Female sexual arousal as a tool of health and creation in women is one of the most understudied parts of a woman’s mental and physical health care. A big part of the problem is that there is simply no funding for it. Science is mostly funded by the Pharmaceutical Industry, which is very interested in “finding cures” through medication. As a result, most research in sexuality is funded around pain- not the benefits of pleasure.
But if we look closely at the pain research that is being done around sexual arousal we can find scientific validation that pleasure heals, and sexual arousal is a healing tool.
In a recent study on the benefits of sexual arousal and orgasm for treating pain, Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD, a distinguished service professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, found that orgasm releases a hormone that helps raise your pain threshold.
Dr. Komisaruk also found that stimulation without orgasm can also provide the same benefits. “We’ve found that vaginal stimulation can block chronic back and leg pain, and many women have told us that genital self-stimulation can reduce menstrual cramps, arthritic pain, and in some cases even headache.”
Pleasure heals. And I believe that the state of arousal may actually be the secret source of every woman’s power. If it wasn’t, why would our genitals be the first thing that is attacked when society wants to subdue women? Throughout history, women have been severed, often from their sexual energy, preventing them from using it for anything other than the service of men. When the circuit is disrupted, severed, shamed or abused, women numb out. It’s our genitals that are mutilated, our bodies that are raped so that we are so traumatized that we lose our power, and it is our sexuality that is even sometimes put under garments to cover all of us and make us invisible even to ourselves.
Learning to access and use arousal is the beginning of becoming whole.
Arousal is the ignition switch of the female erotic engine, that potent driver of sexual energy that is life force itself. Is it any wonder that arousal heals?
It’s time for a new understanding of female sexuality. It stops being about merely the orgasm, the lover, the marriage or the commodity for sale. It’s about teaching women how core female sexuality is the fuel that lights up a woman from within.
When she’s in an aroused state, when the erotic engine is humming, mind and body collude to give her that instantly recognizable and enviable show-stopping ability. Think Cleopatra or Michelle Obama. Marital status, age, sexual preference, body size or health issues just don’t matter. This is for all women. When women learn how to tap into and access their arousal they rediscover or perhaps find for the first time that hotbed of energy to unleash each woman’s full potential.
When we stimulate the vagina (and yes, I mean all of the parts) we stimulate the production of dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for sexual arousal. In an aroused state our senses are heightened, we are more focused, flushed with creative energy, self-confidence, highly motivated and just plain sexy.
We tend to race past this fertile and delicious state in hot pursuit of the orgasm. The “Big O” is something that we’ve been brainwashed to think is the only successful outcome every time we go near our genitals. In the mad dash to climax, we get gypped of a free, organic state that doesn’t require anything other than giving your vagina attention.
The uniquely female life force, turned back on itself shorts out the vagina-heart-brain circuit. With the wires fried, women often find themselves disconnected from their own desires on the most basic of levels.
Some women make themselves sexually invisible, consoling themselves with addictions (shopping, food, alcohol), or tumble into depression and anxiety. Many of these women are leaders in so many parts of their lives. CEOs to Supermoms, it doesn’t matter. When this circuit disrupts, the breakdown is often private and unseen to the casual observer. Too many women are still faking it on the deepest of levels when it comes to their relationship with their bodies. They cover up numbness and fear often with either compliance or anger.
So while the primary focus in accessing arousal is not about how to have great sex, you will. As one of my coaching clients said: “My boyfriend has not changed his techniques. Nothing looks different really from the outside, but damn – sex is hotter than it’s ever been in my life.” That’s what I am talking about. I also believe that women who work with their arousal on an ongoing way are on their way to find their own fountain of youth.
So how do you get started? It’s really simple. For many of us that means we need to by-pass the neo-cortex, hand-slapping, nay-saying part of the brain, and dive right into the pelvis. You need to put your attention on your genitals.
Start slow and easy, when you’re alone and there’s privacy. Wear your clothes or don’t. Whatever makes you comfortable.
In a comfortable seated position, feet firmly on the floor, cup your vulva, palm up, with the front with your fingertips pointing back.
With eyes closed, start rocking your pelvis back and forth.
Focus your attention on the sensations generated by your vulva filling your hand, your muscles clenching and releasing, your pelvis rocking.
If you’re feeling adventurous, throw in some Kegels, squeezing and releasing your pelvic floor.
As your awareness of sensation increases–and it will– let yourself move and lean into the rock.
When you feel heat rising, when you start to feel pleasure, you’ve arrived in that juicy activated state known as arousal. And you’ve done it without any of the usual agendas — no imperative to reach orgasm, pleasing a partner or satisfying a fantasy. This simple exercise can begin your journey of connection to your own body. It can mark the end of numbness. It can even heal.
One of my clients, we will call her Sarah, was so disconnected from erotic engine that she couldn’t identify pleasure in any parts of her life. She was sexually non functional, depressed and on heavy medication. She kept telling me that she couldn’t feel her genitals, that there was no pleasure there at all. So fully clothed, (we were working through video Skype) I asked her to cup her vulva and begin to softly rock her pelvis while learning forward. I coached her to allow her vulva fill to gentle fill her hand. We did this exercise quietly for about five minutes. When I saw that she was very relaxed and into her own body, and that her face was beginning to flush. I asked her is she could feel anything?
Sarah opened her eyes and tears begin to flow. “I feel heat. I can feel my body!”
It was as simple as having her put attention on her genitals in a way that didn’t have to lead to anything other than feeling erotic energy.
Moment of awakening. The first step in getting the engine cranked and it’s so simple. It’s all about the arousal. That’s where the healing and rejuvenation lives.