27/09/2011 13:31 BST | Updated 27/11/2011 05:12 GMT

Sex Life Matters: The Key To Arousal

We tend to think of arousal as a precursor to sex. But if we reframe arousal as a state of the body to be enjoyed in and of itself, we can get more pleasure from it.

Over time, and especially in long term relationships, arousal can be hurried, tripped over almost, in the race to get to intercourse. But the human body is designed to savour arousal.

From a yogic-tantric perspective, a person's whole energy - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually - is sharper and keener during arousal. During this phase in the sexual cycle, many different parts of the body are engaged. The mouth, chest - in both men and women, and genitals are obvious errogenic zones. But arousal often starts and grows in other contours of the body.

If you'd like to explore arousal more fully, spend time caressing and being caressed on the thigh, palm of the hand, nape of the neck, or wherever feels good. Your body is unique - let it show you what it finds pleasurable.

Paradoxically, the key to enjoying arousal is slowing down. As your pulse rate speeds up, you need to slow down. Make longer, more languid strokes; linger over one part of your lover's body; invite your lover to do the same.