How should we touch? When I was a kid in the late sixties, watching Man From Uncle on the telly, the bit I liked best was Napoleon Solo going into an innocent looking basement shop in New York. He would casually press a few buttons on the back wall and then a door in the wall would open, revealing a completely different world.

Men are encouraged to believe that women’s sexuality is like that wall. All they need to do is find out where the buttons are, and they can be Napoleon Solo too.

So, they’re eagerly receptive for material that will enable them to make a woman ejaculate, or find their g spot, or their third gate.

I say they’re mistaken. Why?

Four reasons:

First, Touch which is future orientated isn’t good touch. If I’m touching you to produce an effect, you’re going to know that. If you sense me thinking “is she there yet?”, you won’t be able to relax. In fact, you may feel somewhat irritated. You may feel somewhat done to.

Second, there isn’t a secret inner world. Our eroticism is completely available to us, and those who love us. It isn’t hidden at all. There aren’t silos of pleasure in an otherwise numb world. The world of the body is completely alive. All of it.

Third, good touch is heartful, not technical. When people tell me they don’t know how they want to be touched, that arises from the deficient notion that touching is just something my body does to your body. But that’s not so. I touch you with my heart, through my body. If we can include the palette of emotions, touch is never repetitive, because it’s always expressing ourselves at this moment.

Look how animals are, how comfortable and easily affectionate they are with each other. Yes, we’re different because we have tools and artifacts and self consciousness, but our intimate connection with all beings remains. And those species developments needn’t determine our nature. When we’re assembling a watch we need to be technical. When we’re expressing ourselves, we don’t.

And lastly, we don’t want to be manipulated. We want to be adored. Lusted after. Be the ravished summer orchard for the hungry hordes. All that stuff:

simple

 

I lost my virginity to a nice woman at an office party when I was 25.  I was working in a huge antiquated office, like the House Of Usher. I worked up in an eyrie. She worked down in the basement with people who rarely saw the sun (it was Glasgow; few of us did). When I first saw her, I was holding a brass door handle, and my first idle thought was that someone must have wired it up as a practical joke, as I felt what I assumed was an electric shock.  Completely out of character, I took her by the hand and led her to one of the partner’s rooms, where we did the deed on an uncomfortable nylon carpet.

 

I suppose a lot of men have had similar experiences. It just comes as such a relief. You don’t assess the quality of the sex, you’re just glad to say to yourself you’re normal. Although in my case that would have been a bit of a stretch.

 

The funny thing was, that didn’t open up a path for me of carefree sexuality. I don’t think I had sex again for another 5 years, and this lingering sense of there being something wrong eventually took me into therapy when I was 29. The therapy itself didn’t do much, but suddenly, a year or so into the therapy, I suddenly started having sex with a lot of people, I assume to give me something to talk to my therapist about, who had significant shortcomings as a conversationalist.

 

Much later in my life, I became a sex coach and Bodyworker, and one of the reasons for this was that I didn’t want people to go through the many years of confusion and unhappiness I did. There isn’t much we can do about many aspects of the human condition: we get ill, we die, the people we love die, horrible things happen for no reason, but we can do something about sexual unhappiness. The tragedy is, we don’t know we can. But we can.

 

I started with my virginity recollection, firstly because I’m aware that many people’s reaction to the sex they’ve had is “Is that all there is?”. And also, that many of us have an anxiety or shame around sexuality which may stop us having any encounters at all.

 

I particularly want to work with people like that, because in healing them I also feel that I’m healing myself: my younger, frightened self.

 

And second, because the idea of “losing your virginity” has a particularly masculine perspective. I wonder if it might be more helpful to think of the significant, inaugural thing as being not the particular configuration of our body with another, but rather, the quality of what we feel.

 

Redefining the experience of ‘losing my virginity’

 

So: a modest proposal. Let’s re-define losing one’s virginity as having a significant body feeling in the presence of another. It may well be an orgasm, but it needn’t be. I may then have lost my virginity with the ‘electric shock’. You in a different way. So we’re all like a million spots of light in a dark erotic sky. And fuck normal.

