A is for Arousal which is where sex begins.  There is no sex without arousal.  Arousal begins in the mind.  Even for those of us who first experience arousal through visual means – seeing someone we find attractive, for example.  Vision is not simply in the eyes.  The eyes are one part of the visual system and the main part of the system is located in the brain.

arousal

Smell is one of the quickest sparks to arousal and also one of the quickest ways to spark disgust.  Even people who don’t notice sense of smell much, react to a variety of smells.  Smell is linked deeply to memory and the quickest way to retrieve positive and negative memories.   If you don’t like the way your partner smells, you probably won’t get aroused.  If you do like the way he smells, you can be turned on even if you don’t like the way he looks!

Arousal is a physiological state that comes about because of stimulation so it can be positive or negative.  We get aroused when we are frightened or angry and the same process goes on in our bodies as when we are aroused sexually, at least initially.  Have you ever been in an argument with a partner that got heated and somehow turned into really hot sex?   Some folks say that make-up sex is the best.  It’s probably because they are already aroused from the disagreement.

All of our senses can trigger arousal.   Taste of something delicious can set off sexual arousal.  Seduction is the art of creating arousal in someone.    Using all the senses creates the strongest response so the best seductions incorporate as many sensory elements as possible.

Arousal is essential for hot satisfying sex.  It is also essential for our physical and mental well-being.  It tenses muscles, releases hormones and helps us get physically and mentally ready for action.  If you want to create and experience incendiary sex, focus on arousal instead of orgasm.

How to tell if a woman is aroused

Her pupils will dilate.  This is an unconscious response and one that she cannot control.  Sometimes medications can effect pupillary response so it is not foolproof.  However if she is not on any type of medication and her pupils are dilating, she is probably aroused.

Blood engorges a variety of areas in her body so they will swell  a bit.  Her lips will soften and feel plumper.  Her breasts will swell and nipples often harden.

Her body temperature rises so she will feel warmer to the touch.

She may flush so her face and chest may turn pink or red.

Her scent will change and become deeper.

Her clitoris will swell and harden.

Her vagina will lubricate.

There are a variety of reasons why some of these signs may not be present when a woman is aroused so make sure to pay attention to the whole of the signs and communicate with your partner!

arousal

    

How to tell if a man is aroused

His pupils will dilate.  Again this is an unconscious response and is reliable enough that researchers are now measuring sexual orientation by measuring pupil response when a person is looking erotic imagery.

His skin temperature will rise so he will feel warm or hot to the touch.

He will breathe deeper

He may begin to sweat and his heart will beat more quickly.

His scent will change and become more musky.

He will develop an erection.

arousal

“Arousal begins within the mind then seeps out where fantasy propels physicality.” – Kristie LeVangie

“Is there a secret?  Yes.  Anais Nin and Pauline Reage and Anne Rampling and Erica Jong all knew it.  E L James knows it.  It is the secret behind all of our writing.  And our reading.  Arousal starts in the mind.  And grows in the mind.  The brain is the most erogenous zone in a woman’s body.  That is our secret.  And it is what we share.” MJ Rose

Want to know more about arousal and how to increase it?  Get in touch with me drbisbey@the-intimacy-coach.com

Stir it up a little — or a lot!

Long distance relationships that survive can teach all of us how to keep a relationship alive and vibrant.

I was in a long distance relationship (LDR) — 5,450 miles as the crow flies — for 5 ½ years before I married my man, and then another five months before we were able to finally live in the same location. In that time I learned a lot that I am able to use with ALL my clients who are seeking to keep their relationships vibrant and exciting.

Here are 8 lessons anyone can learn from long distance relationships.

1. Take time to talk every day.

Living together often leads to routines that lead us into ruts. Not talking deeply and often is one of the most common routines.I often hear someone just beginning a relationship say how wonderful it is that she feels comfortable being silent with her partner, when they actually spend most of their time together talking and learning more about each other. Then six months later, the same person will complain that there are long silences, and meals are taken in front of the TV or while reading on their phones.

