The Magic of Sexual Arousal:
Part 1 ~ The Body
Inspired by Intimate Conversations
with Kim & Krista
Written by KristaLove Louise Hagman
According to dictionary.com, the definition of arousal is to awaken, to stir to action, to excite. To live an aroused life is to live an awakened life, an excitable life, a life that uplifts and stirs you to engage with it. Over the next three articles we will examine the three facets of living awakened in the realm of sexual arousal. Body. Mind. Energy.
In the exploration of the physical body we’ll look at the sex organs, the senses, the pelvis, and the brain. Next time, in the discussion of the mind, we’ll explore how cultural norms influence our feelings about sex, how guilt and shame can dampen arousal system, and how self-stories contribute to the experience of sex and how we create self-love. In the final article about energy we’ll peek into the importance of connection, the sacred power of sexuality, and the intangible magic of energetic and spiritual connection. It would be convenient to say that arousal “starts” in one of these three areas, and that is true. And it depends. For convenience sake, we will start with the body, the physical form. (For sake of ease, this article will convey sex as male or female, yet we recognize there are more than these two genders.)
The male and female arousal systems have more in common than you might think. The big difference is that the male system is largely external, while the female system is mostly internal; one is more visible, and the other more hidden. The gender of a baby is decided upon at conception; miraculously, during the first trimester a baby’s gender is not definable by its external genitalia. In those first three months of life we are no different developmentally in what is usually the defining characteristic, whether we have a penis or a clitoris. With development of the sexual reproductive organs, we either—as the saying goes—grow a pole or a hole. The erectile tissue of the body is much the same; it simply develops differently.
The clitoral network travels through eighteen parts of the female genitalia, the majority of which is internal. The inner and outer lips; the glans (like the head of the penis); the hood (like the foreskin) that helps protect the sensitive glans; the shaft that runs internally beneath the glans; the legs that form a wishbone shape and extend down on either side of the vaginal opening; the cervix (at the end of the vaginal canal) that responds best to pressure stimulation; and sensitive nerves that move down through the perineum and surround the anal sphincter. The woman’s “G-spot” is the urethral sponge, which is on the upper wall of the vagina and connects to the backside of the clitoris. The glans of the penis equates to the pearl of the clitoris. Over one-third of the male penis is inside the body, and the scrotum holds bountiful nerve endings as well. A man’s “G-spot”—his prostate—is lively with nerve endings, and can only be accessed through the anus. The perineum, the fleshy part between the genitals and the anus, is made for experiencing sensation that loves to be awakened and can greatly increase sexual arousal for men and women. An uncircumcised penis has nearly 8,000 nerve endings (this drops in half after circumcision), as does the clitoris. All in all, men and women can both celebrate their sweet spots.
Erectile tissue becomes “erect” because of increased blood flow to the area, allowing it to swell and stiffen or plump. Therefore, it’s important to view arousal as a whole system experience; issues with circulatory health can influence the proficiency of blood movement to the erogenous zones*. These areas have heightened sensitivity; stimulation can produce relaxation and/or sexual arousal. A common separation can arise in the timing it takes for men and women to be turned on to engage in sex play or intercourse. On average women take 20-25 minutes to be fully aroused—their erectile tissue is plump and their lady parts are well lubricated with natural moisture. Men, on the other hand, can be erect at attention in as little as 20 seconds.
The pelvic floor is a net or hammock-like structure of muscles, similar to the one in the ribcage, that expands/lengthens and contracts/strengthens, to support the organs above it. Within the pelvic floor is the vagus nerve, connected to the parasympathetic nervous system, controlling involuntary functions in the body like heart rate, blood pressure and food digestion. The pudendal nerve, connected to the anal sphincter, also sends messages to the nervous system. A healthy, supple pelvic floor is important for engaging and awakened sexual play (and breath and elimination!).
The skin is delicious part of sexual arousal, covering a body at an average of 22 square feet, with more than four million nerve receptors, most of which are on the fingers, lips, tongue and genitals. The brain also plays a key role (note that brain is different than mind). When we share touch, and especially orgasm, the brain releases many “feel good” and “stress reducing” chemicals. We get a rush of dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. Cortisol levels are reduced, blood pressure goes down, the immune system receives a boost, and our bodies find a new state of balance. Men are flushed with testosterone, and women’s hormones are activated and increased.
Sexual arousal happens far beyond just the genitals and sexual organs. Finding your unique formula for sexual arousal takes exploration, an open mind, and an interest in experiencing a more awakened and alive life. Below are some suggestions to support you to awaken your physical body and bring more juicy arousal into your life:
- Get involved with your senses! Feel what your skin is touching, hear the noises, see the variety of colors in your field of view, taste the inside of your mouth and the bursts of flavor with your food, and sniff the scents swirling around you.
- Awake the whole body through massage of the hands and feet, or broad, sweeping strokes of the arms and legs and sexy parts! Diverse and varying pressure, and type of touch help to awaken and relax the body and circulate blood.
- Jade Egg Practice (for women ~ find the link HERE). An egg-shaped jade stone is placed in the vaginal canal to support balancing the muscles of the pelvic floor, bring awareness to the pelvis and sex organs, and cleanse the body of old, stagnant or unwanted energy.
- Initiate self-discovery of your erogenous zones. Take quiet time with yourself to explore where your body is most sensitive and how those places like to be touched (stroked, massaged, nibbled, scratched, licked, pinched… the list goes on!). Ask a partner to join you in the discovery too!
- Use non-goal oriented arousal — arousal for awakening sake. Be in a space of curiosity; see what turns you on without it needing to lead to intercourse. Enjoy the journey!
- Daily intimate touch. Call upon a close friend or beloved to share intimate touch, such as light massage of the hands, feet, neck or face. Hold hands more, wrap your arms around someone and hug them like you mean it! Experience the tiny moments of awakening through intimate touch.
- Sexy self-love. Embody your true sexy self and then celebrate it by watching how you dance, strut, eye gaze and adore yourself in a mirror.
- Orgasmic Meditation (for more info on OMing, visit OneTaste.us). A specific, repeatable protocol focusing on the clitoris of the woman that encourages presence and connection.
- Toys! Use vibrators and massage tools to stimulate parts of the body. Experiment outside the realm of the highly sensitive parts to see how it feels. (Like any practice, moderation is key.) You can see some of Kim’s favorites here.
Consider other activities that are health-promoting, such as yoga, aerobics, strength training, eating whole foods, staying hydrated, getting plenty of rest and implementing regular stress-reduction techniques; consistency is an important factor in any wellness plan. Kim’s online course can help you create a solid daily practice of self-love, and open to a more awakened life.
Sexual arousal is like the gentle unfolding of a blooming flower. Non-goal oriented arousal helps to stimulate the flower within a safe space for it to expand and open. If we try to force our way into the center of a closed flower, we won’t have much luck. Encourage yourself to watch your arousal unfold, notice how you feel and how the body looks at different stages of arousal. How hot can you get before going to “the next step”? Arousal, the connection to our sexual energy, supports health and well-being, and inspires a more sensational, vibrant life. Stayed tuned for the magic of the mind, and the mystery of energy in sexual arousal!
Kim’s Picks to learn about Anatomy/Body and Arousal:
- Anatomy of Arousal by Sheri Winston
- Passionista: The Empowered Woman’s Guide to Pleasuring a Man by Ian Kerner
- She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman, also by Ian Kerner
* The word “Erogenous” comes from the Greek root word—Eros—meaning love, and English—genous—meaning producing.
Read The Magic of Sexual Arousal: Part 2 ~ The Mind
Read The Magic of Sexual Arousal: Part 3 ~ Energy