‘I tell you, the more I think, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.’ Vincent Van Gogh
The arousal response is your body’s natural mechanism for accessing pleasure. Although often confused with the genital swelling that accompanies our arousal response, the ignition for our arousal lives in the sexiest organ of our body- our brain.
Specifically, in the limbic area of the brain, which also processes memory and emotion and is conveniently co-located with our olfactory bulb, which explains why our sense of smell invigorates our emotional process, our access to memories as well as our feeling of being turned on. Truly, your orgasmic potential begins with your ability to cultivate your arousal mechanism. Interesting studies have demonstrated that working with your physical arousal response can actually instigate sexual desire, rather than the reverse of waiting for desire to jumpstart arousal. This is heartening news because tapping into and enlarging our capacity for arousal is no different than developing any other physical response. So in preparation for the love holiday, here are four helpful tips to get acquainted with and befriend your arousal mechanism.
- Focus through the nose
Trust your sense of smell to excite you and indulge your olfactory in whatever scents turn you on. Napoleon was notorious for requesting his wife not wash for a week when he was coming home, whereas other people may be all about a freshly bathed aroma. Whatever your preference, know that our olfactory system is our primary sense when it comes to arousal. Cleopatra famously coated her sails in rose oil to get Mark Antony’s attention (it is said to have halted the war for a few days). Seriously though, I credit my development of Love Oils as one of the keys to unlocking my sexual arousal and pleasure mechanism. Scent is also the gate that unleashes our access to fantasy—the rocket fuel for passion.
- Get moving
Although arousal originates in the limbic brain, it is decidedly a visceral experience. Our bodies are built for motion and nowhere is this more useful than in sexual exploration. Although this may seem like stating the obvious, it is surprisingly not a small percentage of people who tense up and stop moving in their sexual activity. Realize too that there is so much more than hip thrusting to experiment with. Interacting with all of your limbs, rolling your neck and stretching into new positions can trigger arousal points that you didn’t know you had. Perhaps the biggest motivations for adding strengthening exercises to your life is because of the benefits it brings to your orgasmic potential. Being able to hold onto someone you love from the inside will make you feel both strong and sexy.
- Use the breath
Another easy access point to developing the arousal mechanism is to become conscious and deliberate about our breathing. Focused attention on breath in sexuality can bring life and orgasm into focus like nothing else. These practices are foundational to ancient tantric practices. Experiment with both long, slow breaths and short, quick inhalations, and notice how your breathing affects your connection to your body, your lover and your orgasmic possibilities. Try changing your breathing pattern and see how it transforms the experience. Making an agreement with your partner to synchronize your breathing and movement is a remarkably simple process, which can have a profound impact on lovemaking. Refocusing your breathing will not only deepen your connection, but also expand your access to orgasm.
- Get wet
Arousal messages also come through our body as genital secretions. Yet, as many as a third of all women do not have a strong natural lubricating response. This often translates into low libido and disinterest in sex. After years of birthing and nursing babies, I have all but lost my natural lubricating response, which largely motivated me to invent healthy products to begin with. Imagine how heartened I was to discover that a small application of great, clean lubricant would kick start the arousal cycle as well as my memory of natural lubrication did. Not only that, but adding healthy lubricant ingredients ensures painless friction, more time to experiment and is a critical companion to experiencing orgasm. I would be hard-pressed to not admit to making the best lubricant on the market, but many people enjoy other types of lubricants, so find what is best for your body.
The art of lovemaking happens as you extend the space and time between arousal and orgasm. Learning about the kinds of movement, scent, touch sensations and breath that can lead you to the point of no return is a worthy endeavor.