Sex and the Five Senses: How to Enhance the Sexual Experience
Through our five senses, we experience the world around us. Our senses begin to develop even before we are born. In the womb, the fetus hears the mother’s voice and can smell the external surroundings. Newborns, although their vision is not completely developed yet, are able to see their surroundings and through this, they learn about their environment. They learn to recognize familiar faces, scents, and physical sensations.
Our senses play a major role in our survival allowing us to recognize pleasure and pain. I’m here to show you how you can use your five senses to your sexual advantage. By focusing on the five senses you can increase sexual desire, whether your own or your partner’s. By enhancing or subtracting various senses you can experience sex at a whole ‘nother level.
Sex therapists use “sense play” as a means of sexual enhancement when sex becomes a problematic area in a couple’s or an individual’s life. In sex therapy, this method known as “sensate focus” concentrates on the sense of touch to enhance pleasure and reduce anxiety. During “sensate focus” partners take turns touching one another, experiencing texture, temperature, and shapes. However, sexual intercourse is only permitted after. The main purpose is to focus on the sense of touch without the incorporation of the sexual aspect of the matter.
“Sense play” is much simpler than you think when you divide and conquer. So let’s break it down and go over the five senses and how you can use each to your sexual advantage.
The Five Senses
Unlike the other four senses, the sense of touch is distributed all over our bodies in the nerve endings under our skin. There are four types of touch sensations that we experience: hot, cold, pain, contact. As you may or may not know (I sure hope you do), there are certain areas of the human body where the nerve endings are much more concentrated, making these areas much more sensitive to touch. These are known as the erogenous zones. When these areas are stimulated, the result is sexual arousal, which may result in pleasure and orgasm. The most popular erogenous zones are the genital area, the breasts/nipples, ears, neck area, and mouth. Woa a biology lesson I know!
So how can we use this knowledge to our advantage?
It’s actually quite simple. All you have to do is focus your attention on these areas to enhance sexual arousal. There are many ways you can incorporate the sense of touch into your sex life.
You can experiment with various pressures on different parts of the body. For example, tender strokes around the nipples. You can kiss the neck and nibble on the earlobes.
You can introduce other objects such as feathers, oils, warm wax, ice cubes, etc. to make this experience even more interesting.
You can incorporate various fabrics such as lace, linen, silk, and leather. If you’re feeling extra adventurous you may consider rope, which comes in various textures based on preference.
Even more interesting is the use of pain in sexual arousal, but this is a much more advanced topic, to be covered in the near future. For beginners, I would recommend gentle hair pulling, nipple play, and light spanking if your partner is interested.
The sense of taste is concentrated in our mouths. There are many ways in which we can incorporate taste into sexual enhancement. Various foods have been associated with enhancing the libido such as watermelon, chocolate, and oysters. There are many more foods on the aphrodisiac list, but my purpose of this article is to teach you to incorporate the sense of taste into your sexual experience not tell you what to eat.
So how can we use taste to our advantage?
Personally, I find this sense to be a tad more difficult than the other four to incorporate into sex. One way to integrate the sense of taste is through feeding your partner chocolate covered strawberries. Another popular option is sipping on champagne that can help ease anxiety while providing delicious flavor.
Another interesting idea is flavored body things such as lube, body paint, edible panties, and massage oil. All of these products come in various flavors, which can enhance the sense of taste in your sexual experience or that of your partner. For a much cheaper option, just cover your nipples in whipped cream and allow your partner to devour it. You’re welcome
The sense of smell is powerful in our daily experiences, but seldom do we consider the sense of smell when we think about sex. The sense of smell is complicated; therefore I will not be getting into the specifics of how it all works. All you need to know is the importance of pheromones, that certain smells are arousing, the association of smell and memory, and body odor.
Sexual pheromones are chemicals released by humans (animal too though) that attract the opposite sex for reproductive purposes. These are like sexual signals. There are many pheromone products out there in the market for this purpose, oils, lotions, perfumes, and sprays.
