Your Core Erotic Feeling: How to Tap into the Emotional Elements of Sex Part I

Dr. Jess By Dr. Jess
Relationships core erotic feeling

We tend to think of sex as a physical act — hands, lips, tongues, penises, vaginas, butts, breasts, and more!

And when we think of sexual exploration and experimentation, we often frame our approaches as physical — vibrators, lube, positions, techniques, bodies, etc.

But sex is so much more than the physical. It intersects with the relational, spiritual, personal, psychological, political, and the emotional. And exploring these varied elements of sex can make it all the more fulfilling.

When it comes to the emotional elements of sex, I often recommend that you begin with your Core Erotic Feeling (CEF) and your Elevated Erotic Feelings (EEFs). Exploring these concepts is an ongoing process that can help you to better understand your own needs and how to communicate them to an intimate partner.

Your core erotic feeling is the feeling you require in order to get in the mood for sexual intimacy.

It varies from person to person and you may have more than one. Humans are always changing, so your CEF isn’t set in stone. This concept simply offers a guide to help you explore the ways in which your feelings affect your interest in sexual activity and sexual desire.

For example, you might need to feel relaxed in order to get in the mood for sex. Or you might need to feel confident. You might find that you’re most likely to want sex when you feel sexy, or desirable, or loved. You might find that the mood strikes you when you feel honored, safe, happy, rested, vulnerable, challenged, at-risk, comfortable, daring, inspired, silly, playful, and/or energetic.

And although many of these emotions may facilitate the desire for sex, I’d like you to consider whether or not there is one (or two) that really stand out as essential to getting in the mood.

Unfortunately, we do not have a sure-fire gimmick or quiz to identify your core erotic feeling (CEF) with precision, but we encourage you to answer these questions to begin contemplating what your CEF might be:

  • How do you want to feel before you have sex?
  • What puts you in the mood for sex?
  • How do you want to feel during sex?
  • How do you tend to feel after sex?
  • Think of a recent fantasy. How do you feel in the fantasy?
  • How do you want to be seduced? What does it look like? How do you want to feel?

Once you’ve reflected upon these questions, you might have a better idea of your core emotional-erotic connection.

core erotic feeling

 

Of course, identifying your CEF is just the first step. And it’s no guarantee that you’ll have or want sex. It’s simply one way of conceptualizing your emotional needs when it comes to being open to sex.

Once you’ve identified your CEF, you may want to go out of your way to cultivate more of it. For example, if your CEF involves feeling relaxed, you may want to consider how you can create space for yourself to feel this way. Consider the following prompts…

  • When do you feel most relaxed?
  • What do you like about feeling relaxed? Why does it appeal to you?
  • When was the last time you felt relaxed? What were the circumstances? How can you recreate them?
  • What thoughts or attitudes do you hold that make you feel relaxed?
  • What daily activities make you feel relaxed?
  • What activities detract from or impede relaxation?
  • How do fundamental activities (e.g. sleeping, exercising, eating) affect this feeling? Can you make any small adjustments?
  • How do you hold yourself back from feeling relaxed? What can you change moving forward?

couple kissing

If you have a partner, you’ll also likely want to ask them to help you to cultivate your CEF. They’re obviously not responsible for your feelings, but if you let them know how they can help you cultivate this feeling it will likely be good for your sex life and overall relationship satisfaction. Let them know:

  1. What you want to feel.
  2. Why you want to feel it.
  3. How they can help you to feel this way. Be specific.

And it’s important to note that these conversations are part of the broader picture of talking about emotions and sex. These aren’t one-time conversations, so don’t feel that you have to cover everything in one shot. If you continue to reflect, talk, listen and inquire over the course of your romantic relationship, you’ll not only find that sex becomes more fulfilling, but the emotional connection will likely become more meaningful too.

couple undressing

To recap: exploring your CEF can help you to better understand your own sexual needs and increase sexual satisfaction and emotional intimacy. You can get started now by:

  1. Contemplating your CEF to fill in the blank: In order to (possibly) have sex, I need to feel ________________.
  2. Make space for (more of) this feeling via small adjustments to your lifestyle and behavior.
  3. Communicate your needs and desires to your partner(s) with openness and specificity.

And once you’ve addressed your CEF, the real fun begins as you can begin to explore your elevated erotic feelings (EEFs) — these are the feelings that take sex to the next level, so stay tuned for part 2!

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