Cover image for Great sex : a man's guide to the secret principles of total-body sex
Title:
Great sex : a man's guide to the secret principles of total-body sex
Author:
Castleman, Michael.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Emmaus, Pa. : Rodale, 2004.
Physical Description:
viii, 376 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781579547363

9781579547370
Format :
Book

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RA777.8 .C37 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

An advanced guide to whole body pleasure that offers new and groundbreaking information outlining the keys to sexual fitness that can lead to a lifetime of great sex.


Summary

Do you want to be a great lover and enjoy consistently great sex? Would you like reliable erections that don't wilt in the middle of lovemaking? Would you like superb ejaculatory control? Would you like your penis to be as large as it possibly can be? Do you want women to sing your sexual praises? All these sexual benefits can be yours if you read Great Sex and take its message to heart.

Author Michael Castleman is the nation's top journalist specializing in men's sexuality. He has been a sex educator, counselor, and writer for 30 years, including 5 years as the expert who answered the sex questions submitted to the Playboy Advisor. Written with the help of an advisory board that includes some of the nation's leading sex therapists, Great Sex is certain to help you overcome your sex problems; become a better, more confident lover; and enjoy the sex of your dreams.

Castleman's message is surprisingly simple: Stop imitating the rushed, all-genital sex you see in pornography. Instead, cultivate the opposite: leisurely, playful, total-body, massage-based lovemaking that includes the genitals, of course, but is not focused on them.

Sex inspired by pornography is a major reason why men think their penises are too small and why they have erection and ejaculatory problems. With wit, wisdom, and down-to-earth sympathy for men, Castleman discusses his own penis--like yours, it's a little too small--and his own struggles with balky erections, rapid ejaculation, and not expressing orgasm at all. Then, based on state-of-the-art sex therapy techniques, leading sexology texts, and almost 400 medical journal articles, he reveals how to overcome these issues and enjoy a satisfying and exciting sex life.

What's more, the sexual style Castleman advocates is the way most women prefer to make love. Take Castleman's advice and you'll benefit by having a lover who is more arousable, responsive, enthusiastic, and complimentary. In other words, when you embrace sensual, creative, whole-body lovemaking, everybody wins. You have fewer sex problems. The woman you love gets what she wants in bed. And you both enjoy sex that's hotter, more erotic, and more fulfilling.


Author Notes

Michael Castleman has been a sex and health writer since 1973. Library Journal calls him "one of the nation's leading health writers." His first book, Sexual Solutions , a self-help guide to men's sex problems, published in 1980, has since sold more than 500,000 copies. From 1991 to 1995, he answered the sex questions submitted to the Playboy magazine Advisor. He has answered sex questions for WebMD.com, and currently answers sex questions for Xandria.com, the nation's largest marketer of sex toys. He has written about sexuality for Reader's Digest, Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Men's Journal, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Redbook, Glamour, Ladies' Home Journal, Psychology Today, Self, Cosmopolitan, and Salon.com , among other publications. In 1996, he was nominated for the National Magazine Award for his coverage of breast cancer. Castleman is the author of nine other consumer health books. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan in 1972. He received a master's in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley in 1979 and taught medical journalism there in 1995 and 1996. Castleman lives in San Francisco with his wife (a family physician) and their two children.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this comprehensive sex manual, Castleman, a sex educator, counselor and journalist specializing in men's sexuality, leads readers through the pleasures and pitfalls of heterosexual copulation and its accoutrements. Illustrated with artful charcoal drawings and peppered with bon mots like "great sex is a combination of friction and fantasy," the book breezily covers a wide swath of the sexual arena, everything from the perennial libido crusher, male impotence, to questions of hygiene, like female douching. The author doesn't really reveal any new "secret principles." The Q&A section, for example, covers the same topics that most on-air sex therapists have been discussing since the sixties: e.g. "During sex with my girlfriend/wife, I have fantasies of other women. Is that okay?" and "Is it okay to masturbate as much as I do?" Still, Castleman does arrange and clearly present a wealth of information-from descriptions of the sexual positions that are most likely to bring a woman to orgasm to a careful discussion of how couples can regain intimacy in the wake a sexual trauma, such as abuse, rape or stalking. Combined with the author's calm, practical tone, such breadth is likely to win him many readers. 25 b/w illustrations. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.


