Exercise #1: The Visiting Dignitary
The goal of this exercise is to learn to treat yourself better than you usually do. We've given it this name because most people, if told that a special dignitary was coming for a visit, would make an extra effort to entertain that dignitary. Most of us pay little attention to creating a pleasurably sensual environment. And even if you already hold a high opinion of yourself and treat yourself accordingly, there is always something extra you can do to create a little more pleasure for yourself.
Imagine that a famous person-someone you admire-is coming to visit you. First, pick a place where you'll entertain your special guest. Now get the chosen area ready for your visiting dignitary. Clean up the space so it looks appreciably better. You don't have to sand the floors or polish the furniture or spend hours at the task; just make it as nice as possible in a reasonable amount of time.
As it turns out, the visiting dignitary is you. You are the special person on whom this attention is to be showered. While cleaning your chosen room or even beforehand, think of what you would like to use for pleasuring each one of your senses.
Choose an item whose fragrance you really enjoy. You can use scented oils, incense, a scented candle, a fragrant flower, perfume, or whatever you like. According to David Sobel and Robert Ornstein in Healthy Pleasures the sense of smell is our most ignored and under-appreciated sense. Smell is connected to the emotion-generating areas of our brain; both are located in the limbic system. Smell, therefore, can have a great subconscious influence on our moods, behaviors, and memories.
Select some of your favorite foods. Bear in mind that you do not want to consume a big meal before or during your sensual practice. You might make a fruit plate with your favorite seasonal delicacies, or choose a few pieces of chocolate-dark, light or truffles. Get something to drink. It could be your favorite juice, or a carbonated beverage. One glass of wine or champagne is the maximum, as alcohol desensitizes the nerve endings. It is also a good idea to use a flexible straw to make drinking easier, especially since your hands will be full of lubricant.
Now make sure that you have something you enjoy looking at. It could be a bouquet of flowers, a pretty candle, a beautiful painting, or a fireplace. You can use the same object for more than one sense.
To please your sense of hearing, listen to your favorite music. Some people make special tapes or program their CD players to play certain pieces. Other people have used sounds of birds outside their window, a running brook, or ocean waves splashing on a beach.
Find something that feels great to touch. It could be an item of silk, satin, or velvet clothing. It could be a smooth sculpture or a feather.
For your final sense, which is your conceptual thought, you can introduce any idea, concept, or entertainment that stimulates your eroticism. You can play a sexy video or read a romance novel or an erotic magazine . You can even use your own fantasy as a stimulant.
This exercise prepares you for the remaining exercises below. Once you have created your ideal sensual space for you, you are ready to continue. First, make sure you have a few necessary items: you will need a full-length mirror, a hand mirror, and your favorite lubricant. Make sure that you will not be disturbed for the duration of your special experience. Turn off the ringer on the phone, and put a sign on your door if you live with someone. Tell anyone who might enter your space that you wish not to be disturbed for the next hour or two.
Exercise #2: Visual Inventory
Now that you have your space prepared, it is time to take advantage of it. The goal of this exercise is to learn to like and even love the way you look.
The way to reach this goal is to look at yourself with admiring eyes. Usually, when we look at ourselves in the mirror, we look for what is wrong. We check for zits or bad hair; women might study their reflections for flaws in their makeup. In this exercise, you are to look at yourself only with admiration and appreciation. Look at yourself directly, using both the full length mirror and the handheld mirror.
We usually recommend doing this exercise in full light, but you can use candlelight if you find it more flattering. Start by looking in the mirror part of yourself that you like, and put your total visual attention there. You will find that you like likable things even more when you focus attention on them. Then move your attention to another area and appreciate it. Take your time and move from one part of your body to another. Look at the shape, color, and musculature—anything you like. Do not spend any time looking at an area if you don't like it, but remember that it is possible to change your mind about your body when you see it through admiring eyes. We knew someone who had a scar he'd always hated; doing this exercise, he found it beautiful and unique. This person learned to love what previously he could not stand. The more you get into the habit of viewing yourself with positive eyes, the easier it becomes.
Exercise #3: Tactile Inventory
The goal of this exercise is to learn how and where you prefer to be touched. We originally called it "pinch and scratch" because it calls for touching yourself all over your body with all kinds of touches. Anything is acceptable: light touches, firm touches, pinching, scratching with the nails, stroking with the back of the hand, and any other way of touching yourself that you can imagine. The only rule is that the touch be pleasurable. You can go as light or as heavy as you wish to test the limits of your pleasure. You'll find that different parts of your body like different types of pressure. You might prefer a light stroke on your nipple and a firmer one on your shoulder. Again, do this exercise for as long as it is fun and you enjoy it. You can take breaks whenever you desire; then try checking out a new and different touch after your break.
Exercise 4: Focal point Exercise
This is really part of your tactile inventory. The goal of this exercise is to deliberately tumesce, or sensually arouse, a selected area of your body. First, choose a sensitive spot on your body, such as a nipple, the inner elbow, a spot on your lip, or wherever. Then, with your hand, lightly stroke the area surrounding the selected spot. We recommend using concentric circles that approach and then move away from the spot over and over again, without touching the spot itself. A fairly quick and light stroke usually works best when you wish to increase the tumescence. As the tumescence builds, you will have the urge to touch the avoided spot. Continue teasing yourself as long as your sensation remains on this side of torture. When you cannot take it any longer, firmly rub the whole area, slowly, including the spot, to detumesce the area.
