Some people feel a lot of anxiety about being intimate and having sexual intercourse. This may result in decreased desire, sexual arousal disorder, or erectile dysfunction. It is often helpful to take a step-by-step approach to overcome anxiety. One of the best and mutually satisfying ways to improve your sex life is to focus on the pleasures of touching.
One option is to learn how to give and receive a sensual massage. Sensual massage can help you and your partner:
An illustrated manual or book can be helpful. Here are some general tips:
Begin with the face. Normally the giver sits and the receiver lies flat on his or her back with the head resting on the giver's thighs. With the hands well lubricated, the giver begins with the chin, then strokes the cheeks, forehead, and temples. Explore the face as if you were a blind person meeting your partner for the first time. Then explore the ear lobes, lips, and the nose before returning to massage the temples for complete relaxation. Rest, talk about the experience, and reverse roles.
Massage the rest of the body tenderly and pay attention to your partner's feelings. Then reverse roles.
Sensate focus exercises were introduced by researchers Masters and Johnson to treat couples with sexual problems. The exercises are divided into 3 steps. Both partners should be comfortable with each step before moving to the next.
Schedule time when you can both be relaxed and comfortable. Partners take turns being the giver and the receiver.
Pay attention to just relaxing and enjoying it when you touch each other. Remember that it is possible to have a loving, intimate relationship without sexual intercourse. If you feel that your relationship needs more help, psychotherapy, treatment with medicine, and sexual counseling may be helpful.