 

 

 

 

Real Tantric Massage

 

One of my friends worked in the sex industry for a while, and she once gave me the menu for the place where she worked. It was very specific. It went something like:

Massage £x

Topless Massage £x + a

Nude Massage £x + b

 

And so on. If the same place is still in business, it will probably be offering “Tantric Massage”, and what it means by that is that the [male] customer will get a cursory massage, focused on his genitals which ends with a happy ending; ejaculation. The [female] practitioner will probably be naked.

 

In this context, ‘Tantra’ simply means ‘pricier’, but essentially it’s still the same as the purchase of a sexual service has always been: The customer pays for a familiar experience, and [hopefully] gets that experience.

 

And that’s absolutely ok, but it’s a pity, because it’s a travesty of what real tantric massage is, and it’s one of the reasons why we don’t use the term; whilst we do genital and anal massage [although we remain clothed], we come from a different position, a position of love, expansion and shared exploration.

 

We’re not offering to give you what you already know: we’re offering to help you open up to what you don’t know: that’s the difference. And it’s a big difference.

 

So if you want something familiar, we’re not the ones for you. But if you want to explore and expand…

 

Hello

Learning with love and sex coaching takes many directions

Many of us are interested in increasing our sexual desire and learning to please our partner more.  Shouldn’t this just be easy and fun, and be a positive change, you would think so wouldn’t you?

Going through from Glasgow to Edinburgh at 6.00 on Saturday morning I am struck by my reaction to getting a new car that would save me money and support me in developing a new practice that I love.  It is dismay!  I had grown used to being carried into town and home again by the train driver.  All I had to do was turn up and I could sleep on early and late journeys and study and reflect during the rest.

Now I would have to concentrate on working out new controls and navigate the whole journey.  I would have to avoid bad drivers, make calculations about extra time for bad weather and road works.  I would be sitting in traffic jams and trying to avoid those pesky traffic cameras.  All this seemed like stress and anxiety to me!  I didn’t know the route in and I missed my comfy old executive saloon car with the roomy boot!  So I drove in the first few times at the maximum speed limit, hands clenching the steering wheel hard when I hit difficult situations and road conditions.

A month later I marvel at all the self-induced stress.   My response to the new is rather perfectionist.  How do I do it right?  What problems could come up that I can avoid or be prepared for by planning in advance?  How can I make this new situation work best for me?  Like many people my approach to the new is not the childish glee of a child with a new toy but starts with adult worry.

Relaxing and reconnecting

When it comes to changing our sex and love lives we can interrupt those habits of stressing when trying something new. It can be as simple as relaxing and reconnecting with the original nature of our bodies. Taking this approach gives opportunities to find easy and enjoyable ways to learn new things that you can practice at home and in your relationships.

John’s attitude to driving a new car is exactly opposite to mine and reflects a large part of the dynamics of our relationship.  He just rolls up and drives off gloriously oblivious of anything that could go wrong.  And we both get there!! Each of us can be impervious to the other’s good driving points and loudly indignant if our partner ‘helpfully’ suggests any driving hints (or forgets to help when navigating in John’s case!)  How we navigate these differences is what gives surprise, challenge, energy and sometimes joy to our partnership.

The joys of sailing

Still driving, I started to wonder what type of car would describe my sex life and to see how it has varied over the years from a low-slung speedy roadster to a regal Bentley and all points in between.  I have discovered the joys of sailing along at only 60 mph on the motorway.  Then my mind can be happily engaged with things of interest rather than on overtaking and the racer tailgating me in the outside lane.  I have found that in an older model I can turn off and go down side roads where I will see new landscape and arrive in a different frame of mind.  And when I’m feeling wicked I don’t need to worry about the paintwork so much when I am making a cheeky manoeuvre!

When an Aston Martin was my dream car I couldn’t image many other choices.  Happily, every make and model of car has its surprises and detours and as I navigate the different stages of my life, energy and interests I appreciate the slow as well as the fast.

So I wonder, what sort of car would best describe your sex life right now and what type of journeys do you usually take?  What would you change if you could be a different model and what type of roads and scenery would you enjoy in your life if you had the choice?  Maybe you do.

Image: Paul Bica Nature’s Painting (Flickr)