8 Aural Pleasures

rvead aloud with your partner. Alternate the roles of reader and listener. It may be a slow way to get through a book, but it's a good way to spend quality time and gives you something to discuss other than your day at work.

^ When we read aloud or listen to someone reading, we use very different brain circuits than when we read silently. One of the earliest demonstrations of brain imaging clearly showed three distinct brain regions lighting up when the same word was read, spoken, or heard. For example, listening to words activated two distinct areas in the left and right hemispheres of the cortex, while speaking words activated the motor cortex on both sides ofthe brain as well as another part ofthe brain called the cerebellum. Just looking at words activated only one area ofthe cortex in the left hemisphere.


Many of the techniques we've suggested in other sections of this book, like shutting one's eyes to heighten sensation in other senses, are an intuitive part of sexual exploration. Novelty—the thrill of the new—plays a central role in sexual arousal. Especially in a long-term marriage, the challenge (and fun) of lovemaking is finding ways to make each time with one's partner a fresh adventure.

Use your imagination and pull out all the sensory stops.. .wear silk, strew the bed with rose petals, burn lavender incense, have chilled champagne, massage with perfumed oils, put on a romantic CD., .andwhatever else turns you on.

^ To think that a good sexual encounter also helps keep the brain alive is almost too good to be true. But it is; more than most "routine activities," sex uses every one of our senses and, of course, engages our emotional brain circuits as well.

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