Steps to Progressive De-sensitization for Treatment of Sexual Anxiety, Sexual Aversion, Lack of Pleasure & Orgasm, and Sexual Pain for Women
Many clients I see privately for SexTherapy in my office suffer from sexual anxiety, decreased arousal, lack of orgasm during intimacy or sexual pain. This is my go to treatment plan for couples looking to increase the woman’s please and decrease her anxiety during intimacy.
One of the oldest treatment methods in Sex Therapy is a practice called Sensate Focus.
Sensate Focus aims to decrease anxiety through physical touch that gradually turns into sexual touch. It allows the receiver to feel like they are in control of the touch by providing feedback to their partner who is touching them as well as giving them the choice of how quickly they want to progress with each step.
Instructions For Sensate Focus to Decrease Anxiety & Increase pleasure of the Female Partner: (Works for Heterosexual and Lesbian Couples)
Start wherever feels comfortable. Add only one step at a time. Aim to start with two 20-minute sessions per week per step and gradually lengthen towards four 40-45 minute sessions as you increase physical activities. A step is completed when both partners say they feel comfortable with it and are ready to move on to the next step. On average, each step should be practiced 2-6 times with the more sexual steps being practiced possible a bit more.
The goal is to feel relaxed and calm during each step. Make sure you set an ambiance in the room by playing music or dimming the lights. You can wear light clothing when you begin the steps and then graduate to losing it by the time intercourse is nearing.
Step 1) Holding hands
Step 2) Hugging
Step 3) Hugging and caressing non-sexual body parts with clothes on while on couch
Step 4) Hugging and caressing non-sexual body parts with clothes on laying down in a bed (massage)
Step 5) Kissing. If this does not feel comfortable at this time, it can be skipped and moved later to when they is feeling more comfortable and are more aroused.
Step 6) Touching breasts on top of clothes
Step 7) Removing shirts and touching breasts on top of bra
Step 8) Caressing breasts
Step 9) Touching female genitals on top of clothing
Step 10) Touching outside area of female genitals
Step 12) Inserting two fingers into vagina
Step 13) Optional step: Oral sex on female partner. This is not essential, but can be added to increase pleasure and enjoyment.
Step 14) Vaginal penetratation
Note: Pleasure both manually and orally on male partner is optional around stages 10-14, as feels comfortable for them both.
Lisa’s Rule of Thumb for Success
Client during the exercises is:
2) In Control
3) Aroused (in early steps, pleasant feelings)