Variety Seeking Men and Paradigm Shifts

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2012 has been the year of the paradigm shift for me. Maybe it was the Venus transition. Or maybe that's all horse sh*t. Either way, I'll spare everyone further back story and get right to the point of my post.

I recently stumbled upon a website focused on "Men's Work" and read a phrase that triggered me. "It’s true that men are wired to seek variety. The mind says we need a fresh partner..."

In that moment I realized that this is probably to the core of the things that have caused my spiritual upheaval this year. This entire idea (based on fairly new and barely explored neuroscience - not to mention the way our society caters to and exploits this concept) has caused me to lose faith in genuine, lasting love and attraction. It makes me feel like no matter what I do - no matter how sweet, pretty, affectionate, sexually open, etc. I am - that my partner will ALWAYS be on the look out and at the ready for something more, better, different. How is this love? And so I've sought to prove that this idea was not true because (in my silly romantic girl delusions) I still believe that love is true. And anything that isn't love can't be true.

I am not naturally insecure and I do not have a repressed sexuality. I know that women have their own version of variety seeking. But I believe all of that seeking (by both sexes) is about the search for true intimacy and can successfully be directed to one person for life. And if not, where is the hope for real love in such a reality? How can a woman believe her man loves her when he is looking at and desiring others as part of his "masculine" makeup? Why should we bother opening up, being vulnerable, and risking immense pain with this reality in our faces?

Yes, I know the evolutionary ideas behind the variety theory. I get that our genes have their own agenda. I get it and I don't buy it based on the absolute fact that we are not monkeys and that our neocortex is far too evolved and complex for us to be relegated to just animals. Every one of you reading this right now knows that you are more than an animal. You feel it just like I do. Besides, how has being "just animals" and forgetting about the vastness of our spiritual/soul/consciousness landscape gotten us so far?

I know I'm not the only woman who feels this way. Women talk. A lot. As I'm sure you all know. And most of us have simply learned to accept the boyish nature of our men and go on with our lives - shutting the poor guys out along the way. We get complacent in relationships as easily as men do. We focus on our careers, kids, friends, shopping, books, movies, tv shows, hot celebrities, fixing up our homes, etc. - all in an effort to distract us from the real problems in our relationships and our lack of love. But complacency leads to dissatisfaction, dead sex lives, and divorce. I'm not willing to let that happen. Everything I've done, read, researched, studied - every tear shed, every sleepless night, every ounce of pain and confusion up to this point has been about me taking some action to avoid that fate.

Because I still believe in love,
Lisa

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Btw, I don't think this falls under any of the three topics I can choose from so I will just pick Karezza as a default. Wink

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Comments

Men & Variety

I think it is certainly true, men like variety, but that is often a surface desire. Once a guy, like me, finally touched feminine sexuality and a genuinely "turned-on" woman, then everything changed. After a man and a woman go deep and are successful working through their particular pain-body patterns and blocks, then gets the sex right, there is a feeling of being truly "on the same page". What I mean by that is, our energies somehow become synchonized.

And it is so nurturing. After touching that kind of experience, I really don't need or want to start over with another woman's pain-body, and have to work through all the layers of resentment, hurt, lockdown, etc. I feel the great reward for my wife and I is dwelling daily in the same space, or goal, of honoring that life-force between us. If I had known this when I was in my twenties, I don't think i would have settled for anything less. So, I agree with you, hold firm to your dream of finding someone to enter the garden of love with you.

Surface Desires?

I can understand this idea of surface desires. Women have them too and they typically mean absolutely nothing to us - though I do notice women tend to have more crushes when their relationship is lacking or they've already pushed their men away. However, I've been open and genuine and true to my sexuality from the beginning. I was often the initiator, the one who wanted to make love all the time, to be one with him somehow whenever I could. We've even experienced that sync you mentioned. Still, he looked. Still, the surface desires remain/ed. What then?

For me understanding

the Coollidge Effect is strong motivation for mastering a practice like karezza, which puts the emphasis on the rewarding feelings of bonding. Men love it...once they master it. I suspect that it offers the only way of true harmony for the sexes.

What I hear in your posts is that you want conventional sex and you're angry that the rules you were taught (the standard sexology advice) for how to have a happy, sexy relationship aren't strengthening your relationship as they were promised to do.

They aren't. And they never will for the overwhelming majority of couples. And yet you just can't let go of the belief that they will. So you're railing against biology and anyone who puts it forward.

I understand. I started from exactly the same place. But I also allowed my views to change as I was shown a completely different way of looking at the "insoluable biological problem."

Both sexes need satisfaction to have harmony. The misguided advice about being hot and open to experimentation, etc will not lead to lasting satisfaction...because of the way dopamine drives motivation in the brain.

Eventually you become willing to switch to a different way. At that point you may realize neither of you were giving up anything of value, and that harmony in a relationship makes even vanilla sex with the same partner delicious and satisfying. "Less is truly more," but it's the exact opposite of the advice you were taught.

Doesn't the Coolidge Effect

Doesn't the Coolidge Effect also have something to do with the stereotypical way men roll over and go to sleep - as though they have lost interest in their partner? This has NEVER been the case for us. We have cuddled before, during, after and all throughout our interactions with each other from the beginning of our relationship. We're that couple that people get uncomfortable around because we can't stop touching each other. Wink I also never tried to change him. That is, not until I realized he was finding sexual gratification in fantasies about other women while neglected our sex life. But isn't that more about growth and maturity and evolving as a person as opposed to changing the true self? It was something he was unconscious of, something he had a habit of doing, and something he thought was "normal" for men to do. We have always had what I like to call "conscious sex". In fact, I've never actually made real love before I met this man and I was (sadly) far too old to be able to say that when we met at the age of 31.

