By Terra Wise, July 2016
A blend of systems working together make pleasure and orgasm a possibility. For most women, sexual arousal involves a synergy of body, mind, and breath simultaneously interwoven. When a spark of arousal is below the surface of awareness, just a dim flicker without much glow or heat, it runs the risk of being easily extinguished. Arousal expands and intensifies with a woman’s awareness of its presence. There are certain steps can be taken to help fan the flame. Here are suggestions for increasing pleasure.
A woman’s vulva, the external genitals, and her vagina, the interior sheath that extends from the vaginal opening to the cervix, can be thought of as a flower. For the flower to blossom, to fully open to pleasure and orgasm certain conditions need to be met. Feelings of safety and trust in a partner is key for many women, Trust provides a solid ground for the pleasure puzzle to come together. In fact, most women describe their need for trust as a foundational starting point with a partner. Trust allows for and encourages feelings of happy sexual expression and bodily comfort and freedom. Trust allows women to surrender to pleasure.
Additionally, it is important to know that vaginal wetness is not always an indicator of female sexual arousal. It is not uncommon for women to feel quite turned on but not become wet. Some women flowed like a river at one time but their bodies may have changed and so too their lubrication. Possible reasons for a decrease in lubrication include side-effects from certain medicines that can cause vaginal dryness and diminished interest in sex at any age. Stress too can result in a lack of libido and inability to lubricate. However, it is important to note that fluctuations in the ability to become aroused do ebb and flow for a number of reasons, a diminished sexual response is not correlated to any specific age.
Vaginal dryness is not only an issue for or about mid-aged women and menopause. There are many shifts throughout a lifetime that influence how a woman will respond sexually, how long it takes to become aroused or orgasm. A woman’s body changes more often than might be understood. These changes happen inside and out over the course of her life. The things that were once of interest sexually, how she responds to touch, images, and the thoughts that used to turn her on and feel good can change. It’s also possible that something new becomes even more arousing. Physical and emotional shifts are never a sign of failure. Any number of causes can be a source of a decline in desire including medical and emotional challenges, many of which can be helped with therapeutic methods.
Happily, there are solutions for women who desire to reignite their passion, to feel sexual feelings whatever their age, no matter if they are single or in a relationship. Sexual lubricants make sex more comfortable and pleasing. They prevent tiny micro-tears when there is not enough body made vaginal lubrication. Lubes are beneficial for all. They provide cushioning and can be healing if the vulva and vaginal tissues tend to be dry and tender. The use of lubricants are encouraged no matter age, reason required or the level of wetness or dryness already present in the body. Using a lube can help make the body more comfortable for both solo and partner play. Lubricants often increase feelings of arousal and help to trigger more of the bodies natural wetness with their slip and slide pleasing sensations.
Lubes come in many formulas with an abundance available on the shelves to choose from. Read up on your options, explore adult themed shops online, or ask for assistance when shopping in-person. Choices include silicone, hybrids (blends of water and silicone) and water-based that come in a variety of consistencies and also in safe edible flavours. With water-based flavours some taste much better than others, it’s best to try sample packs first before investing in a large bottle. Flavoured lubes are used for oral sex, applied directly to the skin or on top of a condom. Lubes have also become cleaner over time with natural options versus the chemical ingredients that can cause irritation for sensitive people. Lubricants provide vaginal cushioning and prevent irritation from penetration from toys or a penis, especially if a sexual encounter is long lasting.
To boost arousal and sexual response certain herbs, plants and health supplements have been known to be helpful. Relatively new on the market for women are sexual sprays, suppositories, and lubricants made with THC, one of the compounds found in the cannabis plant. These medicines help women to experience localized arousal and bodily comfort, it is suggested to spray directly onto the clitoris or use the suppositories which are inserted internally. These products do not cause the same high that smoking marijuana does, although many women do combine the smoke with the topical or internal forms, it is not required. THC vaginal lubricants trigger the body to respond with arousal, wetness, pleasure, an interest in sex, and they help make orgasms more satisfying and intense.
