Why Are We Having So Little Sex?

Why Are We All Having So Little Sex?

By BELINDA LUSCOMBE -TIME Magazine writer - Health - October 26, 2018

 

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Ms. Luscombe article is coming to you by submission of one of my readers who also is a good friend, William Fennie, H. W., M., a mentor and counselor in his own right. His foresight into the relevance of this article and the nature of my Blogs made it a natural fit for the SOC website, Thank you William.


Matt, a 34-year-old data analyst from Texas, and his wife dated for seven years before getting married in 2013. When they didn’t live together, they had sex every time they saw each other. After they moved in, however, he says things changed. Their sex life became inconsistent. They’d have a really active week and then a month with nothing, or just one at-bat. It began to hurt their relationship…..he didn’t know how to talk about sex with his wife.. “I really didn’t want to be pushy on that issue,” he says. “She has the right to say no, always and forever.”

 

If Matt’s story sounds familiar to you, you are not alone. Americans are …not having sex in droves, according to the General Social Survey, a profile of American behavior that has been gathered by the National Opinion Research Council at the University of Chicago since 1972, the fraction of people getting it on, at least once a week fell from 45% in 2000 to 36% in 2016. One study of the GSS data showed that more than twice as many millennial’s were sexually ‘inactive’ in their early 20’s than the prior generation was. And the sharpest drop was the most recent, in the years 2014 to 2016.

 

How can this be? …This is the era when …social stigma around premarital sex is gone, hookups are not considered shameful, and the belief in limiting partners to one side of the gender line is no longer universal…. Contraception has reduced the risk of serious physical consequences… technological … helps willing partners find each other, endless free online porn to rev the engines… and [Viagra type drugs] to overcome the most common physical limitations for men.

What hasn’t changed, is that sex remains as exhilarating as it was for our ancestors. In fact, a safe, consensual romp with a loving and appropriate partner is one of life’s…delight with no downside…and pure, free fun.

 

Yet there is a slump. Nearly 20% of 18- to 29-year-old’s reported having no sex at all in 2016, an almost 50% rise over those who were celibate in 2000. “The downward trend is very real,” says Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at University of Maryland, College Park.

 

Jean Twenge, professor of psychology, San Diego State University wrote a much-cited paper for the Archives of Sexual Behavior about this downturn, says one big reason is marriage—…. Married people… have more sex than single people of the same age… because they’re already going to bed with someone who …is  having sex with them. The supply side of the equation is solved, only the demand side is a riddle.

 

What has remained constant, while the number of 20-something spouses has dropped. And increasingly, young people are eschewing having a relationship with one partner, and instead hanging out with a loosely assorted group of friends…[results] less convenience sex is going on.” says Twenge. “So there’s a larger proportion of people in their early 20s who are not having sex at all.”

 

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Married folks, are falling down on the job too. “The number one issue being, says couples therapist Ian Kerner, author of the book She Comes First. -is “discrepant libido and low libido and no libido.”

Twenge’s study shows that the highest drop in sexual frequency has been among married people with higher levels of education... This may be …child-centric family anxiety. “We know there’s more parenting anxiety,” says Cohen. “That could be turning into generalized family stress.”

Seems, only the 60-somethings are bucking the trend…Unlike the retirees who came before them, they’re putting the sex back in sexagenarian, with an average coital frequency that is slightly higher than in two decades earlier.

 Many couples have perfectly good reasons for not having sex: they’re exhausted, they’re unwell, they have too much else to do, or the kids are in the bed with them.

 

The trend for using beds for other activities beside sleeping and making whoopee is so robust …“We’re one of the few species that mate face to face,” says Sue Johnson, a Canadian psychotherapist and couples technique counselor: “And face to face interactions seem to be going down everywhere. We turn to technology instead of to people….”  The sex toy industry has been growing briskly and is worth about $15 billion annually. Astonishing numbers of hours of pornography are being consumed online. And VR porn is taking off… Some neuroscientists have argued that for some people, heavy porn consumption can recondition the brain’s arousal circuitry to respond more to the screen than a human.

