Connecting Through Sex
Sexuality should be hidden, an activity that is private, but it should not be a dark side of us. Our sexuality should reflect the best of us, our highest believes and hopes and our deepest longings. It should be uplifting and satisfying. And most of it, it should do what I believe that sexuality is cut out for most, connect us deeply to another human. To make us grounded, to have us connected, to give us the companionship that means an end to human loneliness in the deepest way.
So many things are called sexuality that are not.
Sexual violence and abuse have nothing to do with intimacy. They may involve sexual feelings (even in the victim, which may lead to confusion and undeserved guilt feelings) but it’s not sex. Rather, it’s violence and abuse, using people as if they are just things in the life of the perpetrator in an area that is equipped to connect people to people and therefore is the most painful mistreatment.
Sexual addictions are not sex at all. They are an expression of loneliness and result in more feelings of isolation and are best cured by making friends. Once we have company, it’s easier to not drift off into this waste of time and energy.
Now, I would like to propose that just enjoying sex is also not necessarily really sexuality. While not violating anyone, it kind of seems to betray what the best sex could look like.
Is That All There Is?
Now, this is a tricky area to enter. So many cultural and religious norms have laid down rules for sexuality that understandably, many people are wary of any principle about intimacy.
For people for whom it is difficult to climax or even feel sexual, any permission to feel free to concentrate on these things is bound to feel good and liberating. Over-anxiety about climaxing can be countered by focusing more on the journey and not just the destination but the goal of such an approach is still to be busy feeling sexual. More focus on foreplay is good but still calls it foreplay, as if the real goal is climaxing.
Most people who had a good sexual climax with someone, for some time are protected against being sexually stimulated constantly and tend to feel jolly and cheerful. I won’t deny any of the goodness of that.
So, I’m not going to speak badly about having fun sexually. It’s better than never having sex in any way. But I’m claiming that it might not be the best option possible.
More Is Possible
A lot of sexual practice in the West in our time seems to be more like snacking than like eating.
I would like to suggest that sexual couples start reserving time to use sex in a connecting way too. To focus on connecting rather than on “having” sex. Not to stop at sex just being mutual (consecutive or alternating) self-gratification – no matter how pleasant or superficial that may be. Rather, to dedicate time to connect sexually, physically and emotionally. To connect. To cuddle, give each other a massage, stare into each other’s eyes, hold each other, listen to each other, be there with each other.
Not in order to climax stronger. Rather, just like eating something that is good for your body and tasty and not just what you feel like, getting some high but ignoring what food would make you feel satisfied and healthy. Stop snacking all the time and take time for a good meal.
Many couples get bored with sex. They try to get it over with in minutes. Or they need to spice it up all the time, have new partners or rather do it with strangers or on their own. But this all intensifies our loneliness.
In our evolved societies, friendships have become virtual and loneliness has skyrocketed. Besides meeting, talking (not just texting) and walking / running around with friends, there is a need for sexuality more than ever. And I mean: sexually connecting. Not just going through sexual exercises in order to feel sexual. To feel one.
If you so wish, you may keep the old practices – for the time being? – but then – sometimes? – add time with a focus on being together.
One closing point. In my experience as marriage counselor, lack of love is detrimental. If already one of them doesn’t love the other, the bond won’t last. So, if you don’t really love your partner, start falling in love as soon as possible – especially if you’re raising kids. That means: no more anger, arrogance or selfishness. And don’t give me that “I caaan’t.” Especially if the other also doesn’t love you. (It takes one to tango.) But not if the other will always be selfish. Yet, there are many reports that gays won’t stay in a monogamous sexual relationship with the “wrong” sex, no matter how much love they both feel for each other. That is sad.