A century ago, Freud explored how sexual desire was the main motivating energy in human life. We have come a long way, with experts mapping out considerable adaptations in human sexuality, yet its connection to pleasure is as fascinating as ever.
Sexual pleasure is not as simple as a group of reflexes awakened in your body. Contrary to Freud's discoveries, sexual experiences are not only a set of primal emotions and associations.
The origin of pleasures through curiosity
Equally to developing our tastes in music, literature, or food, the same goes for our body's pleasures.
The pursuit of pleasure - through curiosity - offers, on a psychological level, the same satisfaction as the pleasure itself. It makes true the old statement that the journey counts equal to the destination.
Psychologists have long considered a curiosity, to be its own intrinsic motivation, in the pursuit of pleasure, and not just as a means to an end. This means that one can experience pleasure just by snooping around his/her own body, without necessarily the intention of a culmination and simply discover what gives them a zesty satisfaction. Hence, getting a healthy appetite for curiosity and exploring new ways of pleasure is as rewarding as the climax itself.
Where does pleasure live in our bodies?
The sensation of pleasure that we get from listening to a favorite song, taking a bite of a dessert we’ve been craving or even winning at a game is an effect activated in our brain by what is called the “reward system”. The secret is dopamine, which is associated with pleasure.
Yet, dopamine is only the catalyst that makes us seek pleasure but is not directly responsible for it.
A study that eliminated the dopamine secretion in animals showed that animals can experience pleasure regardless. Even without the secretion of dopamine, animals would show “facial expressions” or other signals associated with experiencing pleasure.
Pleasure can be activated through sights and smells, tactile sensations, and frankly any other stimulators. You don’t need to get deeply anatomical about it, as long as you give it leeway, in whatever form or “flavor” it can manifest, and most importantly, you don’t overanalyze it.
Sharing your partner's pleasures
Scientists, for years, have been working to tease apart how the pleasure manifests in our brain. They’re still going at it, but one curious discovery is that women can achieve orgasm without any direct stimulation! So much for the “cliché” that states that “the most powerful sexual organ in the body is the brain”.
In tracking down what will make your partner’s pleasure explode, or your own, for that matter, is important to allow both elements, physical and psychological into play. A big slice of the cake, in the pleasure equation is taken by the psychological part. This is why sexting or any other form of long-distance stimulation can be as intense as the physical part itself.
Sharing your partner’s pleasure starts from as simple as asking and chatting about what makes the other tick, or in the self-exploration part, to go as wide and as curious, about your own body, as possible.
Second to that is, with mutual consent, to explore each other’s body like a sightseeing trip, with excitement, curiosity, enthusiasm, and glee. Because what brings one woman to the proverbial pleasure peak is not necessarily true for another.
Where do you stand on anal pleasure?
A good chat makes for good sex. Asking your partner if they like oral sex, vaginal or anal penetration, or verbal stimulation, ensures you create the necessary space for picking up on their pleasure points.
But, when hunting for pleasure, some research comes in handy as well.
70% of women can’t reach orgasm from penetration alone, and they need clitoral stimulation.
Yet, more interesting results come from studying anal sex and anal pleasure. For some it’s a taboo subject, yet when the numbers are attention-grabbing, we can’t avoid them.
The Journal of Sexual Medicine published in 2010 a study that revealed that of the 31% of surveyed women, who have had anal sex, 94 % had an orgasm and experienced intense pleasure.
Now these are some serious odds in favor of pleasure, higher than vaginal or oral sex itself, worth taking into account. That being said, everyone probing in exploring anal pleasure needs to do so in their own time. It needs to be done without rushing it or feeling pressured by some “expected result” due to statistics and with a partner they trust, or during self-exploratory stimulation.
Indulging in your guilty pleasures
Pain is pleasure. Indulging in pain is a uniquely human feature to explore it as pleasure. No other animal would engage with a painful experience. Only humans can do so, knowing and given that it won’t harm them.
A study conducted in 2015 and published in Plos Journal mostly looked at sexual behaviors that may be considered as being about exploration, recreation, affection, or novelty (e.g., spanking, whipping, kissing, saying romantic or “dirty” things during sex). Their findings stated that what is seen as guilty pleasures or fetishes help with getting to climax as well as making the sexual experiences more intense. You can’t know how a part of your body feels or reacts to a certain stimulation until you try it.
Self pleasure is pure pleasure
When discovering new sensations and new ways to experience pleasure, sex toys become a great avenue in favor of self-exploration. Additionally, you can’t tell a partner what you like until you’ve discovered that part yourself. Hence self-pleasure becomes quintessential in the ever-evolving pursuit of pleasure. Sex toys are engineered with specific goals in mind. For instance, our vibrators put clitoral stimulation at the center of the sex toys’ design. And that is due, as mentioned before, a large percentage of women that simply can’t climax from solely vaginal penetration.
Pleasure as a means for wellbeing
When exploring pleasure, various stimulations offer different sensations for every type of sex. In addition to that, virtually any type of sexual activity has shown health benefits too, from lowering the risk of heart diseases to better sleep, stronger immune system, relief from migraines and menstrual cramps, along with a happier mood.
Going solo or with a partner, it’s worth breaking away from your usual “routine” and keep your pleasures varied. Exploring your sexual pleasure can give you access to a capsule of wanderlust and become an ever-evolving case in the pursuit of pleasure. Because there is something truly liberating in opening yourself to being sexually adventurous and taking charge of your own pleasure.
So, go ahead, honeybee and seek new avenues of pleasure and get rewarded with an endless rip of zesty wellbeing. After all, we all need to feed some thought of our own into the “Pleasure for Pleasure’s Sake” concoction.