To see the rest of this blog post, have a look at it on Yourtango.com

Let me know how you keep your long distance relationships alive below…. or email me drbisbey@the-intimacy-coach.com

1 Couples who enjoy kissing and do it well have healthier relationships

Kissing is one of the most intimate acts we perform as human beings. We kiss to demonstrate affection, to demonstrate desire and to increase desire. Darwin wrote about kissing and kissing-like behaviours. These include rubbing noses, sniffing the other person. Usually we talk about using the lips or face. According to Darwin, the desire to kiss is innate. We are born with this desire.

Take a moment and think about a really good kiss that you experienced. You may remember how the other person smelled. You may remember how he tasted or how her lips felt. Kissing involves so many of our senses. It gives you the opportunity to move in close to your paramour.

In my experience as an intimacy coach and relationship therapist, I have had many people tell me that when problems began in their relationships, they stopped kissing as much or as long or as deeply. Kissing allows you to reconnect with your partner. It is fuel for our erotic desires. Do you apologise with a kiss? Sometimes I will approach my lover for a kiss when I want to bring us back together after a disagreement. Kissing your partner in multiple places on her body is described in many of the greatest written sex manuals, including the Kama Sutra.

2 Your lips can be more alive and responsive than your clitoris or your penis.

There is a plethora of nerve endings in the lips and mouth. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist from Rutgers University believes that kissing most likely evolved to encourage three essential needs: lust, attraction and attachment. Our libido drives us to find sexual partners. Romantic loves drives us to commit to a relationship (or multiple relationships) and attachment keeps us together over the long haul and certainly long enough to have a child.

Kissing releases a number of chemicals including endorphins which lower the perception of pain and increase positive high feelings. Kissing releases oxytocin which is a hormone that promotes trust, bonding and attachment both in yourself and the person you are kissing. It increases intimacy, can create sexual arousal and promote orgasm. Sexual kissing where your mouth is open also allows testosterone to be transferred from a man to his partner and that will raise his partners sex drive.

3 Deep passionate kisses get your juices flowing and are healthy for you.

Deep passionate kisses raise your heart rate and your blood pressure. Kissing can increase your life expectancy by lowering stress levels, burning calories (25 to 26 per 1 minute kiss).
Kissing helps us to choose the ‘right’ mate. When we kiss we take in all sorts of physiological information via pheromones and saliva that may well let us know if the person we are kissing is optimally compatible with us or if she is too closely related to us.

Kissing when you are both healthy can boost your immune system. Deep kissing uses all 34 muscles in the face and so tightens and strengths your facial muscles making you look younger. Kissing also boots your dental health because the saliva you produce when kissing helps to fight plaque build up!

Kissing can help with pain control. The endorphins you produce are more than 200 times stronger than pain killers like morphine and Fentanyl.

4 Kissing predicts relationship satisfaction – especially in men.

A study at the Kinsey Institute for sexual research demonstrated that kissing and cuddling were the most important predictors for a relationship satisfaction. A study at University College London found that men who kiss their partners goodbye before leaving the house have fewer car accidents.

The Kama Sutra, the famous book relating to love according to Hindu law written in the 3rd Century AD, spends an entire chapter on kissing describing four different types of kissing, when and where on the body to kiss your lover and giving some detailed instructions.

Couples who are having problems with staying aroused during sex benefit from focusing on kissing only. I have often told couples to restrict themselves to kissing for a week between sessions and to detail their experiences. Most couples report intense arousal, difficulty keeping to the exercise and sticking to kissing only, higher levels of connection and intimacy and spending far more time together being erotic when restricted to kissing.

5 Kissing increases self-confidence.

When you kiss someone, you are telling him that he is valuable to you, attractive to you and that you want to be intimate with him. All of these messages increase your self-confidence and self-esteem. A recent German study found that men who left home after having a good deep kiss from their wives earned more money.

The same hormones (oxytocin and endorphin) can help boost self-esteem and self-confidence. They don’t just lower physical pain perception they also lower emotional pain perception.

As your kissing prowess increases, your confidence increases because you can see that you are creating intense joy in your partner, increasing her desire and increasing her sexual satisfaction.

