- Gender and Relationships»
- Romantic Intimacy
Sensate Focus Exercises
Intimacy Performance Exercise
Sensate Focus exercise technique was first developed in the mid 1970’s by Dr. William Masters and Dr. Virginia Johnson. After years of researching intimacy behavioral phobias in sexually traumatized patients, they began noticing common patterns among their adult patients. After a decade of collecting scientific data, they started to implement certain relationship scenario exercises for patients in active relationships.
What they stumbled upon was a two step, multidimensional, developmental, technique. The proven Sensate Focus techniques have now helped thousands of men and women, overcome performance pressure anxieties, and disconnectedness issues often found in people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. In the research study, comparing men and women, both male and females shared the same experience of self empowerment, while experiencing an increase in intimate arousal and achieved climax. Sensate Focus is a behavioral program which mostly involves couples. Couples are asked to complete relationship building homework assignments, in the form of verbal communication and structured touching.
Hoping To Be Touched Again
How Sensate Focus Works
- The key component to the Sensate Focus technique is opened lines of communication.
- Each exercise activity, usually involves a recommended forty minutes of participation. It is a touching and speaking exercise, which has been designed to break the mold, and help the injured party express to their mate, what does or does not give them intense pleasures. The paired partnership will then take turns touching each other in very specific ways.
- During the initial stages of the Sensate Focus technique, a couple should select who is to go first beforehand. It was discovered that more often than not, the injured party chooses to go last. This is perfectly normal and allows the injured party to rebuild their foundations of trust, in which was stolen from them during the moments of the traumatized event. However, couples who have lost their sense for communicating between each other, are advised to draw straws. Sometimes just picking who will be first, can be a traumatic experience but just realize, it does not have to be.
- Once a couple has decided on who should go first that person should lay down on a bed, or someplace that is not intimidating to them. Some people prefer to sit on a couch or in a reclining chair. It does not really matter where the exercise takes place, as long as it is a comfortable and private spot.
- Depending on how severe or traumatic the situation was for the individual, evaluate the situation between yourselves, and for the first exercise at least, remain partially or totally clothed. There is nothing written in stone here people. Nowhere does it state, that the Sensate Focus has to be done with all persons naked, the first time they try it! Remember, time is on your side. Even though you maybe really frustrated inside with how your private relationship has been going, remember time is on your side. Before you even try to go on to the next step, make sure all parties involved are absolutely comfortable with how it is going so far. Once a comfort level has been established, the one chosen to go first, is the one who begins touching their mate.
- NO touching of the personal and private areas are allowed, during the first few initial exercises. It defeats the whole purpose of this exercise. Abstain from bedroom intimacy activity. This does not include kissing, holding hands or hugging. What is the point in having, yet another bad intimate experience? All closely-intimate activities need to be curtailed, until the course is completed. Having intimate relations now, before someone is (truly) ready, only defeats any long terms goals that you or your mate have set.
- Continue to touch your partner's hands, face, neck, legs, arms, back, hair, etc..., for the full twenty minutes. Set a timer.
- When that 20 minutes is over, change roles... Continue on with exercise until both of you are comfortable. A full two weeks of intimate touching in the buff is suggested, before true intimate contact is made between you two.
- Then relax, talk about what was points were erotic and how the experience made you feel.
Once a comfortable level has been established and touching is no longer an issue, try different positions. Try laying together in the spooning position first. Apply the same basic principles that were established with the touching exercise, only this time it is full body contact.
Having personally experienced this activity, my advice is to spend that twenty minutes concentrating on your partner's hands, face, neck, leg muscles and feet. You will be amazed at what you will learn about your partner during this process. What I discovered about my husband was that he loved the softness of my lotion hands. He had not ever noticed before how well kept and soft my fingertips and hands were. I discovered a couple new ticklish spots that he himself, did not know he even had. It also gave me an opportunity to become comfortable with the size of my body. After having our son Zachary, I gained 74 pounds. I felt ugly inside myself, and uncomfortable in my new overgrown body. I made that poor fella wait a total of seven months, after the baby was born, before we had any relations again. It was terrible when it happened. I would say that it was easily the worse experience I had ever had. I felt like I had be violated. Nevertheless, once we completed this exercise I felt rejuvenated and alive.