Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why sometimes sex technique is just fluff

A new article has been published in Canada - The Components of Optimal Sexuality: A Portrait of ‘Great Sex’ (published in the latest Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality) - the following is based on articles about the article.  I'm trying to get a copy of the real thing.

A researchers did a five year long study which included 64 adults from around the world.  The majority of the participants were from the US.  Of the participants, 25 were 60 or older.  All of the them, regardless of age, believed that they had experienced "great sex".  They were then asked to quantify the factors that they believed led to great sex.

Most of the participants felt that what lead to great sex, way more than technique or orgasm, was a feeling of connection and intimacy.  

No big surprise.  But, it seems that the blogosphere is widely shocked that it's not about - "move your tongue this way and all doors will be open to you!"

All too often we want a quick fix.  An easy trick that we can do that can make sex, a deeply, delightfully complex affair into something closer to a Hot Pocket (microwave and go!).  And this trick needs to work on each and every person, regardless of anatomy or circumstance.

Anyone can learn anatomy.  Anyone can learn different techniques for sexual stimulation.  We'll be happy to teach you.  If the communication skills and the ability to create and participate in intimacy isn't present,  The sex that results can be fun.  Even intense. And technically phenomenal. 

But for truely great sex to happen, there has to be vulnerability.  Trust.  Connection.  Honesty.  A sense of play.  Getting to the place where we, as adults with baggage, can participate on that level takes work.  Work that is more involved than learning a fun way to move your hand.  Anyone can learn it.  But it takes desire.  Humility.  And most of all, consistent practice.  Like anything worth having, it's a journey for which there is no true end.  I'm talking about any kind of sex - including masturbation.  Sometimes the hardest person to vulnerable with is yourself.  But it's where we all have to start.  And finish.

Because sex is about more than just body parts.  It's about our brains.  Our hearts.  Our souls.

Wheeeeee!  The possibilities are literally endless!  

Eight elements of great sex (from the Ottowa Citizen)

Dr. Peggy Kleinplatz research identified eight components that significantly contribute to excellent sex:

1. Being present, focused and embodied

According to the study, being fully and completely present during sexual experiences was the first and most frequently mentioned factor contributing to great sex. As one woman described, ‘You are not a person in a situation. You are it. You are the situation.’

‘It’s being fully alive,’ says Kleinplatz, ‘in one’s skin, engaged with the partner — emotionally, intellectually, physically, spiritually — in the moment.’

2. Connection, alignment, merger, being in sync

The report, printed Thursday in The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, notes that ‘the depth of the connection between partners was one of the most critical elements of the experience regardless of duration of the relationship.’

3. Deep sexual and erotic intimacy

Kleinplatz describes this as the foundation of a relationship in which optimal sexuality becomes a possibility. It involves deep mutual respect, caring, genuine acceptance and admiration. As Kleinplatz notes, ‘you can’t trust just anyone.’

4. Extraordinary communication, heightened empathy

While marital counsellors are trained in teaching communications skills to clients, Kleinplatz describes the study’s participants as having ‘black belts’ in communications.

‘These weren’t people who learned all about the other sex’s genitalia and then just applied the technique,’ she says. ‘These were people who were so engaged in and with their partners’ bodies that they could read their partners’ responses, not only touching them, but feeling them.”

5. Authenticity, being genuine, uninhibited, transparency

‘This is pretty much the opposite of self-consciousness,’ says Kleinplatz. ‘It’s allowing oneself to be emotionally naked while being seen by a partner.’ One of the study’s subjects noted ‘I don’t know that I’m capable of having great sex anymore without caring about a partner.’

6. Transcendence, bliss, peace, transformation, healing

Participants in the study often reported a sense of timelessness or the infinite during great sex. ‘There was often a moment of aliveness beyond anything they’d experienced before,’ says Kleinplatz. ‘Their experience often really was exalted, and (the subjects) would use language borrowed from religion to describe it, because there are no words in the vocabulary of sexology to describe it.’

7. Exploration, interpersonal risk-taking, fun

This, says Kleinplatz, is where participants describe sex as an adventure. She uses a line from The Who song Bargain: ‘I’m looking for a free ride to me. I’m looking for you.’

‘I’ve always thought it was one of the most erotic lines I’ve heard,’ she adds. ‘This is about being on a journey of self-discovery, with sex as the pathway.

‘And it’s also a lot of fun.’

8. Vulnerability and surrender

‘If authenticity is about what’s happening within and choosing to be emotionally naked,’ Kleinplatz explains, ‘vulnerability is more about the willingness to be seen naked. It’s an awareness that I’m letting you inside of me, penetrating one another’s souls.’

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