To Explore Your Arousal: Make a Map, Then Get a GPS
Sexologists and sex educators often draw the cycle of an orgasm as a line chart – making sexual pleasure look more like a financial report than an erotic experience. While arousal and sensations are by no means a linear path – these charts can be useful to draw your attention to the patterns of your arousal.
Conventional wisdom says that women need a longer warm-up stage, a smooth and gradual uphill climb towards arousal and orgasm. Once there, women might have several orgasms, the top of their chart looking like a mountain range. Then, a nice downhill descent towards afterglow. Men, it is traditionally believed, have a sharp uphill climb – turned on by just about anything, one dramatic climactic peak and then a sharp fall downhill towards a soft penis and sleep. We’ve all seen these charts and perhaps experienced a similar arousal pattern.
If your arousal and orgasm are indeed a terrain of peaks and valleys – and if you were indeed able to chart your actual arousal, what would that chart look like? Would it be the same time after time, or dramatically different each time?
We propose a two-tooled system of exploring your own unique terrain of arousal. First, make a map. Getting to know a familiar path of arousal and climax is an excellent idea. It is a powerful thing to know what turns you on, what kind of touch stimulates you, how to reach climax most reliably, and what kind of afterglow you like best. Once you have it, you can show your map to your lover and give them the confidence to arouse you and satisfy you.
Arousal is a journey, an adventure – not a trip to the grocery store. Once you know your “sure thing” orgasm and have your map in your pocket, go off trail. Explore. But bring a GPS! With a GPS, you always know where you are and how to get where you want to go. This allows highway and byway exploring and spontaneous adventure.
For sex, your GPS is your awareness and attention. By choosing to pay attention to your arousal, mapping it into new terrain, you can play with new sensations and still know that you can find your way back to arousal and orgasm. You can begin learning new sexual techniques and skills, without the risk of giving up what already works for you.
If your lover tries something totally new – like scratching your inner thighs, giving you a foot massage, or (gasp!) suggesting something like prostate massage – you can try something new and simply pay attention. Do you like it? Does it take you closer or further away from climax? Or into another realm all together? Harder or lighter? What if they lightly stroked your thigh instead? What gets you off? What do you NEVER need to try again? Exploring is only fun when you are confident about how to get back home – to your trusted pleasures – when you need to.
As you approach orgasm, you can become aware of your own peaks and valleys – are you about to orgasm, what if you back away a bit, breathe deeply, and then begin building sensation again? With awareness and attention, you can explore the infinite variety of arousal and sensation available to you – and never get bored of traveling the same path to orgasm again and again. That map is always there for you should you want a clear and direct route – but for those days you want to travel and see the sites, simply pay attention and begin pioneering the unmapped terrains of your own sexuality.