 

Therapists have noticed the shifting dynamics in both male and female patients…” Another complicating factor is the changing conversation around consent and sexual advances, shaped by the ‘MeToo’ movement. Matt, along with other struggling sexual partners interviewed as background for this story, expresses uncertainty about where the boundaries lie. “There was always the question in my mind, am I being unreasonable?” Matt says… This adds a layer of complexity to a subject that couple are already notoriously bad at, talking about [Sex]. “I do think that conversations around consent, and what consent is, are becoming much more real,” says Lori Brotto, a Canadian  Professor at UBC in research of Women's Sexual Health. Brotto. ... “This can mean that [male]partners are initiating less [sex], that they’re sitting back and waiting for the female to initiate. And then feeling rejected when they don’t.”

 

One of the more alarming discoveries to emerge so far is the large number of women for whom sex is actually painful. “One in five young women 18 to 29 experience chronic pain during sex,” says Natalie Rosen, a psychologist and associate professor at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia… Rosen found that a third of women never mentioned it to their partners because they were ashamed, felt inadequate or feared being dumped. “Or they end the relationship preemptively without telling their partner why,”

 

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Gender dynamics are having an impact too. One of the oldest and sturdiest reasons for abstinence: mates are not finding each other attractive. Review that looked at sexual frequency and chore distribution found... We are interested in that which we are lacking, thus household chores should be gender specific. …Other studies found that in homes where guys pitch in more women are less stressed, less resentful and therefore... their relationship is better. A study released in April from the University of Utah found: Men who share the grocery shopping report more sexual satisfaction than men who don’t, but if they do more cleaning and laundry than their spouses, sexual frequency goes down. For women, washing up was the libido killer.

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The lead researcher, Dan Carlson, at the University, an assistant professor of family and consumer studies, found: “Homes with more traditional gender roles have sex more often because the men get to make the call as to whether there will be any knocking of boots. And homes which are really egalitarian also have more sex because the couples are communicating better...People wanting a egalitarian marriage…are happier when they can achieve one,” Carlson says. It’s the murky middle, those couples that desire gender equality but haven’t quite perfected it, who are sleeping facing the wall.

 

 

More prosaic reasons for desire discrepancy, ….the unhappy situation in which one partner wants a lot more sex than the other- .,, from genetics to upbringing to hormonal changes to sexual history to general healthiness. Higher rates of obesity, for obese men are more likely to be impotent. “There are health implications,” says Maryland’s Cohen, “and there is the social self-image, feeling attractive...”

The Galatian Suicide photo shared by William Floyd

The Galatian Suicide photo shared by William Floyd

 

Then there’s the public health epidemic: depression. “Seen in every national probability study is that depression rises to the top as a leading causes of low desire, specifically,” says Brotto. Treating depression can further hurt desire; many common medications for depression, such as SSRIs, are known to lower libido.

 

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Might people have become less happy since the turn of the millennium? Twenge thinks so. Another of her papers found that general happiness among those over 30 had dropped markedly since 2000. There could be any number of reasons for the fall, but one intriguing suggestion is that the economic trends that have shaped the current political climate may also have affected our more intimate relations. A 2011 study from the University of Virginia that analyzed GSS data between 1972 and 2008 found that Americans reported being happier in the years when income inequality was at its least fierce. Not because they were richer, the study suggested, but because times seemed fairer. Many more American workers have had to embrace erratic work schedules because of the 24/7 work economy. That makes it hard for couples to spend time together.

 

 

Economic pressure might also explain why young people have experienced the steepest falloff in sexual activity. Millennials and the generation below them, sometimes known as Gen Z, have suffered more in the great recession. Young men, especially, are finding it harder to find jobs; more than a third of 18 to 34-year-old Americans are living with their parents, an arrangement usually mutually exclusive with having a stellar sex life.

 

“I think it’s important to consider that this might not be bad.”

