Women’s Sexual Health

Some women feel a lot of anxiety about being intimate and having sexual intercourse. This may result in decreased desire, sexual arousal disorder, or erectile dysfunction. It is often helpful to take a step-by-step approach to overcome anxiety. One of the best and mutually satisfying ways to improve your sex life is to focus on the pleasures of touching.

Sensual Massage

One option is to learn how to give and receive a sensual massage. Sensual massage can help you and your partner:

  • express needs and desires
  • find out how each likes to touch and be touched
  • explore new ways to give pleasure
  • improve your relationship.
  • An illustrated manual or book can be helpful. Here are some general tips:

  • Determine who will be the first giver.
  • Establish whether you and your partner will be clothed or unclothed.
  • Choose a location where you both will be comfortable.
  • Dim the lights and play soft music you both enjoy.
  • Use plenty of pillows or a comforter.
  • If you wish, use baby oils, scented oils, lotions, or powder.
  • Tell the giver what feels good and what does not.
  • Begin with the face. Normally the giver sits and the receiver lies flat on his or her back with the head resting on the giver’s thighs. With the hands well lubricated, the giver begins with the chin, then strokes the cheeks, forehead, and temples.

    Explore the face as if you were a blind person meeting your partner for the first time. Then explore the ear lobes, lips, and the nose before returning to massage the temples for complete relaxation. Rest, talk about the experience, and reverse roles.
    Massage the rest of the body tenderly and pay attention to your partner’s feelings. Then reverse roles.

    Sensate Focus Exercises

    Sensate focus exercises were introduced by researchers Masters and Johnson to treat couples with sexual problems. The exercises are divided into 3 steps. Both partners should be comfortable with each step before moving to the next.

    Schedule time when you can both be relaxed and comfortable. Partners take turns being the giver and the receiver.

  • First step: Explore various parts of your partner’s body including the head and neck, chest, belly, back, buttocks, arms, underarms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, and toes. Use different kinds of touch, such as stroking, rubbing, and squeezing. You can also use different kinds of touch with your mouth, such as kissing, nipping with your teeth, or sucking. Limit this stage to parts of the body other than the genitals and breasts.
  • Second step: Touch, stroke, and explore the sensual responses of the whole body, including the breasts and genitals. The goal is not an erection or orgasm. The goal is to learn what feels good to your partner. At this stage some talk may be helpful.
  • Third step: Caress and stimulate breasts and genitals. For those couples who wish to proceed to sexual intercourse, you can receive and give orgasm if you choose. It often helps to use a lubricant such as Astroglide or K-Y jelly, especially for the woman’s clitoris and the vaginal opening. Vaseline should not be used as a vaginal lubricant.
  • Pay attention to just relaxing and enjoying it when you touch each other. Remember that it is possible to have a loving, intimate relationship without sexual intercourse. If you feel that your relationship needs more help, psychotherapy, treatment with medicine, and sexual counseling may be helpful.

    Premarital Counseling: Ten Ways to Increase Sexual Intimacy Through Couples Counseling

    So many couples don’t discuss important aspects of marriage until AFTER they’re married. Will you have children? Will both of you work, or just one of you? Where will you live? Who will be in charge of which chores? How much personal time will you give each other? How do you both see finances in marriage?

    Talk about the ten B’s, and build a healthy marriage that lasts many, many years. Avoid the misunderstanding and misconception caused by putting off the B’s! I will provide you both a safe place, a plan, and guidance to talk about the following aspects of marriage intimacy.

    Business. What are your career prospects and attitudes about work? How do you envision your life together? What are your most important goals? How do you see your work life together?

    Baby. How do you feel about having a child, or not? Would either of you like more than one? How do you want to raise the child? Have you talked about discipline?

    Bottle. Concerning alcohol and drugs, I am surprised how many couples aren’t aware of their partner’s habits and tendencies. In premarital couples counseling we can safely discuss your values and behaviors with alcohol and drugs.

    Bedroom. What are your expectations and preferences sexually? What attitudes and values do you hold? What about infidelity?

    Bank. Money and financial issues are one of the biggest causes of divorce. I will provide you with constructive ways to talk about responsibilities, budgeting, and financial history aspects of relationship. Do you want the freedom to buy items without your partner’s approval? How do you want to handle debt, and the money that is earned?

    Beliefs. Compatibility and personality differences can be turned in to strengths. How do your values, religion, and politics impact your relationship?

    Broom. Explore home issues before unspoken habits trip you up. What kind and how big of home do you want to live in? Who’s in charge of what chores? How clean and tidy do you keep house?

    Blemishes. What are the imperfections or baggage that you’d rather talk about now? No one is perfect, and we all have baggage. Do each of your parents want to see you a little, or quite a bit? This is good to discuss to prevent blemishes related to extended family.

    Body. Are there any body issues that you want to discuss? What happens if and when one of you gets ill?

    Belly. What are your food preferences? I’m surprised how many clients have food arguments about the different ways they like to eat and exercise. Do you get in to your N.O.C.T.: NO ONE CAN TELL me what to do – over food?

    In premarital counseling, talk about the ten B’s to help you explore the need to be yourself, and the need for connection, so that you can develop a more mature sense of your self, and a more mature connection in your marriage. You can prevent the power struggles so common for all of us while growing your sense of self and building a foundation for adult sexual intimacy. I will provide you with communication skills to enhance your marriage, plus offer you conflict resolution skills for those difficult moments. Imagine the depth of your vows to one another as you learn through couples counseling how to grow who you are individually, and how to grow the emotional intimacy between you. Then can avoid the intimacy problems in your healthy marriage together, and include more sexual intimacy between you!