Library Journal Review

Pornography may be entertaining for men, but it's lousy sex education, writes journalist/educator Castleman (Sexual Solutions). Most men don't get much sex education, but they do see porn-and familiarity breeds imitation. Yet porn's rushed, mechanical, genital-based sex leads to erection and ejaculation problems and turns women off. "Great sex" is leisurely, playful, and creative, encompassing the whole body-and most women like it better. Castleman starts off by describing how healthy lifestyles enhance sex, then segues into men's common concerns, e.g., penis size, masturbation, male virginity, and fantasies. Further chapters cover male sexual anatomy, ejaculation timing, and erection reliability-all with facts and "Great Sex" coping approaches. Four chapters address women's sexuality/pleasure. Concluding chapters speak to both partners: variations and enhancements, birth control (including outercourse), infections, desire issues, and how to find a therapist. Throughout, Castleman deftly sells good sex for women by appealing to men's own interests, with accurate, well-referenced details. Including Internet and organizational resources, as well as a lengthy reference list on a web site, this book is highly recommended for public libraries.-Martha Cornog, Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

In this comprehensive sex manual, Castleman, a sex educator, counselor and journalist specializing in men's sexuality, leads readers through the pleasures and pitfalls of heterosexual copulation and its accoutrements. Illustrated with artful charcoal drawings and peppered with bon mots like "great sex is a combination of friction and fantasy," the book breezily covers a wide swath of the sexual arena, everything from the perennial libido crusher, male impotence, to questions of hygiene, like female douching. The author doesn't really reveal any new "secret principles." The Q&A section, for example, covers the same topics that most on-air sex therapists have been discussing since the sixties: e.g. "During sex with my girlfriend/wife, I have fantasies of other women. Is that okay?" and "Is it okay to masturbate as much as I do?" Still, Castleman does arrange and clearly present a wealth of information-from descriptions of the sexual positions that are most likely to bring a woman to orgasm to a careful discussion of how couples can regain intimacy in the wake a sexual trauma, such as abuse, rape or stalking. Combined with the author's calm, practical tone, such breadth is likely to win him many readers. 25 b/w illustrations. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.


Library Journal Review

Pornography may be entertaining for men, but it's lousy sex education, writes journalist/educator Castleman (Sexual Solutions). Most men don't get much sex education, but they do see porn-and familiarity breeds imitation. Yet porn's rushed, mechanical, genital-based sex leads to erection and ejaculation problems and turns women off. "Great sex" is leisurely, playful, and creative, encompassing the whole body-and most women like it better. Castleman starts off by describing how healthy lifestyles enhance sex, then segues into men's common concerns, e.g., penis size, masturbation, male virginity, and fantasies. Further chapters cover male sexual anatomy, ejaculation timing, and erection reliability-all with facts and "Great Sex" coping approaches. Four chapters address women's sexuality/pleasure. Concluding chapters speak to both partners: variations and enhancements, birth control (including outercourse), infections, desire issues, and how to find a therapist. Throughout, Castleman deftly sells good sex for women by appealing to men's own interests, with accurate, well-referenced details. Including Internet and organizational resources, as well as a lengthy reference list on a web site, this book is highly recommended for public libraries.-Martha Cornog, Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