You can do this exercise on more than one spot. You can try out different lubricants to see how you like them. You can do one nipple with lubricant and the other without lubricant and compare the two sensations. Do as much or as little as you prefer.
Exercise #5: Masturbation ltself
When we assign this exercise in our class, we call it "masturbation for pleasurable effect." We tell the students they are not allowed to climax while they are doing their homework. The reason: lots of people masturbate to relieve tension, not necessarily to extend their pleasure over time. And most people feel pressure to have an orgasm as "proof” that they've succeeded, and we do not want to add to this pressure. The goal of this exercise is to have as much fun and pleasure as possible, and to extend this pleasure as long as possible through the use of peaking.
When you do the above exercises before masturbating, you are creating an atmosphere that makes you conducive to receiving the most pleasure from your body. By treating
yourself royally, with a nice space and lots of pleasurable stimulants around you, you treat yourself better than usual; this allows you to feel more. By doing the visual inventory, you learn to love yourself more, becoming more turned on to yourself and gaining new sex appeal. The combination of the visual and tactile inventories is meant to tumesce you into a higher state of pleasure. Then, when you begin to masturbate, you are primed for a great time. Even if you don't have much available time, still take the time to set up your space with a few extra touches, such as something tasty to drink or eat and some nice music. This takes only a few seconds; from there, you can go right into touching your erogenous areas.
Get into a comfortable position, such as lying on your back on a bed. use as many pillows as necessary to make yourself comfortable, so that you are relaxed all over and most of your energy can be used for feeling and touching your genitals. Make sure your drink, lubricant, and towels are nearby.
If you have done all the exercises described above,you are probably tingling by now. Take your time and lightly play with your pubic hair and vulva area. Get it feeling so good down there that your clitoris is itching to be touched. You cannot tease yourself as well as someone else can, but you still can have a lot of fun playing. Choose your clitoris as the focal point; touch everything around it except the clitoris itself. Sometimes you may want to forego the teasing and go straight for your spot to get the orgasm on a fast track. Again, the choice to do this depends on how much time you wish to spend and how tumesced you feel. If you're taking it slowly, lubricate as much of your vulva as you wish, excluding the clitoris, which you are still teasing and holding out on. If
you are taking the fast track, then make sure your clitoris is lubricated, too.
Touch yourself—on the clitoris or elsewhere—to feel the most pleasure you can at that moment. Once you've reached your favorite spot on the clitoris, usually by pulling back on the hood with your palm, it is best to choose one continuous type of stroke, using your index or middle finger on your favorite spot. For most women, that favorite spot is the upper left quadrant of the clitoris. We recommend a short up-and-down stroke.
If you have another favorite area, it is fine to touch and peak yourself there, but we would like you to at least check out the upper left quadrant of your clitoris at some point during this exercise.
Some women may be used to masturbating with a different type of stroke or with a vibrator. This new up-and-down stroke on the left side may not, at least at first, feel as good as your old way of doing it. The goal of this masturbation exercise is pleasure, and although we do want it to feel as good as possible to you, we're also asking you to explore and possibly to find a new and better way to do it. Vibrators, although efficient in the production of an orgasm, tend to numb your clitoris to the touch of your own or someone else's hand and to any kind of stimulus except a vibrator. Therefore, unless you are married to your vibrator and do not want to have other lovers or to experience the most pleasure from your own hand, we think you're best served by moving away from your reliance on it.
In addition to doing the stroke described above, feel free to touch any part of your vulva or clitoris that feels good to you. If you never have masturbated or are used to a vibrator, your clitoris and entire vulva area may not feel much sensation at first. There are a lot of nerve endings in this area, however, so if you put your attention on the stroke, you will be able to feel something. It may not be as much or as intense as you had hoped for, but approve of any sensation that you do feel. Keep doing the same stroke over and over, as long as it feels good.
When you have had enough of one stroke, take a break or start doing another stroke. The moment that you sense that the next stroke will be even slightly less exquisite than the last, you have peaked, or reached the highest point in that orgasmic cycle. At this point, experiment with deliberately taking the orgasm down a notch or two; you do this by changing the stroke.
Feel free to do whatever you can think of that feels good. Check out different parts of your clitoris. Check out touching yourself with different speeds and different pressures. This is your time to research the entire gamut of possible sensations. Find out what you like best. You can play with your labia and perineum while simultaneously stroking your clitoris. Play with yourself as long as you like. You are not rubbing to set time records, but for the fun of it and to learn how you like to be touched. Peak yourself often, and see if you can take yourself higher than before.
As you do this exercise, it's likely that you may feel more—or at least differently—than you did when you masturbated in the usual, "tensed-up" state. Remember that you're learning about a different kind of orgasm: an EMO. Notice and approve of every stroke, and see if you can feel any contractions or other signs of orgasm. Check to see if you can feel that first stroke and be in orgasm from the start of the exercise. Remember that the immediate goal is to feel pleasure, not to put yourself under stress or to imagine that you have to feel "a certain amount" or else feel like you've lost. The ultimate goal may be to have a long and intense orgasm, but the best way to get there is with small, approving steps.
Drs. Vera and Steve Bodansky have been students and teachers of sensuality and relationships for over 25 years. Their workshops are based on their expertise in the field of extended orgasm and they have trained hundreds of men and women in the practice of EMO. Vera and steve have been married since 1983 and have been working together exclusively since that time.
Their most recent book, Instant Orgasm, was released in May of 2008.
For more information or to contact them, visit www.extendedmassiveorgasm.com.