ABCs of Arousal

May 10th, 2007

What is that “mood” thing anyway? I know it is in me somewhere- this secret passage that sometimes feels like a dark and narrow hallway with no windows or air and other times is like throwing open huge windows to a beautiful summer morning. Finding this space, where I am more in my body than in my mind is a journey. It is as unpredictable and changeable as I am. But I have been paying attention lately as I make my way into this mysterious room where fantasy and reality exchange clothes and I am transported out of my mind, my thinking, rational existence momentarily transforms into, well, something wild and untamed.

This is not a voyage for the timid- so it is not surprising that many women forgo the journey all together, or more typically, get lost on the way. So here are so tips I have been collecting in my own process that might help to navigate by-

First you have to decide that you’re not waiting for a mood, or some other sign to start your trip. The older we get, the more that the journey is self generated. You can’t depend on physical or emotional cues to lead you to arousal as our memory from youth would suggest, or the popular cultural idea of spontaneous attraction…

Second- You have to be willing to experience your physical body- for me, it feels like falling out of my head, into my body. Slowly, the layers of fatigue and stress lift, allowing the muscles fibers to let go, the creaks and moans of joints to be heard, the breath to deepen, the breast bone to fall back away from your heart. Often when I go through these layers, I find it totally remarkable that I don’t feel my body more in a day to day kind of way at all.

Third- engage your senses…use scented oils ( I like mine best, but any good essential oils blended in carrier oil will do) and feel the different textures of your body and your lovers. Smell how different bodies smell from arm to leg to chest… Use good lubricants to wake up your body memories of all that early self-lubricating that happened when we didn’t know what to do with it.

Fourth- Give yourself permission to abandon reason just for a little while. Turn off the thinking part of your brain and focus on feeling your body. Pleasure requires attention. It is there waiting to be felt.

Fifth- Experiment with fantasy. You don’t have to go to elaborate measures to do this- for me it was just letting myself even have those thoughts. My imagination, given free reign can create stories I never could have known lived in me, and ones that I still can’t repeat out loud…It’s okay, you don’t have to share them in order to enjoy them. You do have to allow them to pass through.

Okay, so there are some good ideas for your own experimentation. Arousal can happen to any of us – think of it like a mini-vacation from real life.

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