 

All of this, Twenge believes, may be leading to a generation of young people who are not interested in partnering up, who are moving away from pair bonding into the sexual equivalent of a gig economy. Instead of having a job or steady relationship, people have to find their own opportunities. “The theme that comes up over and over [among young people] is the increase in individualism,” says Twenge. “More focus on the self and less on social rules.” That would explain both the openness around sexuality and the drop in actual sex.

Escape into Reality by Michal Trpak

Escape into Reality by Michal Trpak

 

 

Whatever the causes, say therapists, the solutions don’t change. Couples need to figure out their sexual needs and wants, communicate them and perhaps put down their phones for a while. That doesn’t always mean having more sex. Cohen notes that the drop in the rate of sex has not been accompanied by a rise in divorce. “I could imagine a positive scenario where people communicate more and better within relationships now and the low interest partner talks the high interest partner out of it and they’re happier,” he says. “I think it’s important to consider that this might not be bad.”

 

This was the key for Matt and his wife. “Sometimes there’s still a libido mismatch,” he says of his marriage now. “And not every week or month is perfect, but my wife and I have learned to communicate better, and we’ve both learned to listen better.” Things are going so well that they recently decided the time was right to try to start a family and in October they found out they were pregnant.

 

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Conversation, it seems, is the most powerful type of foreplay. “If you want me to give my advice to the American public about this, it would be, ‘Talk to each other about sex,’” says Klein. “Talk to each other about how you want to feel. Do you want to feel attractive? Do you want to feel desired? Do you want to feel young? Do you want to feel graceful?” And then you have to decide if you’re willing to put the work in, he adds. “Gourmet sex is like gourmet cooking,” he says. “They don’t happen without focus.”

The (missed) Perceptions that Leads to Penis Envy in Men By Calvin Harris, H.W.,M.

It seems that sooner or later that within a conversation about masculinity the subject of the Penis will pop up and rear its head. Since all things Masculine has been a subject of conversations, reading, and writing with me lately I am not surprise the subject of Penis came up. Since this is a difficult subject to discuss, some levity has been added in this post as "puns" disguised as  "Freudian Slips." We learn through humor as much as through struggle. 

Neptunes Penis bologa, Italy

Neptunes Penis bologa, Italy


I am not new to the subject of men and their relationships to their penis, but in this context, of Penis envy, two situation occurred that tip the balance and moved me to write. One situation is a repeating occurrence that happens, and the second situation occurred in a relax few friends at lunch gathering. I was taken aback by the rise of emotion and  in heat of the conversation over the despair at the lost of foreskin and the possible pleasure missed as a result of that. At the time, I felt pieces were missing to the dialogue presented at the lunch conversation and needed to be put in a larger context along with Health, Love, Sexuality, Sensuality, and Relationship.  

I am not surprised with the notion about the penis and its importance in receiving pleasure in some men's lives (it is the most interesting thing they do), yet I am surprise as to the absence of any mention of other components to pleasuring oneself such as through other erogenous zones about the body, or to healthy relationships either with the self or anyone else? Well back to my story.

The latest instance for me in the Penis envy scenario occurred three weeks back at this pub, when an associate I don't know well, turns to me and says: “How" lucky I was to be born African American!, with that look of envy on his glassy eyed face, and you know that he didn't mean I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. As I looked at him, you could just picture, in his minds eye, him in that 1974 scene as the Monster with Madeline Kahn, from the  Young Frankenstein Movie – He sees himself toting an enormous schwanzstucker. You can hear Marty Feldman saying to him - “You are going to be very Popular.”  Unfortunately, I am looking at him and thinking maybe, He should sober up before meeting his date, that sexual encounter he describes he wants with such vigor ( upturn  shot glass after shot) and yet his fear of self prophecy of being dissipated, failing  his date, by being a rudely inebriated mess that has repeatedly fallen asleep mid coitus.  Personally I am thinking she declines sex with him, and considering an android companion that talks, learns and satisfies sexual desires on que.

Sizing each other up

Sizing each other up

The second instance of professed envy came during a lunch meet up of several friends, when  the discussion turned to an article by Van Barrett, an author and blog writer. He had written a blog on the envy of the uncircumcised penises.  One of the men felt a strong need to defend Barrett's  position, for it turn out, that he too longed for and desired foreskin.  A wish not to have been circumcised.

