There has been a strange reversal from the pre sexual revolution mantra of “no sex before marriage” to nowadays were the complaint is no sex, or rare sex, after marriage. Whether you are married or simply in a long term relationship, being together a long time tends to engender boredom or routine into your sex life. Common excuses are having children or they are too tired out after a day at work, or simply they are past all that. But I have found that many of my clients have none of those reasons when they find them selves at a sexual lull.
Case Study – John and Maria. John had grown up always feeling at a loss around women, under confident and shy. He never found the knack of reading the signals women sent out and by and large, let them take the lead in relationships. Then along came Maria, and she blew his mind. He told me that from the moment he first laid eyes on her it was instant love. She made him feel so comfortable and relaxed he never felt any worries at taking the initiative in sex and for the first half-year the sex was out of this world.
It wasn’t just the sex that was great, but the whole relationship, so John had no qualms about asking Maria to marry him, even though they had only been together for a few months. He knew she was the woman for him. John told me he couldn’t pin-point the exact time that he began to lose his sexual interest in Maria. It wasn’t straight after they were married but it was pretty soon after.
A new and unwanted edge had crept into their relationship. Whereas in the beginning the feeling of safety and security had given John the confidence to strick out, it now made him feel so comfortable he didn’t want anything more, didn’t feel the same passion any more. As this went on Maria began to question why things had deteriorated but he hadn’t the words so she soon fell into an acceptance that sex would be a “once a month” kind of thing. John, himself, took it for a fact that Maria would soon become pregnant and the presence of children would make sex a none issue.
Yet despite the apparent domestic harmony of their lives, they never fought or argued, John was shocked to find that Maria said she wanted to leave him. She told him that while she still loved him, she just wasn’t in love with him any more. John knew in is heart the answer to why that was; it was the disappearence of the passion the spark that had previously been in their relationship. John then came to me, desperate to get back the spark and passion, but just so confused and scared of how to go about it.
The fear of losing Maria played on John’s sexual performance. For the first time in his life he began to experience premature ejaculation and impotence, all kind of problems he had never experienced before. He simply didn’t know how to deal with these feelings, but what he did know is that it would make the task of keeping Maria all the harder. The tension filled attempts at reigniting the spark only served to highlight their failing sexual connection. He tried exploring other avenues, talking to a psychologist, even taking medication, but nothing would provide the right solution and his confidence started to deteriorate to his pre-Maria days. He couldn’t even find a way to initiate sex any more.
What was the problem? This case was interesting; mostly men are thought of as sexual beings, it works or it doesn’t, kind of mechanical in response. If it works fine, if it doesn’t then off they go to the psychologist or therapist and “Bob’s your uncle” it’s sorted, like a mechanic fixing an engine. Even desire is thought of as automatic, we think men are always ready.
As we started to examine the dynamics of just what went wrong in their sexual relationship we made some interesting discoveries. Maria admitted that she hadn’t always relished John’s sexual advances even in the passionate beginnings of their time together. She shocked John by telling him that many times when they had been in the thrall of a passionate encouter she had actually been out of her mind thinking about other things and that John’s intense need overwhelmed her completely. This set John thinking and allowed him to pinpoint when things started to take a turn for the worse. He remembered the feeling that Maria wasn’t getting as much as she could from their comings together and that he needed to make more effort to make it as good for her as for him. He started having to put so much more effort into bringing her to climax and this was draining him, making him tired. He started to get the impression that Maria just wasn’t on fire any more. And unconscously, his body had started to rebel, resisting the effort it took to have good sex and he came to see that no matter how much he still desired Maria, his drive had just gone away.
Sex of the Heart, Mind and Body. Strangely the root of most of our sexual guilt and indecision also contains the secret to our sexual liberation. You’ve got it, the Bible. I’m not saying that we should go back to the days of no sex before marriage, far from it. The Bible refers to sex as “knowing”; Adam “knew” Eve. Sex is more than a physical act, it is an awareness of the other. Every congress is an opportunity to become aware of yourself and of the person you are with. Every day we go about our lives being individual, we need to start to become aware of our Oneness. Unless we have the habit of using meditation we seldom stop and consider how we connect with those around us. In this modern world we don’t simply cut ourselves off from other people but also our own self, our bodies, our emotions, just like Maria; she was perfectly able to carry out her day to day life, including sex with John, all the while, thinking ofsomething completely different.
It is for this reason that routine sex is so harmful and, of course, why any sort of abusive sexual relation ship is so deeply scarring. If the body is funcitoning on full throttle but the mind is several gears behind, or worse, in pain or afraid, then as an entity you are split in two. You are unable to expereince yourself as a whole, to experience your Oneness and if you can’t sort your own feelings out, how can you share in those of another?
So rather than rushing back in to rescue their sexual relationship, John and Maria would have been far better off had they started to become aware of one another again. Stopping to experience each other again. If you really want to touch someone else then you can’t help but be connected to your own body – because how else can you really know who you are touching? Your body informs you. So reaching out to a lover to experience them and their body brings you straight back into experiencing yourself. This state of whole-body-mind awareness is how we should be all the time.
Finding the spark again. The simplest Tantra of all is to open your mind. How many times have you had sex whilst making a grocery list in your head? Or thinking about when you have to pick up the kids? Sex that is not experienced totally in the heart and the mind is not really an experience of sex at all. It is just another disembodied act that takes you further away from the way we are meant to operate. Real tantra is about being present and aware in every moment. In fact, doing the dishes can be an act of tantra if it is done with awareness – a single pointed focus on exactly what you are doing. Within this single pointed focus hides the deepest level of relaxation, focus and creative potential. This is entering into the true Yin state, a state of receptivity and awareness and from this focus, your creative and spontaneous energies will flow naturally. There is no effort required. And we all know that the best sex is when you lose yourself in it and in the other person. Sharing this space with someone else is a sacred experience because you are totally open and totally receptive. This is when you merge with your partner. Your receptivity goes beyond your own body into theirs and you are experiencing your true nature.