I’d love it if you would be part of an experiment with me to see what impact kissing has on the quality of your relationship. I want to look at three types of information.
Step 1: Keep a record of how often you kiss over a week. Note how long you kiss for – are you kissing on the cheek, a quick kiss on the lips, a quick deep kiss, kissing for hours?
Step 2: Describe the types of kisses you have with your lover(s). Feel free to write as much or as little as you like. Are the kisses soft? Hard? Deep? Consuming?
Step 3: Describe how you feel emotionally after kissing. Keep a record of your feelings over the 10 day period and note if you feel closer to your lover(s) after kissing.
Step 4: Deliberately kiss your lover(s) more often over the second week.
Step 5: Describe any difference in feeling and closeness after the second week.

I will ask you to send me your responses via email. I will keep your responses confidential. My results will be anonymous but I will use modified quotes when writing about the results.

To take part, comment below and add your email address to the opt in form.
I look forward to hearing what you think
Dr Lori Beth
Light your fire!

Kissing

Do you stop yourself from fantasizing? Are you worried that there is something wrong with you because of the things that make you hot? Here are three myths that keep us from enjoying our sexual imaginations.

Myth Number 1: If you fantasize about something it means you want to do it in reality.

The ground-breaking work from the Kinsey Institute in the 50’s and 60’s found that 69% of women and 84% of men had sexual fantasies. Some of these were of usual activities, some had full stories and others were just fleeting images.

Further research and clinical experience highlights the wide variety of subjects for fantasies and that almost everyone has fantasies.

If something turns you on, it does not mean that you want to act on these feelings or even that it would be good for you to act on your feelings. Lots of things turn us on that would not be practical in reality. Most adults have a fantasy about a famous person and many of us more than one famous person! The likelihood of making that fantasy a reality is not high unless you travel in the same circles as your desired sexual playmate. Many of us fantasize about people we work with but think better about jeopardizing our employment by having a sexual encounter with the boss or with a co-worker.

Sometimes our favourite fantasies lose their turn on power if we bring them into reality. Most people have a few staple fantasies that are guaranteed to bring them close to orgasm.   If a fantasy isn’t as exciting when you try to recreate it in ‘real life’ then it can lose its erotic power. If the fantasy has been one that you have had since you were a teenager, this can feel disorienting. Sometimes it can cause a person to call into question key aspects of his sexuality. The moral of this tale: Some things should stay a fantasy.

Myth Number 2: Fantasies mean that you are unhappy with your relationship.

This is related to the idea that people in relationships don’t masturbate unless they are unhappy. Both are completely false. Fantasy is a place to relax, to try out ideas and to start to explore.   Most adults fantasize just as most adults masturbate.  In fact, sharing your fantasies with your partner is one of the ways to add fire to your relationship. If you feel awkward about sharing your fantasies directly, find some erotica that tells the same story and read it aloud to your partner. If you feel awkward reading aloud, leave the book on her pillow.

Myth Number 3: You can find your ‘true’ sexual orientation or your ‘true’ gender identity by examining your fantasies.

This is usually false. Kinsey and later research has found a high percentage of people have both same sex and opposite sex fantasies.   You can find new avenues to explore by looking at your fantasies. However, having a fantasy does not equate to your primary sexual orientation or gender orientation.

Fantasy is the place to experiment and rehearse as well as explore.   Fantasy can start the fire on days when it is merely embers. Fantasy can supply excitement when shared with a partner.   Cherish your fantasy life and enjoy the benefits of a healthy imagination.

Next time I will talk about how to have that deep connection with your partner – the kind that makes all your intimate hours smoking hot.

I look forward to hearing about how you feel about fantasy and how you use fantasy in your sexual lives below.

Until next time

Light your fire!

In parts 1 – 4 of this series, I gave you tips on communicating, creating the space, using imagination and role play to bring back the sizzle in your sexual relationships.

In the last part of this series, I end with 7 suggestions for a steamy sexual encounter.