Van Barrett blog had come about due to one of his fictional book. his feeling  was so prevalent in the book that a reader wrote to question his sexual gender. The article he wrote in  response is found at the end of this blog. 

As to Mr. Barrett and the Lunch partner,  bemoaning lost of foreskin - It sounded like "the grass is always greener." To give the other side of the coin, we turn to - Hayley MacMillen, who did an article on the problems that Uncircumcised men face in the U. S. in her article in Cosmopolitan Magazine, Oct 5, 2016. The magazine titled - 9 Things Uncircumcised Guys Want You to Know.
Cosmopolitan quoted one interviewee, named only as Henry, as saying: “that while he’s open about not being circumcised with his partners, it’s a different story with his guy friends. "I never talk about it with other guys," he says, and even though "guys talk about their dicks all the time ... fear is absolutely a factor because being different is stigmatized."

 

What is key here is  'Perception' - "What are men focusing on when it comes to  pleasurable sex?"

Most times Male banter is about  “getting off,” not about having an experience that is a satisfying sensual-sexual experience.  This maybe due to Porn, or the speed of living life, or the unwillingness of men to make time for themselves to create an environment for true sexual pleasure. There is a large majority of men that  have concluded that all sexual pleasure is encapsulated in the manipulation of the skin that surrounds their penis, and they want to work it until, in the jargon of the day, you bust a nut - i.e. get off.

Given how much symbolic baggage this body part carries, it’s no wonder the misconceptions about it. To enlarge this conversation, as difficult as it is, it is  yet worthwhile.  Beginning with the misperception that your penis is '"The" Sex Organ', if you think that is so, you have completely missed out on your Biggest Sex Organ experience, which is the Skin that covers your entire body coupled with the creativity  of the Consciousness of the Mind …. roll that around for a while, you may find that statement to be correct. Now that being said, think then how much sense- satiable pleasure you have missed out on, if you are not activating your whole-body/mind experience? 

Dr. Debby Herbenick, a sex researcher, educator, and author as wells as the Co-Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington & the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction.  From her research findings, she states: “Often when people think about the pleasures of sex, they think about genital arousal (e.g., erections or vaginal warmth or lubrication) or orgasm. While I certainly wouldn’t argue these, I would add that one of the most pleasurable parts of sexual intimacy is the experience of touching and being touched all over.

Decades of research have shown that humans.... need touch…. not only to survive, but to thrive. Touch can have a biological effect that releases oxytocin (which has often been referred to as the “Cuddle Effect”) Touch can have psychological effects of helping people to feel loved, happy, accepted, calm or reassured.

In sex, we have the uncommon opportunity to touch and be touched all over our bodies. ... press bodies against each other in a hug or, while kissing or in one of many possible sexual positions, they get to experience an enormous amount of skin closeness. They may touch cheeks, lips, chests, legs, and feel... hand along their back, thighs, or stomach. There is, after all, something qualitatively... intimate in the experience of being exposed – physically, and often emotionally.” [sexual dilation].

From that point of view then the almighty penis becomes just another body part, vital but still one among many body parts in a mind body- somatic sexual dilation.  I’d like you to entertain the notion of making time for the sex experience (or putting sex on maximum drive).  Think of sex as something you gift to yourself be it alone or with a partner. Permit yourself to be mindful of being naked, of touching all over as much you can. To relax into an exploration that promotes sensual enjoyment, an inner awareness of intimacy and dilation.  Have an experience of sexuality that does not start nor stop (uncircumcised or circumcised) with those few centimeters of skin that extends over an Erect Penile Length and Circumference but engages a full mind-body (somatic) experience.  Then and only then can the identity of Sexuality be disengaged from the notion that it is a control of genitals. You can begin then to stop comparing or lamenting about genitalia, what you have or do not have and start enjoying the mind-body (somatic) wholeness that you truly are.

I recommend the following four books, they can be helpful in your striving for control and perception of a healthier, loving, and more pleasurably experience during sex. 
 

