Get your engines ready …
Pleasure is healthy, according to Winston. She lists health benefits documented in respected sexual-health books and periodicals: antidepressant, anti-anxiety, mood-enhancer; energizing, relaxing, meditative, calming, centering; good for circulatory system, great aerobic exercise, muscle-building, producing endorphins and neuro-chemicals (such as nitric oxide), energy-stimulative and immune-supportive as well as “balancing” for the central nervous system.
Winston discovered that years of explaining to birthing mothers how to push had helped increase her own musculature, thereby increasing her own personal ability to give and receive pleasure. These “gifts” are what earned her an appearance on both hit TV shows, though Winston said she was more focused on delivering an education rather than just thinking a happy thought and trembling in her seat on camera — the very “gift” which was featured in front of millions of viewers.
Physical therapist Liz Weiss, owner of Hudson Valley Manual Physical Therapy in Marlboro, said regular orgasms help tone and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which tend to become de-conditioned with age and childbirth. These muscles are responsible for bladder and bowel control, without good tone can create embarrassing incontinence problems for women. As for men, Weiss said that the act of sex works to strengthen the core muscles, which can protect the lower back.
“Sex is a beneficial act,” said Weiss, who emphasized the benefits of relaxing the mind, body and soul by engaging in sex. Weiss explained that the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are both beneficially stimulated by the increased blood and oxygen flow, resulting in an overall sense of wellness.
Practice makes perfect
“Even if you’re partnered, your solo sex is still your learning laboratory where you run experiments. It’s your rehearsal hall, and where you go to practice,” Winston said. “If you want to play great duets, you have to know your own instrument.” Winston’s online classes, workshops and conferences often incorporate this theme as a means of empowerment, bypassing our shame, seizing our gifts from evolution as she has described, with no right or wrong way to express it. Winston further asserts that that one must familiarize oneself, with one’s self; acquainting with what works, what’s doesn’t work and what totally works. Winston encourages exploration.
Though Winston encourages playing with toys, she said that incorporating them are just one of many paths. “Expanding and increasing” our pathways is the way to go, she added. “Toys are a wonderful adjunct to our body parts,” she said. “Our mind and our imagination is the best toy we have.” However, she cautioned that not all toys are created equal. “If you take it out of the box and it smells like a northern New Jersey factory out-gassing, maybe you don’t want to use it,” she said. Winston explained that most sexual devices and aids are imported from China, where they are packaged as “novelty items.” As long as they are imported as such, there are no governing regulations. Winston recommends medical-grade silicone, glass or stainless steel. As for lubrications, her personal favorite is coconut oil, which she warns cannot be used with latex barriers as it breaks down the latex. Coconut oil is good, though, for the vagina’s delicate ecology; natural and organic lubes are ideal. Other suggested brands include Groovy, Pur, Good Clean Love and Aloe Cadabra.
Part of practicing is just working the muscles. In addition to your 20 Kegels at every red light, squeezing, releasing, opening, pushing, rolling will all assist is keeping it together. Once these muscles are developed, the enjoyment factor skyrockets.
Put your hands in the air
Winston shared some “hands-free” tips to increasing pleasure. There is such a thing as orgasming from non-genital stimulation, such as from rubbing nipples or other body parts. Connecting with one’s self, mind, body, heart and spirit helps direct one to those experiences. Winston’s ability to reach orgasm through breath, sound and solo body movements earned her the spot on national TV.
Whether you are alone or partnered, she advises experimenting by changing-up breathing patterns, your emitted sounds and squeezing and releasing pelvic floor muscles to experience different outcomes. “If you sigh loudly, then groan deeply,” she said. “If you normally breathe really fast, see what happens when you breathe slowly. It’s all a matter of experimentation with your body. See what happens. Use breath as a tool to get centered or relaxed, or more excited. Whatever it is you need to do. Get to know your body and connect with yourself.”
As for sound, she suggested being as loud as possible, since sound amplifies sensation by expanding the amount of what the brain is able to receive. “Moaning and groaning improves awareness and sensation, and as a partner tool, it communicates,” she said. “And it’s a real turn-on.”
Upcoming will be a new book from Winston, and some intensive retreats, including Super-Sex Makeover. For information visit her website at intimateartscenter.com.