Below you will find a general layout of sensate focusing stages. Often therapists will alter the stages, requirements, and rules for different couples do to differing circumstances. The ultimate goal of sensate focusing is to move closer together as human beings. The goal is not performance based, but instead, enjoyment based.
First Stage (Touching other than genitalia, bottom, and breasts, no intercourse)
Simple touching of the body in turn is what this stage consists of. Genitals are off limits. This stage is for establishing awareness of touch. If sexual arousal becomes a part of it, couples are encouraged not to touch areas such as the genitalia, bottom, and breasts. This stage is all about sensing the other person's body. Couples are encouraged to be silent in their actions and remain focused. Taking notice of all the details is integral to this stage.
Second Stage (Touching of the breasts and genitalia is permitted)
During this stage, touching again begins with the body and slowly moves/can move to the genitalia and breasts. Taking turns is again suggested. Partners direct the other person's hand by holding their hand and moving it to the area they would like more pressure, less pressure, faster pace, slower pace, or any adjustment to fit their wants.
Third Stage (Mutual touching of the body, still no intercourse)
This stage encourages the natural feel of touching and being touched while remembering the experiences of the earlier stages. However, although arousal may come knocking, partners are still encouraged to not have sex yet.
Fourth Stage (If the last stage, sex permitted. Otherwise, keep learning about the other person's body)
This stage allows for straddling and contact of genitalia. Once a few sessions have passed at this stage, partners can begin to enjoy full intercourse in whatever form it comes.