I recommend a slightly different sensate focus step program. Smaller steps. It was developed by Laura Brotherson.
Laura Brotherson’s Approach
I scubscribe to Laura Brotherson’s sensate focus steps which are different, more and in many cases smaller and more gradual that other programs used.
What is Sensate Focus ?
Sensate focus is a technique used to improve intimacy and communication between partners around sex, reduce sexual performance anxiety, and shift away from ingrained, goal-oriented sexual patterns that may not be serving a couple.
The technique, developed by Dr. William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson in the 1960s, consists of a series of touching exercises that a couple completes in a sequence. A major aim of the exercise is for the partners to let go of their expectations and judgements of mutual touching, and instead focus solely on the sensory aspects of touch like temperature, texture, and pressure. The idea behind sensate focus is that it allows the couple to relax and be mindful of the sensual touching experience, without being weighed down by preconceived ideas of what “should” happen. Sensate focus has also been described as mindful touching, or non-orgasm/non-arousal focused touch.
Sex therapists may recommend sensate focus to couples who want to address problems related to body image, arousal, desire, orgasm, premature ejaculation, and erectile dysfunction. However, it is important to note that these problems can also be caused by an underlying medical condition, so it is a good idea to complete a physical to rule out other potential causes of sexual dysfunction before getting started.
While there are different variations of sensate focus, Masters and Johnson originally outlined the technique as a five-step process.
Laura Brotherson has a gentler process with a more gradual progression through stages. I prefer to look to Brotherson’s approach when recommending to couples.