[Editorial note for my readers: These updates and posts are really like check-ins for me. I am not writing to anyone but myself. I happy to let you in to see the private pages of my journal. But I am no “expert.” I’m just a man. I’ve been divorced over 11 years now to a woman who made it clear early on in the separation process that she was not going to fight fair, nor really consider the “best interest of the children,” though that term would be bandied about quite a bit. This blog is about my experience. Like a story. Like Eat Pray Love. Read it. Enjoy it. And if you learn from it or are touched by it, let me know in the comments. I love comments. Thank you for listening.]
UPDATE OCT 2021: The earth has moved and presented me with more wonderful opportunities than I can process in a lifetime. Letting go of unnecessary projects, friends, relationships, jobs, even sports, can be a gateway to freeing up the energy you need to pour yourself into a sexual relationship. For me, I’m still a bit shy, a bit anxious, I don’t want to try again and find myself at the end of a dark and lonely dirt road in 6 months.
BUT… That’s what love is. Giving and receiving, without fear or reservations about the future joys or pain. In Buddhism the two magic words are this:
The future looks bright. I’m wearing shades. But I’m also trying to be transparent and slow the fk down. I’m doing fairly well. I’d give myself a 6 out of 10. But I’m UP and running forward. And arriving at patience 15 times an hour.
Everything is okay.
You are safe.
You are loved.
Pause and soak in the sun.
Return to the present moment.
UPDATE JAN 2021: Not everything is about sex. BUT… a lot of information is transferred and communicated during sex. And the lack of sex can reveal problems in the relationship. If your partner is avoiding intimacy, they are sending you a signal.
- I’m not okay
- We are not okay
- I’m considering my options
- This relationship is stressing me out
- I don’t want to work this hard
- Men need sex to feel connected, women need to connect to want sex
- I don’t want to be vulnerable with you in that way right now
As we work on relationship building for a long-term relationship, we need to understand our own sexual needs and desires, as well as those of our partners. Often this can be a touchy subject and can take a long time to sort out. But as committed partners, sorting out sex is a priority, in my opinion. Not sorting out sex, or writing sex off as non-essential, or male-led, is a bad sign in any relationship.
Let’s talk about what makes for great sex, but let’s also pay attention to what our partners are telling us when they lose the desire for us. Or perhaps they are simply losing desire, as in depressed. Open up about sex and you begin building a deeper trust with your partner. Perhaps a deeper trust will come from the vulnerability to share what you want from a sexual partner.
Let’s talk about sex, baby. Let’s talk about you and me.
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When you’ve felt the raw power of sexual joy there is never any going back to ‘blah.’
Sex is often a mixed-up dance between two people. But sex begins with yourself. And ultimately, your sexual joy begins with your own relationship to something inside you. Sex and sexual dysfunction is 90% in your head. So when sex is off, either between you and yourself, or you and others, there is some examination that might need to take place. (I’m no doctor, and I have no understanding of E.D. or other medically related sexual issues.)
I can count on one hand the joyful sex partners I’ve had in my life. Some were even joyful with a side of obsession, and that’s not really good, but the sex was amazing.
You want joyful sex, you explore and ask for a joyful partner. And when the chemistry is ON you can imagine seeking ever deeper levels of connection with this partner.
I don’t mean to sound like a tantric sex practitioner, I’m not. (And when someone does claim to be, as Sting did a while back, I want to run the other way.) And I don’t really profess to understand all the nuance of what goes into sexual chemistry (one of the great mysteries of life). But, what I do claim is my commitment to understanding my own sexual partnership goals and using those guidelines to frame part of my “nothing but 100%” commitment to finding my next relationship.
If you agree with the idea that sex between committed partners is a critical part of a healthy relationship, you can begin your quest: first, to find the joyful sexual partner within yourself; second, to find another joyfully aware sexual partner to explore core sexual satisfaction.
Rules of Joyful Sex.
- Much of what happens during sex is very personal (inside an individual’s mind)
- There is a physical joy that comes from finding a connected and aware partner
- Even the prospect of sex can awaken all kinds of wonderful chemical changes in the human body
- Casual sex can contain elements of joy and bliss, but true joyful sex, in my definition, requires two committed partners
- The discovery and unlocking of your partner’s sexual potential is a lifelong quest (otherwise monogamy would become boring and lead to infidelity)
- It isn’t possible to get too interested and rapt in your partner’s sexual pleasure
- When you are in the “flow” of sex you are experiencing a micro-nirvana
- When sex deteriorates in a relationship it is an indication of deeper communication and commitment issues
- The free play of joyful sex is as necessary as good sleep, once you’ve experienced it, you crave it, and are somewhat restless and unsatisfied in life, without it
And I have a few ideas about how to discover your partner’s inner joy while having sex.
The Inner Joy of Sex
- Always approach sex more as play than work or a goal-oriented task (the orgasm is cool and fundamental, but it’s not always necessary for joyful sex).
- Sex can be fast and furious (a quickie) or long and luxurious (afternoon delight: bath, massage, sex, nap).
- One-sided sex is fine, and nice if you can get it. (This is one I’m still working on, how to just lay back and enjoy an event just for me.)
- Sexual energy can be shut down or limited by stress, alcohol, drugs, hunger, exhaustion, worry about work, hyper-focus on the orgasm of either partner.
- Every sexual encounter with another person is an opportunity to unlock some new pathways of sexual joy, both your partners’ and your own.
- The more playful and unscripted sex can become, the more flexible and adaptable your relationship becomes.
- Core sexual satisfaction soothes over all kinds of frustrations and disappointments in life and in your relationship. You still need to talk about any problems in your relationship, but when the sex is “worth it” you will be a better listener and be more committed to the necessary negotiations to keep the other aspects of your relationship healthy.
I don’t know that it is much more complicated than that. If you want joyful sex, you explore and ask for a joyful partner. And when the chemistry is ON you can imagine seeking ever deeper levels of connection with this partner.
If you can find your way to playful sex you can find your way to the inner joy of sex that just might give you a longer life.
Even after 11 years of marriage and the duties of becoming parents to two lovely kids, I never lost my joyful appetite for my wife. Somewhere, she began to pull away and shut down her joyful sexual being. It was hard for both of us. But, as bad as it got, I still remembered and sought out the joyful sex I had imprinted between us. I was not willing to compromise, even if I was willing to delay and sublimate my desire while she “worked through some stuff.” When she didn’t return to our sexual bed for weeks, sometimes months at a time, I know there was more going on than sex.
What I understood even at the end of our relationship is my connection to her had been 100% strong and pure. And it did not diminish over time until some other aspect of the relationship was failing.
As I move forward in my quest for another joyfully connected partner, I know the sexual chemistry is also non-negotiable. And it’s really more of an attitude than a technique or prowess. If you can find your way to playful sex you can find your way to the inner joy of sex that just might give you a longer life. And a longer life with more joyful sex… well… that may be an enlightened path right there.
- Self-Care and Appreciation: Can I Love All of Myself Right Now?
- 3 Required Traits for Building a Lasting Relationship
- Emotional Intelligence Essentials for Long-Term Relationship Success
- Pausing in the Gap: Trying to Force An Answer Is Not the Way
image: rojo fashion, creative commons usage
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