Candlelight. Soft music. Foot massages. Kissing. (Or just a quick romp in bed before the kids get home from school.) Foreplay and consensual sex take many forms, but they have one thing in common: sex really is a drug.

The health benefits of sex are well documented for the feel-good sensation caused by the release of many happiness-inducing hormones. These cascade through your body when having a true moment of erotic connection and sexual satisfaction. The intimacy and connection couples enjoy during sex is unlike that of any other coupling, and during sex the brain releases cortisol, dopamine, endorphins, oxytocin and prolactin, causing the waves of pleasure couples feel.

Cortisol is a natural stress reliever that will have you feeling comfortably expansive and deeply relaxed, causing you more heart and body openness. Dopamine helps to stimulate your brain’s pleasure centres while endorphins take the edge off any bodily aches and pains. Oxytocin will leave you in a state of heightened senses, feeling lighter, seeing brighter and being more empathetic to your partner’s needs and desires. All these hormones ripple through you during sexual intimacy, with the floodgates opening wider after orgasm. In the afterglow, prolactin relaxes you further and when combined with all the other feel-good hormones, will have you blissfully sleeping like a baby in your lover’s arms.

The after-effects don’t just last for a few minutes—good sex relieves stress, boosts immunity, improves sleep, heightens mood and decreases the risk of
prostrate
cancer, heart disease
and
depression.   What is important to note is that by design we are wired to feel good—we are designed for pleasure. We touch on it daily in our experience of many sensory pleasures—decadent chocolate, music that fills your soul, beauty in art and nature, shared laughter, the skin-tingling affect of a lover’s tender caress. It is those moments that open you up, touch your heart and cause you to feel joy and happiness. That is
pleasure
.







The sweet spot of sexual pleasure is attained through intimacy. Intimacy, from Latin, means “the deepest part”—the “core,” if you will. Sex is one of the ultimate expressions of intimacy.Sexual intimacy is so much more than achieving a climactic moment of orgasm. It is a delicate, deep connective tissue that binds lovers—mind, heart, body
and
soul. It surpasses bodily pleasures and is a profound experience where you are fully there for each other’s pleasure in an endless moment of rapture. It is that feeling of familiarity of knowing yourselves and knowing each other, exquisitely exposed in the effortless unfolding of lovemaking.







Sexual intimacy is an elusive, ever-changing intangible that drives passionate people forward, wanting more. It requires you to pull back the covers, raw and open, with a courageous heart, revealing your secret truths, sensual desires
and
sexual fantasies. And that is a place of great vulnerability that is as exciting as it is edgy. The promise is one of erotic and ecstatic pleasure.







To expand your sexual practice, consider these tips designed to heighten you erotic sexual play:

  1. Understand more 
    of

    what your partner wants and what turns them on and reciprocate by sharing your deepest desires. Be 100% responsible for your own sexual experience. What teases, titillates and tempts you that you secretly want but resist telling? Share that. 


  2. Talk before you are actually having sex as any strong “advice-giving” during the act may diffuse the situation quickly. If you do not like something in bed, make it known by subtly moving away and changing things up.

  3. Explore sex and your partner’s body as an endless art. True lovemaking is intended to evoke the greatest pleasures for both of you. People’s needs change over time so juicy variety with spontaneity will keep your sex life vibrantly alive and hot.

  4. Give consideration to the fact that men and women have very different ways of expressing their sexuality. Some polar opposition is wanted so that you can complement each other. With care, it will lead to wild abandon and ravishment.

  5. Maintain eye contact while making love—it is very intimate.

  6. Focus more on lengthened foreplay, for it is critical to heightening arousal,
    sensitivity and responsiveness. Most women hold their tension in their bodies and need help to soften up to deeply relax into sexual pleasure. Men generally seek to release their stress as sexual tension via ejaculation.

  7. Experiment with becoming more sensitive to each other by slowing down so that you both can fully feel every nuanced ripple of excitement and pleasure coursing through your bodies.

Julie Ward: An intimacy and relationship coach, offers deep insight and wisdom in a light-hearted, earthy manner.  Her expertise has been showcased in Canada’s #1 magazine – Canadian Living with many other contributions to radio, TV and speaker panels._