Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

How to Turn Yourself On: Tips for Erotic Living

Get your head in the game, and your body will follow.

Key points

  • The first step in creating pleasure in and out of the bedroom is to cultivate a pleasure mindset.
  • Pleasure is not a luxury; it's a necessity for overall wellbeing.
  • Healthy hedonism is anything that feels good to an individual and is good for that person. It primes the pleasure mindset.

Pleasure is not a luxury; it’s a necessity for overall wellbeing. The subtitle of my book says it all: Understanding the Neuroscience of Pleasure for a Smarter, Happier, and More Purpose-Filled Life.

The Pleasure Mind Set

Designate time and space for feel-good fun. Block off a few hours each week to harness your attention and cultivate a healthy hedonism practice.

Healthy Hedonism

Healthy hedonism is anything that feels good and is good for you. It needn’t involve masturbation or sex of any kind. Good sex–even with ourselves–starts outside the bedroom, and healthy hedonism primes the pleasure mindset.

Turning On Starts With Tuning Into Your Capacity for Pleasure

If you have trouble sorting out how to prime your pleasure pump, just stay with the question: I wonder what could feel good and be good for me?

When we pose these kinds of questions, they can cook up in the crockpot of our awareness, stimulating our inner resources such that the creative juices–and new solutions–bubble up.

Start a Regular Self-Attunement Practice to Connect More Deeply With You

What’s on your mind? What’s going on in your body? How’s your emotional weather? By listening to your own being, you will be more able to tap into what you want and need. Listen to your fantasies, fears, wishes, and dreams.

Get Turned On by Life

Eroticism starts with having a passion for living. Our lives might be a bit curtailed in times of challenge, but our imaginations can run free. Virtually explore: Learn something new, dive into an interest or curiosity. Engaging our seeking system–a wired in core emotion powered by dopamine–will dial up our lust for life.

Create an Atmosphere of Seduction in Your Bedroom, Just for You

Nice clean sheets, a new comforter or blanket, soft lighting, candles, and incense can all help set the stage for the intention to celebrate pleasure.

Music primes joy. Create a mix of your favorite songs that get you in the mood. Play it for your partner when the opportunity arises.

Turn Off Social Media, Put Down the Smartphone, and Be Present

It’s the first requirement of getting turned on. Get your head in the game and your body will follow.

Focus on The Body

Turn on your body’s master hormone machine–the hypothalamus–which regulates everything, including our appetites for food and sex, our moods, even our waking and sleep cycles. Not getting enough natural sunlight has contributed to obesity, depression, anxiety disorders, and stress worldwide.

Fun fact: Did you know that sunlight goes directly from the back of the eye to the hypothalamus?

Walk outside for 15 minutes at least two times per day.

Do yoga. Do it by yourself or better yet with your partner. Focusing on the breath and the energy in the body is a fantastic way to get into an erotic frame of mind.

Strengthen the Connections Between Your Body and Brain’s Pleasure Centers

Experiment with learning how to play your own pleasure keyboard!

As my research has shown, our bodies are wired for pleasurable sensations. You can dial up the volume of your sensations by strengthening the pleasure pathway, and repeated stimulation is key. Remember, neurons that fire together wire together.

The various parts of the clitoris correspond to some keys on the pleasure keyboard, while the vagina, cervix, and nipples have deep resonance on their own. And for men, our research has shown the same is true in regard to the shaft and glans of the penis, testicles, and scrotum.

We also have pleasure keys corresponding to areas adjacent to the genitals such as thighs, buttocks, and the small of the back.

Additional pleasure keys are wired to your non-genital erogenous zones such as lips, mouth, ears, and neck.

When you focus on specific keys, the sensations can differ. Connect the dots between pleasure places. When you play a number of these keys together, the sensations can blend, combine, and merge, into a crescendo.

Use Your Mind and Imagination to Turn Up the Volume on Pleasurable Sensations From Your Genitals.

My research participants lighted up their brain’s pleasure centers by just thinking about genital stimulation! For more details and instructions, see my good sex tool, Touch Plus Imagery.

Harness the Power of Relationship

Connect, connect, connect! From “hi there” to “hello, handsome,” the erotic begins with connection.

Start with your relationship with yourself. When you practice self-attunement, you’ll prime your pleasure pump.

Whether walking in the park or socially distancing in a store, when you're out, harness the fine art of small talk. A smile, a greeting, a casual but pleasant interaction have all been shown to boost mood, a great way to enhance our mojo.

Sizzle up Your Interactions.

Creating ongoing sexual potential and lifelong turn-on involves being willing to take risks with partners. Learn to be even more intimate, courageous, and assertive in our relationships. Couples who learn how to take risks by penetrating each other’s psyches keep learning and growing together.

Get more playful. Play is the source of a great deal of our social joy and pleasure, and for most adults, this gets severely squashed. Play is so beneficial by building resilience and enhancing our ability to cope with stress, that it’s worth devoting time and energy to figure out what you would like to do simply because it’s fun.

Summing It All Up

Pleasure and play–in and out of the bedroom–are keys to a life worth living!

References

.Wise, N. J., Frangos, E., & Komisaruk, B.R. (2017)Brain activity unique to orgasm in women: An fMRI analysis. The journal of sexual medicine, 14(11), 1380-1391.

Wise, N. J., Frangos, E., & Komisaruk, B. R. (2016). Activation of sensory cortex by imagined genital stimulation: an fMRI analysis. Socioaffective neuroscience & psychology, 6(1), 31481

Wise, N. (2020). Why Good Sex Matters: Understanding the Neuroscience of Pleasure for a Smarter, Happier, and More Purpose-filled Life. Houghton Mifflin.

Allen, K., Wise, N., Frangos, E., & Komisaruk, B. (2020). Male urogenital system mapped onto the sensory cortex: functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence. The journal of sexual medicine, 17(4), 603-613.

advertisement