Where does pleasure start? With a glimpse of skin – or the first touch? Maybe it’s the sound of her key in your door. Let’s not overthink this, and just feel it. “We use our five senses primarily for purposes other than enjoyment,” says Dr Justin Sitron, a sexuality researcher at Widener University. “Sex is a chance to use them to just experience your body.” And hers. And yours with hers. Employ all five senses, and sex is more than a roll in the sack. It’s pure pleasure.
By MH Staff - Posted on 2nd December 2013
Sex is a total-body experience. It’s not just touching her, or looking at her, or hearing her moan. It’s all of that – and more
Growing up, everything I knew about sex came from late-night TV: if he touches me here, I’ll react like this. As if sex were call-and-response – I’d yell “Polo” when I heard “Marco”. It took years, and one holiday, to unlearn what I’d studied. One winter my boyfriend and I rented a one-room cottage with only a queen-size bed. “Let’s switch clothing,” he suggested after dinner. We undressed. He wrapped my neck with his wool scarf; I handed him my lace underwear. We tormented each other, adding scratchy accessories, until we couldn’t stand it. When he uncoiled the scarf, I nearly moaned in relief. Nothing had happened, but I was turned on. Still, he held back. What I could feel when he wasn’t touching me: the hammering of his heart, our tremors of anticipated pleasure. I wished he’d just slam into me, but this wasn’t the movies. Gently he laid me on the bed. Skin to skin, my softness against his roughness, he lightly traced my ear with his warm tongue; I trembled. Then he licked inside. He kissed the tender skin on my eyelids, my neck, each rib, the insides of my thighs, cornering the small, neglected zones. When he finally, urgently pulled my hips towards him, he communicated with a gesture how much he wanted me. And I realised I wasn’t too far off with Marco Polo – when we touched, our bodies answered. – Elissa Bassist
Here is my secret: when I kiss you, I inhale deeply. I take in your cologne, your mouthwash, and that distinct organic scent that makes you “you”. Scientists believe that women possess a keener sense of smell than men do. I believe them. Because if a guy smells good, then my notions of “type” immediately evaporate. Take Nathan. I met him at a party and thought he was bold and funny but not my flavour. Later, though, when we were alone in his car en route to an afterparty, I detected his cologne. It had notes of cedar, basil, maybe tobacco. I leaned in to smell his skin. It was sweet like coconut milk. Cut to the kind of makeout session that makes an impromptu Vegas wedding seem smart. During sex, I smell your soapy skin. Your salty-smelling sweat, which makes me want to lick you like the rim of a margarita glass. Then there are the cottony linens (nothing like dirtying up clean sheets), and my own smell, preferably on your face, starchy and sweet, after you go down on me. Later, curled in the nook of your chest and underarm, I relish the musky, earthy smell of sex in the air. Pheromones, maybe. Then afterwards, if the sex was good, I linger over the scent of your cologne on my jacket or pillow – at one time, the black leather notes from a certain bottle were mentally interchangeable with “best sex ever” for me. It became the smell of orgasm. Nothing, though, supersedes the smell of, simply, you. – Rachel White
I crave noise during lovemaking. Because you know what I hear during silent sex? My cat, pawing at his beloved scratch pad in the other room. My own thoughts, louder and louder and louder, wondering where you are and whether you’re having any fun. And the thwack, thwack, thwack of your balls. It’s not a good headspace. Here’s what is: Duke Ellington, Beach House or Kanye West in the background, sinking my brain into a very specific groove. Your breath, sucked in between your teeth, when my tongue hits that spot – you know the one. That crisp smack of your palm against my butt. My giggles and gasps. Your rumbling growls. And your words. Your words. They spark an electrical firestorm in my brain that stokes my ego, ignites my imagination, and tickles the dirtiest, most primal corners of my mind. Like this: Stand with your legs apart. You like that? Let me look at you. Whew. You can’t have that effect on me without sound. And neither can you provide me with this: the whimper. The one at the end, when words are impossible, and our ragged gasps mix in chorus, and it escapes from your chest – the signal that I’ve brought you over the edge. There’s power in that vulnerable whimper. In any case, if you’re not a talker, gasper, ass smacker, or whimperer… there’s always your iPod. Anything, really, beats that thwack, thwack, thwack. – Carolyn Kylstra
Whoever said women aren’t visual wasn’t a woman. My strongest memories of exes are mildly voyeuristic – there’s something compelling about watching a man in his moments of utter unselfconsciousness, preferably when he’s partially nude. It started in varsity, when I’d watch my boyfriend cooking, oddly and invariably shirtless. His biceps would flex as he opened the refrigerator door; his back muscles contracted while he chopped onions. Now it’s watching my fiancé gardening. I once stood in the driveway as he muscled shovelfuls of mulch, wearing only a pair of faded jeans, and surreptitiously snapped an iPhone pic. A posed shot would have ruined the thrill. My gaze is discerning, though. If I see an attractive man, I acknowledge his handsomeness. But that’s it – there’s no mental undressing. The targets of my lustful eye have almost exclusively been men I’ve loved. That’s in part because only an informed eye can detect the subtleties – the L-shaped scar framing his jaw, the faint beginnings of grey hair – that have seduced me. But perhaps more important, knowing the man makes me feel like I’m watching a stranger. I see defined muscles usually blurred by passion. The way his sweet eyes become fierce with concentration. The person I know is there, but he’s somehow different. It’s not “him and me”. It’s just him, the man, a reminder of who he was when I first met him. – Laura Roberson
In my early 20s, I was living in New York City and having the most adventurous sex of my life with Dylan, a man 10 years my senior. We loved staying in bed all morning, reading the book Tasting Him: Oral Sex Stories (R153 eBook, kalahari.com). Between stories, I’d go down on him, our oral sex flavoured by lip gloss or toothpaste or cherry warming lube. Ultimately, though, we decided that nothing was hotter than honey and sex. One summer night, Dylan and his buddy met up with my friend Julie and I at a bar. We drank glass after glass of spicy rum. I was wearing a dress with a deep V-neck. Dylan whispered in my ear, “You look so sexy right now. I want both of you to come home with us.” The rum made Julie and me feel fearless; we agreed. I did a lot of exploring that night in Dylan’s cramped apartment – I’d never had my mouth on another woman’s breast, or gone down on a guy with my boyfriend watching. But most memorable was a scenario Dylan and I had shared dozens of times before: I grabbed the honey off his nightstand. He poured it over my navel and hip bones, then softly licked and bit my skin. When he kissed me afterwards, he tasted sweet. My nipples hardened with desire. Since that night, honey has been my condiment of choice – I add it to my tea and top my toast with it religiously. With each taste, my body tingles with the memories of that sticky and sexy summer night. – Chloe Caldwell