Sexual problems are one of the most common types of relationship problems that most people encounter. It is present in many ways, these can be physical or mental as well. Most people are too nervous or scared to come straight to the point as they fear using the wrong words or being too explicit.  

Sex therapy may enable couples to address sexual problems by being open and without being uncomfortable or embarrassed. There’s no judging at all! Sensate focus therapy is a part of sex therapy that is being used for over three decades to address sexual problems and couples seeking to explore a new kind of intimacy. 

What Are Sensate Focus Therapy and Its Objectives? 

Sensate focus therapy is a series of intimate exercises, physical as well as psychological, to teach one how to improve sexual performance or eliminate sexual problems. The sensate focus exercises are done solo or with a partner which can last from 10 minutes to one hour. 

It is very common for people to have sexual problems and people who have them feel as if they are unusual. Sexual anxieties, disorders and complications are common. This can lead to couples being uncomfortable with their own body and sometimes even lead to relationship problems. 

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Sensate Focus Therapy
Sensate Focus Therapy

Sex is not the only building block of a relationship but it is obviously an important part of it. If you, your partner or both are having sexual problems or something is holding you both back in the bedroom, sex therapy may work for you! 

Sensate focus therapy was initially developed by Masters and Johnson in the 60s as a sex therapy technique. It involves behavioural exercises that can be done by couples or solo for improving their intimacy and connection in the bedroom. 

What’s the objective of sensate focus therapy? Well, here are some points which may help you discern what foundation sensate focus therapy is based on and what is its objective: 

  • Developing a mutual connection between the couples for dealing with sexual needs, interests and concerns.
  • Making aware of or educating the couple about sexual function and activity.
  • Changing negative attitude about sex.
  • Alleviating anxiety related to sexual performance.
  • Helping couples to improve sexual communication and making them conscious about sexual techniques.
  • Giving couples homework in order to improve their sexual relationship.
  • Reducing complicated behaviours and roles related to a sexual relationship.

Why is Sensate Focus Therapy Used? Who is it for? 

Sensate focus therapy isn’t just therapeutic but it may provide you and your partner some valuable information about each others’ needs and wants. There are many benefits of sensate focus therapy and it can be used individually or with a partner for several benefits like: 

  • Increased body awareness and satisfaction
  • Creating trust and closeness
  • Increased sexual desire
  • Improved sexual awareness
  • Treatment for psychological as well as physical sexual difficulty.
Sensate Focus Therapy
Sensate Focus Therapy

Sensate focus therapy is an effective element for dealing with a lot of different types of sexual problems in both men and women. It may focus on these sexual dysfunctions: 

This therapy is based on couple intervention and it can be used for different age groups, gender identities and sexual orientations. It’s important not to feel any shame around any of these factors. Therapists are meant to listen to you without any judgement so there’s no embarrassment about it. 

Sensate Focus Therapy Exercises 

Sensate focus is about the acts of touching and being touched. This helps the couple regain their sexual feelings and establish a new way of intercourse. Touching sounds easy but actually, it isn’t so simple. 

Here are some exercises that can come from sensate focus therapy: 

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1. Non-Genital Touching 

Sensate Focus Therapy
Sensate Focus Therapy

This involves getting undressed, one partner lying down who receives the touching and the other who touches. The receiver is supposed to feel the sensations and the giver should assess the sensations they are receiving. However, in this process, genitals are an exception. The point is to explore the sensation they are experiencing. 

2. Genital Touching 

The next step is to touch the genitals. You need to follow this up with non-genital touching. You can begin with breasts and then genitals. The partners can take turns and give each other sensations using the fingertips. 

The partner who is feeling the sensations gives little cues by using their hands on top of the partner who administers. This technique is called ‘hand-riding’. 

3. Add a Lotion and Continue Touching 

Engage in mutual touching, kissing and stroking after step 1 and step 2. Adding lotion or oil as a lubricant can help create a slicker surface making it prone to more sensations. Put the lubricant on your palm rather than on your partner’s body. This step is still focused on touching without leading to an orgasm. 

4. Mutual Touching

Sensate Focus Therapy
Sensate Focus Therapy

After the above three steps, the touching becomes mutual, meaning you shouldn’t take turns and touch each other simultaneously. You can use hands, lips and tongue in this process. Refrain from engaging in intercourse. This may help you create a new kind of intimacy and spice up your sexual relationship.

5. Sensual Intercourse 

Sensual here isn’t ‘sexual’ intercourse. Sexual intercourse is a mechanical act that involves thrusting and pushing to reach an orgasm. In this step, you extend sensations into genital contact. The goal is to discern what is actually pleasurable to both partners rather than going for a forced consensual sexual act to reach orgasm. Do what feels good and pleasurable to both of you. 

Sensate focus therapy is great for couples who want to achieve a better experience in bed and get rid of their sexual complications. However, this may not work for those who do not wish to change or don’t believe they can. It is important to be optimistic, for a better result. This therapy involves a great deal of comfort and discussion of explicit topics, so the effectiveness ranges from person to person. 

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