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What if we told you that there was a method that could reduce sexual anxiety and improve intimacy between partners by focusing on physical sensations rather than performance? All with an emphasis on enjoying the present moment rather than chasing an orgasm . Sensate Focus has also been recognized for its success in treating various sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, lack of sexual desire, vaginismus and anorgasmia in women, or the rediscovery of sexuality after pregnancy . Sounds great right? We explain everything to you in this article!

Who are Master & Johnson?

The Sensate Focus is a sex therapy technique developed by American sexologists William Masters and Virginia Johnson in the 1960s. 👩🏻‍🔬🧑🏼‍🔬

They are two pioneers of modern sexology who revolutionized our understanding of human sexuality from 1957 to 1965. They conducted innovative studies to directly observe the body's reactions during arousal and orgasm. Through their research, they created the famous four-phase model of sexual response: arousal, plateau, orgasm, and resolution.

Their 1966 book, Human Sexual Response , broke many taboos and remains an essential reference for understanding sexuality in a more open and scientific way.

Their method shocked puritan America of the sixties, because they were the first scientists to observe individuals having sexual intercourse.

Thanks to this method of data collection, they have proven that the size of the clitoris or penis plays no role in sexual capacity, that aging does not mean the death of sexual life and that women do not enjoy less than the man.  

Without their work, the approach to positive sexuality would not exist and Powerful even less. Thanks to this amazing duo for paving the way for the normalization of pleasure. 👏

The benefits of the Sensate Focus method

This method taught in sexology classes consists of a series of exercises where touch and bodily sensations are explored. 🫱

Initially, the approach is non-sexual, then it gradually becomes erotic , initially avoiding any penetration. It encourages communication, mutual discovery and the development of a deep emotional and physical connection.

The Sensate Focus is structured in four stages, each composed of 6 sessions lasting from 25 minutes minimum to 40 minutes maximum . Each session involves a masseur and a masseuse, alternating roles between you and your partner.

It is essential that you follow the Sensate Focus protocol , which means that the entire session, including undressing, showering, drying and massaging, should take place in silence. 🔇

Even if you're dying to whisper pretty phrases in your partner's ear, be patient!

This therapeutic tool allow of :

  • Put less pressure on yourself
    By focusing on feelings rather than results, we say goodbye to performance anxiety.

  • Improve communication
    We learn to openly express our preferences, our sensations and what piques our sensual curiosity.

  • Strengthen emotional connection
    These exercises help you reconnect emotionally and with your intimacy. Bonus: Exploring each other's bodies also strengthens physical connection and affection.

  • Rediscover pleasure
    Without the pressure to “do things right,” we can savor the sensations and become more grounded in the present moment.

  • Resolve sexual dysfunctions
    The Sensate Focus method is a great ally to resolve a drop in libido, shy lubrication or even premature ejaculation in men.

  • Boost body awareness
    You become more aware of your own body and your partner's sensations.

  • Share positive experiences
    Couples create positive and pleasurable sexual experiences together.

  • Enjoy a calm and relaxing break
    Rather than embarking on a frantic race to orgasm, we take the time to enjoy ourselves and who knows, relaxation will perhaps inspire sparks of erotic creativity in you?

By shifting the focus from performance to sensory pleasure, Sensate Focus allows you to better understand your and your partners' desires and bodily responses. But also to strengthen intimacy within the couple and acceptance of your feelings.

Let’s get into practice!

Phase 1: Non-sexual exploration

The goal is to create an environment of relaxation, mindfulness and exploration for everyone without any sexual pressure . Just a moment of intimacy for two that allows them to discover each other, explore each other's bodies, caress each other.

The goal here is not to wait for an in-your-face sexual reaction, but to discover the person's body from A to Z: the hardest part, the softest part, the hottest part, the coldest part and much more. It’s a real sensory exploration! 🕵️

  1. Take a shower or bath. 🚿

  2. The masseur undresses the massaged person.

  3. The masseuse begins to take a shower, the masseur undresses and joins his or her partner. The person giving the massage cleans and soaps his or her partner completely.

