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Sex / Sexuality


For a satisfying sex life, tune out the everyday and tune into your erotic thoughts and feelings

At best, sex can be a great source of comfort, pleasure and fulfilment for women. At worst, sexual anxieties can damage women's relationships and rob them of their self-esteem and sense of femininity. Common female sexual difficulties include lack of desire for sex, problems getting and staying turned on, difficulty reaching orgasm, physical pain during intercourse and
not finding sex pleasurable. If you're one of the 43 per cent of women aged between 18 and 59 who experience problems with sex, try these six simple steps that can help to maximise your sexual encounters.

Setting Up for Sex
Lovemaking starts way before you take off your clothes. It may be impossible to get turned on at all if you don't work to create good conditions for sex before you begin. Our bodies are not machines - we need optimal conditions to create an environment for getting turned on. Sexual arousal is maximised when you feel good about yourself, your body, sex, your partner, your relationship and your environment. Each woman has different conditions for optimising sexual response. To find out your personal conditions for sexual pleasure, recall three really pleasurable sexual experiences from your past and the factors that made the sex work for you. Now think of the three worst sexual encounters. What made these encounters disappointing? It's much easier to get turned on if you know what arouses you and what doesn't.

Tuning out
Everyday life is definitely not sexy. Thinking about the memo you forgot on your desk, the weeds in the garden or your problem mother-in-law is not a turn on. To be sexually aroused you must tune out all non-erotic thoughts and focus on what's sexy for you.

Tuning In
The next step is to focus attention on aspects of sensuality and sexuality tha1 are pleasurable for you. You might concentrate on the pleasures of your senses - the sight, smell, taste, touch and sound of lovemaking; giving and receiving erotic stimulation; sexual fantasies or erotic memories; your own and/or your partner's arousal; erotica; or your love for your partner.
Most books and articles discussing sexual arousal insist that you must be mentally relaxed. In fact, getting turned on requires mental discipline and sustained concentration. The highest arousal occurs when you lose yourself totally in the pleasure of the sexual experience and the rest of the world melts away from your thoughts.

Dodging Distractions
The moment your mind strays away from erotic elements, your arousal will evaporate. This is perfectly normal. Distractions such as the phone ringing, children coughing in the night or traffic noises can't be helped, but you must work at bringing your attention back to pleasure as quickly as possible to avoid total loss of arousal. If you find your mind wandering during lovemaking, don't be surprised if your body stops responding to sex. Refocus your attention if possible.

Avoiding Anxiety
Anxiety is a powerful passion killer. If it precedes sex (anticipatory anxiety), it can prevent you from getting turned on. Worrying ! about sexual performance during love-making will also rapidly detour you away from sexual arousal.
You can only hold one thought in your mind at a time. Worries about your capacity to please your partner, or whether you
can climax, will not only turn you off but may prevent you from restoring your focus back onto sexual stimulation.
Whenever you catch a worrying thought, discard it right away and focus back to your favourite erotic images and sensations.

Tensing up for orgasm
Only 30 per cent of women will reach climax through intercourse alone. Most women need clitoral stimulation before, during, after or instead of intercourse. Sex manuals tell us to be physically relaxed to have an orgasm. Rubbish!
At high levels of arousal the body's muscles naturally tense up. It's normal to flex the toes and tense the muscles of the thighs, buttocks and abdomen to help trigger orgasm. Like any skill, sexual arousal gets easier with repetition and practice.





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