I was asking myself recently what I want from sex. There seem to be three things. First and foremost, it's to quell an itch, or satisfy a hunger. There's a very basic need in me that rises to the surface and asks to be met. This is appeased by any sexual activity; but it keeps on rearing its head until, traditionally, orgasm occurs. Secondly, there's a desire for what I call sexual trance. That's a state that I recognise primarily through a complete absence of thought. If I'm making love and I'm not thinking - not thinking about yesterday or tomorrow, but also not thinking about whether I should thrust more or less, or change position, or pause for a while - then I consider I'm in a sexual trance. Thirdly, getting closer to my wife. This seems to depend on both of us being in a sexual trance, which then becomes a mutual sexual trance.
I seem to require orgasm as a goal in order to be sexually motivated. That doesn't mean it has to happen; but I think it has to be available - a possibility - for sexual excitement to even begin. Sexual trance comes once excitement has reached a certain level, but only if it stays at or near that level for long enough. Often, I find myself making love without ever attaining sexual trance. It's more like sexual excitement, followed by sexual frenzy, followed by orgasm. There's connectedness, of a sort; but it's not the melting together of bodies and minds that I hanker after. I tend to castigate myself after succumbing to frenzy, however enjoyable it is, because I know I've missed out on something valuable, by grabbing at something less so.
This differentiation reminds me of tennis. I enjoy winning, but what I enjoy more is being 'in the zone', regardless of the outcome. Generally, long rallies provide my entry into this arena, during which thinking ceases. There's just me, the ball, and an opponent, who's like another part of me.
To have the sorts of rally that precipitate being in the zone, it's no good just knocking up. Knocking up is fun, but it lacks meaning. I've never once got anywhere near the zone while doing this. As soon as there's a goal, though - in this case, winning - everything changes. I stretch my mind and body to hit a good ball and to return well; and when I do that, and my opponent does the same, there's a chance I'll be propelled into the zone, and maybe they will too.
Without the prospect of winning, the game tends to flounder. That doesn't mean I have to win; I just have to have that possibility open to me. It's not even necessary to finish the game. The key is simply to be sufficiently motivated to ensure good rallies go on long enough for attentiveness to replace distractedness. In my experience, the rally then starts to 'do itself'.
Being in the zone while playing tennis is analogous for me to sexual trance when making love. Getting into a sexual trance seems to require the equivalent of meaningful rallies, necessitating time, repetition, and movement; and also a goal, which is orgasm, even if the ultimate goal is a level of excitement somewhere short of orgasm.
It's obviously important to know where the risk of excitement turning to frenzy is highest. In tennis, its epitomised for me by trying too hard to hit winners. The other extreme, of not letting sexual excitement build sufficiently to deaden distractedness and enable a trance state to come about, has it's equivalent in tennis as 'percentage play', where getting the ball in play is enough. Often, it is enough, but it makes for a dull game.
I thought of all this after we tried Van Urban's preferred sexual procedure the other night. We were tired, so lying down in the scissors position with genitals touching but 'doing nothing' seemed an attractive option. The trouble was, it became boring. Well, not 'boring', exactly. It was no more boring than having a prolonged cuddle. While perfectly agreeable, it just wasn't passionate. Not even remotely. It also became uncomfortable, after a while. In the end, we repositioned ourselves in 'spoons' and then slid into sleep. Pleasant, without being transformative.
The next time we made love, we decided to use any position we liked, to allow overt movement, to encourage the build up of excitement, but to not allow it to boil over; and to stop twenty minutes after penetration, curl up together – with penis in vagina – and go to sleep.
That worked well, though I found myself the day after wondering if this was the way forward. It seemed a little inconclusive. In tennis terms, it was as if bad light had stopped play.
We tried this again, yesterday. Again, it worked well, initially. We had repeated the lying down with genitals touching in scissors, but we both found it soporific. That is, it was insufficiently arousing to move on to the second part, which involved penetration. We re-engaged in a more traditional fashion, kissing, and then settling for any position we chose. We didn't move much, just enough to keep things simmering; but then, after a while, something very different started happening.
Generally, we are both able to voluntarily contract our pelvic muscles so that my wife can feel my penis move inside her and I can feel the walls of her vagina tighten around me, without either of us shifting our bodies at all. But, to be honest, we're not very good at it; and even if we were, it would have the feel about it of being somewhat contrived, as we have to separately decide to do it. However, I started noticing a succession of wholly involuntary penis tightening episodes taking place, at the same time as - noticeable as different because of their smooth quality, duration and intensity – an associated series of vagina tightening. For my part, the penis tightening seemed to be the result of a different set of muscles firing to those I was used to – or maybe it was just that the sensation was so different it felt as though no muscles were being used at all, and that I was the recipient of the sensation rather than the cause.
This went on for some time. The sensation was a fluttering, streaming kind that had its own inertia, which ebbed and flowed. Occasionally, I or my wife would move, creating friction, which produced a surge of traditional pleasure, elevating us to a new plateau; but once there, a different sort of pleasure prevailed. In musical terms, the gross movements we made were like chords in an organ crescendo and the (longer) periods of non-movement were like light fingered piano notes.
It's always a sensuous experience making love; but this time it became sensuous on a different level: our lips and limbs seemed to take on a life of their own; and although we moved our bodies, it did feel (to me, at least) as though they were being moved for us.
At one point, my wife queried the time. By then, I had forgotten what we had previously agreed. I glanced at the clock, saw it was still not eleven, and said something like, “Time for a little more”. It's so hard not to be greedy in such circumstances. I was already contemplating with a certain satisfaction repositioning ourselves for the long, slow, descent into sleep when, suddenly, my wife moved in a wholly impulsive, involuntary way. It was so unexpected, yet so delightful, I orgasmed instantly. Sadly, I was sufficiently disappointed at falling at the final hurdle I failed to appreciate the moment as much as I should.
Talking about it afterwards, my wife mentioned that it could not have been a simultaneous orgasm, as I had moved so much afterwards. From this, I managed to piece together what had happened. For the first time in a long time my wife had reached orgasm without in any way tensing herself or appearing to strive for it; her orgasm had induced my own, but I had misread what her vibrant movement represented. Annoyed at having failed to stop prior to my own orgasm, my traditional way of thinking had intervened, which stated I needed to start thrusting fiercely in order to enable my wife to reach a climax. That frantic thrusting, which my wife supposed was me trying to ejaculate, but which was in fact me trying to 'give' her 'satisfaction', negated for me - as it so often does – most of the pleasure associated with orgasm.
Any disappointment didn't last, though. I feel little different today than I did yesterday, in terms of mood; and my wife seems as affectionate as ever. I'll monitor this as carefully as I can, over the succeeding weeks.