For a variety of insecurity reasons and owing to our concerns, we occasionally overlook our physical closeness with our partners amid all the stresses of our everyday lives. We frequently reduce it to “genital interactions only” or tweak it in expected or set ways. This might relieve our physical hunger by providing pleasure, but it stops us from exploring our partner’s body or desires. With us, discover Sensate Focus, a method that aims to support couples in exceeding their boundaries of sensual exploration and fulfilment.
Sensate focus therapy is a form of sex therapy that involves physical contact between couples. It all comes down to two different actions: touching and being touched. It is a strategy designed to enhance sexual closeness and communication between partners, lessen sexual performance anxiety, and change a couple’s established goal-oriented sexual routines. The primary objective of this approach, which was created by Dr William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson in the 1960s, is for both individuals to let go of their preconceived notions and judgments of one another’s touching and instead concentrate entirely on the sensory components.
Sensate focus is designed to free the couple from expectations of what “should” occur, allowing them to unwind and fully enjoy their time together while touching sensually. Sensate focus is typically recommended by sex therapists to partners who seek to deal with issues such as erectile dysfunction, late arousal, minimal sexual desire, and premature ejaculation. It is crucial to keep in mind that these issues can also be brought on by a medical issue, so it is an excellent choice to undergo a physical evaluation to rule out any deeper medical conditions that may be the source of these issues, especially sexual dysfunction. Although there are various ways to practise sensate focus, Masters and Johnson initially described the method as a five-step procedure. Let’s start and explore the different levels of this sensual exploration technique.
Step 1: Non-Genital Touching
Start by designating one person as the “toucher” and the other individual as the “receiver” after the partners have undressed, washed, and taken off all jewellery. While getting touched, the person who is being touched should pay close attention to their personal feelings and sensations, but must also speak up if the “toucher” does anything that makes them feel physically or emotionally uncomfortable. Play the “texture awareness” game, wherein you take notes of how the skin’s surface texture is distinct on various body sections. After that, proceed to stage 2 of this step and switch roles to explore the technique of sensate focus.
Step 2: Genital And Breast Touching
With the partners switching over as the toucher and the receiver, the second phase has a similar fundamental format to the first of the sensate focus. However, the toucher has the option to also touch their partner’s genitals at this point. The aim of the touch is still exploration, not sexual fulfilment, and thus the toucher shouldn’t spend more or less time on the genitalia than other areas of the body. Additionally, the couple might use a method known as “hand-riding,” in which the receiver places the palm of their hand onto the toucher’s hand and gives the toucher subtle nonverbal cues like occasionally applying slightly more pressure.
Step 3: Adding lotion
Changing the touch medium is one technique to improve sensory awareness. A slicker, silkier texture will result from the addition of lotion or oil. Keep the oil or lotion from getting poured directly into your partner’s body. Instead, place it in your hand’s palm and give it a little rub to warm it. Some couples prefer to start this their caressing session in this step of sensate focus without lotion and add it afterwards for contrast. Try to comprehend that the purpose of this is to make your companion feel sensations. Try not to pressure or rush your partner; allow them to unwind and fall asleep if it seems like a soothing massage. You can always try it again later.
Step 4: Mutual Touching
It’s time to remove the artificiality of “your turn/my turn” to broaden the breadth of the touching experience. The couples should not touch one another with the aim or expectation of evoking sexual excitement, but rather with the attitude of merely observing the emotions and sensations through contact, following the same fundamental rules as in the previous three steps of the sensate focus. The pair may also touch one another with their lips and tongues during this stage, but they should refrain from kissing and engaging in oral sex.
Step 5: Sensual Intercourse
The benefits of emphasizing your consciousness of physical sensations are expanded into the area of genital contact in this step of sensate focus. Once more, the objective is to identify what is intriguing and enjoyable. As a result, rather than emphasizing on the climax-driven element of sexual contact, people can continue to practise mindfulness during sensual touch by focusing on the temperature, shape, and texture of their partner’s genitalia. Before participating in reflexive thrusting patterns, try slowly inserting and extracting fingers or the penis from the vagina multiple times to increase the excitement.