How strong is your sex life? Try to answer without telling me how many times a week you make love or how many times you both reach orgasm or even how your performance compares to what you read about in magazines. A strong sex life has to do with meaningfully connecting with a wisely chosen lover. This isn't to say that seeking "the big O" -- or multiple Os -- isn't a worthwhile and pleasurable endeavour, but if you focus only on the numbers, they won't add up.
Popular media suggests that prowess trumps personality and that it's okay to struggle with scruples as long as your horizontal samba sizzles. Performance is key -- measurable outcomes, in the form of simultaneous, earth-shaking orgasms, seem to be the way to separate the good guys from the mediocre. But we're in big trouble if we're counting on Hollywood to show us how to do it. We're at risk of putting technique over tenderness and valuing orgasm over intimacy.
Why such a mystique about anything sexual? While there's more education than ever before about how bodies work and how relationships evolve, I think we're still wondering, on a personal level, if we really measure up. If surveys show that the average couple makes love three to four times a week and we only do it on Saturdays, are we hopelessly flawed and inadequate? What if we were to throw out the rating cards and get back to the basics of living and loving in ways that celebrate the amazing sexual beings we were created to be?
I'm proposing a reflective, noncompetitive approach that is more about touch and less about technique. You will know your sex life is strong when:
1. You enjoy your body and regularly bathe, groom, nurture, exercise and rest it. You are grateful for its strength and its softness.
2. You delight in your sensuality and explore with curiosity and not criticism the sensations and the wisdom of each age and stage, celebrating gain rather than mourning loss.
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3. You enjoy loving touch and laughter, good music, exuberant dance and just enough fine wine to wash down your daily bread, well prepared and artistically served.
4. You regularly schedule time to be playful, intimate and merged, not losing yourself in the process but freely giving of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually; surrendering yourself to pleasure and passion without reservation; trusting yourself enough to know that you will not go where you are not safe nor stay where you are not honoured.
5. You delight in the flavour of the week, telling your partner what body part of theirs most intrigues and arouses you. Be creative; start with the toes. You know your own body well enough to guide the ministrations of your loved one for mutual pleasure.
While snuggled in on a Saturday morning before the madness of the day captures you, talk -- really talk -- about what feels good in your heart, your body and your soul when you are physically intimate. Don't be surprised if actual intercourse is on the list but not necessarily at the top. Great sex is about being meaningfully connected with someone you have more than a physical connection with, someone who will notice if you are lost or in distress. It is about being accepted as a flawed and therefore potentially, delightfully silly person. It is about being loved and being valued.
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