a little science with that advice

I said in my last post that sex is a destination, not a journey – it’s not about getting to orgasm, I claim, but about enjoying the experience of erotic sensation, building arousal, and intimate connection.

So there’s this theoretical model of emotion I’ve been reading a lot about lately, that goes like this:

Imagine there’s a little monitor in your brain that keeps track of how quickly or slowly you are moving toward a goal. When you’re moving at a pace that this monitor feels is appropriate, you are content. When you are moving at a slightly-tool-slow rate, you are motivated. If you’re going much too slow, you get frustrated and eventually angry. And if you’re making no progress although you’re putting in a lot of effort, you collapse into grief.

Here’s the graph:

Now: consider that idea in the context of sex. If you have a little monitor that notices how quickly you’re moving toward orgasm and that little monitor has a high standard for speed, then you’ll end up frustrated and ultimately defeated.

If, on the other hand, your goal is not orgasm but pleasure, and you’re experiencing pleasure, you’ll be happy!

Make sense? Think about it slowly; it’s a complex idea.

This concept of “fast enough” is one of the problems with mainstream media’s portrayal of sexuality: there is no standard amount of time it’s “supposed” to take, so there is no such thing as “too long,” as far as your physiology is concerned. There are only your (and your partner’s) expectations, and your expectations are too often shaped by the media, whose message is shaped by the single largest advertiser in America.

And who is that? Why, the pharmaceutical industry.

And they are HAPPY to prey on your need for a sense of “normal.”

Other bad sources of expectations: other people’s experience and your partner’s expectations. Good source of expectations: your own experience.

But better yet, as I said in my last post, drop expectations and live inside the moment; stay blissfully satisfied with where you are and you will find yourself moving to delightful new places.