The story that has shifted the mainstream consciousness of sexuality is about a young beautiful virgin, who doesn’t recognize her own beauty and a deeply troubled young man, that channels his childhood pain and extreme wealth into a fringe sexual lifestyle that verges on violence. The plot twists and turns around submission and dominance, one of the oldest and most common fantasy themes in human history. How this story shifted the sexual landscape of our culture and has captivated the attention of millions reveals the singular most significant truth of our collective human sex drive: our access and witness to our fantasies is where our sexual motor either revs up or languishes. The dynamics of sexual dominance and submission has been transacted throughout our ancestry so many millions of times; it is no wonder that Fifty Shades of Grey taps this deep nerve of our collective sexual history.
Archive for the 'Fire' Category
Sexual dissatisfaction is one of the top reasons cited when we leave our relationships. It is also one of this life’s most worthy challenges to take on; not only for the meaning and pleasure it can bring to our relationships, but also for the very real health benefits that a satisfying sex life bestows on our well being. I also believe that learning how to satisfy our sex drive and grow our comfort with our erotic selves is a window which reveals our deepest humanity. It is no surprise that a massive consumer market designed to offer a quick fix for our sexual desires has ballooned into a billion dollar industry, but despite the millions of options available, there is no magic pill (even those that manage to sustain erections), toy or DVD of new sexual techniques that is going to bring you the kind of passionate intimate connection that we all long for. There are however some pretty straightforward shifts in focus and attention that will lead you towards more satisfying sexual experiences and a comfort with who you are as an erotic human being. Here are a few ideas, which are not listed in order of potency. Even if you only try one at a time, take note on how your intimate life responds.
“The act of smelling something, anything, is remarkably like the act of thinking. Immediately at the moment of perception, you can feel the mind going to work, polling one center of the brain after another for signs of recognition, for old memories and old connection.” – Lewis Thomas
Our sense of smell is ancient; primal as well as the source of our most powerful emotional memories. This is also the sensory pathway which is the key to sexual attraction and compatibility. These facts belie the little attention that our sense of smell evokes- partly this is because we have so little language for scent. Our scent language is often limited to “it smells like…” and our recognition of scents is often clearly delineated between pleasant and unpleasant. But there is a world of scent cognition that goes unrecognized every day and new research into the remarkable olfactory processing of life is demonstrating how seemingly invisible forces actually color what we see and hear as well.
How we spend our time is what our life is made of and our intimate relationships are a clear reflection of the time we invest in them. Relationship growth is a capital investment in time and without it, deep connections wither on the vine. It is easy in this era of instant connectivity to lose sight of what it means to commit to the real face time that love demands. Arguably, making time for making love is a deeply meaningful measure of the health and sustainability of your relationship. This is especially true when you consider the outrageous scheduling demands that we agree to without hesitation for our work lives, our children’s activity calendar or our favorite online social media connections.What makes scheduling the best hours of our intimate life so difficult?
“Most people are slow to champion love because they fear the transformation it brings into their lives. And make no mistake about it: love does take over and transform the schemes and operations of our egos in a very mighty way.” -Aberjhani
One of the most common ways that we leave each other while staying together is to remove sex from our relationship. This is not a new topic. In recent years the concept of the Sexless marriage has made the cover of Newsweek and other major publications, which reported that as many as 15- 20% of married couples have had no sex in the last 6-12 months. While some may argue the definitions of a sexless relationship, no one is arguing the fact that our ability to show up sexually is an essential foundation for the health and wellbeing of relationships.
Boredom is defined as the “state of being weary and restless through lack of interest.” Apply this definition to your sex life and you are suddenly in a crowd. In fact, sexual boredom is one of the most often cited reasons for cheating. The drive forces of this weariness and restlessness usually has less to do with you or your partner than it does with the nature of your partnership. There are many bestsellers currently on bookshelves promoting the idea that monogamy kills sexual passion and that sexual boredom is inevitable in long-term relationships.
Penetration is a word that is often used to describe the culminating act of sexuality. It’s a word I often use when describing the best use of good lubricant. But recently, after using the word in conjunction with the act, I began to wonder what I was actually saying. So I went on a search, only to find that the verb “to penetrate” actually has eight different dictionary definitions. Thus, it occurred to me that the meaning you attach to the verb may well deeply influence your relationship to the sexual act.
Sadly for many people, the definition of penetration as a military force entering into enemy territory or a projectile hitting a target might well be their first association. It is not uncommon to associate sexual penetration with feelings of inadequacy, pain and even violation. Whether from a history of sexual abuse or an inability to experience pleasure within the act, intercourse that doesn’t happen in the context of a safe, consensual space is easily interpreted as an invasion.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -George Bernard Shaw
Most of us take ourselves way too seriously, especially when it comes to our relationships. The more our heart is bared and the deeper we grow in our commitments, the more we have riding on the outcome. Ironically, instead of helping us to lighten up, our most intimate relationships often push us in the opposite direction of re-thinking every comment and misinterpreting unintended meanings. This is the slippery slope that too many intimate relationships often slide down, often without seeing the downward spiral until they hit bottom. At this point, no one is having fun anymore. Intentionally adding playfulness and laughter to your partnership is such a seemingly simple fix that most people doubt its efficacy.
“The highest ecstasy is the attention at its fullest.” -Simone Weil
The day after Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest days of the year for Ashley Madison. Disappointment and frustration over all the ways that one feels neglected and misunderstood crystallize on this holiday of love; for many, it is the breaking point. Avoiding this critical juncture in your relationship is rarely about finding the right card or gift on Valentine’s Day. The attention and emotional connection that is lacking in a relationship happens over time, eating away at the confidence and trust we build in each other over time. Even well-meaning gifts can feel shallow, and ironically, often exacerbate the distance and unspoken conflict. It isn’t really the gifts that do this, it is the longing for intimate connection that has to find a voice.
“Sex lies at the root of life, and we can never learn reverence for life until we know how to understand sex.” -Henry Ellis
Sex scandals are us. The news is replete with what seems an endless account of seemingly good people whose sexuality has literally transformed them into a criminal. The stories of childhood sexual abuse are deeply troubling and extend into the millions when you consider the many youths sold into the global sex trade. Yet, stories of coaches and kids in locker rooms hit an even deeper nerve because they make us question, at the deepest level, our own sexual urges. We are all caught in the conundrum of longing to experience our sexual depths, while simultaneously being terrified of whether our fantasies are normal or worse still, make us dangerous.