THC-infused sprays and the plant leaves are available in America through a doctor’s prescription found in legal dispensaries in Colorado and Californa at this time (2016). For the women who are receptive to the idea of smoking a little weed, doing so will increases arousal and can lead to more satisfying orgasms. Marijuana acts an aphrodisiac for most women, creating pleasant feelings and body and mind relaxation, with skin sensitivity and heightened pleasure. The heightened sensations help the skin to feel vibrantly alive and receptive to pleasure and sensual touch. Some strains of the plant are created especially for enhancing erotic response. If you are interested in knowing more about THC lube you can research descriptions found at medical marijuana dispensaries, online websites or visit one in-person. I’ve included links for information about Foria, the THC spray. Also, some women are making your own THC lube. I’ve included the following links for that too.
Kegel exercises, vaginal toning, best done with a weighted exercise tool, will help strengthen the pelvic floor and in doing so help with sexual pleasure, arousal and orgasm too. Much more is discussed in a separate post specifically about Kegels and pelvic floor health.
Sensual massage with a partner can be enticing and worth an exploration. Relaxation, comfort, clear soft communication will enhance the experience. Move slowly over the skin, teasing, cultivating and increasing pleasure. During self-pleasuring sessions take the time to erotically stroke your own skin, include your face, arms, legs, belly, and nipples. Slowly build the energy before diving into localized touch of the vulva or vagina. Stroke your skin softly, glide gently over the surface very lightly. Or press your muscles, legs and arms, back of the neck with a little more pressure and release to help with blood flow and relaxation. Take time to tease the sensations, allow the energy to build, breathe and make sounds! Let your imagination and breath take you into sexual fantasy, watch or read erotica and porn to help ignite sensations and ideas. Notice what turns you on.
When it comes to porn and sexuality everyone is unique and so too are erotic interests and sexual limits. The things that turn a person on might be considered simple for one person and much more wide-ranging for others. People’s interests can change too, no one is static. Watch, read, and listen to what you enjoy in the moment. The same is true when having sex with a lover, do what you like to do. Be mindful of your hard and soft limits. It doesn’t matter if a magazine article or a porn site proclaims that this is the only way to do such and such. You know yourself best.
We fit differently with different partners. Some bodies just do not move well in certain positions. Sometimes angles need adjusting, they need to be tweaked for a better fit. Pillows, body rollers, and the use of furniture or a change of positioning can help with pleasure and comfort. But sometimes a position is not comfortable no matter what. If your lover watches porn and believes, for example, that all women enjoy reverse cowboy because he sees it on porn sites, he might assume that you love it too. Or maybe he thinks that he should enjoy it (but does not) because it’s what his men friends like and talk about. The solution is to be clear, be open, and communicate your likes and dislikes. Communicate the things you are willing to try. Do what you like. Do not put yourself into any situation or physical position that does not feel safe or good. If you are feeling afraid or uncomfortable, if you feel any pain, stop! Fear and discomfort will cause you to become emotionally and physically guarded and your arousal will retreat.
Do the things that feel pleasurable and fun, do what increases arousal. You know what you are comfortable with, you know what feels good and what does not. You know what you are willing to try with a lover. You are the one who knows what areas of your body you would like touched and how. If uncertain experiment carefully, communicate clearly, use a safe word for extra security. A safe word is a word agreed upon that when spoken indicates you want to slow down or stop immediately.
Breath awareness adds to sexual arousal
Awareness of breath, often combined with body movement of the spine, hips and pelvis, will amplify sexual arousal. At times the breath will shift without full conscious awareness that it has done so. Something subtle has shifted below the surface. The body and breath are the first to know and give clues before the mind becomes fully aware. Somatic therapies focus on this kind of interconnection and integration. Sensations, thoughts, even memories can be felt in the body before the mind is fully aware of what’s going on. Trust that your body knows. Once you and your breath acknowledge each other there is a far greater chance for pleasure to be amplified. Pay attention to your breath. Stay focused on and with your breath and body movements, no matter how subtle. Awareness of your breath and body will magnify arousal. Your breath will be heard, it will sound with excitement.