* 1 TOTAL-BODY SENSUALITY THE FOUNDATION OF GREAT SEX Does a great basketball player shoot with just his wrist? No. He uses his whole body. Everything works together as a well-coordinated whole. This same principle is the basis of great sex. Most of us are preoccupied with what's between the legs--our own and our partner's. But great sex is far more than that. It's a celebration of whole bodies, not just a few body parts. And it's based on full-body sensuality. "Every sex therapist wholeheartedly endorses a whole-body, sensual approach to sex," says Great Sex advisory board member Dennis Sugrue, Ph.D. In fact, it's the simple secret to great sex. Here's your sense-by-sense guide. TOUCH Mention "sex" and "skin" and most men think "penis." Sure, the penis is important to sex, but here's a key concept many men don't appreciate: For truly great sex, the rest of your skin is just as important--actually more so. Why? Because your skin is your body's largest sense organ--and its most sexually potent. Made up of hundreds of millions of nerve fibers, your skin provides an impressive amount of surface area, all of which responds exquisitely to touch, particularly erotic touch. And more of the brain is devoted to touch than to any other sense. Human beings can live rich lives without sight, hearing, taste, or smell; but without touch, life loses its richness. An example from history shows that, in some cases, we can't live at all. In the late 19th century, American infant-care experts insisted that holding and cuddling babies was "primitive." As a result, many orphanage staffs and affluent, well-educated Americans adopted a hands-off attitude toward infant care. Interestingly, this message did not trickle down to poor, less-educated women, who continued to hold, hug, and cuddle their infants as their ancestors always had. By 1910, pediatricians began reporting a strange new disease that caused many healthy infants to withdraw, lose weight, and die. They called it "marasmus" from the Greek for "wasting away." When public health officials investigated, they made some surprising discoveries. At the time, the vast majority of infant diseases were associated with poverty. So it made sense that marasmus (now called failure to thrive) was epidemic in orphanages. But strangely, it struck infants in many affluent families and bypassed infants in poor families. Eventually, physicians identified its cause--lack of cuddling. When parents and orphanages returned to "primitive" infant cuddling, marasmus disappeared. Today, child development experts agree that infants cannot be held and cuddled too much. "Failure to thrive has never been documented after infancy," explains Stella Resnick, Ph.D., a sex therapist in Los Angeles. "But the fact that lack of touch can cause death, even during a brief period of life, shows how important it is. Think of touch as a nutrient transmitted through the skin. Cuddling and massage are deeply nurturing and relaxing. And they're fundamental to great sex." Response to massage-like cuddling is hardwired into our nervous systems. Painful sensations--fingers on a hot plate, grit in a shoe--are transmitted to the brain through nerve fibers that trigger the release of stress hormones. But your skin also contains nerves that respond to pleasing touch and stimulate the release of other hormones that produce feelings of relaxation and well-being. "Gentle massage stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone that enhances sexual pleasure and contributes to arousal and orgasm," says Hank Wuh, M.D., author of Sexual Fitness. When massage-style caresses excite the skin--all of it--anxiety melts away, mood improves, and pain subsides. In addition, slow-paced, whole-body massage helps prevent and treat two of men's sex problems, notably rapid ejaculation and erection difficulties. It's also critical to women's sexual responsiveness. Without extended, whole-body massage, many women cannot become sexually aroused, produce vaginal lubrication, and express orgasm. "Men become aroused visually," says Sugrue, "for example, by watching a lover slowly undress." In contrast, most women are more aroused by touch. "I often advise couples to take turns arousing each other the way they like best," he says. "She can dance a strip-tease for you, then you can take her in your arms and massage her all over." THE BASICS OF MASSAGE When you hear the word massage, you might associate it with massage parlors where about the only thing you can't get is a good massage. Nonprostitute massage therapists omit the genitals, but who cares? A professional (nonsexual) massage can be a wonderful prelude to lovemaking. Afterwards, when you and your lover climb into bed, you can play with each other's genitals all you want. If you're new to massage, here are a few basics. In the United States, two massage styles predominate--Swedish and deep-tissue, or shiatsu. Developed 150 years ago by Per Henrik Ling, Swedish massage integrates ancient Asian massage techniques with a Western understanding of anatomy and physiology. It employs long, gliding strokes using the whole hand or the heel of