It seems that more and more, our society is taking on a nonchalant, almost dismissive attitude toward sexual behavior.  Part of what people are led to believe is that they should be able to become aroused with a certain set of stimuli just by willing themselves to do so.  Unfortunately, this is not the way that our body is designed to work.

Sexual arousal requires relaxation.

The part of our nervous system that allows sexual arousal is the same one that handles all the restorative activities of the body – sleep, digestion, deep breathing – so the body-mind must be relaxed for it to be in operation.  If the body-mind is not relaxed, the fight or flight stress response takes over and it short-circuits sexual arousal.

You can’t “make” yourself get aroused.

When a person is very focused on making sure they get aroused, their attention can work against them.  Their thoughts regarding arousal become like a performance anxiety putting pressure on them to produce results.  This is really the opposite of what it takes to have good, full sexual arousal.  All the pressure just continues to increase anxiety, makes arousal more difficult, which in turn continues to increase anxiety.  It becomes a negative cycle of anxiety and self-criticism.

Let go into arousal.

Since your body-mind doesn’t respond so well to a person trying to make themselves aroused, how do get there?  Being able to relax, let your guard down, and savor the moment is the best way to encourage a relaxation response and sexual arousal.  This is why your best chance for really good sex is with someone that you trust and feel comfortable with.  Having an emotional connection helps create passion between you as well.

Look for the erotic. 

Instead of having your mind focus on anxiety-provoking thoughts, the best way to increase your arousal is to focus on what is erotic for you.  Each person has certain thoughts or images in their mind that are erotic for them at any particular time.  If you want to have your cycle of sexual arousal engaged and your blood flowing, focus on the most erotic thought or image for you at that moment.  With a combination of relaxation and erotic focus, arousal comes easily.

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