Relearning Pleasure Patterns

Create your new sexual reality

Issue #28

By Vivienne Arkell

“Shut your eyes and picture each scene as clearly as you can. Try to recall the colors, the smells, your surroundings. If possible, remember the reactions you had: your feelings and thoughts.” Queries Vivienne Cass, asking us to recall our first sexual encounter in her thorough guide The Elusive Orgasm.

Let’s face it. Women aren’t often encouraged to explore their own bodies. What do you know about yourself and what pleases you sexually? Perhaps you are one of the enlightened who deeply understands her body and its carnal desires. Yet/but many think lovers or husbands are supposed to know what personally turns us on, even if we don’t.

Have you ever stopped to notice what you like? Cass confirms that conditioning by prior habits and fantasies definitely affects how we approach our sexual pleasure in later years. Do you like a firm approach or the soft touch? Do you have different moods in different situations? Do you get aroused when your nipples are touched? Do you need other parts to be touched to feel sexy? Past sexual experiences, especially our first, can have a powerful influence on how we react sexually now,” reminds Cass. Her book covers multiple scenarios, asking readers to be real about answering the workbook pages honestly.

The time is ripe for reviewing your past turn-ons and patterns. Are there things you don’t like anymore or would like to change? “Perhaps you’ve always masturbated (and had an orgasm) using a firm pressure, and this habit has taught you to enjoy a firm touch, rather than gentle stroking,” asks Cass, adding, “You may indeed be hooked on your vibrator.” Are you worried about pleasing your partner vs. pleasing yourself? No need to be disheartened or stress about the past. Cass has great news:

What all this means is that sexual patterns can be learned. Any sexual activity, thought, fantasy, type of person, or situation that arouses you sexually will become a part of your Turn-On List if used or repeated often enough.

If your past wasn’t perfect, create your new sensual reality. Certified sex therapist Laurie Watson notes that as “a product of positive messages about sexuality, a young woman retains a natural curiosity about nakedness and touch.” Yet if your past was not full of openness or positivity, don’t dismay. Shape and practice a new reality to savor sensuality. Within your renewed practice of pleasure, learn to explore sensuality without inhibition. Create new modes of sexual expression that work for you personally, as well as with your lover. Watson encourages women “to bring this natural, unashamed part into adulthood, approaching sex with playfulness, joy and love. She abandons herself to the pleasure of touching and being touched.”

“You are the only one who can truly be an expert on your own sexual arousal,” Cass declares. Become an expert in pleasure! Give yourself permission. Reconnect with your body and create your own new pleasure patterns.

To learn more about this book and other recommendations, visit the bookshop.

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