And Now for Something Completely Different
Know what you want.
Do Something Different -- Something New continued...
Sex therapist Zilbergeld offers several exercises to help
figure out your sexual desires. One he calls "simmering," which
involves tuning into surges of sexual energy that typically occur throughout
the day, even for people who say they aren't aroused very much. When you're
aware of a sexual feeling, focus on it and develop a fantasy of what you'd like
to have happen, he says.
Every few hours during the day, bring the image to mind. This
works for both men and women, and doing Kegel
exercises -- squeezing your pelvic muscles as if you're trying to prevent
urination -- can increase sexual tone and pleasurable pelvic sensations for
both sexes, too. If you'd like to act on these feelings when you get home, make
a phone call to your partner to see if the timing is right.
What Are Your Own Special Requirements?
Another exercise recommended by Zilbergeld involves defining
your preferred "conditions" for good sex. Compare exciting sexual
encounters with those that weren't as satisfying, he suggests: Are there things
you enjoyed in the past that you'd like to try again? Do you need to have sex
at a certain time of day to enjoy it the most? Make a list of your conditions
and act on them. Some women say they get an erotic charge hearing their partner
utter the words: "I'll do the dishes." They could make doing the dishes
a condition for having sex.
From personal as well as therapeutic experience, Zilbergeld
says role-playing is a powerful way to increase arousal. Years ago, he was
involved with a woman who would start playing a role during sex, he writes in
The New Male Sexuality. "She would suddenly say something like, 'You
haven't been a good boy today, so you're not going to get any.' Since what we
can't have is infinitely more exciting than what we can, my passion immediately
skyrocketed, even though I knew she was only acting."
Role-playing, of course, must be mutually agreeable. If one
person finds another's role goofy or unappealing, negotiation is needed to find
a fantasy that both parties enjoy.
Cathy Williams says that her erotic map-making is never
finished, which is what makes it so exciting. "Sex is a wonderful part of
life," she says. "If you're not having a great sexual
relationship, allow yourself to explore and see what turns you on."