About Last Night: Am I losing my ability to find pleasure? 04-03-18

March 8, 2018

Q: Increasingly I’m finding that my orgasms are the same quality, intensity and duration, whether I am making love with a partner (I’m polyamorous with my husband) or masturbating. While I love the physical and emotional connection of being with another woman or man, I am just as satisfied pleasuring myself. Plus I get to stay in my own bed and don’t take any health or physical risks. Am I losing my ability to find pleasure in and with another?

A: Sex is about much more than reaching the finishing line of orgasm. Good sex cannot be measured in terms of the strength and duration of a muscle spasm. Sexual fulfillment comes from enjoying the journey you take en route to climax. However, if that journey is taken repeatedly, alone, or in congenial company; if it is a reliable service, with few risks or surprises; it might be that the journey has ceased to be a holiday adventure, and have turned into a humdrum commute.Sex is about much more than reaching the finishing line of orgasm.

Sexual tension is built up by the dance of love, which involves pursuit and retreat, closeness and separation, playfulness and passion. There can be less energy when you can take it for granted that you will get what you want, without trying. You have organised your life so that you have easy access to variety, and you are fortunate enough to be able to give yourself pleasure, so there is no urgency or fear of famine in your sexual world.

If, as a rare treat, you were offered French champagne and Beluga caviar, it would probably be a memorable experience. You would savour every mouthful and be fully engaged with the moment. But, if you could afford to eat nothing else, for every meal you would soon get bored, and lose your appetite. The only reason you would persist would be because it had become a status symbol. Is it possible that you have become overly defined by your lifestyle?

Perhaps you are feeling a little jaded, and need to do something else for a while? Sex is not compulsory. It is all right to withdraw into yourself, or to choose to abstain. It is wonderful that you feel empowered to explore your sexuality, but too intense a pursuit of peak experiences can throw life out of balance. Remember to appreciate all of life’s joys.

 Self-pleasure, in your own bed, is definitely less bother. You do not have to worry about how you look, or your personal hygiene. You are safe from sexually transmitted infections, and hurt feelings. What could be better? Maybe your nourishment could be delivered intravenously, you could wear adult nappies, and orgasms could be no more than the stimulation given to lab rats.

Life is for living, and living means going out, taking risks, having experiences, and interacting with other human beings. Broaden the scope of your interests. Do something different.

Are you able to go away on your own? Put sex on the back burner. Engage your senses with other pleasures – physical activity, reading, listening to music, sightseeing, eating out. Give your sexual synapses a break, and remember what it feels like to do things alone. Give yourself time to miss your partners, to appreciate them, and to experience unresolved desire. You might come back to your life refreshed.

You might also deepen, and broaden, your sex life by investigating Tantra and “sacred sexuality”. This does not involve joining a cult or religion. Rather, it is about learning and practising a variety of techniques that will expand sex to something more profound and life-enhancing than merely having a clitoral spasm. Diana Richardson’s book Tantric Orgasms for Women is a great starting point. Alternatively, if you find experiential learning more effective, check out some of the workshops offered by Martina Hughes at Tantric Blossoming. (tantricblossoming.com)

You do not mention your age. If these feelings persist it is possible that you are experiencing a loss of libido caused by hormone imbalances around menopause. If this is a possibility talk to your doctor. There are many ways to deal with such symptoms.

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