By Tanya Koens
There are many times in my working week where I am sitting across from an anxious penis owner. Very often they are concerned because their penis is not doing what they think it should be doing - and herein lies the problem … the thinking!
I really do think good sex is all about coming out of the head and into the body. When we start to worry about things, our brain immediately obliges by giving us the stressful feelings that would accompany the event, as if it were really occurring … that hardly seems fair, does it?
And it’s the thinking that leads us all into the dark alleyways of expectations, distress, fear, panic and disappointment. Wouldn’t it be great to get into sexy times without having to worry or take these things into account?
Strangely enough we have all the tools to enable us to do just that.
We can use our breath to take the focus from our head - full of worries and fears - and into our body - where there are pleasurable sensations and feelings to be had.
It sounds clichéd but relaxation really helps. When we are anxious we tend to shallow breathe and that signals the Sympathetic nervous system to fire up. This is the one we need to go fight a Sabre-Tooth Tiger or the equivalent. It turns off the logical part of the brain and stops our digestion and our sexual arousal - because you don’t really need those things if you are going to fight a Sabre-Tooth Tiger! Instead adrenaline will start coursing through our body to help us with the fight-flight-freeze response. When we have finished dealing with our situation what is the first thing we will do? Take a deep breath ... yeah that’s right … it is down regulation and it lets the Parasympathetic nervous system come into play. That’s the one that gives us our logical brain back, our digestion and, importantly, our sexual arousal. So when I say relaxation is important … there are biological back ups to that argument!
Sometimes, as people are talking about their fears and concerns, I will get them to take a couple of deep breaths and ask them to tell me where in their body they are feeling the stress. Many people are not able to answer the question initially, but on scanning the body, they can get an idea of places that feel “tight” or “tingly” or “closed” or “just weird”.
Conversely when people are telling me that they can’t arouse and they feel nothing … I will check to see if they are truly feeling nothing? Or is it that they not feeling what they expect to feel? If they are looking for a particular type of feeling we may have a talk about cake … yeah cake!
You see, cake can come in many different forms … different shapes, flavours, ingredients and cooking methods. It may be that they have been eating just one type of cake. What other types of cake could they be interested in? The same parallels can be made with arousal. It may be that they expect to be touched in a certain way or arouse as part of a routine. Our job is to be curious about what else is possible - to open up and explore the different arousal possibilities available to them. Coaching on tuning into the eroticism of different types of touch, different parts of the body and different environments can be very useful.
Arousal can come in different forms. It can be psychogenic - nerve impulses that come from the brain or it can be reflexonic – resulting from genital stimulation.
Many things can run interference with arousal and erectile function:
- Organic influences (from the body or medication)
- Damage to nerves
- Illnesses like MS or Diabetes
- Heart conditions
- Alcohol, street drugs, anti-depressants
- Hormonal imbalances
- Spinal injuries
There can be interpersonal contributors as well:
- Shame (sex/body/penis)
- Worried about partner’s attitude
- Partner’s actual attitude
- Lack of skills/education
With some coaching, a large number of people are able to learn to relax, down regulate and tune into their bodies and achieve some surprisingly sexy results whilst simultaneously dealing with any number of the above issues.