Arousal is a mysterious thing. It can disappear or come out of nowhere, and from surprising places. Your body can be aroused even if your mind isn’t—or vice versa. And sometimes you might need a little help becoming aroused in the first place. Here are 10 of our favorite posts about physical, mental, and emotional arousal.
Before we talk about arousal, let’s define what it is—and how it differs from related (but distinct) sexual vocabulary.
“Our cultural understanding of desire assumes that we can tell if someone is turned on by how their body is responding during sex. Turns out that’s not really true!”
“Vibrators can help you get into the mood when you’re not already feeling it. That’s right: they can jump-start your arousal from zero.”
“It turns out that the primary, base emotion that underlies both sexual arousal and fear is the same.”
“Arousal starts in the brain before it reaches other parts of your body. There’s something so naturally erotic and arousing about kissing.”
“Ah, the sexual fantasy: a roaming, sexy series of erotic images that float into your conscious brain when aroused or looking to become aroused.”
“The more worried you are about these physical symptoms, the more likely they are to occur.”
“Notice where different types of touch bring you on the arousal scale. Perhaps rubbing your clit slowly brings you from a two to a four.”
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