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The Penis Book: A Doctor's Complete Guide to the Penis―From Size to Function and Everything in Between” by Aaron Spitz MD


Manhood: The Rise and Fall of the Penis” by Mels van Driel, Paul Vincent (Translator)


 Sex Made Easy: Your Awkward Questions Answered—For Better, Smarter, Amazing Sex” by Dr. Debby Herbenick.


Anal Pleasuring (A Good in Bed Guide)” by Dr. Debby Herbenick.
 

 

Now here is the article that created weeks of discussion, debate and finally my blog.  I would be interested on your take on this,  so jot me a note. 

Van Barrett, Are You Really A Man?

 An article by Van Barrett  July 28, 2016 vanbarrett.com

I had an e-mail recently from a reader of my book Seven Nights who was quite convinced that I am secretly a female, hiding behind a male pen name — and they were not too happy about it, either!

I must be a female, they wrote to me, because I write about men with circumcised cocks and men with uncut cocks — therefore, it’s a given that I’m writing about something I can’t possibly know or have firsthand experience of. Right? From there, it’s surely a small leap of logic to assume that I actually know nothing about what it is to have a cock, how they work and what they feel like, because I’m just a woman making crap up as I go. Insert eye roll here.

So? What say you, Van Barrett?

I’ll give you the answer to this burning question in a moment! But first I wanna share a personal anecdote.

I was in the seventh grade when I first had to take a ‘lifestyle’ class. I forget the exact name of it — something like “health and lifestyle” — but whatever, you get the gist. It’s the sort of course where you learn about balancing a checkbook and how to eat healthy and oh, oh gosh, (*cheeks blush*) human anatomy and sexuality. So that was the first time, age 13, that I’d had any sort of formal sex education.

And here’s where I should point out that some form of sex-ed probably should’ve come a lot sooner, as I remember riding the school bus home in the 4th grade with my best friend. Curious about sex, we looked up the word ‘sperm’ in the dictionary. We’d both heard this term, this magical sperm before, and we knew that it was related in some way to sex. When we read the definition, we looked at each other with puzzled expressions. Embarrassingly, I concluded that a sperm must be the head of your cock, and it detached from the shaft when the moment was right. Cough. We had trouble wrapping our brains around how there could possibly be some ~100 million more cock-head sperms just waiting around in our nuts to be ejaculated. Fun image, right? Clearly, something didn’t add up, and we still had no idea what a sperm was.

… Anyhow, I digress.

It was because of this lifestyle class in 7th grade that I first learned of the concept of circumcision. I’d never heard it before. I think we glanced over it and class and I didn’t give it much thought. It wasn’t until a couple days later, when I was hanging with a friend of mine, that it came up again.

My friend was uncircumcised. He gloated about being intact, he bragged about how uncut men statistically are said to have better orgasms and better sex and their partners report being more pleased. He asked me if I was uncircumcised. I had no idea! Again, I’d never heard this word before our class and even then, it didn’t seem like it applied to me. My penis seemed to work fine, and it didn’t look cut up, so why bother, right? But based on all the stats he told me, I sure hoped I hadn’t been cut!

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But I wasn’t sure. I asked my friend to describe what a circumcision looked like. There were no suitable pictures or illustrations in our textbook for me to get the idea. He kept saying something along the lines of, “c’mon, this isn’t hard — it either looks like a bell or like it has a turtleneck that can cover the whole thing up! Which one is it?”

And still I was truly stumped. But more than that, I was a little frazzled. This idea that I might have been altered as a baby … without my knowledge or consent … that resulted in a less fulfilling sex life?

“No way,” I protested. “It looks fine. It’s totally natural. It doesn’t look like it was hurt.”

He wanted to see it: he said he’d tell me if it was or not. A shy kid in my youth, I said no way. So we opted to look at my newborn baby pictures instead.

“Dude,” he laughed. “You’re circumcised, alright. See that? That’s the head of your dick and it’s not covered. That’s a circumcision, Van.”

So it was. The realization set in immediately: I had a circumcised penis.

Was I crushed? Was I disappointed?