the palm, or kneading strokes with the fingers. Swedish massage strokes can vary from light and feathery to firmer, deeper pressure. A good massage therapist should ask you to specify the kind of strokes you prefer. Shiatsu massage is a Japanese adaptation of acupuncture. In Japanese, shi means "finger" and atsu "pressure." Like the Chinese needle therapy, shiatsu emerges from the idea that life energy (or chi in Chinese, ki in Japanese) circulates around the body along pathways called meridians. When this energy flows freely, it produces health and pleasure. Blockages cause illness and distress. Finger pressure on the points associated with various illnesses releases blocked energy, re-establishing optimal energy flow. Body charts illustrate where the points are located. When pressed, the points announce themselves with tenderness, tingling, or mild discomfort (but not pain). Point massage involves a circular, boring movement with the thumb or forefinger for about 30 seconds. (A) (B) Swedish massage is the type most easily incorporated into lovemaking. It employs long, gliding strokes using the whole hand or the heel of the palm (A), or kneading strokes with the fingers (B). You can find massage supplies (oils, lotions, mittens, vibrators, et cetera) and excellent instructional videos so you and your partner can give each other sensual massages. See the Resources section at the back of the book for supplies or to find a massage therapist in your area. Important tip: Avoid using sexual lubricants as massage lotions and vice versa. Sex lubes and massage lotions are formulated differently. Lubricants are great for intercourse, but they dry too quickly when used for total- body massage, and may feel sticky. Massage lotions feel marvelous on the skin, but are generally not slippery enough to work well as genital lubricants. THE SEXUAL BENEFITS OF WHOLE-BODY MASSAGE "Every square inch of the body is a sensual playground," says Great Sex advisory board member Louanne Weston, Ph.D. "It's sad that so many men explore only a few corners--women's breasts and genitals--and often ignore everything else." Why don't men realize the importance of massage in great sex? Why do some men even question its benefit? Partly because, ironically, as men leave childhood and enter adolescence we often "lose touch" with touch. "Men slap each other's backs," Sugrue explains, "but don't share gentle, affectionate touch the way women do. I often ask men to think back to when they were teens, to how erotically powerful such nonsexual activities as holding hands, kissing, or a hand on a thigh could feel. Rediscovering the pleasure of total-body touch and massage is an important part of sex therapy for many men." Another reason why many men feel skeptical of massage-based lovemaking is its association with foreplay. The term"foreplay" suggests that it's something you do before the main event (intercourse), something separate from it. In our headlong rush into intercourse, many men ignore 90 percent of women's most potent sexual organ--every square inch of their skin. Rushed foreplay represents a major misunderstanding of how women respond sexually. Most women prefer extended, playful, total-body massage that includes their breasts and genitals, but isn't preoccupied with them. In fact, it's worth repeating that to experience sexual arousal, most women absolutely require total-body caressing. "There's no way I'm going to get aroused with a minute or two of rubbing here and there," says New York City sex educator Betty Dodson, Ph.D. "I need at least 20 minutes of gentle caresses all over--preferably more." Rushed foreplay is also a one-way ticket to sex problems for you, notably rapid ejaculation and erection difficulties. Rock music is replete with lyrics about doing it "all night long," but with rushed foreplay, many of us can't even do it for 2 minutes. The reason is that your penis is very sensitive. It enjoys arousal, but if it happens too quickly, it can't take the pressure, and it either ejaculates quickly or goes soft. Extended, total-body caresses distribute sexual arousal around the entire body, taking the pressure off your penis. It still becomes highly aroused--in fact, more aroused--but because you're aroused from head to toe, your penis isn't the focal point. That helps it behave the way you want it to. Professional massages also help you get used to the idea of slowing the sexual pace to incorporate total-body sensuality. Some men resist massage, just as they resist extended sensual lovemaking. They dismiss both as "touch-feely crap." My advice? Embrace the hands-on experience. Make love a few times shortly after professional massages, and I bet your penis behaves better, your partner becomes more aroused and responsive, and that "touchy- feely crap" starts making more sense. FOREPLAY? FORGET IT! Okay guys, you have my permission to skip foreplay as most of you know it. I give you license to scrap the linear, end-result sex pornography inspires so many men to pursue. Great sex is a whole lot more than a few kisses, a quick sweep of her breasts and between her legs, some thrusts, and