Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Sensate Focus


Sensate Focus - A Freeing Experience

Furthermore, the explicit instruction against sexual arousal and orgasm frees each partner of the pressure to produce an adequate sexual response in him- or her- self or in his or her partner.

It is also important that they are given permission to experience pleasure. Thus, sensate focus is a learning experience whereby pleasurable responses are reinforced and sexual anxiety is diminished because the fear of failure is removed.

An additional therapeutic feature of sensate focus relates to the psychodynamics of the couple's psychosexual problems. Masters and Johnson, along with renowned sex therapist Helen Singer Kaplan, noted that in gently caressing each other, the couple may be confronted with one or both partners' anxiety about physical intimacy.

Both the anxiety that is aroused and the defenses this anxiety elicits become important avenues for psychotherapeutic exploration, and can be very important in understanding and improving a couple's relationship in general, which most likely will have a significant influence on their sexual functioning.

Copyright 2002 Sinclair Intimacy Institute


More to Explore