Sex is more than just, well, sex. There’s no definite how-to, and it’s more than just intercourse. In fact, “outer course” is the new flirtatious foreplay we should be experimenting with.
As a woman (who’s difficult to please), sex can feel like a dance to me — and sometimes it’s hard to find a good dance partner. It involves touching, feeling, and being emotionally vulnerable. And when it comes to touching and feeling, acupressure can help. There are techniques and points that can jumpstart that safe and nurturing environment and, in turn, help maximize pleasure.
Touching is a powerful thing, especially in areas other than your fun bits. Research shows that the act of physically touching your partner helps create intimacy and relieve stress. Which means, in the bigger picture of many sexual dysfunctions, touch could help dissolve mental or emotional blockages. Especially for women who feel expected to live up to or act out certain expectations.
But ultimately, stress affects both sexes and is often what’s keeping you from having more fun in the bedroom.
Breaking down the psychological barriers to awesome sex
To help create a peaceful atmosphere, Andrew Perzigian, LAc, suggests beginning with a scalp massage, pressing the pads of your fingers in circular motions on the scalp and then moving down to the neck. Perzigian, an expert in acupuncture, acupressure, and Chinese herbal medicine, specializes in fertility — which, as you can imagine, often involves helping couples with their sex drive.
“Go to the highest and lowest pressure points on the body, the furthest points from the core, the furthest points from where balance derives, as a way of creating safe, nurturing, and calming energy,” he says. “And, from the acu-perspective, this is an effective way of balancing the yin and yang extremes in the body.” When doing this, and any form of intimate touch, it’s important to approach without expectations, but with plenty of care and caution.
Here are the acupressure points and areas that you and your partner can test out to soothe your body, promote trust — and potentially — up your pleasure.
1. Head massage, focusing on DU20
Location: Around the top of the head, above the ears.
Although this is considered the most yang (active) area of the body, massaging these areas actually helps lower this activity out of the head and back to the core of the body. With our frantic, productivity-driven lives, we often invest too much of our body’s resources in our brains and this can get in the way of foreplay. Massaging DU20 and the head in general, helps to calm an overtaxed mind and allows that precious blood to flow in a more balanced way in the body.
2. Foot massage, using KI1, SP4, and LR3
Location: Bottom of the foot, about a third of the way down (K11); inside the foot, at the base of the toe (SP4).
Gently rub Kidney 1 (KI1) and Spleen 4 (SP4), which are both located on the feet. These are considered very powerful points for balancing the subtle energies in the body while simultaneously promoting an increase in blood flow to the core of the body. Both of these points are directly and intimately connected to both the male and female reproductive organs… helloooo, sexy time!
3. Calf massage, using KI7 and SP6
Location: Inside the calves, two fingers above the ankle.
Kidney 7 (KI7) is thought to promote the yang, warming energy in the body. Spleen 6 (SP6) is said to promote the yin, calming energy in the body. These points are perfect representations of male (KI7) and female (SP6) energy, according to Chinese medicine. These are closely associated, promoting healthy blood flow — which is no surprise as healthy blood flow and arousal certainly go hand in hand.
4. Belly rub, focusing on Ren6
Location: Two finger spaces down from the belly button.
Belly points can be very tender and since they’re located closer to our reproductive organs and the parts we use in sex, massaging these points should be done with a bit of caution and extra care. Ren6 is one you’ll read about and it’s considered an important point for boosting energy (or qi, in Chinese terms). Since it’s also located on the most calming point of all acupuncture channels, it makes a wonderfully balanced point. So massage with care as Ren6 can help nurture a sense of intimacy and arousal all at once.
Location: Small spot, above the crotch where the hip hinges and meets the body.
Stomach 30 (ST30) is right near a main artery, which again, helps to increase blood flow in the body. Slowly press on this pressure point for a few seconds, hold, and release. For best results, hold eye contact with your partner during this intimate routine.
These helpful points are chosen for their capacity to calm, which makes for more sensitive and considerate foreplay and more aroused and exciting intercourse. It’s important to be caring and gentle, and gently rub or massage these points with love, like a soft kiss, and not harsh pressure.
In general, when it comes to acupressure, Perzigian advises that each individual requires their own unique treatment (ideally, tailored to them by a professional). Acupressure’s purpose was never for sexual arousal.
There’s no right way to be aroused
Above all else, Perzigian recommends creating a calm space for you and your partner. “Almost all arousal issues are psychological, not physical,” Perzigian says. Since our current society praises hectic busyness and stress, our bodies and minds never have a moment to be bored. But boredom is actually essential to our human existence. Perzigian describes how focusing on certain yin, or calming, pressure points can “force boredom” on the body and tune out of all of life’s craziness.
“This is the basis upon which any increase in real sex drive can occur, as opposed to artificial increase from drugs or porn,” says Perzigian. By forcing boredom onto the body, people will settle into a more relaxed state so they’re mentally and physically available for intimacy.
Everybody and every body is different, and the most important aspects of improving your sex life come from within. Communication, trust, and relaxation are key. Furthermore, there’s not yet enough scientific research around the pleasure of sex and there’s definitely no golden standard to doing it.
These pressure points help increase calmness and reduce stress, which can lead to increased pleasure and communication during sex. It’s not advised to use these points solely for sexual pleasure.
Brittany is a freelance writer, media maker, and sound lover located in San Francisco. Her work focuses on personal experiences, specifically regarding local arts and culture happenings. More of her work can be found at brittanyladin.com.