This guide is part of the Body Confidence Course, a free video series where acclaimed sex coach Georgia Grace and psychologist Rashida Dungarwalla share the insights and exercises they use to help their clients build more body confidence every day.
This is a relatively simple exercise that can be used to work with a range of sexual concerns. Georgia may invite her clients to practise this at home if they’re trying to rewire a disgust response to their genitals and build a sense of safety in knowing they can touch their body and remove the touch if it ever feels too much. This practice can also be used to learn new ways of touching the body, regulating and building arousal and connecting with pleasure and sensation. We recommend trying this exercise two or three times a week, for 30 - 60 minutes each time—although, we encourage you to find a frequency that works for you!
- Start by bringing your awareness to a part of your body you feel comfortable touching - arm, hand, knee etc
- Bring touch to this body part - take a breath notice the sensation
- Remove your touch - take a breath notice the sensation
- Repeat this a few times
- Then choose a part of your body that feels edgy - maybe your stomach, chest, inner thighs etc
- Bring awareness to this body part
- Bring touch to this body part - take a breath and notice the sensation. Your touch may be still or it may have movement to it - do whatever feels good for you
- If it feels too uncomfortable or unsafe remove your touch - take a breath notice the sensation
- When your ready, start touching your body again
- Repeat a few times
Start stop method with your genitals:
- Begin by building a sense of arousal in your body. Do what works for you: this might mean thinking about an intimate fantasy, reading some erotica, or using your favourite sex toy.
- Explore one of your erogenous zones, touching it gently. This might mean cupping your genitals with your hand,. Don't push through any pain—if something feels uncomfortable, sore or too tender, don’t force yourself to continue.
- Try two or three cycles of this, removing your hands and beginning again wherever you left off.
- In the next session, begin where you left off (if it feels comfortable) and progress to whatever is interesting, pleasurable, or useful for your body that day.
- In time, you could experiment with inviting a partner into the practice. You could invite them to simply observe, or ask them to touch as well.
Mapping is essentially the process of finding sensation in your body. This is a useful exercise for anyone who sometimes feels numb or disconnected from their body, or who wants to expand their own potential for pleasure.
When you practise mapping regularly and with purpose, your overall awareness of your body can improve. This can help you feel more in tune with yourself, and more open to experiencing and giving pleasure.
- Get comfortable and choose a body part you’d like to awaken such as your hands, arm, stomach, or genitals
- Bring touch to this body part and explore what feels numb, pleasurable, good, and bad. Try to compassionately notice these sensations without immediately pulling away or moving onto something else—however, if you feel pain or discomfort, we encourage you to stop and take a break.
- As you touch, breathe and notice how you feel and what touch your body likes to receive.
Masturbation is something a lot of us do, but it’s rare we connect it to mindfulness! These prompts are designed to encourage you to bring body awareness into your masturbation.
Mindfully experiencing sensation can expand your relationship with pleasure. When you bring awareness to pleasure you will feel more present and aware of the dynamic sensations occurring within your body.
Place both hands on your body and ask yourself, “Where do I feel pleasure in my body?”. Take a moment to feel your body, then invite a deep inhale into your lungs and lengthen your exhale. Continue breathing like this and spend time scanning your body. Feelings of pleasure may be subtle or may be obvious—whatever it is, be with it. Inquire into any sensations you feel. How do they feel? Do they have a colour, emotion, word, shape, or movement? Bring awareness to your body and continue this process of intending to feel for pleasure in your body and scan your body as a whole. What do you notice?
Breasts, chests, and nipples can be an erogenous zone for all genders, and play an important role in arousal. Connecting to your breasts, chest, and nipples can also feel really intimate and healing.
Discover the pleasure potential of your chest. Remove your clothes, perhaps sensually. Start by bringing your hands to your chest, and feel for your breath as your chest expands. How does that feel? Place a hand on each breast or nipple and hold them for a few moments. Start moving your right hand in a clockwise direction and your left hand in an anti-clockwise direction. Massage your in circles for at least five minutes. If your body is curious about other types of touch, follow that curiosity.
Edging is the practice of building and down-regulating arousal, or moving towards and away from orgasm.
Begin by arousing your body with breath, movement, sounds, touch, and tools. Be aware not to go too far: if ‘zero’ is ‘not aroused’ and ‘ten’ is ‘orgasm’, you’ll want to be no more aroused then 8 so you can bring yourself down before your edge. Just before you feel like you’re going to climax, take your hands off or slow it all down and come back to a 5 on your arousal scale. After a few moments, start to build arousal again and repeat this edging process a few times. After a few rounds, build arousal for the final time and allow your body to reach orgasm.
Toys can be a useful and fun inclusion into masturbation. Grab your favourite toy and incorporate it into any of the above exercises, or try something new—can you use your toy in a new way, on a different part of your body? How does it feel? Arousing, unusual, ticklish, or something completely different?
Do what feels good, whatever that may be for you. It could be a combination of the above, or something new that you want to try. Go for it!