Awhile back a woman asked me, “So what makes for bad sex?” It was an interesting question, and I hadn’t really thought much about it, but the concept has sort of haunted me. While I imagine that I’m pretty conscious in my sexual encounters, I’m certain there are times when I am a less-than-great lover. What makes for disconnected sex? By looking at some of these turn offs, perhaps it is possible to become more conscious when they are happening and try to steer the passion back towards the shore.
The Five Habits of Bad Sex
1. TDTF (too drunk to frack)
Alcohol and other mind altering substances can be fun for a bit. They can unleash the animal passions and loosen the inhibitions. BUT… they are not a key to great sex. If you require altered states to get aroused there might be a bit more at play. Of course, these changes can loosen the grip of some of the bad habits below, but if drinking is the gateway to sex, every single time, there might be a problem and a pattern that is being established that will lead to other destructive behaviors. A margarita and wild sex every now and then is fine. Three glasses of wine every night before rutting is not.
2. TTTF (too tired to frack)
Yep, we’ve all done it. We’re about to fall over exhausted but something triggers our sexual appetite. Our lover comes in dressed to the nines, or perhaps sweating from a run, and we are turned on. Our physical and mental bodies are low on energy, but the sexual opportunity brings some life to the situation. And we’re in, trying to please the other person and perhaps please ourselves and just as things are ramping up, we lose our spark. For men this can mean losing your erection, even if you are enjoying the sex tremendously. For a woman… well, I have not idea, what that feels like, please enlighten me in the comments, if you’d like to share.
3. MEGO (my eyes glaze over) – “Are you done yet?”
Apathetic sex is a killer. And it may not start out that way. It may be that moment, that opening for sex you’ve both been waiting for, and you are going about the task in a happy and healthy way… And something changes. It could be a combination of any of these other habits, or it could be something else, but what happens is your mind is distracted and you are no longer paying attention to your partner, or even yourself. Sex is mechanical and you’d just as soon it be over. (I know the first time this happened in my now-defunct marriage I was devastated. I had never noticed it before, if it had happened. I could see in her eyes that she was thinking about something else, and was simply waiting for me to finish.)
4. Hyper-focus on the orgasm. – “Did you come?”
Then the flip side of #3, is the “Hey, you didn’t come, let’s get you too.” And while this can be awesome, often it leads to this odd state of performance. Where you are trying to orgasm, partially to have an orgasm, and partially to fulfill your partners need for you to come. Let me tell you, for me, as a man, orgasm is awesome, but your orgasm is better. Yes I’d love to come, but if I hear you having a great time, I’m pretty fulfilled. And when the “focus” becomes my orgasm rather than the playful interchange of sex and passion, then I’m as likely to lose my erection as if I were being interviewed for a porn movie. Let’s play at sex, let’s not focus on either persons orgasm, and have fun. If we both orgasm, awesome. If we don’t awesome. If we can keep it about connecting instead of coming we are well on our way to compatibility.
5. Distractions and chores. – “Oh shit, look at that cobweb in the corner of the ceiling.”
Noticing the pile of laundry in the closet during sex and wondering how you’re going to get it done before the weekend is over, is a sexual killer. Once the mind is focused on other things, bills and chores being the most prevalent in my experience, there is no way to keep the connection. Once our focus shifts from looking into our partner’s eyes we begin to lose our charge. If I’m worried about an upcoming work deadline it can be hard for me to stay focused. I might be able to “get” you, but I’m probably not going to orgasm. If that’s okay, let’s go. If it’s a session of love-making you want, we might wait until the emotional connection is engaged.
Sex, for me, is about connection. There is pleasure involved, and the pleasure must go both ways. But for me, the pleasure is simply in the act of lovemaking, or screwing if we’re in an animal state. When the connection is lost, for whatever reason, the sex becomes routine or functional. Sex should not be functional.
There’s this myth that a man needs to orgasm every so often because his hormones or testosterone levels reach critical mass. It’s a myth. I’m sure a lot of men would like to foster the belief in this, and keep the mythology going so they can have more frequent sex. But your hormones don’t build up for release, they build up for the purpose of procreation. Your body wants to follow Darwin’s theory and continue their genetic line. You want to have sex, as an animal, for the purposes of having progeny. While this is a function of our mammalian brain, we’re a bit beyond that as humans.
If it is just sexual release I need, a discharge of my hormones, that’s easy enough to take care of myself. If I can rope my partner into thinking it’s part of my maleness and she should help, well, that’s a bit manipulative. It’s like when you are trying to have a kid, sex is ALWAYS an option. Once you have kids, sex is ALWAYS a negotiation.
Connected sex is what I’m after and what drives my fulfilling feelings. I get closeness from sex. I get relaxation and bonding from sex. And with my wiring (my Love Language is touch) sex or “skin time” is important. But skin time can be cuddling. Or hugging and kissing on the couch.
