Often both husband and wife find that partial or complete penile erection develops when they are merely following directions to pursue alternative sensate patterns of "pleasuring" one another without direct physical approach to the pelvic areas.
Whether a full erection develops during the first days of concentration on sensate focus is of little moment.
What is important, erection or not, is for cotherapists to take advantage of the marital-unit's newfound means of physical communication, that of providing mutually for each other's sensate pleasure, in order to describe in detail the concept of erection as a natural physiological reaction.
Again and again therapists should hammer at the basic principle that erective attainment, like breathing or bowel or bladder function, is a capacity men are born with, not a function they must be trained to accomplish.
Husband and wife are assured and reassured that no man can will an erection and that the only thing accomplished by such attempts is blocking of sensate input from his sexual partner.
The concept of the biophysical and psychosocial systems of influence aids immeasurably in marital comprehension of the previously inexplicable results accrued from blocking of sensate input.
There are other advantages to the members of the sexually dysfunctional couple than absorption of the pleasures of sensate focus during the first two or three days after the roundtable discussion.
This is a necessary period of mental and physical relaxation from the high tension levels inherent in the strain of cooperating with the detailed personal evaluations scheduled during the first three days of participation in the program.
This respite also provides for release of nervous tensions accumulated during the last few days or weeks before husband and wifes move to meet scheduled appearance dates at the Foundation.
Finally, there is mutual opportunity to reestablish lines of communication of both verbal and nonverbal variety.
These lines of communication have been markedly inhibited or essentially destroyed by the physical tensions and the psychic trauma developing directly from and/or secondary to their sexually dysfunctional status.
On the second day, after the roundtable discussion, the program moves toward coordinating the theoretical discussions between cotherapists and the couple, described above, and the specific functional directions to be followed by husband and wife in the privacy of their bedroom.
Instructions are given to return to sensate focus procedures during the subsequent 24 hours.