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A Sensual Exploration Exercise

The following sensual exploration process is not so much about sex as it is about exploring the sense of touch. While sex is an important part of romance, it works best if both partners take the time to get to know each other’s preferences.

Set aside some time to experiment with this excellent process called Sensate Focus, devised by sex therapy pioneers William Masters and Virginia Johnson. It’s not actually a sexual technique - it’s about tuning in to the sensitivity of your body overall. You’ll need a quiet room (preferably one with a bed) where you won’t be disturbed for about an hour. Don’t do this process when you’re tired, stressed or tense. The mood should be relaxed.

Both partners should be completely undressed. Each person will take turns discovering the other’s sensitive spots.


1. Ask your partner to lie on the bed while you sit beside him or her.

2. Begin at the neck and work your way down to the feet. Slowly and gently stroke your fingers over your partner’s body.

3. Have him or her indicate the areas that are sensitive to the touch, which sensations are the most pleasurable, and which intensity of touch (light, firm) is the most pleasurable.

4. Your partner’s only task is give accurate feedback while yours is to take note of his or her preferences. Also be aware of your reactions when eliciting a positive response in your partner.

5. Avoid the genital area as this process is about the sensitivity of the rest of the body.

6. Once you have finished exploring your partner’s body, change places. As the recipient, be totally honest with your feedback. This is not a time to playact or to please anyone else; it’s about honest communication.