Recently I wrote about “grown-up sex”, or for those of us who maintain a child-like innocence and playfulness, conscious sex. I define grown-up sex is sex that increases your sense of connection to your partner. Grown-up sex is a wild, erotic, and ecstatic adventure. It requires us to be present to our partner and to our own bodies. It requires that we ask for what we need, and give feedback on what we receive. It requires a certain amount of vulnerability; a willingness to open yourself to another and expose your heart’s desires.
Based on some comments I received and further contemplation on the subject, I thought I’d explore some of the reasons we don’t engage sexually in a conscious way.
1. Innocence. Sometimes people don’t engage in grown-up sex because they are simply ignorant that it is even a possibility. Our society hasn’t given us any mainstream models for how it would work. The idea that a sexual encounter could create an expansion of consciousness is pretty revolutionary, even though it’s been around for several hundred years. Tantric philosophy states that we can find the Divine in everything. This philosophy has gotten a bad rap by people who don’t understand it and mistakenly believe that Tantrikas are only interested in having wild orgies and insanely complicated sexual positions. Not that there’s anything wrong with trying new sexual experiences, but there’s a whole lot more to Tantra than orgies.
2. Conditioning. Let’s face it; it’s a lot easier for most people to do things the way they’ve always done them; especially when the patterns were formed in the early teenage years, as with David Deida’s model of “fantasize, stimulate and ejaculate.” Men have been conditioned to expect that a sexual encounter ends with orgasm and ejaculation. But ejaculation drains energy and leaves them feeling deflated (pun intended). In a conscious model of love-making, it is possible for a man to orgasm without ejaculating. Instead of energy spurting out of his body, he is able to circulate it within his body and use it to fuel more energy. It takes practice, but the practice is a lot of fun. J
3. Insecurity. For the men reading this, be honest. Did some part of you think, “Could I really control my ejaculation like that?” It’s easier for most people to stick with the tried and true, even if it’s a little boring. Or maybe it’s not even that boring, so why shake things up? Whenever we stretch outside our comfort zone, our fears and insecurities rise to the surface. That’s normal, just remember that all growth occurs outside the edge of your comfort zone.
4. Fear: It can be scary to open up and allow yourself to be vulnerable and truly intimate with another person, even if it’s someone you’re married to or have known for a long time. But most people’s biggest fear is the fear of the unknown. Part of the process of having grown-up sex is to allow yourself to be truly vulnerable. Being vulnerable means that we share not only what feels safe, but what feels scary. Georgia O’Keefe once said, “I’ve been absolutely terrified every day of my life, but I’ve never let it stop me from doing a single thing.” Try it, you never know, you just might like it.
Stay tuned for my next post, when I’ll explore what we can do about shifting our attitudes and consciousness about sexuality to overcome the limitations I’ve just outlined.