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Rekindling Your Subtle Sexual Field

Jennifer Freed, PhD headshot

Many people think that great, mind-blowing sex happens in the bedroom. But if you’re waiting to connect with your sexual energy only when the lights are off, the kids are asleep, and you’ve answered every email in your inbox, well, you might not be satisfied with the results.

Making room for sexuality in our daily life is the key to pleasure both in and out of bed, says psychological astrologer Jennifer Freed. “To become lovers where sex does not begin and end in the bedroom, we need to have an erotic practice and language that grows more deeply and passionately over time,” says Freed. She calls this our subtle sexual field—the foundation for a sex life that has longevity and variety. Freed explains how to increase our subtle sexual field, and of course, she gives us the astrological perspective, too.

Cultivating the Subtle Sexual Field

By Jennifer Freed, PhD

Lately, when I turn on movies and see the inevitable sex scene where a man picks up a woman and throws her up against the wall or onto the bed without even a bit of foreplay, I wonder: Who feels left out of this erotic portrayal?

What about people with bad backs?

Or those who don’t always get turned on or stay aroused?

Or the couples where one is too small to lift up the other?

Or those who have histories of sexual trauma and need to be handled much more gently?

Or folks who are tired and sensitive but still want to feel sexual heat and intimacy?

I am incredibly lucky to have had exquisite male and female lovers in my life and have experienced extraordinary pleasure with both. What I have learned is that athletic penetrative sex is fabulous and thrilling, but it’s not always the preferred or desired move.

This is for people who have gone through pregnancies, raising children, hormonal ebbs and flows, and debilitating illnesses. It is for people in general who want to create an ongoing erotic atmosphere not defined by hardcore humping.

Folks who are not generally looking to participate in a sexual Olympiad can most certainly have a fulfilling sex life with variety, longevity, and space for all kinds of emotions.

The key? Cultivating what I call the subtle sexual field.

The subtle sexual field is a place where signals, cues, and expressions are all in service of eros and sexual connection. The SSF is created by intentional flirting and learning the nuanced turn-ons of the other.

When the SSF is present and engaged by both parties, the lovers feel seen, appreciated, and desired without everything aiming toward an end goal.

Here are some of the most common ingredients of a vital and ongoing SSF:

  1. Lingering eye contact

  2. Hair touching and sometimes brushing or combing

  3. Head, shoulder, and feet massages

  4. Inside jokes about past memorable sexual times

  5. Sensual candles and incense

  6. Fragrances that evoke sultry memories

  7. Beautiful meals or cocktails

  8. Favorite foods presented in a celebratory way

  9. Wearing evocative clothing loved by the other

  10. Wearing sexy underwear

  11. Handwritten love notes and poems

  12. Hidden sticky notes with private erotic messages

  13. Flirty dancing

  14. Deep, attentive listening and acknowledgments of vulnerable sharing

  15. Active and frequent physical affirmations of the other

  16. Making time to go on romantic dates without distractions, phones, or others

  1. Stroking and caressing with complete presence and no agenda

  2. Watching a sexually provocative show that is a turn-on for both partners

  3. Asking the other what kind of touch they most desire or need

  4. Talking about sexual fantasies that feel good to both people

  5. Picking out sex toys together

  6. Taking a naughty adventure together that may involve nudity

  7. Body painting under soft light

  8. Dress-up fantasies and hilarious laughter

  9. Reading erotica out loud to each other

  10. Making the bed a silky love nest with ideal lighting and music

  11. Suggestive texts

  12. Sending, saving, and replaying voice messages

  13. Holding hands and meaning it

Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list, and some things listed here may work for some and not others. However, if you envision most of these things happening on a frequent basis, you’ll begin to see how powerful a subtle sexual field is in creating a sex life that enriches daily life.

For most people with busy lives, the sex act itself may be short-lived. Living in and helping to create the SSF is a long-term adventure. It creates increased sexual security and confidence and reinforces an atmosphere of attractiveness and desire. Partners and lovers get more adept at knowing how to honor the erotic imagination of the other and how to prioritize sexuality in general. This also provides more opportunities for those hyperphysical acrobatics if and when desired.

Why do some people avoid doing these things when they can be mutually enjoyable and enhancing? Most folks want sexuality to be instant and automatic, as it tends to be in the first months of sex with a new person. They want to feel that uncontrollable urge to do anything and everything to get with this delicious new person in their lives.

The chemical cocktail of novelty wears off somewhere between six months and two years of being together. And then whipping up desire requires more commitment.

After the initial burning fire, people often want their partner to do the seducing instead of feeling the awkwardness or vulnerability of stepping up. They should go first, we think—and for most of us, we can bet that our partner is thinking the same.

What it takes is getting over the nostalgia and attachment to that initial phase of lightning sexuality and becoming intensely curious about and committed to building a fortified SSF. Both people need to want their sexual life to mature into many dimensions of nuance, allure, and temptation. We have to acknowledge that virility or amorousness need not be measured by how often we have explosive orgasms.

To become lovers for whom sex does not begin and end in the bedroom, we need to have an erotic practice and language that grows more deeply and passionately over time. This becomes especially critical when partners go through hormonal changes, illnesses, losses, the demands of children, and all the other seemingly unsexy factors most of us face. Throughout, we safeguard the SSF to ensure that intimacy is not thwarted by these inevitable challenges.

So next time we watch the hunk throwing a beauty over their shoulder, we can appreciate the herculean sex move and feel grateful that this image is not the benchmark of a fully expressed sexual life.

Astrology Tips to Grow Your SSF

Aries: Give and get head massages while saying sweet romantic appreciations.

Taurus: Bring on the silk and satin in your voice and in your sheet choices.

Gemini: Try a variety of costumes and underwear and entertain each other.

Cancer: Learn the powerful art of holding someone while they share their deepest truths.

Leo: Do new role plays and trade genders if you feel like it.

Virgo: Stroke and caress the arms and legs like you are an ardent admirer.

Libra: Set up a gorgeous scene at home or in nature and make time to hear your lover’s favorite settings for romance.

Scorpio: Make private rendezvous a habit and tell each other your secret desires.

Sagittarius: Go on nature adventures and tell each other what you most appreciate and love about each other’s spirits and bodies.

Capricorn: Make a ritual where you bathe or shower together with candlelight and enthralling scented soaps.

Aquarius: Surprise your partner with hidden love notes and unexpected flowers.

Pisces: Dance slowly and closely while listening to a song that turns you both on.

Jennifer Freed, PhD, is a consultant, a workshop leader, and an author with more than thirty years of experience in the fields of psychological astrology and social-emotional learning. Freed serves as a consultant for the app Co-Star and is the author of Use Your Planets Wisely: Master Your Cosmic Potential with Psychological Astrology.

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