There are numerous scents that are associated with sexual arousal, but the main ones to remember are vanilla and musk. Peppermint has also been associated with increasing orgasm quantity. Arousal to various smells is also influenced by our sexual history since the sense of smell is greatly associated with memory as well as our individual cultures. For example, in some cultures, genital secretions are sexually stimulating. The scent of B/O in some cultures is a turn on. In our Western society, we obsess over masking these natural odors.
So how can we incorporate this into our sex lives?
It’s actually quite simple: vanilla candles, musky cologne, essential oils (click here for a great article on this topic), floral or sweet perfume (click here for a great article regarding perfumes). So light some candles and spritz some delicious perfume. Boom! Done!
The sense of sight is one of my favorite senses to discuss regarding sexuality. It is because of this sense that we are sexually attracted to someone’s appearance especially in our American society that values physical attractiveness. According to Kinsey’s research, more man than women are sexually excited by visual stimuli.
So what exactly am I referring to when I talk about visual stimuli?
It could really be anything. Watching porn, watching someone undress, watching someone dance, walk, apply lipstick, workout, you name it, someone is sexually aroused by seeing this. This is where some sexual fetishes come into play such as foot fetish, leather fetish, stocking fetish, voyeurism, etc. Simply seeing these items can produce sexual arousal. Color can also be used to arouse. For example, the colors, red, black, and copper/bronze are often used to increase sexual attraction and allure.
So how can we incorporate this into our sex lives?
Using the sense of sight to induce arousal can be fun and exciting. It’s a great way to tease your partner.
“You can look, but you can’t touch.”
There are so many tips on how to turn your partner on simply through vision. Here are some of my favorites:
- Applying lipstick while glancing over at your partner.
- Subtly twirling your hair during a conversation.
- Licking and biting your lip.
- Wearing lingerie, black or red are your go-to colors
- The simple act of putting on lingerie or undressing can be a turn on.
- Wearing heels.
- Wearing anything made of lace.
- Showing some cleavage.
- Caressing oneself subtly. Just tracing your collarbone with your fingertips.
Trick: I heard this one on the radio one day and I swear I got wet just imagining it. It’s called the “triangle”; you simply form a triangle when looking at a potential partner’s face. You look at one eye, then the other, down to the lips and back up. I like to focus a little longer on the lips and maybe bite my own lip during the process. This is an instant turn on for everyone.
The sense of hearing is another sense that is often neglected when we think about things that sexually excite us but consider how a simple expression of your partner’s satisfaction via a moan in your ear can send shivers down your spine. It’s pretty sexy. Hearing the sound of a whip against a surface can be an instant turn on when we associate it with a sexual act. The sound of a zipper, a whisper in your ear, a vibrating object, a groan, etc.
Music can also act as a sexual stimulant. According to a recent study by Spotify, music has been found to be more sexually arousing than touch (CNN article). Music actually activates the same pleasure centers of the brain that respond to rewards such as food, drugs or sex. Therefore, by incorporating music into the bedtime you can increase your sex mood. It’s no wonder why many couples play sexy R&B in the bedroom to get in the mood.
So how can we incorporate this into our sex lives?
Well, how about we start by making some sounds during sex. Moaning is hot. Moan when giving head, it will turn your partner on even more. Be more vocal, maybe do some dirty talk (caution on this one because it could be awkward if your partner isn’t into it). Play some music or even better PORN in the background.
My Mr. and I recently went on a very sexy vacation. One of the hot spots of the resort was the “sin room”. The sin room was a dark, erotic room, filled with beds for people to have sex. You can barely make out people’s faces, but you can hear moans and groans which was a major turn on.
Subtract some senses
The best part of “sense play” is the being able to subtract the various senses. One of the simplest and most effective methods is blindfolding. With the blindfold, you obviously reduce the sense of vision, which allows the remainder of the senses to heighten. The best part of the blindfold method is that you are forced to use your imagination. You may hear what your partner is doing, and you can assume what is happening, but you don’t know. It makes the entire experience that much more pleasurable.
Another method is playing with the sense of sound in addition to being blindfolded. You can do this through playing music via headphones so that your partner can’t see or heard their surroundings. They are forced to rely only on their sense of smell, taste, and touch. You can also use sound canceling headphones, which may be less distracting allowing you to focus on your remaining senses.