bang! I challenge you to find the foreplay in the following scenario: You light some scented candles and watch an erotic video for a while, gently holding, kissing, and stroking each other's faces and arms. Next, you feed each other strawberries or olives as you undress, caressing each other some more. Then, you shower together, dry each other, and have a glass of wine. After that, you turn on some music, ease into bed, and lie face-to-face, kissing, lightly caressing each other. Then, you suck each other's nipples for a while, trade foot massages, and after that, fondle each other's genitals for a time. Then you treat each other to oral sex. After a while, you have intercourse, then uncouple and feed each other some more snacks, while continuing to kiss and caress. Next, you return to oral or vaginal intercourse, but in some different positions. And on and on, all night long. Can't find the foreplay? That's because it's not there. It's all sex--quite simply, great sex. Compared with perfunctory foreplay, this kind of spontaneously creative sex raises oxytocin levels much higher, providing some potent sexual benefits. Both you and your lover experience greater whole-body sensual arousal. This makes sex more enjoyable for her, and ultimately makes the prospect of genital play more appealing. Both you and she are more likely to enjoy intensely pleasurable orgasms. And your penis is much more likely to get hard, stay hard, and you'll ejaculate when you want to. In addition, it gives you plenty of time to discuss contraception and condom use to prevent sexually transmitted infections. Formal massages can be wonderful preludes to sex, but they're not necessary for total-body sex. You can enjoy many of the same benefits simply by taking a hot bath or shower together before lovemaking. Use soft washcloths and nice-smelling soap over every square inch of each other's bodies. The warmth relaxes tense muscles. And soaping and drying each other can be a marvelous turn-on. For extra sensual enhancement, dry off with warm towels. Before you get into the water, drape your towels over a heater or toss them into the dryer, so they'll be warm when you use them. You can do the same with bathrobes. Replacing rushed foreplay with relaxed, full-body caresses is probably the single most important improvement men can make in their lovemaking. And once you get used to it, you'll probably find that extended sensuality also enhances your own experience of sex. SIGHT When it comes to sex, men are visual creatures. We love the sight of naked women. We enjoy pornography. Nothing's wrong with that. But there's more to sexually alluring sights than nakedness and videos of the old in-and-out. Spicing up the visual environment in which you make love can heighten arousal for you and your lover. One reason so many people are in the dark about total-body sex is that they make love with the lights off. Try candles. They illuminate lovemaking with a shimmering, romantic glow. Another visual treat involves watching your lover undress. Don't rush this. Think of it as a gift. When you receive a gift, unwrapping it is half the fun. It heightens the anticipation. The same goes for sex. Slowly undressing each other turns ordinary lovemaking into a gift-wrapped, sensual surprise. Erotic videos can also spice up sex. Many sex therapists recommend X-rated videos as sex stimulants and erotic enhancements. Most men need little coaxing to watch porn. Many women enjoy it as well. But quite a few women dislike traditional male-oriented pornography. They often prefer videos produced by former porn actress, Candida Royalle, whose Femme Productions videos exude a more feminine sensibility. Femme videos include plenty of you-know-what, but compared with standard porn, the characters appear more real and the sex takes place in the context of more loving relationships. Women enjoy Femme videos more--and find them more arousing. Or try an instructional erotic video. Several are as erotic as they are educational. (See Resources.) Or flip through books of erotic art or photography. Frankly sexy sights can be a terrific turn-on. But so can other visual delights--a sunset, an elegant restaurant, a bubbling hot tub, or your honey beckoning to you from in front of a hearth with a roaring fire. SOUND Down through the ages, music has been used extensively in healing. In the Bible, the young David plucked a harp to soothe troubled King Saul. Apollo, the Greek god of medicine, was also the god of music. And the Greek philosopher Pythagoras advised daily singing to relieve worry and sorrow. Today, the United States boasts more than 5,000 music therapists, who, among other things, use music to help people achieve a state of deep relaxation. Many studies show that music reduces anxiety, elevates mood, helps relieve pain, and improves the quality of life. As a result, it enhances sex. Here are some suggestions for using sound to heighten arousal and sexual pleasure. Excerpted from Great Sex: A Man's Guide to the Secret Principles of Total-Body Sex by Michael Castleman All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.
