Want To Feel More Pleasure? A Simple Way To Rewire Your Brain For Pleasure
by Majbrit Villadsen on August 24, 2016
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When I received my first tantra massage, it was with the clear intent to learn to feel more pleasure. I didn't know how to make that happen, so I relied on the masseur to “fix” me. As if I was broken. It took a while for me to realize I wasn’t. My life was just about not noticing my wants and desires - my pleasure paths were closed for traffic. Even when I did feel a longing or desire for something I very likely wouldn’t ask for it.
For many reasons most of us have a hard time asking for what we want. Out of fear of rejection or belittlement, being too shy to express ourselves, not daring to be vulnerable or simply because we don’t know what we want. So we don’t ask. Maybe we feel we have asked or that it should be obvious what we want. So we acquiesce to status quo. Bottomline is - we don’t ask - and so many times we don’t get what we want.
We do everything else but asking for what you want. We try to hint, we blame, we make others feel like they owe us, we steal attention, withdraw or do something else to try to get what we want. And when we don’t get what we want we equate it with not being worthy. One of the most painful feelings in the world. And although, from an objective point of view, it’s not true - it doesn’t make a difference to the lonely voice in our head.
The voice busy listing all the things wrong with us. The one telling us not to be a burden on others - better play it safe. We try to cope in various ways. We train ourselves to feel less because feeling is painful - and in so doing slowly close down to experience pleasure. We disconnect from ourselves, our feelings and from what we want. And as all feelings, painful as well as joyful, are just sensations in the body we gradually loose touch with our body. We feel less alive.
Coming alive in your body
I had a female client coming in for a tantra massage not long ago. Before the massage, we spoke about how the massage helps us connect to our body, and offers a way to experience relaxation through and with the body. So relaxation stops being something you chase mentally, and instead it unfolds in your body moment to moment. I always encourage the receiver of a massage to bring their attention on the touch. Whenever the mind starts to wander or goes into analysis mode just bring the attention back to the touch of the body. From this experience of relaxation and presence the body awakens to more joy and pleasure as the sensory intake goes to the brain, recruits new brain cells and the experience expands. The body becomes alive to the touch. Assuming the touch is not unpleasant to you that is.
Eventually your chattering brain quiets down, there’s a shift in your body and you access a state of relaxed pleasure. Not a goal-oriented form of pleasure seeking more and wilder. A feeling of pleasure spreading softly, sometimes incessantly intensely, through the tissues of your body. Lighting up every cell in exquisite pleasurable sensitivity.
Relaxation helps us to become fully alive. It helps us to become sensitive to what’s happening in our body, to what we feel, and to respond accordingly. When we train our responsiveness within, we become able to respond properly to the outside world and how it relates to our body, how it relates to our physical health and emotional well being. And we feel more pleasure.
Luckily there are many ways to learn to feel more pleasure through relaxed awareness. Betty Martin, the creator of The Wheel of Consent, offers a great way for experiencing more pleasure through your hands, which translates into more joy, fun and pleasure in your body.
Noticing the inflow through your hands
I love all things practical. Making things practical and tangible makes it so much easier to get it. And not just get it with your mind but with your body as well. One thing I love about Betty Martin’s work is that it’s very accessable. In her work she talks about an experience to awaken the nerve endings in your hands by noticing the inflow of information through your hands when you touch an inanimate object.
As she frames it, the experience is: what happens if I let my hands feel good for no reason whatsoever, and is it even possible?
Usually our hands are used to do something with or to an object, and when we touch a person, we think about what we can do to make them feel good. So we think about what’s going out our hands. In this practice we’ll focus on noticing what’s coming in our hands. It’s a very practical experience of noticing pleasure within.
You can watch the video in where she presents how to open up to this experience and let your hands come alive to feel more pleasure. I highly recommend watching all of her videos, however the one referring to this practice is called Lesson 1: The pleasure in your hands.
Increasing sensitivity and awareness
It may take some time to fully get the benefits of this experience, and in the beginning you may feel awkward or bored - just keep noticing, and keep coming back to this practice several times as you develop your capacity to experience pleasure. Rewiring the brain takes some time and patience is a virtue.
At the same time you become much more present in what you do, and your body learn to relax as you explore the object and notice the sensations it brings you. Your sensitivity increase along with the pleasure you feel, and as a by product the touch you offer others will be from a place of relaxed awareness where you’ll be sensitive towards the bodily reactions of the person.
Obviously this is going to help you in your intimate relationships, when you cuddle and when you make love. You’ll start to notice what feels good to your partner and what doesn’t. But it’ll also be helpful for you in your interactions with friends, family and colleagues. When you’re attentive to their response to your touch, you won’t inadvertently cross someones limits or touch them in a way that is not respectful of their wishes. So while you’re increasing pleasure and awareness you gain more confidence in yourself as well.
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