Has the Coolidge Effect been tested on humans in reality rather than just with pornography? From my understanding it's been studied through erotic imagery not in real life situations. And it's been studied in rats and other small mammals lacking the huge human neocortex. I'd love to see this tested on a man who is genuinely in love with a woman.

I get all of the science. Really, I do. I've read CPA and I've done my own research. But I believe there are unique human factors at work here. Sure, we share the same limbic system with other mammals. But other mammals don't experience the gamut of psychological factors that we do nor do they experience emotion. They don't even have a sense of self or a realization of their mortality. Our animal brain can't be the only factor at work in relationships and lasting love.

I also believe that love is a genuine force in the universe not just a dose of the right chemicals at the right time. It's real, it can move mountains, and all that cliche stuff people get cynical about. They only get so cynical about it because it really is all it's cracked up to be.

I'm not trying to create dissension in any way. I believe Karezza (and similar sexual styles) are hugely beneficial. I am on board with it all for sure. I'm just expressing that I think there are a myriad of reasons why people may react to their relationship in a negative way that might not have anything to do with orgasm. Perhaps we should start teaching our children compassion for others (especially their future partners) and mature ways to deal with sexuality? Maybe we need to go back to the days of rights of passage where we leave "childish things behind' like masturbation and other immature sexual habits? Maybe if our world wasn't so sexually obsessed while simultaneously being sexual repressed we would have more luck as well. And maybe the reason orgasm creates these ripples is because we become exposed, vulnerable, etc. and can no longer hide from all the painful emotions and traumas that our lives and the world around us create. They get in our face and we are forced to deal with them as a part of a growth process - as part of our relationship being a spiritual practice and the primary vehicle through which we can learn and evolve through love.

These are only my thoughts. I mean no disrespect.

EDIT - Just had a thought that it sounds like I'm lobbying for orgasm. I want to make sure it's known that I couldn't give two patoots about orgasm. If I have one every few weeks that's a lot. I've given up on conventional orgasm in at attempt to move the focus of my sexual pleasure away from the clitoris and towards the vagina itself. So... I don't care about orgasm but I also see them through a different lens.

LB

So what are you saying?

>Still, he looked. Still, the surface desires remain/ed. What then?

How often does he orgasm? Do you guys practice karezza regularly?

"Eventually you become

"Eventually you become willing to switch to a different way. At that point you may realize neither of you were giving up anything of value, and that harmony in a relationship makes even vanilla sex with the same partner delicious and satisfying. "Less is truly more," but it's the exact opposite of the advice you were taught."

Yes, I know this. We have lovely sex. That is not the problem at all.

The problem is that I don't want the novelty seeking to be what love is. I want LOVE not sex. I don't care about conventional sex nor do I want to peruse it. I want love. I also want people to held accountable instead of us blaming biological factors. People make choices. Perhaps they are not always very conscious of them, but they are still choices.

It wasn't some new revelation to hear that men like variety back when I embarked on this journey months ago. However, I thought that applied to men who weren't in love. I thought that was something for men in the wrong relationships. I thought that wasn't love at all. So I thought that a man who was like that with me would be the wrong man. And since I have always believed my partner was my one and only true right mate, this has been very hard for me to accept. I still haven't accepted it. But I supposed I'm sort of trying to. The problem seems to be that I really don't want to accept it at all. I don't want it to be reality. And where does that leave me?

It's up to you where you want to be left

In the last couple years, scientists have confirmed that most obese people eat too much because their brains' pleasure response is dampened and so they don't feel satisfied. Therefore they eat too much...and keep trying different foods. When neuroscientists really look at the effects of intense sexual stimulation on the human brain they will see the same phenomenon in many brains. Already the evidence is showing up in other species.

Biology sets up sex so that we want orgasms. Typically, in males climaxes set off subtle neurochemical ripples that leave guys open to finding novelty especially appealing. Typically in females they set off subtle neurochemical ripples that leave us wanting to "perfect" our mates and feel totally secure in our relationships.

We can either fight our programming and try to impose our "love belief system" on it, or we can dismantle the problem at its source: the subtle sense of dissatisfaction that arises naturally from orgasm.

Again, in men these neurochemical ripples may show up most often as novel-partner-appreciation (because evolution puts the burden on males to make sure all willing females are fertilized). It shows up in women too...also as dissatisfaction with the status quo. I've argued that you may be experiencing this very dissatisfaction...and projecting it onto men because you don't realize that you, too, are contributing to it.

A practice like karezza makes love easier and more stable by reducing (neurochemically based) dissatisfaction in both partners.

You don't need to accept anything. Maybe you just need to stop trying to achieve the impossible: seeking lasting satisfaction by using sex in a way that creates recurring, subconscious dissatisfaction.

Perhaps men who have frequent

Perhaps men who have frequent orgasms with partners tend to seek novelty for a combination of reasons - one being the biological, sperm carrier idea and the other being about not wanting to deal with emotional vulnerability and the way men in particular are taught to handle it. And having the "sperm carrier" programming makes it easier in some ways to excuse the latter.

But when we're ready to be brave for love, we face these things in honesty and learn and grow together - we become conscious of our own personal brand of BS and work on it by starting to love ourselves - with or without orgasms. And I think bonding behaviors would be completely essential for that work to be successful.

Again, not trying to step on any toes in any way. :)

Variety

I think that the search for variety in both sexes results from an inherent sense of lack. We are all searching around for something that will fullfill us and make that sense of lack go away. When we fall in love we think that this is it. This is the person that will finally make all of that restless dis-satisfaction go away. Then the love chemicals wear off and the nagging sense of needing something more returns.

