Like life itself, full-body pleasure begins with Breath.
While there may be a tendency to rush to fancy sex toys or explore ancient tantric techniques in an attempt to awaken more pleasure in the body, the simplicity of bringing more focus to the breath cannot be over-emphasized. In general, great leverage exists in bringing intentional awareness to processes that would normally be unconscious or automatic.
Our breath presents a perfect opportunity to begin working with a fundamental, life sustaining process that’s ordinarily unconscious, and choosing instead to make it conscious and deliberate.
TRY IT OUT:
Following breath, the next step to opening to full-body pleasure is Sound.
From the time we are children, many of us learn to mask our true feelings. We’re told to be “appropriate”, to be quiet, to stifle the fullest expression of our voice. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get any better as our sexuality comes on line; we learn to be quiet while we’re engaged in sexual pleasure for fear of being caught. Shame, whether personal or collective, generally is the culprit that has us attempting to get off while we’re tight-jawed and ever-so silent. The only way around this very common block is to simply start making some noise! Even if it causes discomfort for us, even if it feels scary, we need to start voicing our pleasure because no substitute for this expression exists.
TRY IT OUT:
The third step in accessing full-body pleasure is Movement.
When we move our bodies, we free up more energy and life force to flow through us, including sexual pleasure. In the process of shaking our bodies, releasing tension, and opening up more space, our internal environment moves into greater and deeper stillness.
Widening our capacity for feeling pleasure in movement — whether in stillness, through hip undulations, blissful spinning oblivion, or any space in between, is an important aspect of accessing the power of movement. Hard and fast does not feel nearly as good if we don’t know how to experience pleasure in the slow and smooth, or the deep and still. If we only explore one aspect of movement, be it solo or in partner sex, we can actually begin diminishing our capacity to feel more nuanced aspects of pleasure.
This step of movement goes beyond moving our physical bodies and includes moving our breath and sound. After we begin exploring our breath and sound and opening these aspects through the body, we can begin noticing how each breath is flowing through us — moving sensation, moving energy, moving pleasure.
If we aren’t experiencing much sensation to begin with, we can direct our attention towards our breath and sound, and intend for these currents to move through our whole body. We can imagine that we are breathing and making sounds directly into our vagina.
Notice how this feels… and then move on, directing your sound and breath to various parts of the body and allowing it to migrate. You may discover that some areas of your body more immediately respond with sensation, others may feel somewhat numb at first. This is all an exploration, so make it fun and be light and curious in your process. Seriousness does not win us any points when it comes to exploring full-body pleasure!
As more breath and pleasure open in your body, you may even find your body naturally beginning to move. Pelvic rocking, undulations, flowing movements of spine… these are all juicy movements to explore. If you find you’re feeling somewhat shy or stuck when it comes to moving your body, or if movement doesn’t naturally follow you opening your breath and sound, you can always explore movement more head-on.
TRY IT OUT:
As you explore deeper aspects of your breath, sounds, and movement, make sure you set up private time to regularly engage with this practice. Roughly 10 minutes per step is minimum, but taking longer opens up more possibilities to feel even deeper pleasure. As you can see, all three steps fit together naturally, and ultimately can be explored together as one experience. They’re wonderful elements to explore in your solo practice, and in partner play. This being said, creating a solo practice is key and greatly supports any partner connections and explorations.
It can be useful to give yourself some space after you conclude your exploration to reflect on how it was for you. You can even have a pleasure journal and make some notes. What was new? What felt good? What felt uncomfortable? Any insights? Anything you know you want to explore next time? As you continue to practice these different steps and open to full-body pleasure, it can be useful to refer back to your journal as a feedback mechanism. This can help you see the progress you’ve made, and refocus on what best supports your pleasure practices.
With each of the steps, deep presence is key. In order to experience full-body pleasure, we must fully drop into our body. The gateway to fully inhabiting our body is through presence. Breath, sound and movement are all mechanisms that draw us into the present moment. If at any point you find yourself disconnecting from sensations in your body, or find your mind wandering, come back to stillness, and pause in the sanctuary of your own heart. From that space, return to deepening breath, expressing sound, and flowing movement.