Sex has historically been a relatively simple and straight-forward interaction for me. I was either pleasuring my husband, or he was pleasuring me. What this looked like in the average sexual encounter was that we took turns pleasuring each other and honestly, it seemed like a pretty reasonable way for things to proceed.
But a couple months ago, I took a workshop that upended this I-pleasure-him-he-pleasures-me approach to my erotic life. The class started with some simple breathing exercises where we first observed our natural breath, watching it enter and depart our lungs and belly. Then we married that breathing with imagery, thoughts and fantasies to wake up our pelvic floor. After the warm tingles started, we worked on enhancing them further by tightening our genitalia while breathing in, and relax them while breathing out.
Up to this point, this was an easy (and fun) exercise. But then we were asked to share what we were feeling by reaching out and touching our partner. The goal was to share the energy we had built up by very lightly caressing the skin of our partner’s arms.
At first this proved really difficult. As I glanced around the room, a large portion of us instantly lost connection with the feelings we had developed internally when we tried to share them with someone else. It felt like the childhood game of trying to pat your head and rub your belly at the same time. For some reason, the mind and body didn’t quite want to work together. Logically I knew in my mind what I had to do, but the body just couldn’t keep the connection.
The instructor asked us to take a moment to reconnect with ourselves and then try again. And like patting your head and rubbing your belly, I found that it was doable with a little practice. When I got the hang of it, I noticed I was able to run my own internal circuit of erotic energy, and then add a second external circuit between myself and my partner. I also found it easier when I touched so lightly I was practically touching their arm hair instead of the skin itself, and moved my hands so slowly it was almost like I wasn’t moving them.
And you know what? It was HOT. By connecting with my breath and my pelvic floor and keeping those sensations at the forefront, I found a new intensity in touching that I had never quite experienced before. And better yet, when practicing again in the privacy of my own bedroom later that night, I found this deceivingly simple technique also appeared to heighten his pleasure... bonus!
I know for me, it can feel crazy vulnerable and even a little embarrassing to own my sexuality and fan the flames of desire. And doing that in front of someone takes that vulnerability and embarrassment to a whole other level. But it’s also so worth it.
So here’s to more childhood games like trying to pat your head and rub your belly. May your summer be full of the same.
New to this blog and want to start at the beginning? Check out this post about why I started a blog about sex.
This blog reflects my real-life experiences. I'd love to hear about your experiences, so let’s continue the conversation in the comments section below.
You can also check out these resources or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in classes or coaching to explore your own sexuality. I am a sex and relationship coach and if I can't personally help you, I'd be very happy to connect you with other wonderful sex educators, coaches and therapists.
© Pam Costa, 2015