I’m sure I was — on some level. But not a consciously-available level. That would probably require more self-awareness than a 13-year-old possessed. Instead, I adopted a psychological tool more fitting for a teen: indignant anger.

“Yeah, well, everyone says a circumcised penis looks better!” I gloated right back at him. “And it’s cleaner, too!”

Then we’d argue back and forth about who had the better and the best pleasure-giving penis. It got pretty heated — and we even wrestled and threw punches over the debate. Yeah … 13 year olds … what can you really say?

Okay, to give some perspective as to why I’m sharing this story with you — it took years for me to process the emotions I’ve had over the fact that I was circumcised. As I aged and became an adult, I thankfully dropped that self-defense mechanism of “nah nah nah boo boo, my cock is better than yours!” and I started to think of it differently.

It was kinda fucked up, after all, that I’d been robbed of some level of sensitivity down there to the tune of 20,000 nerve endings! I’d never asked for it and I probably wouldn’t have, if given the chance. I also began to see uncut cocks in a different light. Hell, they started to look kinda pretty — and that foreskin sure looked fun to play with. I was sad, angry, and depressed over what had been taken from me.

*Lifts needle from the record*

I just want to stop here and say that I don’t want to make any parents out there feel bad — that’s not my goal at all! I understand why my parents did it, and I don’t begrudge them for it at all. There’s just so much information out there, and societal customs and so on — it’s hard to make any sense of it sometimes.

But future parents, please do educate yourself about this topic before you make the decision! And if you still choose to circumcise your kids, that’s fine, that’s your choice and I wouldn’t give anyone a hard time for it. But just educate yourself because there’s a lot to learn and it’s one hell of an interesting area to research. E.g., did you know that John Harvey Kellogg, the doctor who pushed for circumcisions in the US [and yes, the cereal man], also wanted females to be circumcised? Yup — he wanted to pour carbolic acid on the clitorises of newborn girls. Lucky for all you ladies, that one didn’t catch on.

Thankfully, this story isn’t all sadness and depression. So, it was back in 2010 when I discovered that a man can actually restore his foreskin. It’s not a surgical procedure — it’s done through applied tension to the skin over a long period of time (2-5 years). It can be as simple as using your hands to tug and stretch the skin. Stretched to its physical limit, cellular mitosis takes over and the skin cells begin to duplicate. It takes a while, but you can absolutely grow your foreskin back.

Okay, so you’ll never be exactly the way you were prior to getting cut, of course. Some nerves endings are permanently lost. But it’s a big improvement, with a fuller spectrum of pleasures and sensations that simply weren’t available before.

So, yes, I write characters with cut and uncut dicks, because I’ve personally been both. I know what it’s like to be cut — the contrived sense of superiority over what is actually our natural form, the repressed anger, the jealousy, etc. I also know what it’s like to have a foreskin now — and it’s made me so much more sensitive. I also know how this topic is taboo, and a lot of people don’t like to think or talk about it at all. I’ve been called names just for going on this journey of restoring. Clearly, there’s a lot of emotional trauma swirling around this topic. It’s not an easy one for people to deal with. I get that.

So you’ve probably figured by now that in my book Seven Nights, Austin’s ‘jealousy’ and fawning over Cedar’s uncut cock comes from a deeply personal place for me. (Let’s just add an unofficial line to the epilogue: Austin, inspired by Cedar, began the journey of restoring his foreskin. Yay!)

If anyone wants more information about this, feel free to leave a comment or drop me an e-mail. Obviously, it’s something I’m personally invested in and passionate about, and believe me, I have a lot more to say.

For any guys out there, who want to get started on the journey of restoring, I’d recommend starting with the Foreskin Restoration forum on reddit. I say journey because it takes time — and it will require you to be dedicated and patient. But it’s worth it, in my experience.

Sooo, to answer the original question that prompted this blog post — yes, I’m actually a man. Shocking plot twist, eh?