What ways have you found that sex becomes disconnected? I am learning, and hoping to provide a tiny glimpse into my unique male mammalian thought processes, and I’d love to hear from you about your perspectives. As men and women, we are in this dance together. Sex has many different flavors and colors. What get’s your passions heated? What turns them off? Please let me know, the comments are always open. (grin)
The Off Parent
- Seven Signs of a Healthy Post-Divorce Relationship
- the green bike girl < a poem of desire
- In Defense of Dalliance
- Sex is Fun: Should You Settle for Apathetic Sex?
- Zen and the Art of Lovemaking – Won’t Save Your Marriage
image: a sensual poem should start here, karoly czifra, creative commons usage
I am not happiest when I am going through a fat period, but it happens. Sometimes fatter than others. I guess it’s common for a lot of folks. Maybe the balance between our bodies, work, and spirit are an interrelated display of how in-balance we are in our lives. But if the disconnect begins to happen between someone’s body and how it feels to be in it, bad things can happen. I know, I’ve been there.
I’d say I’m not obsessed with the skinny-fit abs on a woman. I guess I’d better hope she’s not obsessed with my abs either. (grin)
That said, I had the opportunity to crush up against that imagined flexibility quite recently. My ex-y is a very fit and finely tuned woman. And if I were to describe my first wife, I’d say she is still as hot as she was when I met her, petite, wiry and fiery. So in my two core relationships I’d say I’ve leaned towards the lean.
And last week I had an opportunity to explore my proclivity for the athletic body type. A wonderfully fun and witty woman showed up in my life. And before we’d even met in person, I could see from her Facebook pictures that she was of a different body type then I was trained to crave.
[I recall when I first started dating my ex-y, telling a friend, “She’s kind of a big girl.” I was speaking primarily of height, but she was stout compared to my wispy first wife. “That’s the way I love’m,” my friend said. And I too became familiar and fond of the woman who could match me toe to toe in a balance of strength and femininity.]
And so I prompted my mind before we met, about this woman’s body type being a bit more in line with my current shape.
What if I’m not into that? I wondered. What if the woman [the women] I’m really after are after someone fitter than me? Makes sense.
Well, I’m after the fitter me too. And I’m more in touch with the feeling of being out of balance with my body today than I have ever been. I am aware of my minor Buddha belly, and I am in motion to make things different again. However, until then… What am I saying about that woman that may just be my own dorky inexperience?
Can the Buddha in me love the Buddha girl, or does my craving for the ballet dancer override my intellectual attraction?
And how’s it worked out so far with these amazingly beautiful women?
I had a theory when I was younger that you had the triad of Spirit – Mind – Body. And, in my understanding, I could only focus on two of the three. And it was clear I had chosen Spirit and Mind. It’s not that I’ve not had very fit periods in my life, I have. And it’s not like I’m massively obese, I’m not. In fact my waistline is 8 inches bigger than it was at my peak fitness moment, sophomore in high school, swimming team. So I’m not off the map of myself. But I am a bit out side the comfort limits.
Today I’m much more aware of what’s happening with my body. I have more time alone to discuss things with myself. I have this relationship pause to self-assess what happened before and what I want to happen next. And I am fascinated by several of the most beautiful women I have ever been around. And while I desire them both, I am clear that they are not who I want to be with. I wonder if that is not my same self-deluded radar showing them as out of bounds, or damaged in some way.
Both my marriages ended in some pretty serious sexual dysfunction.
Marriage one brought her sexual abuse past out of the closet after we’d been married about a year. And the skeleton never returned to the closet, or left the side of the bed when we were making love.
Marriage two was more complicated. There was nothing wrong with my ex-y’s sexual functioning. At least not in the beginning. We had the most fulfilling and full sex lives of anything I’d ever experienced. But at some point she began closing something off from me. She began protecting and guarding some inner part of herself. And when that starts happening, it’s not long before the person would rather not more than rather. So as she withdrew further into her protected self, she had less willingness to open up to me. Even a casual quickie became something we had to map and schedule and detail. And after a while, even my desires began to be re-channeled.
So today, am I a Buddha in search of a ballet dancer? Or am I an athlete in a Buddha phase still looking to return to a less Buddha-like time? And would I be willing to be with the Buddha girl? Is my taste for ab candy as much a habit of experience or cultural imagery? These questions I don’t know.
But an illuminating moment comes when I think about the two “most beautiful women in the world” that I have been hanging with. Would I do almost anything to have another amazingly hot woman in relationship? And would I over look her potential red flag warnings while examining her musculature? I don’t know. I have in the past. But I’m trying to do better this next time.
And I guess the most important part of this entire process that is becoming more clear is my need to love myself. I am going through a fat period. That’s okay. [One of my friends was talking about my need to get in shape before I could find the woman I wanted to be with. “Dude, if she can’t appreciate you for exactly who you are, fk her. You’re not a different person when you’re in better shape. If that’s what she’s all into, she’s not the one.”]
So, I know, we project The One. There is no ONE out there. But am I willing to miss all the Buddha girls out there, just because I think I’m only attracted to the ballet dancer?
The Off Parent
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- The Divorce Library (reading list)
- Songs of Divorce (free listening library – youtube sourced songs)
- Laugh It Off (building a resource library of funny videos and other diversions)
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- The 5 Love Languages (a book on love styles by Gary Chapman)