* 1 TOTAL-BODY SENSUALITY THE FOUNDATION OF GREAT SEX Does a great basketball player shoot with just his wrist? No. He uses his whole body. Everything works together as a well-coordinated whole. This same principle is the basis of great sex. Most of us are preoccupied with what's between the legs--our own and our partner's. But great sex is far more than that. It's a celebration of whole bodies, not just a few body parts. And it's based on full-body sensuality. "Every sex therapist wholeheartedly endorses a whole-body, sensual approach to sex," says Great Sex advisory board member Dennis Sugrue, Ph.D. In fact, it's the simple secret to great sex. Here's your sense-by-sense guide. TOUCH Mention "sex" and "skin" and most men think "penis." Sure, the penis is important to sex, but here's a key concept many men don't appreciate: For truly great sex, the rest of your skin is just as important--actually more so. Why? Because your skin is your body's largest sense organ--and its most sexually potent. Made up of hundreds of millions of nerve fibers, your skin provides an impressive amount of surface area, all of which responds exquisitely to touch, particularly erotic touch. And more of the brain is devoted to touch than to any other sense. Human beings can live rich lives without sight, hearing, taste, or smell; but without touch, life loses its richness. An example from history shows that, in some cases, we can't live at all. In the late 19th century, American infant-care experts insisted that holding and cuddling babies was "primitive." As a result, many orphanage staffs and affluent, well-educated Americans adopted a hands-off attitude toward infant care. Interestingly, this message did not trickle down to poor, less-educated women, who continued to hold, hug, and cuddle their infants as their ancestors always had. By 1910, pediatricians began reporting a strange new disease that caused many healthy infants to withdraw, lose weight, and die. They called it "marasmus" from the Greek for "wasting away." When public health officials investigated, they made some surprising discoveries. At the time, the vast majority of infant diseases were associated with poverty. So it made sense that marasmus (now called failure to thrive) was epidemic in orphanages. But strangely, it struck infants in many affluent families and bypassed infants in poor families. Eventually, physicians identified its cause--lack of cuddling. When parents and orphanages returned to "primitive" infant cuddling, marasmus disappeared. Today, child development experts agree that infants cannot be held and cuddled too much. "Failure to thrive has never been documented after infancy," explains Stella Resnick, Ph.D., a sex therapist in Los Angeles. "But the fact that lack of touch can cause death, even during a brief period of life, shows how important it is. Think of touch as a nutrient transmitted through the skin. Cuddling and massage are deeply nurturing and relaxing. And they're fundamental to great sex." Response to massage-like cuddling is hardwired into our nervous systems. Painful sensations--fingers on a hot plate, grit in a shoe--are transmitted to the brain through nerve fibers that trigger the release of stress hormones. But your skin also contains nerves that respond to pleasing touch and stimulate the release of other hormones that produce feelings of relaxation and well-being. "Gentle massage stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone that enhances sexual pleasure and contributes to arousal and orgasm," says Hank Wuh, M.D., author of Sexual Fitness. When massage-style caresses excite the skin--all of it--anxiety melts away, mood improves, and pain subsides. In addition, slow-paced, whole-body massage helps prevent and treat two of men's sex problems, notably rapid ejaculation and erection difficulties. It's also critical to women's sexual responsiveness. Without extended, whole-body massage, many women cannot become sexually aroused, produce vaginal lubrication, and express orgasm. "Men become aroused visually," says Sugrue, "for example, by watching a lover slowly undress." In contrast, most women are more aroused by touch. "I often advise couples to take turns arousing each other the way they like best," he says. "She can dance a strip-tease for you, then you can take her in your arms and massage her all over." THE BASICS OF MASSAGE When you hear the word massage, you might associate it with massage parlors where about the only thing you can't get is a good massage. Nonprostitute massage therapists omit the genitals, but who cares? A professional (nonsexual) massage can be a wonderful prelude to lovemaking. Afterwards, when you and your lover climb into bed, you can play with each other's genitals all you want. If you're new to massage, here are a few basics. In the United States, two massage styles predominate--Swedish and deep-tissue, or shiatsu. Developed 150 years ago by Per Henrik Ling, Swedish massage integrates ancient Asian massage techniques with a Western understanding of anatomy and physiology. It employs long, gliding strokes using the whole hand or the heel of