  1. Choose your time. Do you want an intense quickie or a long detailed sexual scene? Both can be sizzling hot as long as you choose your time and protect it. There is nothing worse than being interrupted by friends, family, colleagues or bosses.
  2. Almost naked is often sexier and than naked. Tease your partner by wearing something provocative that gives a clue to where you want to go. Where something sparse and silky for a romantic encounter, or perhaps a costume to spark the tone for a fantasy. Dress as a pirate,   put on some leather and motorcycle boots, wear clothes that you don’t mind losing if she rips them off of you.
  3. Learn the art of surprise. Surprising someone is an art you can learn. The best surprises are full of details that tease and delight. The more you know about your victim, the better the surprise will be.
  4. Use a blindfold. Restricting vision means that you can concentrate on the other senses. Use your voice to lead your partner into your lair.
  5. Invest in noise cancelling headphones.   Add these to the blindfold and watch your partner’s excitement sky rocket! Play music that you know will entice or just surround him with silence. Then concentrate on touch, taste and smell.
  6. Plan well.   Spontaneous is fun but even spontaneous can be planned for. If you like to be spontaneous, have a ‘go bag’ in your car or in the closet by the door filled with essentials for steamy sex (lube, condoms, other birth control, sex toys, blindfold and anything else you can imagine)
  7. Make it last. Build up to the experience by talking about it, texting about it, emailing about it. Leave little notes or voice messages. Extend the experience after with texts, calls, emails, notes. Take some suggestive pictures and send them to your lover afterwards.

I would love to hear your suggestions for steamy sex below. Next month I will look at favourite fantasies and help you to make them a reality. I will highlight myths relating to fantasies and help you to get over any fears you have about trying out some slightly edgier sex. Until then

Light your Fire!

In parts 1-3 of this series, we looked at using imagination, setting the scene and good communication to bring the blaze back in a relationship.  This week, we look at keeping the fire burning.

4.   Fires Need Fuel

To keep a blaze burning bright, oxygen is necessary. The chemical reaction cannot happen in the absence of air. To keep a relationship ablaze, fresh ideas and continuing communication are necessary.   Excitement can quickly turn to boredom if the same patterns are repeated all the time. Most couples have some tried and true methods to turn each other on and many have standard ways to bring each other to orgasm. Even tried and true methods will fail if these are always the same.

In part 3, we looked at role play as a way to bring newness back into the sexual relationship.     To make sure role play is incendiary, we need to make sure that we talk about the experience afterwards.   One way to keep the heat going is to write about the experience. Telling the story brings the experience back. It gives you the chance to give feedback to your partner in an entertaining way, focusing on the bits that you liked the most and giving creative suggestions for those bits that didn’t work so well.   It allows a fresh perspective. If you don’t like to write, try recording yourself as you tell the story.

Sometimes role plays centre around places but most often they centre around characters and stories.   Another way to turn a banked flame into a roaring fire is to change the place where you choose to become intimate.   Before you bend your partner over your desk in his office, make sure that you are not risking him losing his livelihood.   Think about how you can have the thrill and an acceptable level of risk. Some people are adrenalin junkies and like high levels of risk. If you are one of these folk think things through before acting on your desires. You have to decide whether you are truly willing to risk losing your job or even your life. Think things through and be very clear about the real level of risk.

Finally, consider taking your partner on a mystery fantasy journey.   Margot and Jane spent lots of time talking about all the sexual escapades that they hoped to get up to in the coming year. For Jane’s birthday, Margot surprised her by setting the scene to act out her fantasy having a sexual encounter with a high priced escort.   Margot left Jane a note telling her that they would be out all evening and to dress provocatively. Because they had talked through the details of this fantasy many times, Margot felt secure that Jane would enjoy the scene that she created.   Jane was told to put on a thick leather blindfold and sit down on the bed and wait.  Jane was taken to a friend’s house where Margot was waiting, in character.   The evening was a great success. Jane told me afterwards that Margot was completely believable and that because she spoke with an accent, at first she had been unaware that it was her lover speaking to her.   The key to this type of surprise working is good communication before the surprise. The more you know about your partner’s desires, the more likely it is that whatever you plan will be well received. Remember that when planning a surprise for someone the focus should be on HER fantasy rather than on yours.

Next week we will wrap up this series with my top 7 suggestions for a steamy sexy encounter. I look forward to your suggestions to fuel the fire below

Light Your Fire!