The problem here is NOT that men, or women or humans in general arte flawed. The problem is that we expect to be fullffilled by external things. Men expect to have their deep sexual longing fullfilled by a woman. Women expect their deep emotional longing to be fullfilled by a man. Both will be deeply dissapointed because they are both looking in the wrong place.

The only way to make that sense of lack go away is to love yourself. Self love is is what every person on Earth is actually looking for. We say that it is the love of others that we want. However, the truth is that we are looking for others to provide us with the evidence that we need in order to love ourselves.

I have made the personal decision to cut out all of the go betweens and just cut right to the chase. My number 1 priority in life is to love myself completely. Although that may sound selfish, it is actually the best thing that I can do to serve others. The more that I love myself, the less I expect from anyone else. The more I relax into true self love, the more I can be patient, and loving and conmpassionate with others because I am not depending on them to fullfill me. I fullfill myself, and thus, I can give them their freedom to find how best to fullfill themselves too.

Give true freedom to yourself and you simultaneously give it to everyone else. All of humanity benefits when one person finds true self love. There is one more source of true love, and one less person left stuggling to find it.

So, all of this to say that the true love that you seek is something that you can only get from yourself. No facsimile provided by anyone else, no matter who they are, will ever make that longing go away. If you want the real thing, then it has to be self love.

Do not look to your husband to provide the love that you need. That is not his job. His job (in the context of your life) is to help you see the ways in which you deny love to yourself, and to help you get past those blocks. Your job (in the context of his life) is the same. You each reflect back to the other exactly what that person needs to face.

Once you have developed strong self love, then it is yours to keep. It stays with you no matter who might come and go from your life. It bubbles up from inside of you like an artisian well. It is completely under your control. No one can take it away from you.

We are all the source of our own salvation. We all hold the keys to our own happiness. We ARE what we have been looking for.

P.S

I believe in the higher self. I cannot explain what higher self is. All I know is that it is a part of myself that is not contained within this human being. I believe that we are all infinite and immortal beings that are only pretending to be mortal and limited. I have no proof of this. It just feels right and that is all the evidence that I need. Scientists and religious leaders are free to believe what they want, and I am free to believe what I want. I will not submit to their ideas. I have my own ideas and I rather like them. Free will! (By the way, I love both science and spirituality, I just don't think either is an ultimate authority on anything).

In any case, within that context, I have often wondered why my higher self has made sex such a struggle for me. Why is is so hard for me to get any kind of stable sexual relationship going with my wife? We love each other very much, but we just cannot seem to connect on that level.

The answer is that I was approaching sex the wrong way. I was doing what most other men are doing. I was trying to draw a sense of being loved and desired from sex. I was using sex to provide me with the evidence that I was loved so that I could love myself. My higher self does not want me to have that kind of relationship with sex. It does not want my self love to be dependent on anything, so if sex was a major crutch for me then sex had to be shaken up so that I could seperate my love of self from my enjoyment of sex.

To put it another way, my higher self does not want my self love to depend on sex, or anything else. Rather, it wants me to love myself simply because I do, and then bring that strong self love into sex.

Divine love is NOT two incomplete people coming together to form a complete whole. Rather, it is two people who are are already whole and complete in themselves deciding to come together and create something even bigger for a while. That is my view on the matter. It is the only view that does not lead to a sense of dependency and neediness on some level.

In order to accomplish that in my marriage, the enormous distraction that is sex had to go away for periods of time and then come back in a different way. That is what I am working through now.

I no longer feel an overwhelming need to have sex. There is desire, but it is not needy. I do not need sex to feel complete. However, I will happily share myself in sex with a person who also wants to share herself (my wife). It is a different way of looking at sex, and I am still getting used to it.

Lisa

I've got to say I dont see why your man looking at other women would "caused me to lose faith in genuine, lasting love and attraction", as you say. I have been together with my wife for 29 years and we have both looked at other men and women and I absolutely have faith in genuine lasting love and attraction. The fact that we have enjoyed that momentary surface attraction, and it has not shaken our love for each other, just makes it that much stronger. I think a look at someone of the opposite sex is different than engaging in extended fantasy or trying to get their phone number. I'm far more interested in her spending the money we make together wisely than whether she's looking at other men or not. Just the other day she told me she has the hots for this guy at one of the stores in town. Yeah, so? Its me she's kissing good morning to every day and then making sweet love with, not him.

We can be out somewhere and if someone catches our fancy every once in a while one of us might say to the other, "mmm.. I like the way (he or she) looks, what do you think" I might say, "nice butt on that guy, dear". Were playful with it. A little bit of attraction is normal, in my opinion, its more about how you handle it.

My take is that lasting love is lasting because it survives these kind of things not because none of them exist.

How about being playful with it. The next time you're out with your man and he looks at another woman and you notice, smile and say to him,"nice rack on that woman your looking at", (or something like that). I'll bet that will stop him cold in his tracks, if he doesnt faint on the spot. Dont take it so seriously, either he loves you or he doesnt. Him looking at other women from time to time is not a measure of his love or lack of it for you. Now if his feelings for you are troubled then looking at women could be a symptom of whats going on deeper down. Address that instead.

In the end I experience that regular karezza style lovemaking and bonding behaviours are the best way to say connected in love.

I know that one

I know that feeling. You have a truth inside of you. It makes perfect sense to you, but you cannot find the right words to communicate it to others.

The only thing that really matters is for you to understand it. If you know what you need to do in order to satisfy the voice inside of you, then do not let us talk you out of it. Follow your own heart.

Real Life Examples

Just realized I avoid them because I don't like the idea of speaking poorly about my husband. I hate the idea that anyone would judge or jump to conclusions about him and so I guess I feel the need to protect him. But maybe that's the only way to make myself clear.

