I usually enjoy sex with my partner, although I often find that parts of my body feel ‘dead’ or numb. This can happen when we’re having sex and sometimes even when we’re not. I’d really like to feel all of my body all of the time, especially during sex. Can you help?
Thank you for your letter. Believe it or not, it’s not uncommon for people to feel numb in all or parts of their body. We often notice it more during sex because our sensitivity is heightened and of course, we want to feel our bodies during sex!
There can be lots of reasons for this numbness. The world we live in tends to value ‘thinking’ over ‘feeling’ and so many people have retreated to their heads, their minds, and then have trouble getting back into their body when they want to. Some people may have had traumatic body experiences and so have escaped the pain (physical or otherwise) and then find it difficult, scary or unpleasant to return to feeling their body. Each individual will have his or her own reasons for not being fully in their body. The good news is that there are lots of ways to start to feel your body again.
If you feel there are underlying issues that you’d like to deal with, there are many different types of practitioner you could see. Some will work verbally, some physically or energetically. See if you can get a recommendation from someone you trust or look online and follow your intuition. There are also lots of ways to start addressing this at home.
Movement is a great way to start to reconnect with and wake up your body. Go dancing or put some music on at home and have a boogie. This isn’t so much about looking good at dancing, but more to bring some awareness to your body, shake it up, get it moving, wake up nerve endings and generally give it some attention.
You could try doing yoga or a gentle martial art like Tai Chi. Both of these will help you get more into your body and are great for balancing the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual bodies. It’s something you can learn and then carry on at home or even do with your partner.
Pay attention to what you eat. Everyone’s dietary needs are different, but generally too much meat, dairy, salt or sugar can have numbing effects on the body. When our digestive system has to work hard to digest our food, our body diverts its resources away from everything else. This can make us feel sluggish or slow and our body can numb out while it’s busy digesting.
Another great way to get your body feeling again is to have some massage or other forms of bodywork. When the therapist (or your partner) is working on you, keep your attention with his or her hands, stay present in each part of the body that is being worked on. Massage stimulates nerve endings, encourages blood and lymph flow and brings necessary oxygen and nutrients to all part of your body. It’s very good for helping us get back into our body and for increasing our awareness and physical feelings.
You could also use a vibrator over your body to wake it up and bring feeling back into it. Start with something small like this Mini Wanachi Massager. If that works for you, then over time you could move onto something a bit more powerful like Ophoria Smooth Vibe with its variety of settings. You can do this on your bare skin or over clothes and either on your own or get your partner to help you. Move the vibrator all over your body, to different areas as you feel drawn to, or you can focus on the chakras. Chakras are energy points in your body that have physical and metaphysical properties. On the physical level, you have a chakra over each gland of the endocrine system. Vibrating each of these areas can help remove any blockages and bring feeling and awareness back into your whole body at each particular level. Start with your base chakra, which is located at genital level (for this area hold the vibrator on your perineum or over your pubic bone, whichever feels more comfortable), and then move on to your sacral chakra, which is located about two fingers width under your belly button. Next is your Solar Plexus, which is at the bottom of the ribs in the centre of your body. After that, move on to your heart chakra, which is in the centre of your body at heart level. Then move to your throat chakra, which is the centre of your throat where it meets your chest. Next is your third eye chakra located just between and slightly above your eyebrows. The top of your head is your crown and final body chakra. Some of these areas might not like to be vibrated so just try it out and see what feels right to you. Don’t stay on any one area for more than a minute or so.
Whichever of these suggestions you decide to try, it is really important to drink plenty of water. It is vital to keep the body hydrated to keep it functioning well and to help keep our awareness there. If you are doing any of the movement exercises or vibrating your body, you might shake up toxins that need help to flow out of your system. It’s great to clear these toxins and drinking lots of water will help flush them out and leave you feeling much clearer and more sensitive to physical feelings.
With love and delight,