SiteofContact can be reached for comments, information, or appointments at calvin2talk@gmail.com

From Lust to Sexuality

It was a bit surprising when a twenty-something ‘y' generation young man approached me and was asking my advice on getting laid. Let’s call him Ted. I had known Ted for a few years now and would have thought that he would looked for this kind of advice from among his peer group, maybe by starting the conversation with: “Yo, when was the last time you got laid?"

All jokes aside, I looked at him and I could tell he was serious. Concerned that Ted felt he may be a real looser, my thoughts turn to what could have brought him to this point? Could it be he was just not informed? Then again, could it be that Ted had discovered feelings of sexual fluidity within himself?  Was he asking because he was going from asexuality to full-on sexual expression? Or was he interested in one of the other alphabet letters of sexuality that he might want to try? Whatever it was, I felt it best not to ask but to keep to his question.

I had to think about my years of sexual activity and perhaps share realizations I’d come to with him, such as - “The more I think I know, the less I really know about this ever changing activity.” That being said, I decided to stay with his scenario and try and flush out some of the gaps in his thinking or lessen the possibility for rejection in his encounters.

So I asked Ted what he was really looking to gain from his sexual exploits.

  1. Was he looking to become an orgasmic human vibrator, looking for any Human intake orifice for solo or participatory pleasure be it after drunk dialing or being bored with porn or Netflix or just because they like to do it.

  2. Being a -FWB (friend with benefits) to a person that wants no strings but who wants to enjoy his company.

  3. Building a causal relationship of sex that moves beyond friends to lovers.

  4. Looking for a committed relationship or life partner.

  5. He was tired of masturbating alone.

I suggested that once Ted decided what he was after from his hook-ups he would then consider what the other person desired or wanted from the encounter, which may mean doing things he hadn’t considered doing to get the payout he wanted. Also, to keep in mind that he or the other person could always change their mind as to how often and long this would last. Lastly the importance of keeping a friendly dialogue going with yourself and the partner to have no ugly surprises.

Ted threw out some lame-ass goal from off the top of his head, for immediate gratification that he could see in his mind’s eye. I did suggest spending some time with himself alone considering his choice and his options in regards to repeating the act, his future sense of fulfillment, and gaining happiness.

Ted being a science geek, I reminded him, too, of a principle of quantum physics, which is that our thoughts determine reality. Early in the 1900s they proved this beyond a shadow of a doubt with an experiment called the double slit experiment. They found that the determining factor of the behavior of energy (‘particles’) at the quantum level is the awareness of the observer. The consciousness of the observer in this query was Ted.

Our reality, I assured him, does not exist in a place outside of us, but rather within. It infuses all matter and energy, connecting every person, everything from a ray of light to a bit of cosmic dust. I think it is absolutely clear that we must start to consider ourselves as more than a physical body and more like the fusion of our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and intentions, which I call the human sensuous energy field.

Sorry, I strayed. I asked Ted to consider his chances for success in sustaining having good sex. He pressed me further. I suggested that he consider the importance in the difference between the fantasy about his performance during sex, that which we create in our imagination (which, no matter how you look at it, is going to be far better than the performances that we can actually give, or worse, expect a partner to perform).

Anybody that has had regular sex can attest that the best sex they have had has always been conjured up in their head either alone or with a partner, rather than the actuality of their technique alone. In sex's defense I do have to say, that the worse sex you can have is better than no sex, in my option.

Ted came around, and he agreed that the best sex for most people is with someone with whom they have a sense of shared trust and perhaps an unacknowledged attraction. They’ve probably met at work or a party or through friends. They’ve seen each other at the same events, or gym or favorite sports venue, or their favorite bar. After a while some kind of affinity with this person is created, and you can figure they fit into some wider category of friends. Sex happens as a combustion of thought. Someone having met and interacted socially could start to wonder, what it would be like to be the person to get it on with Ted?

I prodded Ted into telling me what he thought his next step should be, which turn out to be his letting go of his imagined expectation and inadequacies (about looks, penis size and performance) for something tangible. That next step, or tangibility, was for him to voice an intention to the other person to actually go out together. Ah yes I said, but consider that you are not asking them out not for sex, but for fun.

