Conditioning Your Lovemaking Response

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Conditioning Your Lovemaking Response
Cultivating erotic safety starts with learning your own sexual response.

Relationship Bootcamp Week Four

“There is no other physical act at our disposal that carries the physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of making love, especially with someone you love.” -Unknown

 

 

No one really understands sex, but if you are lucky, you get to spend years coming to grips with your erotic self and learning how to share and enhance the pleasure it brings. A good way to approach the topic is to think of our sexuality as an emergent rather than objective reality. That means we are willing to come to understand our sexuality and its meaning moment by moment, re-inventing it anew each and every time we are sexual. This is also helpful when we face fears of the unpredictable nature of the act itself. There is always the potential to be overwhelmed by the intensity of feelings that accompany it.

Our erotic lives can be intimidating because each time we move into them, the outcome is never certain, never the same and the risks never cease. The desire and simultaneous fear of being consumed in its fire is fertile ground for all kinds of addiction and dysfunction. One of the key places where this plays out for many couples is the initiation dance, which is often responsible for nipping the bud of desire before it has time to bloom. Our erotic selves are more visceral than they are cognitive and all of the negotiating that precedes the interaction, we can easily get cut off from our innate capacity for arousal. The mental unpacking of a sexual experience denies its core sensuality, like dissecting the nutritional elements of an extravagant dish.

Having the courage to let sex educate us about our relationships and ourselves is stepping up to one of the most significant levels of freedom and responsibility that this life can offer. In the privacy of our bedrooms, we are free to move beyond the binding cultural norms and bring our full attention to expressing an intimate world of our own making. This freedom exacts a cost- not only must we accept the reality and consequences of our own choices, but also we must allow our partner the same freedoms. So much of the dishonesty and judgment about our erotic selves comes from the inability to take responsibility for our own sexuality while allowing our partners the same freedom.

What is happening to the lovers in the story below? How could they better claim their own erotic selves and move toward the pleasure that they both crave?

~ * * * * * * ~

It always came back to the question of who wanted it. Sex, instead of a natural expression of love, had become baroque psychological warfare in Grace and Sam’s marriage, now edging into its second decade. Grace, tired from a shift working as an emergency room nurse, would come home, shower, light a candle and try to initiate sex. It was a priority for her. Sam would sometimes say no or more often, feel uncomfortable with what she suggested, although he would never admit that. She had always known she was more comfortable with her sexuality than he was, but this question of initiation and avoidance was driving small, sharp thoughts into her head: contemptuous thoughts about him and defensive thoughts about herself. Somehow, a mental tally sheet had formed and when she closed her eyes she recounted each time he had deflected her advances in the bedroom, bailed on driving the girls to soccer practice, or tuned out while she was stressing out loud about their mortgage. They lived side by side but she increasingly felt alienated and not just in the bedroom.

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This article was originally published at Good Clean Love. Reprinted with permission.
 
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