Your Elevated Erotic Feelings: How to Tap into the Emotional Elements of Sex Part II

Avatar By Dr. Jess
Relationships tap into emotions during sex

If you’re here, you likely read our recent post on core erotic feelings — the feelings that we tend to associate with intimacy and getting in the mood for sex. They vary from person to person and if you haven’t explored yours yet, please do check out this post to learn more. It’s worth a read! We promise.

intimacy in bed

Once you’ve identified your CEF, you may find that getting in the mood for sex comes more naturally and that you’re better equipped to put yourself (and/or your sexual partner) in the mood. And this is when the real fun unfolds as you have the opportunity to explore other erotic-emotional connections including your elevated erotic feelings (EEFs).

Your elevated erotic feelings are emotions that heighten or enhance sexual experience — physically, emotionally, intimately, psychologically, relationally, practically, and/or spiritually. They can be rooted in comfort or discomfort, but oftentimes we find that our CEF is rooted in comfort and our EEFs are rooted in the opposite — discomfort, fear, risk, pushing boundaries, etc. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to human beings and so there are no universal truths when it comes to sexual intimacy and pleasure.

 

couple in bed

 

When it comes to EEFs, you might find they fluctuate from day to day or you may find there are patterns that emerge for you fairly consistently.

For example, you might find that a sense of risk makes sex more thrilling with a partner with whom you tend to feel safe.

Or you might find that feeling a little scared heightens your physical response.

Alternatively, you might experience an intense erotic response when you feel nervous.

Or you may notice that pleasure is heightened when you’re feeling confident.

And on the other hand, you might find that feeling deeply relaxed in mind and body makes the whole sexual activity/experience more ecstatic.

Some people draw erotic excitement from feeling…

  • Degraded
  • Humiliated
  • Embarrassed
  • Stressed
  • Joyful
  • Jealous
  • Nervous
  • Surprised
  • Adored
  • Admired
  • Proud
  • Valued
  • Helpless
  • Tense
  • Lovable
  • And/or overwhelmed

Some of these emotions likely appeal to you and others may not.

gay couple intimate

It may seem implausible that feeling degraded or humiliated can be tied to eroticism and sexual pleasure for you, but for others, these emotional experiences have the potential to be highly arousing — especially within the context of a safe, caring relationship or environment. This isn’t to suggest that feelings of degradation or humiliation are universally arousing, but simply that some people have created this erotic-emotional connection. You may stumble upon these connections by accident or cultivate them purposefully. It’s up to you. And there is no pressure to explore all emotional options, but it might be helpful to remain open to a range of responses.

To identify your EEF(s), consider the following questions and prompts:

  1. Try to recall a sexual experience you really enjoyed (a sexual desire or a fantasy that riles you up). How did you feel emotionally? How did you feel physically before, during, and after the encounter? Was there a feeling that stood out that might be connected to heightened pleasure?
  2. When you think about the scenes and scenarios that were/are most pleasurable, how do you feel in these situations?
  3. Do you ever find yourself in the mood for sex at unexpected times? For example, do you find that sex is more exciting after an argument or when you’re feeling stressed out? Can you connect any of these feelings to your pleasure — physically, emotionally, intimately, or relationally? Have you been turned on by movie scenes that are outside of the scenarios or themes in your conscious fantasies?
  4. Are there any awkward, uncomfortable, or surprising feelings that you associate with sexual arousal, pleasure, or orgasm — even subconsciously? Can you explore these connections more purposefully and give yourself permission to make the connection between pleasure and these surprising feelings?
  5. Are there sexual scenarios, fantasies, or experiences that you find uncomfortable or initially off-putting? Sometimes latent desire can hide within or overlap with discomfort and you might be able to explore these scenarios and feelings in fantasy as opposed to reality.

As you explore a broader range of emotional-erotic connections, you’ll likely find that your fantasies and desires continue to expand. Bear in mind, that there are no universal truths when it comes to pleasure. There are no right and wrong answers or good and bad feelings. It’s up to you to decide what works for you – and you can always change your mind. What is highly arousing on a Tuesday might be off-putting on a Sunday and you don’t owe anyone (including yourself) an explanation.

threesome

You do not have to do everything or try every experience when it comes to sex. If your emotional-erotic connection is rooted in more traditional associations of love and comfort, you can still have a smoking hot sex life. And if your emotional-erotic connection is rooted in more subversive associations like jealousy or humiliation, that’s okay too. There is no singular or ideal path to pleasure, so carve out your own and relish in the process.

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