurable. 

We loved talking with Dr. Laurie Watson all about desire and foreplay. If you would like to hear more from her, go check out her website at foreplayradiosextherapy.com or listen to her podcast Foreplay Radio anywhere that you listen to podcasts. 

Like what you read? Be sure to listen to the full podcast episode here and download the Intimately Us app, the fun and sexy app for your marriage! It’s full of games, connecting activities, and ideas to increase connection and pleasure in the bedroom.