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Decreasing Sexual Anxiety & Increasing Pleasure For Women

How to help women feel more comfortable and open to intimacy and sex.

LightField Studios/Shutterstock
Source: LightField Studios/Shutterstock

Many clients I see privately for sex therapy suffer from sexual anxiety, decreased arousal, lack of orgasm during intimacy or sexual pain. This is my go to treatment plan for couples looking to increase the woman's pleasure and decrease her anxiety during intimacy.

One of the oldest treatment methods in sex therapy is a practice called Sensate Focus.

Sensate Focus aims to decrease anxiety through physical touch that gradually turns into sexual touch. It allows the receiver to feel like they are in control of the touch by providing feedback to their partner who is touching them as well as giving them the choice of how quickly they want to progress with each step.

Instructions For Sensate Focus to Decrease Anxiety and Increase pleasure of the Female Partner (for both Heterosexual and Lesbian Couples):

Start wherever feels comfortable. Add only one step at a time. Aim to start with two 20-minute sessions per week per step and gradually lengthen towards four 40-45 minute sessions as you increase physical activities. A step is completed when both partners say they feel comfortable with it and are ready to move on to the next step. On average, each step should be practiced 2-6 times with the more sexual steps being practiced more.

The goal is to feel relaxed and calm during each step. Make sure you set an ambiance in the room by playing music or dimming the lights. You can wear light clothing when you begin the steps and then graduate to taking off your clothes by the time intercourse is nearing.

Step 1. Holding hands

Step 2. Hugging

Step 3. Hugging and caressing non-sexual body parts with clothes on while on couch

Step 4. Hugging and caressing non-sexual body parts with clothes on laying down in a bed (massage)

Step 5. Kissing. If this does not feel comfortable at this time, it can be skipped and returned to once the woman feels more comfortable and aroused.

Step 6. Touching breasts on top of clothes

Step 7. Removing shirts and touching breasts on top of bra

Step 8. Caressing breasts

Step 9. Touching female genitals on top of clothing

Step 10. Touching outside area of female genitals

Step 11. Inserting one finger into vagina

Step 12. Inserting two fingers into vagina

Step 13. Optional: Oral sex on female partner. This is not essential but can be added to increase pleasure and enjoyment.

Step 14. Vaginal penetratation

Note: Pleasure both manually and orally on the male partner is optional around stages 10-14.

Lisa’s Rule of Thumb for Success

During the exercises, the client is:

  • Relaxed
  • In Control
  • Aroused (in early steps, pleasant feelings)
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