One very powerful way of increasing arousal is through role-playing or the acting out of fantasies.
Many years ago I was involved with a woman who sometimes would drop into a role in the middle of sex. She would suddenly say something like, "You haven't been a good boy today, so you're not going to get any." Since what we can't have is infinitely more exciting than what we can, my passion immediately skyrocketed, even though I knew she was only acting. I fell into step and would start apologizing and begging. She would repeat her refusal and give in gradually. "Well, okay, since you apologized, you can touch my pussy, but that's it. Just a touch." This would progress through steps including "You can put it in but only halfway. Not an inch further" and "Okay, your behavior is getting better, so you can put it all the way in, but no moving at all." It seems ridiculous on the written page, but I assure you the effect was real and powerful.
There are infinite possibilities as to what roles or games to play. You can get ideas from erotic literature, movies, and your own fantasies.
There is one common kind of role-playing that deserves special mention. When one person (let's say it's your partner) pretends to resist--to not want to have sex or engage in a certain activity--it is crucial that certain rules and signals be worked out beforehand and strictly adhered to. She has to know in her gut that if she really means no, stop, or not yet, and expresses it, you will understand and immediately comply. Trust has to be taken for granted.
Don't ignore your own fantasies. I find that many men are quite creative in their own minds but don't follow up on their ideas for a number of reasons. If your mind throws you an idea that really turns you on, consider it. If it is not likely to harm you or your partner and not against either of your values, maybe there's some way you could try it out.
I recall one man who got very aroused by fantasies of having sex on an airplane on one of the frequent trips he and his lover took. He hadn't thought about putting it into practice, because he couldn't figure out how both of them, being large people, could even fit into the toilet on a 747, let alone do anything there. After he finally mentioned the fantasy to me, I asked why it had to be in the toilet. His incredulous response was, "In the aisle?" No, not in the aisle; that would get him arrested. But on the night flights they frequently took, there are usually rows of empty seats, and you can move the armrests out of the way. The session ended on that note and nothing more was said about the matter for a month. But when they returned from a cross-country flight, they happily reported that the armrests could indeed be moved. They haven't yet managed intercourse, but they did some other interesting things and were pleased.
RESISTANCE, FEAR, AND UNCERTAINTY
Some degree of resistance can heighten arousal (and desire as well). One problem in long relationships is that sex is too easy. You can pretty much have it when and how you want. Although this is convenient, it can lead to boredom. Contrast this to the situation most of us were in when we were younger and dating. There was resistance from our family and society (you're not supposed to be doing this) and maybe from a partner as well (we shouldn't be doing this yet). Most people agree that such resistance increased arousal.
This is why being sexual where you're not supposed to be (say in the bedroom next to your parents' when you and your girlfriend are visiting them, or in a public place like a parking lot or an airplane) is so exciting. This is also why role-playing where your partner pretends to be uninterested or resistant in some way can be so exciting. Violating prohibitions and overcoming obstacles make our blood boil, so to speak.
Uncertainty plays a role as well. In the role-playing example I gave above, for example, my partner was pretending to resist, one result of which was that I wasn't sure how far I would actually get. The lack of certainty helped drive my arousal up off the charts.
Anxiety can also heighten passion. Although anxiety can have serious negative consequences for sexual functioning, at least one kind of fear--the fear of being discovered--can actually make us more aroused. This plays a part when we have sex in public places. You have to be careful with this, of course. If you have sex in a bedroom or bathroom of someone else's home where a party is going on and are discovered, you will have to live with the consequences. But if you can lock the door and make sure no one knows for certain what you're doing, you may find your arousal breaks all your records.
One couple I interviewed regularly used resistance, uncertainty, and fear of discovery to enhance their lovemaking. Whenever they went to a party, for example, they'd look for a room--bathroom, bedroom, pantry, basement--where they could have a quickie. They dressed appropriately, with clothes that allowed easy access to the genitals and usually with neither of them wearing underwear. Once in the room of their choice, they'd do a role-play.
A favorite scene was where they pretended they were strangers and he was trying to seduce her while she resisted (and sometimes they reversed roles; she came on to him but he was reluctant because his "wife" was in the next room). To heighten what was already a very high turn-on, either or both might say that they thought they heard someone coming, someone turning the doorknob, the door opening slightly, and so on. This may or may not be your cup of tea, but I know this couple has had a passionate sex life through their twenty-two years of marriage and neither one has had an affair.
Excerpted from The New Male Sexuality by Bernie Zilbergeld. . Excerpted by permission of Bantam, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.