Who initiates sex?

“I almost always have to start having sex,” my friend told me.

I felt a little resentful and asked him about it. He said it wasn’t a big deal, but acknowledged he was a little frustrated with the dynamics. I would prefer more reciprocity, because starting sex requires work. It takes courage because sometimes she doesn’t like it and he feels rejected.

I remember having the same frustration over the years. I remember feeling unfair.

The funny thing is, I also remember moments when my partner actually started having sex … and I wasn’t in the mood. It felt a little weird. On the one hand, I appreciated that she was part of the “job”, but I also felt that … If I wanted to have sex, I would have started it. Then I felt compelled to follow it because it was one of the few times it started. She didn’t feel very sexy.

But when my friend raised this, I realized that I had not felt this frustration for a long time. What changed?

Change had not been the goal of my tantric practice, but it was a clear result. The intention of my tantra practice was to reunite my sexual expression with my emotional experience and create a stronger connection with my lover.

With this practice, our sex became more emotionally connected, but something more happened. The feeling of being in love with her started to excite me more, and the feeling of being in love with her invigorated my love for her.

The result is that I feel like I’m always making love to her. I feel like we’re just pausing for sex and moving on to post-coital hug energy or prolonged foreplay energy. Somehow, it may seem like I’m the one who “starts,” but it seems like I’m still making love to her. That way, I’m never starting sex because we’re always making love. Whether or not to take off our clothes and stick to our primary sexual organs is more a matter of time and flow.

And I never feel like I’m “rejected” or rejected. For both of us it is clear where the energy of our connection lies. When there is security and space for sexual expression, we can intuit that we can both go there, when there is none, no. And there are, of course, times when she feels sexual desire, but I’m stressed that she doesn’t, or vice versa. While we may not be able to connect on an explicitly sexual level, we can almost always connect on a loving connection. With a deep integration of sexuality and love, one can satisfy the other. In fact, the deepest desire is more often to feel loved. Taking advantage of this feeling gives freedom from affection to explicit sexual desires.

I have not achieved any state of enlightenment, but have found more integration of my own energy. I’m still learning.

What seems clear to me is that most of the difficulty in sex is due to a disintegration of the emotional experience. When the heart and pelvis are connected and aligned, many problems simply go away.

But often people take off their clothes and cover their hearts. Instead of making love, we do a kind of mutual masturbation. “I’ll get you down if you take me out.” And that kind of connection is much harder to manage. Consent is harder to manage because it is two competing minds and desires rather than a united emotional experience.

I know because I used to. The sexual repression of our society overshadowed my sexuality, and the corresponding commodification of sexuality favored the disconnection of my heart. I didn’t even know what it was like to feel love and sexual desire together. It was not just a lack of information in my mind, but a physical disconnect between my heart and my pelvis.

But I learned little by little. Looking back, I realize how strange it was that the disconnect persisted. I was with people I loved deeply, but our sexuality was more of a “hot” thing we did together instead of a deeply connected expression of our love for each other. My focus during sex was still “performance” rather than presence.

But I had teachers like David Cates, I read books like “Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow,” and I have an amazing lover and teacher, Angela Grace. She and I explored the hearts and bodies of others and began having sex with the specific intention of connecting our hearts with our sexuality and with the hearts of others. When we did this, it was as if the fog cleared to reveal stunning scenery. Tears rolled down my cheeks as we made love to the beauty I was experiencing. I cried with grief every time I had sex with less connection than at the time.

And I still feel sorry for having emotionally disconnected sex. I see this as a lack of respect for the divine magic of the embodied love connection. If someone asked me if I had an unhealthy sexual past, I would have to say “yes” every time I committed to the sacred sexual part of my body without the proper integration of my heart. I did not know. I couldn’t even understand.

But I have compassion for my old self. I have compassion for everyone who is looking for love, connection and meaning, doing their best with the information available.

The men I talk to in my coaching practice want deeply meaningful and loving relationships. Most of the time, there is so much social shit in the way that they need to spend time clearing a route for a relaxed connection to occur. Other times, they’re not sure which way to turn in the shit.

It’s not uncommon for people to feel lonely. No wonder people push each other’s boundaries while exploring intimacy. It is not surprising that women are angry with men for the actual abuse they have suffered, whether it is blatant contempt and violence, or simply disconnection and emotional neglect. We tend to treat the hearts of others as we treat our own. Women feel the abuse of emotional disconnection when they have sex with men; for most men, it is the air they breathe.

We live in a beautiful time in our society, where we are beginning to recognize abuse. Eventually, people take responsibility for their actions. The dynamics of power are being considered and addressed. This is so important.

There is also plenty of room to explore the connection with our hearts (or lack thereof). In addition to calling people for their abuse, we need to teach each other how to love. Because when we are connected to our heart, so many problems just go away; when we are connected with our hearts, life becomes deeply beautiful.

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