#sextherapy

The Big News About The Big O.

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Were they good in bed? Did you climax? How many orgasms did you have? How long did you last? Post-coitus conversations about orgasms have become a common social experience, ones that are often used to evaluate sexual encounters, but they are actually pretty unhelpful. When we place a lot of importance on our orgasms (for ourselves or our partners), we place demands on ourselves psychologically, which can distract from our ability to experience pleasure. The "must have an orgasm" mantra creates an anxious dialogue that makes our minds stress during sex instead of relax, which makes it even more difficult to reach orgasm.

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So I'm here to share some big news about orgasms and sexual pleasure. Ready? Here it comes.

We are most primed for orgasm when we are relaxed, focused and not stressed. This means we need to calm our minds if we want to have a mind-altering experience. Craving a deeply relaxed and sensational climax? Here are some of my favorite tips to get you started:

  1. Relax the body with soothing touch. Instead of starting with the most arousing areas like the genitals, try touching the body creatively and focusing on areas that are not commonly associated with arousal. Sending soothing vibes to your body helps set the tone for what's about to happen next.

  2. Clean up your boudoir. The environment around us has an impact on our ability to stay focused. Research from Princeton University determined that the brain has a more challenging time focusing on and completing tasks when we are surrounded by clutter. If you want to feel relaxed and focused, make your space reflect that by removing the clutter.

  3. Bring your mind to the present moment. Staying present is a challenge for many of us, but it's really important when it comes to sexual pleasure. Even the smallest distractions can interrupt our journey to pleasure town, so try to be mindful of things that you know might get in the way (pets, kids, alarms, electronic devices) and seek space from them. Maybe it's your laundry list of chores that keeps running through your mind. If so, remind yourself that whatever you need to do can wait -- it's time for pleasure right now.

  4. Stay connected to the sensations that feel best. One of the best strategies for staying connected to sensations is directing your thoughts to the part of your body that is being touched. If your partner's fingertips are grazing across your chest, draw your attention to the area of physical contact and notice how pleasurable it feels. Continue often.

  5. Pick your favorite pleasure mantra and run with it. Think about your favorite pleasurable words or phrases and repeat those in your head over and over. Pick something that means something to you and helps you connect with pleasure. "This is super hot" or "my partner loves pleasuring me" are two examples. Try to stay away from phrases like "I must orgasm" that put demands on yourself as opposed to promoting relaxation.

Prepping your mind for pleasure is equally as important as prepping the body. Next time you're in the mood, try out these tips for a pleasurable sexual experience. Enjoy!

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Book Review

Review of Emily Nagoski’s book, Come As You Are

Come As You Are is an intelligent and creative read that is extremely relevant, comprehensive and a necessary contribution to the field of female sexuality. Emily Nagoski’s writing combines humor with a sex-positive tone to address the complexity of sexual desire and arousal for women in a way that is friendly, directive and resourceful.

Nagoski challenges popular societal conceptualizations about sexual arousal and desire while using science to explain why certain ideas are myths and offer alternative interpretations that honor individuals’ realities and experiences. Anecdotes from former clients are woven into the text to demonstrate how many people navigate these concerns throughout their sexual relationships, validating and normalizing the worries of many readers.

Nagoski introduces the framework, “Pleasure Is The Measure” as a guide for readers to understand their own positive sexual experiences and acknowledge the nuances of contexts that can interfere with sexual satisfaction and desire, both individually and relationally. Readers have the opportunity to complete worksheets, which are included throughout the chapters, to increase their understanding of how the content applies to their own experiences. The versatility of Come As You Are makes it a fantastic read for females and couples as well as clinicians working in the field of sexuality.