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QTPOC Sensate Activities for Lovers

Sensate definition:

  • perceiving or perceived through the senses

  • alive and experiencing sensation, thought, or feeling

  • sentient

We all have a history of preferred stimulations. We likely never called it that ~ but our Kink is an example of sensate preferences.

Sensate focus is a technique used by most QTPOC and Somatic therapists to support the repair of intimacy and sexual communication between partners. Regular practice often reduces performance anxiety and moves folx away from performative or goal-oriented sexual patterns. It can also be helpful in building a vocabulary for self-expression. The fullness of connection is a byproduct of intimacy fulfillment ~ and fullness prioritizes quality over quantity for most humans.

Intimacy is a hard word for most humans. When my client is aware that they want more fulfillment and intimacy I guide them through a better understanding of attunement, and I love the consistent progress that unfolds. According to Mariam Webster attunement means to bring into harmony: to tune: to make aware or responsive. I say attunement is the accurate ability to know another motivated by desire: I see you, I adore you, and I want to please you. When we can get our partner to believe that, we are winning. Intimacy is a win-win feedback loop.

When you Google Sensate Focus expect to find instructions ~ then ignore most of them. The technique, developed by Dr. William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson in the 1960s, has been altered since then by many creative and expressive Beings. Do not focus on steps, focus on understanding sensate stimulation and sensate experience. It's like wine tasting, the more you practice, the more refined your pallet becomes.

Even the giver of touch is feeling that touch... pay attention to your senses as you pay attention to the experience of your lovers. Use consent language and boundaries, and if you don't know how now is a great time to be accountable to that need to level up!

One of my fav sensate focus activities is a trial of lube ~ so many brands, so many bases, and so many different sensations you can explore. Practice lube on your partner's arms, legs, butt, boobs, and eyelids before you move on to their genitals. This allows your partner to better get a sense of which lube produces the most pleasurable sensate. Affirm before you start that intercourse or organisms are permitted or restricted. Practice setting restrictions to experience arousal without release; write about that experience.

Stay imaginative and curious and explore. Use food, found objects, ambient lighting, and visual sound to be in ceremony while you amplify self-expression. Be intentional about safety. Practice a journey of all 5 senses like a 5-course meal... first, we see, then we taste, then we do smell, then we listen. As you move through each sensate experience notice that your partners are easing or tensing. If you do see tensing, check-in.

Contrasting stimulation {hot\cold; sweet\sour; restrain\release} generally produce a pleasant experience, and if your partner has a YUCK response never take it personal ~ learn from the experience what YUCK looks like in expression. Allow curiosity to bloom, check in. Discover as many YUM responses as you can on purpose.

After each sensate practice, copy this question set in a single Sensate email thread to yourself:

  • What was the highlight:

  • What was the hardest moment:

  • Do you see a NEED that is not met?

  • What was the level of fulfillment, on a scale of 0-10, when 10 is the most fulfilled you have ever felt?

If you practice and get stuck that is a good indication that you deserve support. Our support of intimacy is offered in concert with couples therapy or as a stand alone guided skill development. We can help you grow UR intimacy confidence, for details email to request a consultation with an intimacy guide.


At growURpotential, we trust that many providers understand the value of testing new approaches to healing. We invite you to invest 7 minutes in this video by Vierge Therapy X Wellness: What is Brainspotting Therapy

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