Sunday, April 20, 2008

Link Dump: Sex on the Web

There have been a few interesting posts of late on the topics of sex and sexuality.

First up, an article that appeared in Medical News Today: Study Of Sex, Gender, And Reproduction. Here are the brief take-home points from this interesting study into men's sexual behavior and feelings.

The focus groups involved 50 men divided into three groups based on their age (18-24 years, 25-45 years and 46 and older). Below are some examples of the different experiences reported by the men:
  • Some factors, such as depression or a risk of being caught having sex, were reported by some men as inhibiting sex, while other men found that they can enhance their desire and arousal.

  • An erection is not the main cue for men to know they are sexually aroused. Most of the men responded that they can experience erections without feeling aroused or interested, leading researchers to suggest that erections are not good criteria for determining sexual arousal in men.

  • Many men found it difficult to distinguish between sexual desire and sexual arousal, a distinction prominent in most sexual response models used by researchers and clinicians.

  • The changes in the quality of older men's erections had a direct effect on their sexual encounters, including, for some, a shifting focus to the partner and her sexual enjoyment. Older men also consistently mentioned that as they aged, they became more careful and particular in choosing sexual partners.

  • The sexual history of women also mattered to the men -- but differently for different age groups. Sexually experienced women were considered more threatening by younger men, who had concerns about "measuring up," but such women were considered more arousing for older men.
Janssen and his colleagues at the Kinsey Institute have been working for more than 10 years on a theoretical model that focuses on sexual excitation and sexual inhibition. They refer to this as the dual control model of sexual response. It holds that separate and relatively independent activating and suppressing sexual systems exist within the central nervous system and that the balance between these two systems determines a person's sexual response in any particular situation. Janssen relates this to the gas and break pedals in a vehicle -- both can influence a car's behavior (you can slow down by letting go of the gas or by pressing the brake) but they do so in different ways.

Alrighty then.

Dr. Laura Berman on...Tantric Sex -- I've never heard of Dr. Berman, but she has a big site full of advice on sexuality, intimacy, and relationships.

It takes the average man between five and ten minutes to reach orgasm, with a refractory period that can last from five minutes to several days. The average woman’s time-to-orgasm is a half hour, with little or no recovery period.

We are living in two different time zones.

Fortunately, there are many ways to bridge this gap, without becoming a time traveler or resigning yourself to a life of unshared orgasms.

One of these is the practice of tantric sex. Tantrism is based, in part, on the belief that our sexuality is a well of energy, capable of transforming all who tap into it. By giving in to our most primal sexual desires, and also remaining in control of them, we are able to learn new things about ourselves, increase spiritual awareness, and intensify the sexual experience.

Sounds good (in a Western New Age kind of way), so read the rest.

And speaking of ecstatic sex. . . .
Ecstatic Sex - Beginning Stages: Initial Steps For Moving Away From Junk Food Sex from Suite 101.

Believe it or not, the hot and steamy initial sexual encounters promoted throughout society today, are more frequently than not, junk food sex experiences. Though they can be exciting and stimulating, they are nearly always full of unspoken motivations (outlined in the article titled Sex for All the Wrong Reasons) that ultimately lead to a state of dissatisfaction, let down, and even hurt and anger.

The only remedy for this is one people rarely consider before engaging in their first sexual encounter. They need to want an ecstatic sex experience over a junk food one. If they are into ecstatic sex they need to be honest right away about their expectations regarding becoming physical together. Then the initial reasons for engaging in sex together will include:

  • Desiring a playful encounter
  • Looking for a healing of the heart (or emotions)
  • Longing for a healing of the body
  • Seeking to validate each other in a conscious way

Each of these motivations need some careful dialogue and consideration between the two individuals before they initiate sexual activity. And, ultimately it makes no difference whether the couple has sex relatively close to meeting each other or waits a long period of time before doing so. Timing is not the issue here, being conscious is.

Each reason above requires a different sexual approach to ensure each partner will feel safe, cherished, loved, and respected afterwards, even if they still don't know each other very well (click on the link for each reason to learn more).

More importantly, from the very beginning hot steamy passions will need to be set aside then to allow for the process of open dialogue regarding what the initial sexual encounter will be about. Since ecstatic sex requires intimacy taking this approach automatically opens the doors to ecstatic sex. If each partner keeps this in mind they will gladly avoid heated passion that zips them right through the junk food sex drive by window for yet another shallow and superficial sexual meal.

Read the rest of this article and learn how to have more meaningful and intimate sexual encounters with the person you love.

Check out these How To Use Your Hand for Your Man’s Pleasure tips and tricks from Patricia Holden. Seems like fun . . . .

And why can't sex be fun? Rather than having sex for all the wrong reasons, we can open up to fun that can lead to greater heights of passion and intimacy. Initiating a Playful Sex Episode: Opening the Doors to Ecstatic Sex offers a look at this idea.

Ecstatic sex can include many aspects such as:

  • love,
  • intimacy,
  • healing,
  • play

Within this list play is perhaps the most essential, since it opens the door to the other three. Though it may seem paradoxical (since ultimately play is a spontaneous experience), for an initial playful encounter to work best certain ground rules need to be established.

Make Sure The Agreement is to Have Ecstatic Vs. Junk Food Sex

As this series of articles has clearly outlined, the purpose of the sexual encounter is primarily one of laying the foundation for the ecstatic sex that is to come. Both partners need to agree that they value ecstatic sex over junk food sex. An example of how to initiate a conversation on this can be read at this article.

Understand What Playful Sex Looks and Feels Like

Playful sex is ultimately:

  • fun,
  • spontaneous,
  • childlike,
  • lighhearted,
  • and joyful.

One of the reasons children actively involve themselves in play is precisely because they experience these qualities so readily inside themselves. For those who are immediately concerned that playful sex doesn't seem very "hot and steamy" they need to remember that play can include everything the imagination can conceive of with a few distinctions.

Read more. Play is spontaneous and open, not goal-directed -- sounds good.

Finally, for millennia, people have thought that foods can be aphrodisiacs; here is one take on that -- Foods of Love: Aphrodisiac Foods that Improve Your Sex Life.

An aphrodisiac food is one that is believed to stimulate the sex drive and improve sexual performance. Aphrodisiac foods have been used as far back as the Greeks and the Romans to increase sexual powers.

An aphrodisiac food can be suggestive, rather than cause a physical sexual reaction. In fact, many believe that some aphrodisiac foods increase and stimulate sexual desire and performance by the suggestive nature of the food and the ritual surrounding the food presentation.

In using food aphrodisiac the effect is not usually instant (rapid effect may be cause by smell or certain chemicals), so in order to obtain the benefit of it is aphrodisiac it is better to include them in daily diet.

Among the foods on the list: chocolate, chili peppers, red wine, and honey.

Please use this information wisely and often.


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