Feminine lock-down: my latest take on it

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Some of the guys here have been experiencing what Darryl calls so aptly feminine lockdown. Women who just seem closed to their sexuality and pleasure from sex, often even talking about sex.

My partner is fabulous and the most amazing person and she is in a lockdown situation as far as I can see.

I think a lot of lockdown stems from women feeling vulnerable to being controlled by men. 

My partner sees me as trying to control her sometimes. Maybe she sees that other men tried to do that in the past. So she responded maybe a long time ago with a defensive strategy. Now that is her habitual thinking. And so the more I try to get her to read books or do this or that, the more she picks up "he's trying to tell me what to do" so I have to back off.

I'm still not sure how to get her to really open up but I'm pretty sure I can't do anything to get her to do anything. 

I think the solution is just in continuing what we are doing, which she seems to really enjoy, and let things progress. And I think at some point she may become more of an actively interested participant. When she doesn't perceive that I'm trying to tell her what to do, think or feel. 

How's that for a paradox :)

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I love reading your posts on

I love reading your posts on this.
I work with primarily men, at the moment, and this is the most common complaint. They're willing, but they're in lock down. Your insights are so valuable, thank you.

OM

Over the past year we have been working with couples struggling with their relationships, especially sexually. Usually if a couple is having trouble, the sexual part of their relationship is usually likewise struggling. The women are almost always in some form of lockdown.

We have been recommending and having excellent success with a somewhat unusual practice to address this issue. It is called "Orgasmic Meditation". Go to Youtube and search for "How to OM video", it should come right up. It may seem odd at first and takes an open mind, but if a couple is willing to give it a try for a month or so there is a high probability that things in the relationship will move in a positive direction sexually.

Sometimes karezza is too big a leap for folks and this practice can help recalibrate the relationship sexually and creates connection in a way that opens the door for more.

I just watched

the creepiest seminar by the OM team. *shudder* I think the idea of a ritualized way for men to get into the pilot/giving role might be good, but surely there must be many such approaches that would work as well as "stroking pussy" as they so proudly called it.

OM

[quote=Darryl]Sometimes karezza is too big a leap for folks .[/quote]

I'm surprised your couples are open to doing OM but not to Karezza. I would have thought it - OM - required the more adventurous as well as trusting mindset. I read Nichole Daedone's 'Slow Sex' book a couple of years ago and thought what she said made a lot of sense. Particularly her end chapters, where she described regular intercourse and oral sex, done very slowly and with great presence. I was less taken with the ritualised 'stroking' she insisted on as the necessary precursor to greater sexual fulfillment, though my wife and I did give it a go.

I found it created an immediate distance between us that made it seem like I could be doing what I was doing with anyone - which, of course, had I gone to a group OM session, might well have been the case. It was incredibly difficult for me to maintain my resolve, and simply follow the instructions to the letter. I kept wanting to reach over and kiss my wife, or smile. Not doing so seemed so cold and unfeeling. Staying clothed, or partially clothed, in her case, felt absurd, and wearing a glove was so bizarre it was out of the question!

My wife couldn't relate to the practice, at all. It didn't seem to move her, in the slightest. I remember her yawning, periodically, and asking how much more of the fifteen minutes there was to go.

I've never thought of my wife as being in 'lockdown', but I do think she has issues around sex (as I do, too, of course!) She's amazingly responsive without being particularly forward. When she does step out from behind her own shadow, it can be eye opening. My interest in One Taste and the practice of OM was in the claim it made that following a very clear cut, unambivalent, mutually pleasurable procedure would lead to the Promised Land without either party trying to get there, or even needing to mention they were trying to.

Although this practice is portrayed in the media as being exclusively done by men for women, in her book Nichole Daedone describes how the roles can be reversed. She goes into this at some length, although I got the impression she felt 'penis stroking' was less revelatory in effect.

Maybe we gave up too early. At the time, we never had any problem with Karezza (although more often than not we 'failed') and there didn't seem a lot of point in persevering with OM, as our experience of it was mostly unenjoyable, and certainly light years away from what was promised, whereas Karezza was in many ways 'too' enjoyable. I do sometimes wonder, though, now we have well and truly mastered 'beginners' Karezza, whether whatever is of value in the practice of OM might help us in ways we can't easily imagine.