Okay, my husband was raised to ogle women and gather images of them for the purpose of masturbation. There's a whole slew of social and psychological reasons for it that we have discussed and that I have infinite compassion and understanding for. But when I ask "how is this love?" what i mean is how does a man tell a woman he loves her more than anything, etc. etc. then go jerk it to her relatives, neighbors, friends, his coworkers, etc? How is that love?

This was a 5 times a week habit or so and we only made love once a week or so at that time. His sexual energy was definitely being redirected away from me and our relationship. While he has grown out of this in the last few months - after long hours of discussion and various epiphanies - I still have trust issues with this aspect of him. Firstly, because when he was weening himself off of masturbation, he lied about doing it twice. We had agreed to be up front and transparent about the situation. He told me once or twice then started lying about it. Trust is big for me. I never see a reason to lie to your spouse.

While I know he is not masturbating anymore, I worry that he is still fantasizing about women in the way that was habitual for him. We've concluded that he typically did this out of boredom and anxiety - as if he was looking for some kind of comfort from those feelings and found a way that eventually became everyday habit. And about a month ago he confided in me about a woman at his workplace who he wanted to masturbate to but didn't and that her image seemed to creep up in his mind when he was waking up in the morning. He felt this was out of his control but also admitted that without the wayward fantasy while watching her at work, it probably wouldn't have happened at all.

So we're not just talking about noticing someone attractive. We all do this and it is not a threat so long as that element of desire for those other people is not seeping into us because of it. But to know that he may notice a woman, start the pattern of habitual fantasy, then have imaginings of someone other than me while lying in our bed in the morning... well, this is harder to cope with. He tells me now that he's been able to get rid of that fantasy element as well. However, I am concerned all it will take is someone new and he'll fall back in it. And that if he did, he wouldn't be honest about it now.

So... I'm not saying I expect him to never notice an attractive person. But it seems much more productive to let those images remind him of his sexuality and our sex life rather than distract him away from it and away from me.

Does this make some more sense?

It is more clear now

Thanks for sharing that LB. For the record, I do not think any less of your husband.

I used to have the same habit of fantasizing about every attractive woman that I encountered. It was much worse when I was single, but it still happened frequently after I got married. Even now, after a few years of intense spiritual work, I still sometimes encounter a woman whose energy draws my attention in a powerful way. I can feel it happening, and I know it is not productive to focus my attention on someone other than my wife, but it takes an effort of will and self discipline to detach my attention from a woman like that.

Does that mean that I am not loving my wife fully? I don't think so. I just means that some people have a powerful aura of attraction with respect to me. There is some element of their energy that is highly appealing to me. It is highly likely that there is something these women have that I feel is lacking in my own relationship.

I have noticed that the women who tend to have a strong gravitational pull for me are ones who are very similar to my wife. Sometimes they look like her and sometimes they just have the same energy. The difference is that these other women do not have the history that I have with my wife. I can sense them, and be attracted to them without a lot of emotional stuff coming up. With my wife, there is often emotional stuff that gets mixed up with the basic sexual attraction and kind of muddies the water.

The good news is that the more I work at healing myself at all levels, the less emotional stuff there is to gum things up. It is becoming more and more frequent for me to feel that clear, pure attraction for my wife that I felt back when we were young and in love. The emotional haze is clearing so that I can see her more clearly again and remember how beautiful she is.

I think this emotional debris effect is something above and beyond the Coolidge effect that serves to push people apart over time. I am sure that some people walk away from marriages simply because there is too much emotional junk in the relationship and they don't want to deal with it any more. They decide that it would be easier to start over with another person than try to heal all of this. I considered that option at one point.

However, I chose to stay and make it work. I chose to do the healing, however long it might take, and I am really starting to see the difference now. It is kind of like renovating your house. It is not comfortable to live in a house that is ripped apart and being actively rebuilt. However, you eventually reach a point where various elements start coming together in new and beautiful ways. It is no longer just a plan. It is becoming reality. That gives you an extra boost of motivation to complete the project so you can enjoy the new home.

Trust that your husband is trying, and he is making progress. He is probably somewhat ashamed of his own lapses in discipline and that is why he hides them from you. However, if he really intended to deceive you he would not admit to it at all. You have no way of knowing what happens in his head. He could easily hide all of it from you, but he is not doing that. Is that not a sign of his sincerity? Do you need it all to be perfect before you can trust him, or can you give him the benefit of the doubt?

I had to give my wife the benefit of the doubt that if I was patient, and stuck with the healing, she would come around. She is coming around far more slowly then I ever would have imagined, and she sometimes goes retrograde for a while, but the overall trend is up. Therefore, I continue in good faith. I either do that, or I give up. I don't intend to give up.

So, onward and upward.

Louie wrote:

[quote=Louie]Does that mean that I am not loving my wife fully? I don't think so. I just means that some people have a powerful aura of attraction with respect to me. There is some element of their energy that is highly appealing to me. It is highly likely that there is something these women have that I feel is lacking in my own relationship.[/quote]

I thinks it's interesting that men who recognize someone with nice energy immediately take it to a more sexual place than women. It's almost like some men don't know how to have affection for a woman that they aren't blood related to without making it sexual. I don't think women do this as much. I'm not sure what the exact reasons might be but I suspect there are many. Perhaps most notably that women seem to equal sex to men first before they equal anything else and that's a very prevalent and exploited idea in our world. Just an observation though.