With breath comes sounds too. Let yourself sigh and make any noises that feel natural. When you notice your sounds and breath, when you are able to feel and hear yourself sigh and moan with pleasure, those are cues that increase your pleasure sensations. Play with stillness too, plus try very steady slow touches that give the body time to open like a flower, slow it waaaay down. When you are excited your breath will shift, you will hear the sound emerge from indie to out. Sometimes you may need to nudge your excitement by sounding and breathing before the spontaneous breath is ignited. You might feel as if the breath is coming from outside to in. Slow your movements and notice what you like, how it feels, notice how stillness can be very penetrating and arousing. And then experiment with fast motions for contrast. Most women report their arousal increases with slow and steady motion. Slow and steady builds toward orgasm. Sensations need to become activated, warmed, and build intensity, this can take time for most women. All of the skin can be arousing for many women. Caresses and touches to the back, thighs, fingers, shoulders, all of the skin can become electrified. When the warm-up builds and arousal increases that’s when the energy, the potential for orgasm is near.
Regarding herbs. If and when possible I try something first before making a recommendation, that way I am better informed and know first-hand how or if it works. I have experimented over the years with a number of supplements, remedies, vitamin/minerals, amino acids, powders, liquids, and capsules for various body-mind concerns. Plus libido enhancing formulas too. I am able to make recommendations to clients, family, and friends from my personal experience plus the research I do about supplements and medical trials to stay informed. I have also found that some individual and multi-ingredient formulas can be more effective than others, even the same ingredients manufactured from a different company can have different or better results.
Clients ask me what are the physical/behavioral changes they can make or what they can take to help improve their personal sensual/sexual health for themselves and their relationships. Is there something they can take or do to increase feelings of sensuality and libido? Recently I tried an herbal formula called, Zenofem. https://www.zenofem.com/. Zenofem is a multi-herb formula that has blended many herbs together known to enhance sexual health and vitality. Zenofem recommends a daily dosage of 3-capsules. I started by taking one for a few days and then two capsules a day. Even the lower dose created enhanced sensations. I noticed an increase in sexual thoughts and fantasy, an increase in sexual libido and intensity of orgasm. When trying herbal formulas I suggest starting with less and adding more if you feel a need. Some people are quite sensitive and should pace themselves when trying something new. I will post a fuller report after I’ve tried the recommended 3 a day dosage. The company claims their formula only needs to be taken for 3-6 months to make a lasting and noticeable improvement. There are reports that some women noticed positive responses as soon as 2-4 weeks after starting.
Use Lube: Try different kinds until you find what you like best. Lube makes all sexual experiences more comfortable, use it for solo and partner play with or without toys.
Explore different types of touch: Soft sensual massage, firmer touches, Entice the senses. Fragment oils, silk pillows.
Build sexual energy: Use your breath, make sounds, sighs, moans and body movement, pelvic hip rocking, etc.
Communicate clearly with a lover: Say what interests you. Learn what you like when playing solo and with a partner.
Discuss openly and clearly what you are curious about and your likes and dislikes.
Be clear about limits and discomfort.
Experiment with angles to make yourself comfortable and to help connect the pleasure spots. Tip the pelvis with use of pillows and props, lean over the edge of the bed, use chairs, or lean over the arm of a sofa.
Follow through, when something you’re doing feels good, stay with it, when masturbating or when with a partner. If it feels good then continue doing the same thing, do not suddenly change. Do follow through, especially if an orgasm is building. Do follow your intuitive sense of when and how to shift your touch or whether or not a toy would be helpful (vibrator, dildo, clit stimulator) would be to something if you. If you are experiencing the good feeling with a lover, say so, tell them to keep doing that, don’t change. A majority of women like the feeling of energy building with slow and steady motion
Herbs, Nutrients, Supplements, THC suppositories and spray.
Do Kegel exercises: Link to page with many resources here
Enjoy this fun song about female pleasuring, by Macy Gray.
“B.O.B.” by Macy Gray
“He fits like a glove
Always up for love
Steady like a caterpillar
Rabbit from a hat
He knows just where it’s at
Give me what I want
and I want that”