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Cultivating Arousal

“Orgasm is what happens when the body takes over.” -Betty Dodson

Our orgasmic potential begins with our capacity and curiosity to explore our arousal mechanism. Recent studies have actually 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. Our trained attention and willingness to practice ensures development.


Our arousal mechanism lives in the brain, specifically the limbic area of the brain, conveniently co-located with our olfactory center. This means that our sense of smell invigorates our emotional process, our memory store and our sexuality. 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 are all about the freshly bathed aroma. Whatever your preference, know that our olfactory system is our primary sense when it comes to attraction. Throughout history, our sense of smell has been the leader when it comes to the art of mating. Use it to your advantage.

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.

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.

The art of lovemaking happens as you extend the space between arousal and orgasm.   Learning about the kinds of touch sensations and buildup that lead you to the point of no return is a worthy endeavor. That information can be invaluable in your coupled sexuality as you are able to identify that line and introduce other forms of touch, scent or breath to extend the time you love. I have long been an advocate of waiting as long as you can to surrender into your orgasm. The longer you wait, the more power and energy is built up and the sweeter the release. Tantric techniques suggest moving up and down this arousal tunnel, coming close to your orgasmic edge without going over as a spiritual practice…  Quite the meditation practice.

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 pain -less 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.

Arousal is your body’s natural mechanism for exploring pleasure. It is a gift that we are all born with; learn about yours and be amazed at what a close friend it is to orgasm.