[quote=Louie]Trust that your husband is trying, and he is making progress. He is probably somewhat ashamed of his own lapses in discipline and that is why he hides them from you. However, if he really intended to deceive you he would not admit to it at all. You have no way of knowing what happens in his head. He could easily hide all of it from you, but he is not doing that. Is that not a sign of his sincerity? Do you need it all to be perfect before you can trust him, or can you give him the benefit of the doubt?[/quote]

This is something I'm working on daily. I have a lot of emotional stuff to work through in regards to men. Never knew my father, had a father figure who left, first husband cheated. So, lots of abandonment issues. The best thing that my husband and I recently figured out is that we are not the source of each other's pain. We are each other's salvation. We just had this epiphany last night and I think it will bring our relationship to the next level. We have gone above and beyond to prevent creating pain for each other since we've been together, so the issue is not us but our respective pasts.

I love how positive you are about your marriage and the work you're doing. It's really wonderful. And I didn't mention it before, but I'm right with you on the self love front. I believe it was Thich Nhat Hanh who said "The moment you start loving yourself is the moment you cease creating suffering". But it's a process. :)

Men and Women

In his book "Healing Light of The Tao" Mantak Chia talks about how the physical differences in men and women give a hint about their different priorities in relationship. Men have a phyiscal projection in the sexual center of the body (penis). Women have a projection at the heart center (breasts). This is a physical manifestation of the fact that the primary motivation of man in relationship is to etablish a sexual flow, and the primary motivation of women is to establish a flow of love. Women can enjoy a sexual flow, but is will never be their primary concern. Men can enjoy a flow of love, but it will never be their primary concern.

I know it frustrates you (and many other women) that men are so focused on sex. However, it also frustrates your husband (and many other men) that the women in their lives are so focused on non-sexual flows of love. If there is a such thing as the battle of the sexes, this issue is at the core of it.

Men have tended to approach this by trying to make women more masculine in their sexuality. Barry Long talks at length about this in his books and tapes. The male obsession with the clitoris is an attempt to arouse the masculine form of sexual desire in women (the clitoris being the female equivalent of the penis).

Cuddling is a very heart centered form of affection, and thus, women love it. For those who follow vedic teachings, the heart center projects through the hands and senses through the skin. In women, the breasts are an organ for gathering heart energy which they can give to a baby when breast feeding (mother's love) or give to a man. My wife's favourite way to cuddle is for my hand to lightly cup her breast while I spoon her. She can feel my heart beating against her back, and feel my hand on her breast. Her heart has my heart energy on both sides of it, and this creates a powerful sense of being connected.

My cuddle therapy experiment is a deliberate exercise in providing to my wife an abundance of the one thing that I know she needs more of (heart connection) in a way that leaves sex out of the picture for a while. However, this does not mean that I have abandoned my own sexual interests. I have simply choosen to focus on her need first.

When people feel that they are lacking in something, they tend to dwell on that thing. If they are lacking in something that is very imporatnt to them, then they may obsess about it and be unable to care much about other things. If you cannot breathe, nothing else matters. If a woman is not feeling sufficiently loved (in a heart centered way) in a relationship, then it is hard for her to care much about the state of the sex life. However, if a man can be patient and persistent in offering open hearted love for a while without trying to pull the whole thing toward his own agenda then perhaps his wife can reach a point where she no longer feels a lack in that respect, and she can open to exploring other aspects of the relationship as well (sex). At least, that is the theory I am going on here.

To sum it up: I recognize that my wife will never care about sex as much as I do. I have stopped trying to make her be sexual. Instead, I have decided to meet her where she is at for a while and focus on forming a strong heart connection. Eventually (I think) the energy created there will over flow into other areas of our relationship including sex. We could have done the opposite and focused on sex first. Many people here have successfully done that. It works either way. However, since I am the one making the conscious decision to heal (not her) it is easier for me to meet her where she is at first rather than trying to convince her to meet me where I am at. Thus, the cuddle therapy.

The key (I think) is that I have to offer genuine heart centered love. If I cuddle her while silently fuming that we are not having sex, then it does not work so well. It is not really fulfilling her. She feels me holding back.

The opposite is true as well. If a woman offers her body for sex but silently fumes that she would much rather just cuddle. then her partner feels her holding back and it is ultimately not fullfilling for him.

I hope that all makes sense.

Lots of great information

Lots of great information here. Thanks so much for taking the time post it.

I think we are a very different situation actually. I was always very sex motivated or centered. I was the one who said I wanted more. He made assumptions about women based on past experience that I wouldn't want sex as much as he did and therefore took the situation into his own hands (pun intended). He is always a huge cuddler. Always has been and was the first one to initiate such loving contact without sexual motivation. So I think we throw some of the Toaist stuff on its end. lol

I'm sorry your wife doesn't seem to care about sex. I can speak from my experience as a woman and say that even in my first marriage - where I didn't want to have sex with my husband - I still wanted sex. Just not with him. There was a lot of hurt, a lack of respect, resentment... etc. I wanted nothing to do with him physically, though I usually gave in twice a week to shut him up. :(

My wife

I should clarify so that my wife does not look uncaring.

She does enjoy sex when it happens. When she is basking in the after glow she will talk about sex as if it is the best thing ever. However, she has a high activation energy. That is to say that she requires quite a bit of warming up before the motor catches and her sexual drive really kicks in. She knows this about herself and thus when she is faced with the question to have sex or not she is weighing the requirements for arousal (long fore play) against the energy that she has, and most of the time decides that she does not have the energy for it.

Of course, all of that is based on the conventional idea of sex as a means to achieve orgasm. She requires a lot of warming up to achieve orgasm, but karezza is not concerned with orgasm.

I personally think that my wife will find karezza to be very refreashing after she has experienced it a few times. She will be a natural at it.