    I originally learned about the ten B’s in my five year, Integrative Body Psychotherapy training, 1990-1995, and I’ve adapted them a bit for this article. Why not see for your selves how talking with a trained third party can enhance your premarital, and marital, lives!

    Male Sexual Arousal – How Lap Dances and Strip Clubs Affect Male Sexual Desire, Arousal and Behavior

    A man has been lying to his wife. For months he has been secretly going out at night to exotic dance clubs, hobnobbing with strippers, and getting lap dances (which he chooses to believe are “innocent” and “harmless”). He has been enjoying his own secret little world that brings him a sense of sensual arousal and illicit overall body pleasure. He tells himself he is “not cheating.” Inevitably however, after some indefinite amount of time, his wife discovers what he has been doing. To his surprise, dismay and disappointment, his spouse is not so receptive or accepting. She is enraged, furious, hurt, devastated and maybe even feeling and behaving out of control. He may be at risk of losing everything – his marriage, his home, and his family.

    At this point, the man often feels, “I’ve got to find a way to turn this around. I am attracted to my wife. I love her dearly. She’s beautiful. She’s been good to me. She takes good care of our children. I don’t want a divorce. I want to find a way to make it up to her. I thought I was being real ‘cool’ going to these clubs. I realize now how immature I was.”

    Then, the question arises: Why have you been going to see strippers? Why are you paying for lap dances when you have a beautiful wife at home, who you say you love?

    The answer, if the man is being honest, sometimes goes like this. “I’m attracted to my wife, but she expects me to “perform” for her or she expects me to always initiate sex. She thinks I don’t desire her because I have not been so interested in being intimate with her lately. Truth is, I’m sometimes afraid of her. She expects me to always be ready and to satisfy her. Lately, she gets angry if I fall short of her expectations – especially since she knows I have received gratification from some of these other women.”

    So what is it about strip clubs, strippers and lap dances that causes some men to eagerly return for more while neglecting his readily available wife who he claims to love?

    A typical male response might be: “At the dance clubs, I can relax, be myself, have a few drinks, listen to music and watch some beautiful bodies moving slowly, seducing me into a state of arousal. I might invite one of these beautiful young ladies to my table. She might smile at me, perhaps touching my arm, or whispering something seductive into my ear. She might call me honey or baby, offering to make me feel good if I want to dance with her.”

    At home, when it comes to sexual desire, some men will say, “I often feel like a frightened child about to be scolded by his angry mother.” They might share that at the club they have sometimes overheard other men say: “I have to go home and do my old lady,” as if it is some chore or drudgery to get through, instead of the pleasurable experience that true intimacy can be.

    What do strippers and exotic dancers do that men are craving but not receiving at home?

    First, the man is totally receiving. There is nothing he has to do but be there. The woman does all the flirting and seducing. She moves her body seductively. She may gradually remove some of her clothing. She may arch her back and stick her butt out, “an acceptance position” known to trigger sexual arousal in male mammals. Some strippers will not touch the guys at all, but will come very close to touching the men’s faces with her breasts, her crotch, her butt, etc. However, most strippers will touch and do allow touching, even if they are technically not supposed to. It is all about what will make them the most money. Then there are the special “Champagne rooms.” For a very high hourly fee, a man can spend some time in a very private room with the woman of his choice. Here, she may offer additional sexual favors that she claims to only provide for “special” customers.

    Second, the exotic dancer’s goal is to stimulate the man, tease him, act as if he is a master at arousing her, and to continually promise him greater and greater pleasure. She makes no demands, appears to have no expectations of him, and gives him no arguments. But there is also no real back and forth communication (except allowing him to voice his unhappiness and frustrations with his life, his marriage or whatever) and there is no love. Sometimes a man begins to feel “love” for an exotic dancer, but what he love is only the image she is presenting and the way she is pleasing him. He most probably doesn’t have a clue about who she really is.

    The truth about exotic dancers is this. The girl is there to: support a habit, support her family, earn some money for a specific goal, or as a quick fix for an uneducated, unskilled woman to earn a hefty sum of money. This is a recession proof business – and it is a business, big business. Men have needs, and when times get tough, these needs are often exacerbated. Some men will seek a way to escape and feel good, even if only for a few hours.

    Behind their smiles, erotic movements, and seductive words, many of these women actually feel disgust for the men. They don’t like the way these men “get off” on total strangers. They despise the men for “cheating” on their spouses and significant others.
    And their only goal is to get as much money as they possibly can by keeping each man aroused and coming back for more.

    The man who frequents strip clubs is getting his own narcissistic needs met for attention, arousal, stimulation and praise. He is actually depriving himself of the opportunity for true intimacy, closeness, communication and unraveling of his deepest childhood fears and insecurities. His wife suffers from that same lack of intimacy.

    The solution is for each partner to take responsibility for the demise of their intimacy, to take the bull by the horn, to dig in their heels, to get the sexual counseling they can both benefit from, and to literally start their sexual relationship all over again. Literally, beginning all over, they ought to shake hands and say, “Hi. My name is…. I can offer you something wonderful, make you feel better than you have ever felt before, if you will only spend the time to get to know me….”