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getting the touch you crave

Everyone knows what erogenous zones are, but it’s your own special sexy zones that can be the key to really satisfying sex, especially once you get into an established relationship. Making a SexSmartBodyMap© can amp up your sexual communication and help you get the touch you crave.

I consider touch to be the Ground Zero of Sexuality.

Research consistently shows that pleasurable touch is critical to women's sexual enjoyment. When you are in the lust stage of a relationship, when you are beginning to have sex with someone new, sex is easy. You are unbelievably excited to have this special, fascinating, and desirable person interested in you, and having exhilarating sex is a snap. I often say it’s like sledding down a steep snowy hill. “Whee—this is so much fun. Let’s do it again. So thrilling!” It’s literally electric without anyone doing anything in particular. Cool, right?

That’s because you have been dreaming and fantasizing about what’s going to happen when you get together with this person for hours, days, or weeks before sex starts. You’re self-seducing, having what you might consider “mental foreplay”—and you are so charged up mentally, emotionally, and physically that it does not matter what your partner does to you or how you are being touched; the whole sexual interaction is deeply arousing.

Incidentally, this is pretty much the only kind of sex that is portrayed in the movies or on TV. No one has to talk. No one has to ask for any kind of touching to start or change or stop. Total mind reading and synchronicity. Total perfection. Whatever happens, it is just unbelievably wonderful and deliciously stimulating.

Unfortunately for we humans, this lust-driven state of affairs does not continue forever. Anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D. has documented the science behind this sad fact. No sweat, mind-blowing sex with the same partner when you are being monogamous only lasts for two years at the most.

Are you in an ongoing, stable, monogamous relationship now? If so, my hope for you is that your sex not begin with having your genitals touched. I want you to get the touch you deserve so that you are first tingling with sexual energy from the top of your head to the tip of your toes.

This takes some doing. Sex therapists are fond of saying, “Men are microwaves; women are crockpots.” Think about yourself as potentially full of sexual electricity. Don’t try to start things unless that battery is charged. When life gets going, juicy sex with an established partner is much more challenging for women than it is for most men. There are many reasons for this, probably too many to even write down. But here are the primary culprits.

So when a monogamous relationship is solidified, that’s when having good enough touch and communicating the specifics of what you like is critical. As a sex therapist in the early 1990s, I learned the intimate details of how frustrating it is for a lot of women to get their touch preferences met.

I came up with the idea of having men and women patients draw and color a map that indicates how they would like to be touched by their intimate partners. I first described my BodyMap technique in SexSmart: How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life and What to Do About It, in 1998.

SexSmartBodyMaps© are incredibly helpful for sexual communication, and sexual communication is the number one ingredient for satisfying sex.

Here are the directions for drawing your SexSmartBodyMap©.

  1. Draw two rough outlines of your body. One is for the front of your body, the other is for the back. The drawing does not have to be artistic. It can just look like a gingerbread cookie. Honestly. The key is to color these rough outlines in, thinking about how you like to be touched.

Now, the maps you see here look really neat and perfect, but that’s only because I can’t show you the actual SexSmartBodyMaps© my clients draw for me, so I used templates. Trust me, ninety percent of my patients are as bad artists as you or me.

2. Think of your partner touching you. How would it feel? Color GREEN on any area in which you would love to be touched, RED on area where you do NOT want to be touched, ever; and YELLOW where how you feel about being touched “depends”

Make sure that every square inch of your front and back maps are colored one of the three colors. For the areas you colored yellow, make some notes about what the “depends” means. It is a good idea to make your special, intensely erogenous zones a darker green than the areas that you “like” being touched.

To get in tune with this exercise, try to notice the places you long to be touched during sex. These are often areas that are not considered “erogenous zones”. But you should consider them part of your erogenous zones.

If you were lucky enough to grow up in a loving family, these often are areas where an adult touched you lovingly, like on the top of your head, or your hair, or your back. Even if you did not grow up in a loving family, these special areas are places where someone touched you in a way that expressed nonsexual caring and tenderness. Or maybe they just are your idiosyncratic likes. In any event, own them as part of your treasured sexual template. Don’t cheat yourself out of great sex. Don’t be passive. Make sure you ask for the touch you are longing for.

Meanwhile, A Note of Caution:

There is such important information stored in our bodies. But most of us live in our heads, so sometimes the SexSmartBodyMaps© can be very startling. If you find that you have very little green but much yellow and red, it is a sign that you experienced some kinds of trauma that are stored in your body. As we say, “The issues are in the tissues.”

If you have large areas of yellow and significant areas of red, stop doing this exercise. You need to explore your sexuality in a safe way, with a trained mental health professional. You can find a sex therapist through an organization called AASECT.

To learn more about the SexSmartBodyMaps© concept, you may refer to my book “SexSmart: How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life and What to Do About It.”


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