However, she is currently declining sex because she has been in a very low energy state for the past three months, and her experience tells her that sex requires lots of energy. She knows about CPA and she knows that karezza is different, but she is not prepared to trust me on this yet. That is to say that she does not trust that I will allow sex to be a cool and relaxing thing. On some level she thinks that I am just trying to get her in bed and then I will do my usual thing and start trying to create hot sex. I cannot really blame her for being skeptical. I have been guilty of manipulating her for sex before. The history is against me on this one.

So, I will just have to wait until she says yes under her conditions for conventional sex and then do karezza instead. I am sure that I will only have to do this a couple of times before she really gets that karezza is different. Then yes will start happening more often. She is not buying into the theory of karezza, but she will love the experience of it.

We have non orgasm driven sex

We have non orgasm driven sex - or make love consciously - however you'd like to put it. I'm not sure how I feel about avoiding orgasm indefinitely but I'd like to conduct an experiment with him where we go 2 weeks without them and record our feelings daily. I'm interested to see the results as a trial run. :)

Yes this makes much more sense

Personally, from what you say this sounds like addiction and habit, not conflicting or fickled love. No different from alcohol, drugs, gambling. If he says he loves you more than anything and then masturbates to other women I think this is just the addiction in action. Addiction does funny things to the brain. Lack of honestly and secrets go right along with the addiction patterns. People destroy their relationships and families from all sorts of addiction problems. Alcohol has been devastating families for generation and I'm sure the addicts doing the destruction often love their spouses very much. The brain chemistry of addiction cannot be underestimated. Marnia and Gary speak directly these issue within the sexual framework.

Can you get your husband to read through Gary's "Your Brain on Porn" site? Maybe he could connect the dots, so to speak and break out of his habitual cycles. I think if the two of you would engage sexually without orgasm for an extended period I believe you would see meaningful changes.

Encouraging honesty

He tells me now that he's been able to get rid of that fantasy element as well. However, I am concerned all it will take is someone new and he'll fall back in it. And that if he did, he wouldn't be honest about it now.

It is difficult for me to write this, but I admit that I am not always truthful with my wife. Why?

Because the consequences of lying, at least in the short term, are better than for telling the truth. And because I am rather sensitive to criticism, scolding and the like, even if I appear to be stoic.

Let's say she asked me if I have been reminiscing about some former girlfriend. (First of all I would be thinking, what business is of it of hers what I have been thinking about? What good can come out of asking such a question? But if I voice _those_ thoughts, the results can be as bad as giving the "wrong" answer to the original question.)

From many years of marriage, I can tell from her tone of voice, her demeanor, and the type of question, that some qustions are apt lead to a lot of unpleasantness if not answered in the way she wants to hear. A "wrong" answer can lead to:

- criticism, a lecture on how I "should" think or behave. Sometimes this can go on for many minutes or even hours.

- weird psychoanalysis. To make up an example of what she might say: I'm the way I am because I was breast fed for too long. Often these analyses are completely untrue. But even if they were true, what good does it do to tell me that I'm defective because I was breast fed for too long? We can't change the past. We can only try to change the future.

- a bad attitude afterward on her part. She may be rather cold for a day or so.

- grumpiness and resentment on my part for a day or so. I tend to replay those mostly one-sided "conversations" over and over in my head, thinking how could I have avoided that, or how could I have handled it better?

All of the above feels like punishment to me, like I'm being punished for speaking truthfully.

In the last couple years, she has become less judgemental and more tolerant of "wrong answers," and as a result I have become more willing to speak the truth. I think karezza and no-MO is another factor in the improved communication. Since I am not constantly in a post-orgasm hangover, occasional critical remarks from my wife bother me a lot less. A remark that might have bothered me for hours previously, will often not phase me at all now. It's like water rolling off a duck's back.

Now, LB, from your very first post, I have felt like your marriage situation may be similar to mine, regarding the communication about his fantasizing about other women, PMO and so on. (One difference between you and my wife is that I think you have a much better understanding of human psychology. So, I'm hopeful that you will take this post as well-meaning advice. I am _not_ intending to be critical of you.)

It's pretty clear to me that you disapprove of, or are not happy about some of the things he is thinking or doing. You may be _trying_ to be supportive, understanding, etc., but - I suspect - the disapproval comes through in your body language and behavior. You may be less affectionate after such discussions, without even knowing it. If you have been married for several years, he may be quite sensitive to such things.

You could find out if my suspicions are correct by asking him something like "When I talk about your fantasizing or paying attention to other women, do you dislike those conversations? Do they make you uncomfortable?"

You might be able to get him to open up and be more truthful by rewarding such behavior, not punishing him. For example, if you feel like he has answered a difficult question truthfully, give him a hug and say, "Thank you for telling me that," or "Thank you for being honest about that." I can tell you that that's how _I_ would like to be treated.

Be careful about how you express dissatisfaction. It may sound like criticism, judgement, scolding, punishment, or like you are trying to make him feel guilty.

I can't tell you how to make him change his behavior. Actually, you probably _can't_ force him to change. The best you can do is to create the conditions where he _wants_ to change, of his own free will.

Perhaps the story of the Sun and the North Wind might give you some food for thought: The Sun and the North Wind made a bet about who could get a man to take off his coat. The North Wind tried first. He blew and he blew, and the man just clutched his coat around himself more and more tightly. Then the Sun tried. The Sun warmed the land below, and soon the man was warm and took off his coat.

I understand exactly what you

I understand exactly what you're saying. This was something we've struggled with in the past as any time I take on a more serious tone he feels as though he's being scolded. We've come to the conclusion that he actually makes this assumption (before I've even spoken a full sentence) based on his experience with other women, namely his mother.