the palm, or kneading strokes with the fingers. Swedish massage strokes can vary from light and feathery to firmer, deeper pressure. A good massage therapist should ask you to specify the kind of strokes you prefer. Shiatsu massage is a Japanese adaptation of acupuncture. In Japanese, shi means "finger" and atsu "pressure." Like the Chinese needle therapy, shiatsu emerges from the idea that life energy (or chi in Chinese, ki in Japanese) circulates around the body along pathways called meridians. When this energy flows freely, it produces health and pleasure. Blockages cause illness and distress. Finger pressure on the points associated with various illnesses releases blocked energy, re-establishing optimal energy flow. Body charts illustrate where the points are located. When pressed, the points announce themselves with tenderness, tingling, or mild discomfort (but not pain). Point massage involves a circular, boring movement with the thumb or forefinger for about 30 seconds. (A) (B) Swedish massage is the type most easily incorporated into lovemaking. It employs long, gliding strokes using the whole hand or the heel of the palm (A), or kneading strokes with the fingers (B). You can find massage supplies (oils, lotions, mittens, vibrators, et cetera) and excellent instructional videos so you and your partner can give each other sensual massages. See the Resources section at the back of the book for supplies or to find a massage therapist in your area. Important tip: Avoid using sexual lubricants as massage lotions and vice versa. Sex lubes and massage lotions are formulated differently. Lubricants are great for intercourse, but they dry too quickly when used for total- body massage, and may feel sticky. Massage lotions feel marvelous on the skin, but are generally not slippery enough to work well as genital lubricants. THE SEXUAL BENEFITS OF WHOLE-BODY MASSAGE "Every square inch of the body is a sensual playground," says Great Sex advisory board member Louanne Weston, Ph.D. "It's sad that so many men explore only a few corners--women's breasts and genitals--and often ignore everything else." Why don't men realize the importance of massage in great sex? Why do some men even question its benefit? Partly because, ironically, as men leave childhood and enter adolescence we often "lose touch" with touch. "Men slap each other's backs," Sugrue explains, "but don't share gentle, affectionate touch the way women do. I often ask men to think back to when they were teens, to how erotically powerful such nonsexual activities as holding hands, kissing, or a hand on a thigh could feel. Rediscovering the pleasure of total-body touch and massage is an important part of sex therapy for many men." Another reason why many men feel skeptical of massage-based lovemaking is its association with foreplay. The term"foreplay" suggests that it's something you do before the main event (intercourse), something separate from it. In our headlong rush into intercourse, many men ignore 90 percent of women's most potent sexual organ--every square inch of their skin. Rushed foreplay represents a major misunderstanding of how women respond sexually. Most women prefer extended, playful, total-body massage that includes their breasts and genitals, but isn't preoccupied with them. In fact, it's worth repeating that to experience sexual arousal, most women absolutely require total-body caressing. "There's no way I'm going to get aroused with a minute or two of rubbing here and there," says New York City sex educator Betty Dodson, Ph.D. "I need at least 20 minutes of gentle caresses all over--preferably more." Rushed foreplay is also a one-way ticket to sex problems for you, notably rapid ejaculation and erection difficulties. Rock music is replete with lyrics about doing it "all night long," but with rushed foreplay, many of us can't even do it for 2 minutes. The reason is that your penis is very sensitive. It enjoys arousal, but if it happens too quickly, it can't take the pressure, and it either ejaculates quickly or goes soft. Extended, total-body caresses distribute sexual arousal around the entire body, taking the pressure off your penis. It still becomes highly aroused--in fact, more aroused--but because you're aroused from head to toe, your penis isn't the focal point. That helps it behave the way you want it to. Professional massages also help you get used to the idea of slowing the sexual pace to incorporate total-body sensuality. Some men resist massage, just as they resist extended sensual lovemaking. They dismiss both as "touch-feely crap." My advice? Embrace the hands-on experience. Make love a few times shortly after professional massages, and I bet your penis behaves better, your partner becomes more aroused and responsive, and that "touchy- feely crap" starts making more sense. FOREPLAY? FORGET IT! Okay guys, you have my permission to skip foreplay as most of you know it. I give you license to scrap the linear, end-result sex pornography inspires so many men to pursue. Great sex is a whole lot more than a few kisses, a quick sweep of her breasts and between her legs, some thrusts, and