Dr Lori Beth, photo by Feroshia Knight

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Hello everyone! Welcome to the A to Z of Sex. I’m Dr Lori Beth, an intimacy coach and psychologist and I am your host. We are working our way through the erotic alphabet, one letter at a time. I created this show to explore the erotic alphabet to help you learn more about desire and expressing your desires, discover ways to spice up your relationship and create that sizzling relationship you have always wanted through solid science, real life stories and interviews with an exciting variety of sexperts. We will be talking to people from all walks of life – ordinary people, people who have a story to tell about sex, people who are experts in some aspect of sex or sexuality, psychologists, coaches, psychoanalysts, philosophers, doctors and scientists.   Knowledge gives you the power to create relationships that bring you lasting satisfaction and joy.

When we reach the end of the alphabet, we will start again. Each time looking at different words and phrases, each time allowing us to expand our knowledge even further. I also write a weekly blog and a monthly newsletter called the A to Z of Sex.   Each medium allows me to look at more terms and explore more strategies to increase sexual pleasure and to create that ideal intimate relationship. There is a workshop with the same title too, to help you create your own sexual alphabet. I invite you to write in with your questions for me or my guests to drloribeth@atozofsex.com Each week I will make time to answer a question or two.

This week we start at the beginning with the letter A. A is for Arousal which is where sex begins. There is no sex without arousal.   The definition of arousal is ‘a state of alertness and readiness for action. The physiological and psychological state of being awoken or sense organs stimulated to a point of perception’. Arousal is necessary in all sorts of places and in fact, you cannot act without being aroused at least physiologically. Because arousal is a physiological state, it can be perceived positively or negatively. When you are angry, you become aroused. Your body will display signs of arousal like a rise in temperature causing a red face or flush, or sweating, heart beating faster for example.   We become aroused when we are frightened as well.

We are going to focus on sexual arousal, which is a specific type of arousal and sexual arousal begins in the mind. Some of you might be thinking that you become aroused or attracted by looking at someone not thinking about the person. The eyes are part of the visual system which is located primarily in the brain. When we become aroused, a variety of chemicals are released in the brain that create different reactions in the body.   Arousal tenses muscles, releases hormones and helps us become physically and mentally ready for action. Think about when you have had an argument with a lover. When you have finally resolved things enough to go to bed, what is the sex like? Many people say that make-up sex is the best sex. This is probably because they are already at a high state of arousal before heading into the bedroom.

Sometimes people are surprised by how aroused they can become just by thinking of a lover. The more you focus when you think about your lover, the more intense the arousal can be.   Try this experiment with your lover: Agree a plan for a hot erotic tryst at least three days in the future. Each day leading up to the tryst, spend 30 minutes thinking about and fantasising about your lover. Just before you get together, spend 15 minutes thinking about your lover in detail. For many people this acts like extended foreplay and by they time they get together, they are already extremely aroused and the sex is explosive.   What do I mean when I say thinking about? In this case, I want you to start with reminiscing about how your lover looks – bring to mind every detail you can muster. How does she look in clothing? How does he look when he is naked and slightly sweaty? His smile, her tears.   Then think about how your lover sounds. Bring to mind his voice when he is telling you how he feels about you. Bring to mind his voice when he is in the midst of passion, as he reaches orgasm, or when he is sad and at his most vulnerable. Then think about her scent. What does she smell like when she has just walked out of the shower? What does she smell like when she has just woken up or finished exercising? Then think about her taste – her kiss in the morning, that place on her neck, the taste of her juices or her tears? Finally, how does he feel? The texture of his hair, the feel of the skin on the back of his hands, the feel of his skin on the underside of his penis or on his bum? The feel of the hair on his legs or the roughness of his beard.

In the rest of this show, I cover the rest of the senses and how they trigger off arousal, a detailed description of how you can tell that a person is aroused, what happens when arousal is not forthcoming – what to consider as to why you are not becoming aroused, and what to do in that case, and my favourite strategies to increase arousal. You can find me at drloribeth@atozofsex.com and visit both websites http://www.atozofsex.com and https://www.the-intimacy-coach.com to learn about alternative sexual choices, types of sexual relationships and to learn to sizzle and create that ideal lasting intimate relationship.   For a free 30 minute session with me, head over to http://www.atozofsex.com and click on the button that says ‘book now’.

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