Wow.

[quote=Marnia]Hope it's still live: http://onetaste.us/panel-livestream-replayJust this week the OM people sent me an email offering me 50% of the tuition (for any people from here) if I would advertise this stuff on my forum. I decided to spare you all.[/quote]

Wow! I watched the Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYohBt5AVmA and I thought "this is pretty bizarre, but also interesting." Then I watched the link Marnia posted (actually I kinda skimmed through it because I didn't have patience to watch the whole thing) and thought "Holy crap! This is bizarre and I can see why she used the term creepy! What's up with the bunny eared lady in the front row? For some reason the demeanor of the speakers reminded me of something from a porn convention.

Different strokes for different folks. Biggrin

Its been a little while since

Its been a little while since I have had time to offer a little more input on the OM thing but I did want to say I completely understand about the strangeness of it as well as the fanatical feeling that the OM'ers can put out. In my perception there's a bit too much salesmanship and marketing going on which can be a bit of a turn off. Obviously they are very exited about what they are doing and I say hats off the them for bringing sexuality, albeit in an unusual way, more out into the public eye. I'm curious to see how the movement grows and evolves.

As far as the OM practice itself goes, I still maintain it has a very useful place in expanding sexuality, especially when a couples sex life is in a bit of a stalemate. I know manually stimulating the clitoris appears to be the opposite of karezza but its done very very slowly, is really about connection, and tuning into one another. Similar to karezza it is a goalless practice where you simply feel into the body. We add it to our "practice" from time to time with very positive results. I think if anyone considers exploring it I would suggest a minimum of half a dozen times to really get the feel of what it has to offer.

Dont get me wrong, karezza kicks butt compared to OM, in my opinion, but I still think it can expand one's sexuality in valuable ways. We've had excellent results recommending it at the right time with some of our couples in councilling.

I'm entering the middle of

I'm entering the middle of this lockdown discussion but apparently have some charge around it.

Here is my take.

It is such a common phenomenon in my personal experience. Almost every man in a long term relationship who I have had interactions with complains of this.. if they don't they just seem to keep quiet.. never extolling happiness between the sheets. Except the divorced who have entered into a new relationship.. they cannot seem to brag enough at how there was something so wrong with thier ex... their new lover can't get enough of them.. Their new lover is insatiable.. their new lover says her ex just demanded and tried to control her .. she is so happy she is free of the chains.. she thought something was wrong with her.. but it was her ex the whole time... etc. etc. This story is just so common.. . Maybe I just run in a strange crowd. maybe not.

The scenario is always "we had great sex when we were first together and now sex seems a laborous taboo to engage in or talk about" or something to that effect.

Frankly anything that is a fulfilling sex life associated with long term marriage or any close relationship.. gay or straight is such a rarity. It is depressing. At best I have known a handful of couples who just tolerate mediocrity in the bedroom. Virtually none fulfilled.

This is only my experience in my little sliver of the middle class American society I live in.

Yes it is my story too. The difference now is I saw the pattern coming. I am not giving up and it seems to be slowly paying off... My wife which I have been separated from for some time is slowly returning to me. or we to each other.

She and I both experienced the exhilaration of affairs.. felt the drive. Felt the enchantment of new love where the fresh partner can do no wrong. It is intoxicating. But I recognize it is biology. Tryin to spread the seed. She tryin to get new seed for the crop.

"Lockdown" should be a term for "I have had enough of your seed and am ready to move to another". No I don't feel this is a conscious thing. It is not... it is hormones. I am borrowing all this from Marnia's book CPA.. which just makes good sense.. I mean it is too common a phenomenon not to be just part of our biological body.. I should have seen it all along. But repeated hangovers weather they be from orgasms or just tired of the same controlling manipulative desperate psychological patterns to try to "fix" the problem.. it does not matter.. the problem is just the body screaming to her it is time to move on.. shut him out. Ok there is often more to it psychologically than just this.. based on past abuse or a million other scenaros.. but I feel the strong driving underlying force is biology.. again because the stories are so similar.