  4. Once the shower or bath is finished, both partners go out. The masseur wipes the person who is being massaged.

  5. The massage recipient will lie down naked on the bed, preferably positioned on their stomach.

  6. The person giving the massage wipes off in turn and joins his or her partner.

  7. He or she begins the massage with oil on the entire body, from the feet to the shoulders.


    At the end of this first step, everyone shares their feedback and expresses their feelings about what they liked, what they didn't like, and the parts of the body that had the most sensations. 🗨️

    After 6 sessions, when this level is completed, do not hesitate to try to find out if this experience brought you closer together . You can then move on to level 2.

    Phase 2: Integration of the fantasy principle

    The principle of phase 2 is similar to level 1 with, in addition, the integration of fantasy . We keep the step of the shower or the bath, the massage, but with a no longer sensual notion in the minds of both partners.

    This time, the person being massaged expresses what she feels at the moment. Focus particularly on what makes you happy. 💖

    You can include the genital areas , without it being masturbation, rather “teasing” and sensuality.

    At the end of the sessions, it is always important to say what you felt during the experience. You can even discuss preferences: did you prefer the first or second phase?

    Phase 3: Integration of erogenous zones

    The more comfortable you are, the more you can begin to include erogenous zones in your explorations. 🔥

    While keeping the steps of phase 1, integrate increasingly sexual caresses with the aim of masturbating your partner.

    Keep in mind that the goal is still not to have an orgasm or give one, but to continue to become familiar with the erogenous zones.

    During this stage, feedback is always welcome. Share your physical feelings, but also the emotions that pass through you as you progress through the stages.

    Phase 4: Introduction of sexual relations

    During this very last step, it is important to repeat the previous steps before arriving at the sexual act itself.

    To recap here, you take a shower or bath together, massage each other, start the more sensual massages, then masturbation, and that's when you can include penetration and intercourse.

    This level allows you to completely abandon yourself to pleasure. And one last time, all in unison, it's not a race for orgasm, but for the pleasure felt throughout the experience . 😍

    Our best tips for getting started

    Create an environment of relaxation and privacy

    Choose a comfortable and pleasant place to talk about it with your partner.

    When you start exploring, you can even add candles, dim lighting, or soft music to create a relaxing and safe atmosphere in which you feel good. 🕯️

    Agree on the frequency together

    Before starting the sessions, take the time to talk with your partner. It's time to share what inspires you, what maybe scares you a little more, and anything else that comes to mind about Sensate Focus. Choose your massage oil together and discuss the atmosphere you want to create.

    You must also agree on the frequency of these practices.

    Some couples prefer to do this on a regular basis, while others may opt for less frequent sessions. Find what works best for your relationship and your respective schedules.

    By establishing these foundations from the start, you will create a more trusting environment conducive to the experience. 😄

    Focus on the experience rather than the obstacles

    Sensate Focus isn't just for sex therapy; it is a method that can enrich everyone's life. 🙌

    By focusing on the present moment through mindfulness, it helps to detach yourself from external distractions and worries. This not only helps reduce stress and anxiety , but also improves connection with yourself and others.

    By practicing Sensate Focus, we develop increased sensitivity to physical and emotional sensations , which promotes more authentic and enriching interactions. Whether during meals, at work or in personal relationships, this approach can transform the way we live our daily lives.

    It encourages you to fully savor each moment, to be more present and to appreciate the little joys of life more intensely . 💐

    Sensate Focus after childbirth?

    After giving birth, resuming a “normal” and fulfilling sex life can be a real challenge for some women.

    Between tissue healing, hormonal roller coasters, fatigue and new parenting responsibilities, it's not always easy. Added to this cocktail, vaginal dryness due to the drop in estrogen and lack of sleep and sexual intercourse becomes less comfortable alongside a declining libido.

    To better understand this postpartum period, the University of Tehran conducted a study among women aged 18 to 34. Eight weeks after targeted interventions, such as the Sensate Focus method, participants showed significant improvements in their sex life . They reported increased sexual satisfaction , less pain during intercourse, and a better emotional connection with their partner. 🤩

    These results show that adapted approaches can really help overcome postpartum obstacles and get back to having a great sex life.

    Sensate Focus is much more than just a therapeutic exercise to overcome sexual difficulties. It is an invitation to rediscover sexuality with your partner in a deep and intimate way while being fully aware of your own body and your desires . This practice is close to the principle of slow sex which emphasizes the present moment rather than the race to orgasm. If you like Sensate Focus, you can also try to bring awareness back to your sexuality! 😋


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