Sunday, March 28, 2010

Performance or Pleasure? – You Decide!

On a previous Blog - History Even a Sexual One Has a Way of Repeating Itself - reminded us that too many times we learn plenty “about” sex but have learned very little “from” sex. The main justification for this statement is that we continue, as did all the generations before us, to view sex as intercourse and all about performance. Let’s face it, this notion is supported through all the religions that promote procreation as the only valid reason for having “sex” and is certainly supported today by the pharmaceutical industries that peddle the “magic elixir” to make one ready when the time is right!

A man’s masculinity will be challenged if he is not able to get and maintain an erection and “perform” for his partner so that she will be pleased as well. And yes, women are just as invested in the erection as much as men in some cases maybe even more. If he cannot “get it up” i.e. “perform” she will think that she is not sexy enough and her self-esteem and sexual self-confidence can take a pretty hard hit. So why do we persist down this path when we are full aware of the dysfunctional end?

Let’s take a few steps backward. Let us go back to the place where our sexual engine was turned on for the first time. Think about what was really important to you then? If I am not mistaken, it would be all about experiencing the most pleasure possible. Hmmm maybe we’re onto something here! I’m pretty sure guys were not talking to their penises, asking – hey what gives, how come you didn’t last long enough – how ever one translates ‘long enough’. And if gals even thought of sexually touching themselves – mostly not encouraged and marginally supported even today – I am again pretty sure they were not contemplating how long a male partner might or should last.

So what is interesting to ponder in these terms is that performance sexuality is a learned and conditioned response and not “natural” as many would have us believe. So why not challenge yourself the next time you decide to engage sexually with each other to share, experience and enjoy as much fun and pleasure as possible? This means letting go of sexual encounters that are judged by stopwatches, erect penises, wet vaginas and dual orgasms, which can hamper our abilities to fully engage with our partners. So, go ahead – take the 30-day Pleasure Challenge – I dare you!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Arousal - It's what's on the menu tonight!

We need to challenge how we understand sex and sexuality if we ever hope to bring about lasting change that is helpful, healing and nurturing. Let’s take a look at what we understand about arousal – getting turned on – horny – “in the mood”, etc. For most getting aroused is only a prelude for what is yet to come. It seems as though that some of us have been conditioned to respond immediately when we feel aroused to find release and rid ourselves of this distracting feeling. In crude terms, arousal can be seen as the triggering event that has most of us react to in preparing our bodies to eventually spasm so that we no longer have to feel aroused. Why does it need to be that way?

Long ago and far away I recall hearing something to the effect that once a boy/man gets sexually aroused he will need to find release…and again, why is that? Why not let the sexual energy that is built up through arousal just be allowed to run its course, probably just like it did when you experienced your very first sexual feeling way back when. Right or wrong, I think we tend to condition ourselves around certain notions that few ever question. I am not saying that arousal should not lead to sexual satisfaction – I am just asking why arousal in and of itself at times cannot be considered a sexually satisfying event?

Think of the last time when you were aroused and there was no sexual release available – did you savor the flavor or just try to lose the feeling altogether? I think many believe that this type of activity would directly lead to sexual frustration. I am suggesting using arousal the way many in the kitchen have allowed foods to simmer and enjoy the aroma. Think of arousal in the way you would a fine wine, giving it time to breathe. Let it fill you in ways of becoming intoxicated by its scent alone.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thrusting or lusting?

Before I dive into this week’s topic, I wanted to share an observation I made while in my doctoral studies. I quickly noticed from my weekly reading assignments that many male authors made claims as though they were the first pioneers into their field of inquiry while many female authors would refer to the writings of others in order to help them shape their way of thinking. It was very peculiar and not. So, as a preface I want to ad that most if not all my Blogs have been inspired and/or motivated by the writings of others. Paul Joannides in his awesome text – The Guide to Getting It On – Sixth Edition gets the credit for this one. I am a follower of Paul’s way of thinking when it comes to “sex” – it should always be about more pleasure with much less emphasis on performance.

I reflected on the past couple of weeks and how I had been talking to a number of men who sought help with premature ejaculation or rapid ejaculation issues. In most cases, the presenting problem was about how they could last longer with their partners. One client in particular said that he did not enjoy sex if he did not last a “prescribed number thrusts”. When questioned about the “number” he responded with his – without support as to what made it so for him. Questioned even further, he stated that sex was not enjoyable if he did not last “long enough”. When I questioned him about his partner’s input into this “magical number”, he looked at me liked I owed him money.

This really got me thinking on a lot of different levels. First, was what I wrote about previously regarding Zilbergeld’s belief that most if not all males are introduced into sexuality through three cornerstones – Secrecy, Privacy and Impersonal. Here is where my client reminded me of how males live out their sexuality impersonally by focusing their pleasure based on the performance of thrusting to standard set of motions. Since his partner did not know what he was thinking because he refused to share it, he certainly reinforced the secret and private aspects of himself through sexual relations with another. I wondered how many of us have lost our focus on pleasure in order to “hit the mark”? And what about our partners – it reminded me of something Carrie Bradshaw said on one of the episodes of ‘Sex and the City’ where she commented on ‘jackrabbit sex’ to Charlotte saying her boyfriend used her to masturbate.

Think about it [guys], if you get caught up in the “numbers game” are you not using your partner as just an extension of your hand? What’s interesting to note is that most of the research or surveys that women have responded to regarding what makes “sex good” for them rarely if ever mentions as the top contenders – ‘X’ number of thrusts. The number one and two answers usually fall into how much desire he feels for her and how emotionally connected she felt. I think sexual confidence on all levels and for both partners would increase if guys focused more of their energy on lusting after their partners in ways their partners could feel the heat and feel emotionally secure and connected.