If you've been out of the dating scene for a while (perhaps due to divorce) and are thinking about entering a new relationship, or have found that your relationship has become sexless, the idea of having a sexual encounter can be very exciting, but also very nerve-racking. It's easy to lose touch with your sexual self, and it's important to give your body and mind permission to feel pleasure and reawaken your sexuality. Here are a few suggestions to help you feel more sexual and open to the possibility of experiencing renewed sexual pleasure:
Be open to the possibility that some of your concerns about sex might be quite overblown. First, list the things that worry you most about reclaiming your sexuality or that you are fearing right now about sex. Once you've made your list, it's important to see if your fears and anxieties are realistic. If not, make a commitment to yourself to replace unrealistic beliefs with ones that serve you. For example, if you write: "I worry my sexual partner might not find me attractive," replace that with, "this person is expressing interest in being intimate with me, so where's the evidence that he/she is not attracted to me?" Practice catching yourself every time you find yourself focusing on one of your worrisome beliefs and replace it with a thought that's not fear based.
How you feel about your body often affects your ability to feel excited about sex. Make another list of the things that you're not happy with about your body. Notice the things you're ready, willing and able to alter and those which are beyond your control. Instead of concentrating on how your body could be different, see if you can shift your focus to changing your attitude about your body insecurities instead. Usually, no one else is noticing those "flaws" you see but you!
Feeling attractive is most of the battle. Much of your sexuality comes from how you think of yourself as a sexual being. So if you do things to feel sexier, you're giving your mind the opportunity to catch up with you. Maybe this means putting on a sexy outfit, wearing lingerie underneath your clothing, or putting on a little extra makeup. Perhaps getting pampered in some way, sleeping with satin sheets, taking a bubble bath, or reading a steamy book can help you to hit the right chord. You know what makes you feel sexier, do it and notice whether this helps with your reawakening.
When you are involved in any activity, sexual or not, it can be very pleasant to focus on the sensory experiences around you. For example, if you are taking a walk, tune into the sounds of nature around you, become aware of the crunch of leaves under your feet, feel the breeze on your skin and take notice of the way your body feels as you take each step. Becoming more aware of experiencing sensuously pleasurable moments in your daily life can go a long way toward helping you to stay present and attuned to your sensory experience during sex.
Your sexuality is a part of you, even if it has felt dormant for a while. With some effort to reconnect with your sexual desires and by refusing to let your fears and anxieties get in the way, you can very quickly open yourself to many new, exciting and pleasurable experiences!
There's more about defining your sexuality in my new book, Stage Climbing: The Shortest Path to Your Highest Potential.