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What are some other sexual exercises?

Sexual exercises are often prescribed by the managing sexual healthcare professional or therapist and are used to reintroduce a couple to sexual exploration. Exercises may also enhance emotional connectedness and lead to a greater sense of emotional bonding.

According to the Sinclair Intimacy Institute, sensate focus exercises are a series of specific exercises for couples to perform that encourage each partner to take turns paying increased attention to their own senses. Sensate focus exercises can be used in therapy or at home and were originally developed by Masters and Johnson to help couples reconnect as they were experiencing sexual problems. These exercises, as well as the ones listed previously, can intensify personal sexual awareness and ultimately lead to increased connection and emotionality for couples.

A sensate focus exercise may be divided into several phases. Nonsexual stroking encourages both you and your partner to learn how to give and receive pleasure simply by touching each other's bodies; sexual penetration is discouraged and you should focus on caressing and pleasuring with a heightened sense of arousal and attentiveness. Increased awareness of sensations is paramount, and you both should take notice of body textures, temperatures, and contours while doing the touching. There is no pressure to perform need- or goal-oriented behavior such as orgasmic release, but you are encouraged to guide one another to sensual areas on your body and focus on pleasure and touch.

Sexual caresses and genital foreplay[1] include touching and exploring the genital area (including breasts for women) of each other and guiding each other as to what is pleasurable and what sensations are less exciting. Open shared communication is encouraged and desired in these exercises. The man should educate his partner about the touch and pressure he enjoys on his penis, and you should also educate your partner about your sexual needs and give feedback on caresses and touch. Sexual penetration is not encouraged during this exercise, so if an erection[2] occurs, it should be allowed to subside without orgasm and exercises should then be resumed. The Sinclair Institute discusses the ideas of the "hand riding" technique where you each place your hand on top of your partner's hand while being touched. This way you can indicate when you would like more or less pressure. You can also guide the rhythm to be faster or slower and even guide your lover to a different or erogenous or erotic body location.

Coital exercises are the next progressive step where you can engage in sexual penetration in a comfortable, nondemanding fashion and can continue to communicate and discuss sexual feelings and provide feedback to each other should issues or concerns arise. At some point, the female-on-top position is assumed and you can gently rub your partner's penis against your clitoral region, vulva, and vaginal opening. You may progress to putting his penis into your vagina if he has an erection, while focusing on the physical sensations. After completing several attempts at this stage, couples are usually comfortable enough to proceed to intercourse.

Sensate focus exercises can be wonderful and liberating sensual and sexual experiences whereby you have given yourself permission to experience and give pleasure.

  • [1] Sexual behavior engaged in during the early part of the sexual encounter, with the aim at intensifying sexual arousal or pleasure.
  • [2] The expansion and hardening or stiffening of the sexual organ; it may be the penis, clitoris, or nipples in response to sexual fantasy or stimulation.
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