The website of best-selling sex author Anne Hooper
Stress and relaxation are opposite sides of the same coin. Without one, you cannot have the other. First step in the journey to sexual dynamism is to learn about the limits of bodily tension.
THE TENSION VERSUS RELAXATION PRINCIPLE
Not all relaxation is desirable – if we were relaxed to the point of being comatose, life would shudder to a halt. Sexual energy is no exception to this rule. When a body is exceptionally physically relaxed, its inclination is to go to sleep rather than be fired with sexual enthusiasm. When however a person has embraced that rare and invigorating state of being mentally relaxed but physically alert, it achieves a type of sexual balance. Paradoxically, one way of arriving at such a state is by starting off relaxed in both body and mind.
We achieve bodily relaxation best by deliberately putting the body under stress then feeling how relaxed it can become in contrast. Steps for tensing then relaxing the body follow on the opposite page.
INTRODUCING THE CONCEPT OF DELIBERATE STRESS
Keep the concept of deliberate stress in mind. Most people think that in order to experience orgasm we need to be relaxed. But orgasm itself is composed of a mixture of relaxed mental state but tensed muscular activity. Please consider relaxation therefore as a starting point for several differant aspects of sexuality. And to simplify the complication of the differing needs of the mental and physical these pages begin with teaching how to de-stress the human frame. Later, on following pages, we learn how to exert a different kind of stress on the body in the shape of bio-energetic exercises which help generate the sensation of energy in the pelvic area.
LYING DOWN COMFORTABLY
1. Lie flat on your back on the floor (padded with a towel) – not a bed. Breathe in slowly through your nose and out through your mouth. As you continue it may help to let the breath out with a slight exaggeration (eg. say ‘her’ on the out-breath). After a couple of minutes start noticing, while you continue with the breathing, which parts of your body feel tense.
TENSE AND RELAX
2. As you become aware of your tension spots, clench these areas hard for a count of three and then let go. If you find it difficult to identify tension spots or if you feel tense all over, try working your way up throughout the whole body, first tensing, then relaxing. Begin at the tip of the right foot and work your way up the right leg, tensing then relaxing every inch. When you reach the top, go back down to the left foot and come up that leg. Once you reach the abdomen, work your way up it, all the way to the neck, tensing and relaxing as you continue.
TENSING THE FACE
3. The face, like any other part of the body, can be exercised too. Begin by squeezing your chin onto your neck hard, for a count of three, then relax. Then squeeze the back of your head backwards, down towards your neck, hold and let go. Tense the right side of your face, hold and relax. Then the left side. Then screw up your eyes and squeeze the whole of your face towards the direction of the eyes, then relax. Finally close your eyes and open your mouth as wide as possible, stretching it for a count of three, before letting go. Feel free to invent any stretch variations you like.
Once you have tensed and relaxed throughout every inch of your body, examine yourself for remaining spots of tension. If there are still some,
4. go back to such areas and tense and relax these few all over again. Once you feel that you are fully relaxed, just lie and enjoy the relaxation. If your mind persists in running through lists of things you should be doing, focus it on one particular part of your body. – it doesn’t matter which. But try to remain focused. See if you can make this limb or organ central to your thoughts. Let everything else blanket out around it. Finally try relaxing this mental focusing and just let any random thoughts come into your brain. Remain lying down for at least a further five minutes.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BREATHING CORRECTLY
It’s easy to forget while tensing that it’s a good idea to continue breathing slowly and steadily as previously described. Regular breathing is an integral part of relaxation. When we feel tense and hurried we breathe in short shallow gasps. Deliberately slowing down, aids the rest of the calming process.
When you sit up, don’t just sit bolt upright. Roll over on to your front and come up backwards and slowly. This prevents the blood from rushing from the head making you feel faint.