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Think About Arousal Like a Staircase

In her book, Women’s Anatomy of Arousal, author Sherri Winston asks us to think of pleasure and arousal like a 10-step staircase. 

The first step is being non-aroused, and all the steps on the staircase are your unique arousal process; step ten is orgasm(s). Just like a real staircase, you simply can’t start at the top. You need to start at the bottom and walk up to the top. 

But it’s the HOW of the climb that makes all the difference! 

You can climb your staircase in a linear way, from bottom up-up-up and up until you reach the top. This is how most of us have sex in a default model. This is especially true for those in heterosexual partnerships, where the script usually includes some foreplay, then penis-in-vagina intercourse, until one or both people reach orgasm. We start from zero, do an activity, maybe a few more activities, and then we reach the top— or the goal—of orgasm. 

Sometimes it’s great to have sex like that. It’s predictable, we know what to expect, hopefully it feels good to everyone involved. Emily Nagoski calls it ‘comfort sex.’ Like comfort food, sometimes that’s exactly what we need. 

And yet, there are so many more ways to explore the staircase of our arousal. My job as a Pleasure Coach is to help my clients expand your modes of sex to have more fun, more pleasure and be more playful. If you love your default sex, awesome. If you want more, please keep reading on my Patreon. 


Patreon is a membership-based platform that gives me space for full creative and sexual expression without censorship, and therefore offers you the deepest access to my teachings. You can join by clicking the box below.


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