To enjoy each other’s company. To get to know each other’s moods. As humans we learn in the exploration of play; having fun is a way of adding to our knowledge. In this case adding to the knowledge Ted would gain about this other person without the messy investment of feelings or getting hurt or rejection. Allowing Ted a safety zone for playful interaction where he could, if he liked, strut and flirt and observe the reactions of his intended, giving Ted a gauge of if or when the time is right to make his move towards the bedroom and, if he had chosen the right person for this situation would they go for it too? I suggested another benefit is that he could develop a friendship along the way with this other person even if either or both of them went on to other relationships.

He protested and said this was not about finding his dream partner. This was about getting laid.

I could sense in his conversation that he felt I had strayed from goal. Like many men he craves intimacy but fears rejection, getting hurt, clinging vines, or strings. To get him back on track I suggested that for men looking for free, no-strings-attached sex, sex for the sport of it, that he might want to try one of those hook-up sex sites. Ted looked shocked, for I had removed sex from its prescribed context. He protested that he needed to know something about the other person first.

I said ‘I have your attention again, good. Let me put it in your terms – You want to get laid, and to hit it more than one time, and especially if it is good.’ For this to happen, it is going to require both your heads to be working. The need to be conscious and to pay attention for the point of all of this is to ensure that you have a relatively frequent booty call. So if you actually want a relatively frequent booty call, and you want to be the person that is called, you need to put some effort into it, both in and out of the bed. It is about more than arousal, or the discharge of relief, Ted; it is realizing you can be the one they call for mutual orgasm rather than your singular masturbation.

It has to begin with a person you like and have respect for. This is at the start, during and after the experience. If you leave someone feeling shitty in any way, the chances of that next phone call coming is greatly reduced. Remember that person is the one you enjoy and can joke around with. The situation after sex has changed, but you may now have a deeper insight into your Being, a fuller understanding of your facets and capabilities.

Be clear about your arrangement, what is it, and what it is not: a hook-up, a movement within a relationship, a committed relationship. Whatever it is, be clear through real communication that you are on track. Awareness and communication increases good sex frequency for the both of you, without entering into territories that can ruin the friendship. Work to ensure the essence of your friendship stays the same, with increased incremental bits of change or fun. Don’t call or text more. Don’t call or text less. Don’t read into or assume you know the other person’s mind without communication and checking. This will prevent you calling yourself just a hook-up, or a boyfriend, or a lover or whatever prematurely.  If you find yourself doing that, the problem is you, and you will likely find you don’t have the chops to pull this kind of thing off. Just be yourself. Your intended has already known that guy (you) for a while now, and will like that guy (you) just the right amount, so don’t mess with a good thing.

Ted, I say, there is no intercourse without the fusion of Love in some kind of shape or expression. It will be different with each person and, Ted, your sexual orientation (what you think) goes further in determining the quality of satisfaction in those sexual activities than technique ever can. The mind’s orientation can resist the fact that we all have a choice between having the life we want or creating the reasons why we can’t have that life.

Consciously or not, Ted, people think about hopes and dreams for themselves in terms that go beyond the hook-ups. The true orgasm is the combustible fusion of our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and intentions - that sensuous human energy field perpetually informing the quantum reality within us and around us at each moment of our existence. It is not sex fully engaged without the igniting sensuous fusion of Love, and even better still if found in its highest form called Agape.

After our conversation, Ted left. In watching him walk away his head was held higher, his steps more assured. Ted realized that speaking to me was not to discourage his desire for sex, but to make it better by enlarging his concept of it and perhaps himself.

The fact that society is starting to have more open discussions about sex is good. The scope and depth of sexual desire isn’t something that can be done in a thousand or so words. But I hope it will be enough to have people engaging in enlarging the concept, firing up the male and female principles within all of us to rethink the fundamental level of reality and the restructuring of our beliefs and expectations about Love and sexual release.

Bringing it down to basics, we are all some form of energy field, and there is infinite potential in that energy. It is entirely up to us as to what we choose to manifest out of that field in our bodies and lives.

Whatever we do let’s make it good sex.