Sexest or not .. women are the gate keeper. They shut the gate. They lock down.. You can talk or manipulate or propose solutions until you are blue in the face.. it will make no difference. She would be compromising her integrity if she did give in.

Takes me back to Disneyland.. The Pirates of the Carribean ride.. The desperate pirates locked up behind rusty dark bars.. whistling.. smiling .. arms stretched out between the bars pleading waving a bone (no direct analogy intended) .... all the while the cute little scruffy dog holds the key in his mouth wagging his tail.

My long term partner knows my tricks.. and knows the result.. frustration and hurt and dissapointment.

The only solution I am putting my faith in... well not just faith.. scientific theory and anecdotal facts from couples who are happy in long term relationships .. I am putting my happiness and contentment not in manipulation or Orgasmic Meditation.. which is very appealing to my old controlling sexual pilot... but really it would take a very sexually open and confident woman to experiment with OM... for me that would be step number 5272 in my exploration of sex with my "locked down to me" wife. I am putting my eggs in the making love for bonding basket.

No I am not trying to convince my wife to read CPA or any other sexual theory book. The book has simply given me a framework to make sense of what has happened in my relationship. A framework so my ego is not as badly injured by her rejection. A framework so I understand "Lockdown" and it isn't denial or me needing to fix her.. everybody hates trying to be fixed.. that emplies they are broken. We are not really broken.. just our bodies and hormones manipulate our life and best intentions to a great degree until we hopefully become wise to what evolution is doing. Just wanting diversity. But my soul and the soul of my love want each other. I say fuck biology.. Well I have five kids.. so I can afford to say this now. I love this woman in my soul and my sperm needs to stay out of it.. :) ha

Anyway.. I am simply going to be as loving as I can. Give. No pressure for anything. Intimate bonding behaviors. Truly walk the walk without spouting any knowledge of restricting orgasm or how much of a psuedoexpert I am on sex for reproduction or bonding. I am just going to love her and have patience. When sex eventually rolls around I am going to gently become the gate keeper.. not denying but comunicating how I feel... not based on theory.. based on how I feel. and how she feels. no needyness.

Right now for us is healing without genitals involved. Outside the bedroom. But when it comes up .. which it will.. I want both of us to be walking with realization that is not a hormonal biological drive..I have planted little seeds of what I believe in her mind.. I just don't try to drive it home with words or manipulation .. she knows what I believe.. I won't expect some kind of realization to beautifully happen tomorrow.. it may never happen.. but if we were to keep doing what we did.. we would get the same result.. the definition of insanity.

I understand lockdown and am not mystified by it anymore. Maybe this is just too simple a view but it is mine right now. There was no quick fix for me once lockdown happened.. in fact the path has been horrendously painful for everyone involved.. but if we pull out of it with the tools I am developing I will sing the praises from the mountain top.. you will hear it here.. . and I will not slip back into this private hell built for two

I think it's pretty simple, actually

The interesting thing about feminine lock-down is that it can happen even when the woman doesn't seem to want it to, at least at a conscious level. I'm sure that hormones play a role, but it's more than that.

To use a weather analogy, I think of our relationship as being like Hawaii. That place has an overall beautiful climate. However, local conditions (the micro-climate) can change wildly just by driving a mile in some direction. In our relationship, the overall climate is good when there is a general sense of mutual appreciation; i.e. neither one of us feels taken advantage of or resentful about anything. But even then, micro-climates can emerge in the blink of an eye, and dissipate as quickly. The inputs to micro-climates are things like levels of hunger, tiredness, task overload, etc. (and hormones too).

In the past, I would mistake these sudden, violent fluctuations in my wife's mood (and receptivity to me) personally. I would get triggered and run an old rejection tape about how I'm not attractive, unlovable, etc. In response, I would become needy and press her for sex, acting like a pouting child when I didn't get it (most unattractive). As I got older (and wiser), I would resort to less overt means of attempting to angle for sex. Needless to say, those attempts were exactly as successful as trying to change the weather. Worse, they led to lock-down.

I didn't know it at the time, but lock-down is actually a female defense mechanism in response to any means of control or manipulation by a man. Women are highly intelligent and sensitive; they can detect even the most subtle manipulation play. Even if their "hair trigger" lock-down sensor trips on false-positive signals, the result is the same. It's like trying to break into Fort Knox. Forget about it.

