In a previous post, we began exploring ways to engage all our senses when we make love. Today, we pick up where we left off.
Sight. Of all the senses, we humans rely heavily on eyesight. So why do we make love in the dark? Under the covers? With our eyes closed? Granted, we feel we look better in the glow of moonlight rather than the glare of incandescence. And closing the eyes helps us concentrate on the action at hand. Or mouth. Or whatever.
But we could use—or not use—our eyesight strategically to increase the pleasure of lovemaking.
To pleasure the sense of sight, make everything having to do with sex look beautiful. For example, that tray of aphrodisiacs we mentioned earlier should look as sensuous as it tastes. Your bedroom—or wherever you make love regularly—should be inviting, even sumptuous. Get rid of the clutter. Move the pictures of the kids to your office. Incorporate warm, sensuous colors and finishes. Use light strategically. Make it a pleasure to see and to be in.
The other way to deal with eyesight is not to use it. Eliminating one sense heightens the sensitivity of the others. Blindfold your partner and stimulate his or her sense of touch or smell in surprising ways. Touch with feathers or fur. Tease and back off. Not knowing what will happen next intensifies the experience.
Hearing. This is another of our sense that we don’t use enough during lovemaking. We’ll expand on this idea in a future post, but for now, think of ways to incorporate soothing, sexy, or energizing sound into the bedroom ritual.
Obviously, music is a powerful way to calm or motivate or rouse emotion. Use it as a pleasing tool during lovemaking to “get out of your head” or to bring yet another layer of sensuality to sex. You could also use the sounds of nature: pattering rain, bird calls, the womblike whoosh of the ocean. Experiment with sound and music to find what enhances and adds pleasure.
Some people also find it erotic to talk during lovemaking—erotically, lovingly, or sluttishly—whatever turns you on.
You might try reading aloud to each other—to get in the mood or to wind down after. This works best if you really know and love the piece rather than if you’re stumbling through it for the first time.
Remember how soothing and intimate it is to be read to? Read to your partner as an act of love. Poetry is especially powerful in its expression of emotion, passion, love, ardor, and beauty in ways that are lovely to hear. Plus, the lyric quality and rhythm blurs the line between poetry and music. And love is a common theme of poetry. She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron brings me to tears. Or try the soaring How Do I Love Thee? by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. What poem do you love? Share it with your lover.
Touch. This, of course, is the king of the sexual senses. In this realm, the skin is one, big sex organ, tingling with nerve endings and alive to sensation. Bring a variety of textures and temperatures to your sexual routine. Alternate heat and cold on your lover’s skin. (Ice your hands, touch your partner’s skin, then warm them and touch again.) Use warming lubes, introduce bedsheets with different textures. Check out products to enhance touch in our online shop.
You could try out some 50 Shades action and tie your lover’s hands with a necktie or some nonstick bondage tape. Then you can have your way with him or her, touching wherever and however you want.
Sex, and all of life, is a sensual experience. Think creatively and lovingly in ways to engage all your senses, and I’m betting the sex will be more varied, pleasurable, intense, and fun. Plan an experience that will engage as many senses as possible. A sampler tray of aphrodisiacs, for example, should also appeal to the eye. Sensual linens and clothing can be beautiful to look at, as well to touch.
Or plan an encounter that focuses on one sense at a time—a crescendo of music, a cascade of scent, a blind taste test of lusciousness.
Above all, savor. The senses can’t be rushed. Plan a rendezvous that gives you time to indulge, to nibble, sample, sniff, listen, and feel. It doesn’t all have to happen at once. Or the same way. The senses offer a cornucopia of surprise and delight. In this realm, your only limit is your imagination.
Unleash your creativity and harness the power of your senses. Not only will the sex be better, but maybe you’ll sharpen your senses for the rest of life as well.
Dr. Barb DePree, M.D., has been a gynecologist and women’s health provider for almost 30 years and a menopause care specialist for the past ten.