I feel that I continually tell him how important it is to me that he is honest and how grateful I am to him for allowing himself to be vulnerable. I've tried to explain that I may not always like a particular situation that stirs up emotions in me, but that doesn't mean I am angry at him or that he should feel he's let me down. Shame is not helpful. It is my goal to build him up, not give him cause for self criticism and regret. I'm sure I could do better with this, perhaps smile more, etc. during the conversation to reassure him and I will continue to work at it.

However, I am also trying to encourage him to see himself as an equal to me at all times. I am not his mother and the assumption that I am scolding him as opposed to trying to have an adult conversation is something he projects on me through his experience with her - not his experience with me. If he realizes he is equal (and powerful in his own right to speak honestly for himself and accept personal responsibility) and that I really want to be able to speak with him as a grown man and not a child who needs reprimanding - then I feel our conversations are more productive and cause less defensiveness in him.

One thing that would be helpful for him (and probably lots of people) to understand is that when a woman (or anyone for that matter) is struggling with some emotional pain she may seem as though she is angry, harsh, etc. but what she really feels is extremely vulnerable. She is processing the emotion in her own way and her reactions - the way she *knows* how to handle the emotion - is not a personal attack on anyone else. It is all her own drama at that point, however unaware of that she may be. This may help take defensiveness out of the equation at least some of the time. But this does not give her the right to be intentionally hurtful. Processing emotions may be painful - and we often feel someone else has caused that pain - but ultimately we are the ones who allow those emotions to surface and should avoid lashing out and causing harm to others during the process.

I never use affection as a weapon no matter what. I love him deeply and quite unconditionally. And I have never expected anything from him that I was not willing to give back myself. It just so happens that our genders make our individual struggles with self improvement unique.

Ultimately, I just want him to love and desire only me as I love and desire only him. I know this idea is somewhat counter intuitive for men (at least the desire bit - as all women are basically broken down to orgasms with legs for the imaginary taking from boyhood) but I think that's learned behavior and can therefore be unlearned to the best benefit of a lasting relationship. There has already been amazing progress made by both of us and I think my husband is an amazing, loving man that I am so fortunate to have in my life.

Thank you for taking the time to reply. There is a lot of good information to take away from your story and I especially love the sun/north wind metaphor. It's very true. :)

One More Thing...

I was just thinking that being breast fed for a length of time should not have any negative effects on your psyche. I'm not an expert, but I would think it would allow you to understand the connection between love, comfort, and more "spiritual love" with sexual love. Like how to seek the "spiritual" through the physical and reconcile those factors that too often seem to be opposing forces in both men and women in our culture. Ex: Women love their children in a way they can't seem to shower onto their spouses and often feel something dirty about straight up sex. And men seek emotional completion through novelty while being emotionally detached from real partners. Both are a disconnect from the physical and the spiritual. Nothing about that goes into the realm of Oedipal if it can be seen truthfully for what it is.

"Often these analyses are completely untrue. But even if they were true, what good does it do to tell me that I'm defective because I was breast fed for too long? We can't change the past. We can only try to change the future."

I think here she is just trying to make you aware of reasons so actions arising from them can become conscious as opposed to operating as background programs in your psyche without your knowledge. Quite similar to the idea of a "mating program", dopamine chasing, etc. Once we become aware, it is a whole 'nother ball game. :) The idea may be "if I know why I do something - what purpose it serves or what problem it solves - then I have the power to change it". Perhaps if she were gentler in her approach - and you two didn't have a history of this dynamic - it wouldn't seem as though she were pointing the "defect" finger at you.

I find compassion is the #1 factor in all relationships. Often we get so bogged down by our own pain that we forget to be compassionate of the pain of our partner. It sounds like your wife may be so focused on her own pain that she is neglecting yours and not realizing she is helping both of you to grow in emotional strife instead of helping to dissolve it. I know I've done this and it is something I want to always be conscious of in the future.

All the best and thanks again for your thoughtful and honest reply. ♥

Try it for 3 weeks

From all I can gather three weeks is the magic number. That is Marnias recommendation and it worked for us. Your idea of keeping a journal is a great one, I did that for the first few months, it was good for me. I would also suggest you do a bit more research at this site about Karezza and learn what it is all about. It is not merely sex without orgasm, it is much more than that, much more.
I believe after you and your husband experience the wonders of Karezza you will see some pretty amazing changes take place. I can testify. Your husband sounds a lot like myself and lots of other guys, before we discovered Karezza. Conventional sex with my wife just didn't satisfy all my needs, regardless of how good it was or how many orgasms we had, it was like I was just not quite satisfied or I needed that little extra something, be it masturbation, handjobs, oral, porn or whatever. As we continued on our Karezza journey that all disappeared, I now have no desires other than lots of Karezza, which is a beautiful thing, it has been so liberating for me I can hardly explain it. Used to be I couldn't sit in front of a computer without looking at something to do with porn, now it is almost repulsive to me. Masturbation, what a joke, that's kids stuff! The need to have more, or different, or weird stuff is a thing of the past.
So give it a try and keep us posted, happy karezzaing to you and yours!

PS here is a record of our first three weeks:

Week3 totals,
Karezza intercourse a total of 19 times for 15 hours an average of once every 26.5 hrs
an average of 5 hrs per week, 42 mins per day

Whose Problem Is It Really?

LB did you ever think the problem was with you, not your husband? I know from previous postings that your husband’s eye wandering is a real hot button for you. I am certain that from your perspective this is very hurtful and I certainly don’t mean to belittle your feelings. But the hurt you feel is from your response to your husband’s actions, not his actions.

Hans Selye said, “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” While Selye was an endocrinologist, he was the first medical professional to identify that it is our reaction to something that causes us the problem not the original stressor. When we become hypersensitive to something the reaction is even more acute; we see the problem even when it doesn’t really exist.

