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The New Math of Relationships: Becoming a ‘Self Contained Source’ of Pleasure

“Rather than being a ‘source’ of pleasure, be an embodiment of pleasure itself. Be in pleasure. Be FULL of your own pleasure.” –Amant Sutras

The other day, after completing an intense workweek, my husband and I scheduled some time to make love. It might not sound romantic, but if you value sex as a regular practice like we do, scheduling can be a modern couples’ best friend. We felt slightly ‘out of practice.’ Quite quickly, he started coming towards me with passion and desire but I didn’t feel naturally inclined to receive him. His sudden focus on me had me wanting to retreat.

I needed to feel myself first… and I wanted to see him connecting to himself too. I wanted to see him as a ‘self contained source’ of his own pleasure, as opposed to an empty tank coming to me as a source of pleasure to fill up on.

Look, sometimes we might fill each other up and that’s okay… however it’s also important to know how to fill your own self up. Especially if you want to continue deepening intimacy and desire in the context of a long-term relationship. I also value connecting with my husband from genuine turn on as opposed to duty or charity. So on this day and in this moment I guided him. I said, “I would love to feel the magnetism of your self-generated pleasure draw me in.” He looked at me quixotically. I smiled and clarified, “I want to see you touch yourself and enjoy your own touch. I want to feel the pleasure you give yourself, draw me towards you.” Luckily, my husband is open and we’ve developed the short hand of taking cues from each other as means of play and new exploration. We no longer have to fear one of us suggesting something in the bedroom because there’s little ego or personality involved. We know we want the same things. To feel connected and in love. To be authentically turned on. To continue moving deeper into relatedness, presence and pleasure together.

The worst thing that could happen would be if one of us asks for something or makes a suggestion in that the other one modifies it or says, ‘no.’ And in either instance we use creativity to find something that delights both of us or move on from a suggestion that isn’t a match for the moment. And 90% of the time suggestions are met with ‘sure! Why not?’ Because sex is a space for rekindling joy and connection. It’s a place to remember why we have these incredible bodies that get to love each other in the most physical and often spiritual sense at the same time. We are teammates who trust each other, especially on this playing field. And most importantly we are playmates.

It’s a bit like kids playing house and assigning roles, ‘you be mom, I’ll be dad, you be the cat and you be the dog.’ There’s a natural flow along with some creative drama in these sort of play time negotiations. But somehow as adults we take sex – and everything surrounding sex – so seriously (and so personally) that often we either don’t speak up out of fear of hurting feelings or feather ruffling, or we speak up only to get shut down… again due to taking something personally that instead should be a invitation to try something new.

There’s times for the comfort of the familiar and then there’s times to strike out into uncharted territory. One of the greatest gifts of sex of moving beyond the known domains of self and the partner you’re with. To be co-conspirators of fresh discovery. To let pleasure guide you deeper into presence and visa versa. To enjoy pleasure as creative energy and to be creative in your experience of pleasure. To be playmates, adventure buddies, teammates and caring companions. And the first part of being a team is REMEMBERING that you’re a team. Even when you’re challenged. Even when you feel a past hurt or irritation flare up. To ground into the reality (if this is true in your relationship,) that you are a team with the same objectives and creative ability to move forward together. As caring companions, your curiosity and a genuine enthusiasm to meet & explore each others’ desires will serve you time and time again. Check your past at the door and meet each other with an openness, and with a sense of play… like you are engaging in a fantastic game called sex that can be magical, exhilarating, powerful, stimulating, and most of all fun. And like any good game, the stakes are high, you may discover things about yourself or your partner that opens deep emotion. As long as you’re present, anything that arises can be F.U.N. (free unlimited nowness) – because you are meeting each other with openness, curiosity, kindness and care.

Using a game as a metaphor does not diminish the importance of sexuality – it opens up a truth about the nature of sex. It reminds us of our innocent nature. It strips away the cultural conditioning and makes us more available to discover something new. It provides you with an opportunity to meet each other in a space of exploration and openness. It gets you out of your patterns and into the present moment. Furthermore, we now know that play is one of the primary aspects of what develops the brain and develops advanced capacity of primates, dolphins and other species touting hefty pre-frontal cortexes. Learn to utilize sex as the evolutionary super force it’s meant to be… not some caged version based on past experiences or cultural conditioning! Don’t we have enough of that as it is?

Anyway. Back to my story. I asked my husband if he would touch himself and give himself pleasure. To my delight, he smiled and shifted his attention away from me and placed it back on himself. He removed his shirt and I could see him melt into the sensuality of feeling the soft fabric sliding against his neck as he slowly lifted it over his head. Eyes closed, head slightly back he inhaled deeply and exhaled with a low moan. His artful hands glided over his thighs and stomach. A small smile graced his lips and I could feel a genuine turn on begin to stir in my belly. My heart opened as I saw him swaying to the silent rhythm of his own pleasure. That’s my man, I thought to myself. And I felt proud. Curious. Intrigued. And genuinely turned on. After all, turned-on people, turn on people. When my husband is a source of pleasure, it inspires my pleasure. When he’s spending time during the day making his art or expressing himself creatively, I naturally feel more magnetized towards him. Of course the same goes for me. When I am making my own pleasure a priority he finds me more naturally beautiful, intriguing and alluring.

Sex becomes more juicy and connected. Sex becomes more expansive both in its definitions and experience.

There are a million kinds of sex.

An infinite variety of how to meet each other in love and make more of it.

There are times to dig deep and be each others healers. To nourish each other with love and even sex when the other is feeling broken or defeated. However this mode should be used sparingly, not as a baseline. Because when both partners have the firm knowing that they are a ‘self contained source’ of pleasure in their own right… they become infinitely magnetic. They become not only more attractive to their partners, they become a light post in their life. A radiant overflow of creative, sensual energy – which can be steered in any direction you choose make your days.

I’m suggesting you change your math.

It’s not two halves creating a whole.

It’s two wholes creating a third entity of relationship and erotically charged relatedness.

And I’ll take it a step further…

1 + 1 = 3.

But to live this new math of relationships it requires you, 100% responsible for your own joy & pleasure plus your partner, 100% responsible for his/her own joy & pleasure which, equals THREE entities… You, your partner and the wild holy domain of relationship that only opens up when two ‘self contained sources’ meet, play & evolve together.

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