For me, the beauty of the Karezza approach is that I am empowered by having no goal. There is no outcome I'm hoping for; what's happening in the moment is complete as it is. Sex is no longer a game where if I get her to do it with me, I win. It's just about being together; the sex will happen when it happens. Ironically, the adoption of this patient attitude is actually an embodiment of the feminine principle of receptivity. The egg doesn't make anything happen; it waits for the sperm to come to it.

In spite of our similarities (as mammals, primates and humans), we are all unique, so what works for my wife and me might not work for someone else. For us, starting the relaxing part of the evening with me massaging her is the perfect answer to lock-down. She has a tendency to get tired, achy and her mind fills with all of the unfinished tasks that lie ahead. When I massage her with the goal of simply loving her, helping her to feel good and relax, then that's what happens; and any lock-down that may have been in effect usually dissipates. We move to a new micro-climate. It's funny; I used to view the "pre-sex massage" as an unwelcome pre-condition; a hoop I had to jump through to get to what I really want. Now I view it as complete in itself; enjoyable in the moment it's happening. I get to enjoy the feel of her skin, her smell, the way her naked body looks with the firelight dancing off it, the feeling of love in my heart as it moves through my hands into her body. That's not about sex, it's just enjoying the moment together.

Of course, I am a recovering sex / porn / orgasm addict. Many of the behaviors associated with that affliction have worked their way so deeply into my brain as to be the default settings. As such, all it takes is a moment of unconsciousness for me to lapse back into some form of manipulation (subtle or otherwise) angling for sex. So I have to be vigilant. Maybe, after years of practice, my default settings will change. They haven't yet.

several years after I wrote this

I look back at this early post and cringe. I was desperately seeking something better, though, and I found it. We evolved into it. The help I got from Darryl, Rachel, Marnia, and others here was priceless.

I'm not sure that my wife isn't "locked down" --  to some degree I think she is. But I also realize she has a low drive, and always has, and perhaps this is the reason she's not motivated to pursue anything more than what she gets out of our relationship sexually. I can't thrust my values onto her and she seems extremely happy, and I know I am. 

I can tell you most assuredly that we are an extremely happy couple with a great sex life and very attracted to each other.

We love each other's company and enjoy our life immensely together. 

For us now it's Karezza most of the time (for me all the time except by accident) and scheduling sex maybe 4 or 5 times a week. Everything has an ease to it now. 

My observations about lockdown is that sex doesn't serve women very well at some point. It continues serving men to a point.

Lockdown is as Darryl says both a symptom of relationship breakdown and, sexually speaking, a gateway to restoring the relationship. I think that the secret to a happy relationship is as simple as:

1. cuddle every day if you can, for 15 or 30 minutes.

2. have sex as often as possible, for as long as possible, without orgasm.

3. full stop. We're done. That's the secret. Everyone can go home now Wink

But for some women I maintain that their sexuality is still not opened up, even with Karezza. They may not care, though. My wife doesnt' seem to care. 

We tried OM but she was too resistant to it. It seemed very artificial to her (and to me) and it's too much along the "let's fix you, you're broken" mentality. My wife doesn't want to think she's broken, and she isn't.

I think for some women, perhaps the whole element of clitoral exploration and stimulation can help them wake up. I suspect so, but they have to be open to it. 

Lockdown happens so often because of pressure from the man, and the woman responds by shutting down. There are other reasons for shutdown, but if you follow my surefire formula above, they won't be a problem for *you* for very long.

 

I simply love this forum.

I simply love this forum. The insights presented hit home for me so much and expand my thinking while at the same time simplifying an amazingly complex equation for me.

The weather and microclimate variations of physical and emotional states in all people are astounding.. not to sound too sexist again but at least around sexiality .. the feminine forecast is impossible to predict for me.

Yes the immature little boy in me used to manipulate and pout and try to predict or change the weather. I destroyed love this way.

The mature masculine that I am slowly evolving into is reading and learning from the hard knocks he has brought upon himself.. but also from the great wisdom I see from the men and women who are and have been wrangling the same problems and have the further insight to share openly here.

Thank you for reducing my anxiety and suffering.