bang! I challenge you to find the foreplay in the following scenario: You light some scented candles and watch an erotic video for a while, gently holding, kissing, and stroking each other's faces and arms. Next, you feed each other strawberries or olives as you undress, caressing each other some more. Then, you shower together, dry each other, and have a glass of wine. After that, you turn on some music, ease into bed, and lie face-to-face, kissing, lightly caressing each other. Then, you suck each other's nipples for a while, trade foot massages, and after that, fondle each other's genitals for a time. Then you treat each other to oral sex. After a while, you have intercourse, then uncouple and feed each other some more snacks, while continuing to kiss and caress. Next, you return to oral or vaginal intercourse, but in some different positions. And on and on, all night long. Can't find the foreplay? That's because it's not there. It's all sex--quite simply, great sex. Compared with perfunctory foreplay, this kind of spontaneously creative sex raises oxytocin levels much higher, providing some potent sexual benefits. Both you and your lover experience greater whole-body sensual arousal. This makes sex more enjoyable for her, and ultimately makes the prospect of genital play more appealing. Both you and she are more likely to enjoy intensely pleasurable orgasms. And your penis is much more likely to get hard, stay hard, and you'll ejaculate when you want to. In addition, it gives you plenty of time to discuss contraception and condom use to prevent sexually transmitted infections. Formal massages can be wonderful preludes to sex, but they're not necessary for total-body sex. You can enjoy many of the same benefits simply by taking a hot bath or shower together before lovemaking. Use soft washcloths and nice-smelling soap over every square inch of each other's bodies. The warmth relaxes tense muscles. And soaping and drying each other can be a marvelous turn-on. For extra sensual enhancement, dry off with warm towels. Before you get into the water, drape your towels over a heater or toss them into the dryer, so they'll be warm when you use them. You can do the same with bathrobes. Replacing rushed foreplay with relaxed, full-body caresses is probably the single most important improvement men can make in their lovemaking. And once you get used to it, you'll probably find that extended sensuality also enhances your own experience of sex. SIGHT When it comes to sex, men are visual creatures. We love the sight of naked women. We enjoy pornography. Nothing's wrong with that. But there's more to sexually alluring sights than nakedness and videos of the old in-and-out. Spicing up the visual environment in which you make love can heighten arousal for you and your lover. One reason so many people are in the dark about total-body sex is that they make love with the lights off. Try candles. They illuminate lovemaking with a shimmering, romantic glow. Another visual treat involves watching your lover undress. Don't rush this. Think of it as a gift. When you receive a gift, unwrapping it is half the fun. It heightens the anticipation. The same goes for sex. Slowly undressing each other turns ordinary lovemaking into a gift-wrapped, sensual surprise. Erotic videos can also spice up sex. Many sex therapists recommend X-rated videos as sex stimulants and erotic enhancements. Most men need little coaxing to watch porn. Many women enjoy it as well. But quite a few women dislike traditional male-oriented pornography. They often prefer videos produced by former porn actress, Candida Royalle, whose Femme Productions videos exude a more feminine sensibility. Femme videos include plenty of you-know-what, but compared with standard porn, the characters appear more real and the sex takes place in the context of more loving relationships. Women enjoy Femme videos more--and find them more arousing. Or try an instructional erotic video. Several are as erotic as they are educational. (See Resources.) Or flip through books of erotic art or photography. Frankly sexy sights can be a terrific turn-on. But so can other visual delights--a sunset, an elegant restaurant, a bubbling hot tub, or your honey beckoning to you from in front of a hearth with a roaring fire. SOUND Down through the ages, music has been used extensively in healing. In the Bible, the young David plucked a harp to soothe troubled King Saul. Apollo, the Greek god of medicine, was also the god of music. And the Greek philosopher Pythagoras advised daily singing to relieve worry and sorrow. Today, the United States boasts more than 5,000 music therapists, who, among other things, use music to help people achieve a state of deep relaxation. Many studies show that music reduces anxiety, elevates mood, helps relieve pain, and improves the quality of life. As a result, it enhances sex. Here are some suggestions for using sound to heighten arousal and sexual pleasure. Excerpted from Great Sex: A Man's Guide to the Secret Principles of Total-Body Sex by Michael Castleman All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.