Beautiful, expanding, loving, passionate pleasure is our divine right. Regardless of how good or bad you may think you are as a sexual lover, the action of caressing one another opens up the channels to explore plenty of possibilities that otherwise we may miss.
Unfortunately, over time couples tend to lose the ability to connect, often their sexual life becomes something they feel they have to do, rather than something they should enjoy deeply. As such, the desire to caress one’s lover tends to be lost; this makes sense as one yearns to caress that which one feels free to desire, not what one feels one has to desire. This is why in couple’s therapy, when it comes to sexuality, the main focus starts with caressing.
It is not necessary to suffer from a problem of a sexual nature for one to slow down and start with the basics of practicing pleasure. It is simply about exploring the physical sensations of the caress and communicating them–it is a beautiful exercise of pleasure and fun, suitable for anyone. Caressing is part of sensory focusing, a series of methods that help the couple communicate and explore their sexuality beyond mere intercourse. From here arises pleasure, where the couple caresses each other with no other intention than to enjoy that type of intimate contact–no pressure…more fun!
You have to be honest with yourself; of course you want more pleasure, of course you want to enjoy desire and feel desired, and of course you want to be loved…to be seen…to be satiated. But to enjoy deep pleasure, you have to understand what pure pleasure is, how it helps you, how you can experience more of it in a way that satisfies and builds you. So let me elaborate more on these…
After the so-called sexual revolution, a profound change in Western society regarding the conception of sex began; it challenged conventions about sexual morality, relationships and behavior regarding this practice. As a Tantric, I cannot say they were able to explain the power of sexuality appropriately, but their methodology was a good start for the liberation of a subject which was deeply taboo.
Within this current, is the pair of authors of sensory targeting therapy, gynecologist William Masters and sexologist Virginia Johnson. Together, they studied the human sexual response and defined its four phases: arousal, plateau, orgasm, and resolution.
When the sexual response became pathological, the consequences affected the relationship as a whole. Therefore, the art of focusing on caressing was born, as a way to reconnect the couple with pleasure and each other without resorting to intercourse–because it is based on the complex yet simple communication of the sensations which awaken the naked body and fuel our inner fires while soothing the heart and mind.
While caressing is helpful for any couple who wants to explore their sexuality and improve communication, it also works for certain sexual issues. For example, it is widely used as a systematic desensitization for those people who have some kind of trauma with physical contact, such as victims of sexual abuse. When sexual contact produces anxiety and rejection, pleasure helps create a safe and relaxed environment to be exposed to progressively.
It is also useful for sexual dysfunctions such as premature ejaculation, pathological sexual inappetence or vaginismus. Couples whose sex life has become routine, and their relationship suffers, could greatly benefit from this beautiful pleasure–sadly many people don’t know their sexuality beyond the genital part.
Pleasure follows no pressure–remember this. When we feel pressured to “perform”, we tend to tense up and stay too much in our heads–you want to simply relax…with no other intention than to enjoy touch–intercourse may or may not take place, that is not the goal and you both need to be clear on that. The ideal, is to plan the day and a place to arrive with a calm and positive attitude. Once the stage is comfortable (music, smells, warmth, etc) relaxed and safe, proceed as follows:
- One of the members of the couple lies down naked, face down and with eyes closed. The other, also naked, begins to caress the partner gently from head to toe, skipping the erogenous zones. It is about transmitting feelings through caress: peace, love, tenderness.
- When you reach the feet, whoever is lying down turns around and you start the process again, except for sexualized areas, such as the breasts or genitals–you can and should caress these, only after a level of connection has been achieved, and only if neither one of you feels pressured….but remember, the goal is to caress…not to masturbate.
- The one who is lying down joins by spending a few minutes commenting on the exercise: what sensations it awakened, what was enjoyed the most, whether or not they would like to be caressed more lightly or more intensely….remember that feedback is valuable, so be mature and accept what is said back kindly–we all like to be touched differently, and it takes a loving heart and an open mind to take time to learn what one’s lover likes.
- The one who has caressed lies down to receive the same process.
- Once the exercise is over, the couple decide naturally and with ease if they want to start a sexual union or not. If either one feels any type of uneasiness or pressure….STOP. The purpose of this is to connect you, not to make you associate loving touch with something bad or negative. By being mature about what the goal is….CONNECTION….sexual frustration is avoided in case there is arousal–this also encourages assertive communication regarding relationships.
There are many benefits of this simple step: degenitalize relationships, learn to give and receive pure love and pleasure without expecting a final destination. It helps develop eroticism and create a bond of confidentiality and security within the couple. This is valid for any couple, whatever their characteristics and whether or not they are monogamous, polyamory, pure lovers, serious dating…again it comes down to motivation and rapport.
Physical contact is vital for most beings, especially those that live in a group. In a society of instant superficial pleasure, we sometimes forget that sexuality is much richer than genitality, and a hell of a lot more enjoyable when it unites mind, body and heart. Our culture of immediacy and the inability to be open and raw with our lover, is what anesthetizes the body–it never hurts to rediscover the most basic sensations through caresses.