Boston Sex Therapist Dr. Aline Zoldbrod shares her great technique.
Great sex is easy when you're in the lust stage of your relationship. But great sex becomes more mysterious once you become an item, and just thinking about being with your partner no longer drives you insane with longing. At that point, (particularly for women) getting the kinds of touches that make you feel loved, secure, and relaxed are the key to arousal and sexual pleasure.
The Body Map exercise is a great way to enhance sexual communication and make sure that you both are getting the kinds of touch you crave (Zoldbrod, 1998, SexSmart).
How To Create Your Body Map
- Make an outline of your body, front and back. Don't worry about making it accurate. Just draw it with about as much precision as you would the outline of a gingerbread cookie!
- Color the Body Map in according to how you would like to be touched by your beloved during a romantic and close interlude.
Use this code(You can keep this color scheme straight by thinking of a traffic light.):
Green: Touch me here anytime, I love it.
Yellow: It depends — sometimes I like this, sometimes not.
Red: No. Stop! I don't want to be touched here anytime.
When you're done drawing your Body Maps, date them. And now it's time to "unpack" the secrets of your touch template for each other. This is often a very wonderful process, so don't cut it short. Also know that it can actually be an difficult process, because for many people, upsetting feelings are stored in the body.
Decoding the Body Map
You want to explain to each other what all the colors mean. It's not self evident unless your whole body is green.
For a woman, areas colored yellow can be yellow for many reasons. One common reason a woman's area is yellow is that women often do not like to have their breasts and genitals touched until they are feeling warmed up, loved, accepted, and appreciated in less sexual parts of their body. Sometimes an area is yellow because it literally depends on where a woman is in her menstrual cycle (e.g. if it is close to her period, her breasts may feel too swollen or achy to touch). Sometimes a partner's area may be yellow because how he or she feels about it being touched depends on their body image that day. For instance, if they feel that they have a flabby stomach, unless they're having a really thin day, they may not like to have their stomach touched all the time.
If you're lucky, your Body Map is mostly green. The typical woman will have yellow on her breasts and yellow on her vulva, as explained above. But for each area of red and yellow, explain to each other what makes you feel not perfectly happy being touched there from the start.
Using the Body Map Long Term
Couples often find it's a good idea to re-draw Body Maps after any big changes in life. After big events like a birth, an operation, a loss, or an illness, Body Maps can change.
Always follow the whole process through, sitting and explaining to each other what the yellow and red areas signify. Look at your old Body Maps too. How have they shifted over time? Make sure that you're touching each other using current information. That will insure sex is the most pleasurable it can be throughout your lives together.
In the next article, we'll learn about how painful memories are stored in the body.
For more tips, go to www.SexSmart.com.
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