For all of the great qualities my girlfriend has punctuality is definitely not one of them. She usually gets to class about on time, but anything else forget it. She tries to do too many things, help friends, be kind to strangers; she always has just one more thing to do. Frankly this used to bug the holy crap out of me. I would be waiting and waiting, then I would say something. The end result was an argument and we would both be miserable. We both felt wronged; I was mad because she was late and she was mad because she didn’t see what the problem was.

One day I just said, hey I am not going to make myself crazy over this; it just isn’t worth feeling miserable. Basically I stopped my reaction and I was happier. I would love to tell you that not being upset at her tardiness reformed my girlfriend into punctual person; unfortunately she is just as late as ever. I love her and it was my reaction to her being late that caused me anxiety not her being late. By accepting that we are both happier and I know that there is stuff I do that bugs her.

A quick comment about men seeking variety; sure evolutionary imperative was to get as big a gene pool out there as possible. We were hard wired for that; we were also hardwired for “fight or flight” response. Fight or flight is was what kept us from being eaten by a saber toothed tiger. Frankly I can’t remember the last time I had to out run one of those; crazy drivers here on campus yes, but saber toothed tigers no. The point is we are not simply our hardwiring otherwise we would still be living in caves and carrying a club. Unless you tell me something different I will presume your husband is not a caveman clubbing his next conquest.

You ended saying “Because I still believe in love,” well so do I. I see love every time I look into my girlfriend’s eyes and I don’t want to miss one second of seeing that love because I let my reactions to a situation separate us.

If one of us has a problem, so does the other.

Of course this is completely true and is part of what I mentioned in a follow up to my original post where I mentioned recognizing that we were not the source of each other's pain. Our reactions come about based on our previous experiences and issues - the way we have learned to handle our own personal life dramas - and they are not caused exclusively by each other. Yes, very true and we definitely realize this. Also see my post/reply from this past Monday where I mention this exact concept.

However, personal responsibility shouldn't necessarily be one sided and this whole topic is quite the double edged sword. What I mean is that once we are aware that something we've done causes harm to another (with subsequent emotional reactions resulting), is it not then also our responsibility to prevent that harm in the future regardless of whether that persons reactions are theirs alone?

Yes, I can choose to react differently. Yes, I can choose to disregard certain behaviors in order to keep the peace (both within myself and without). But, to what end and what are the limits of such an idea? What if he were to say harsh words or one day even cheat? Should I choose not to react to those things? Could he then say "Oh, it causes you pain that I say harsh words and sleep with other women? Those are just your reactions and I am not responsible for them"?

In short, I believe there are no compromises in love. (I don't mean compromising over where to eat or what time to go to bed either.) If something causes pain to our beloved then we can be loving them better. The same holds true if my emotional reactions cause him pain. We both have a responsibility to each other in this way.

"The point is we are not simply our hardwiring otherwise we would still be living in caves and carrying a club. Unless you tell me something different I will presume your husband is not a caveman clubbing his next conquest."

- This has been my point all along. Wink

To your last statement: I imagine many folks on this site think my husband and I are always fighting with each other over these things or that my feelings somehow cause a separation between us. This is actually the farthest thing from the truth. If anything, since our emotions have become common knowledge and we are no longer afraid to speak of them, they have brought us closer and closer. We have immense compassion and unselfish love for each other. Are there moments of frustration? Yes. Are there moments of confusion, pain, etc? Yes. But I believe this is a normal part of truly allowing ourselves to be open and vulnerable and no longer feeling the need to wall up to protect our fragile natures. These things take time and are a process. Avoiding them or deciding not to deal with them will only cause repression and eventual resentment.

We have to first be aware of our emotional states and separate pains before we can dissolve them by working together in love. After all, how can you remove the barnacles from the bottom of a boat if you don't know they are there in the first place?

Barnacles

>After all, how can you remove the barnacles from the bottom of a boat if you don't know they are there in the first place?

True to a point. But I still think that its possible that you are over analysing this LB. I did this too, as many of us have. Seems to be a trait around here. I gradually learned that marnias cupid prescription bypasses much of the agonising over whys and wherefores. You dont say much about your practice but i feel sure that when the pair of you practice karezza and bonding behaviors regularly the ansgts will drop away into a much more manageable background level.

Thinking of you , TH

that's my experience. No more

that's my experience. No more analysis. Actually I have discovered that science shows definitvely that

1. analysis doesn't work (self talk, analyzing what went wrong, who we are, what so-and-so did, what so-and-so should have done, etc.)

2. it feels like it works

3. we endlessly delude ourselves

The solution is simply to understand the biological programs that we run. We do use our minds and our thinking to do that, but beyond that, it's more like pick the program you think will let you suffer the least and enjoy the most, and go. Behavioral at that point, cognitive stuff OFF.

Read Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) to get this full picture of the fact that we endlessly delude ourselves and our analysis and memories are just complete rubbish.

Picking and running the program we want to use is our short cut to being incredibly satisfied in this life.

 

 

Back in the days

When i was doing psychotherapy, i had this inner archetype of a guy in a business suit carrying a brief case. He represented my mind, and he was behaving as a gatekeeper to my life. Filtering all my experience through the mind. I still think of that sometimes.

Dissolve

When someone enters into a spiritual healing process (which karezza is) then it is inevitable that they will have to face their own demons eventually. A life time worth of repressed mental and emotional garbage will start coming up out of the system to be cleared.

So, it is true that as you progress in karezza, and any other spritual healing practices, you will find out where the barnacles are. They will make themselves known to you.

However, the key point to remember is that you only need to face the demons long enough to say goodbye to them. You do not need to struggle with them or even understand them.

To use the barnacle analogy again ...

The conventional thinking is that self healing is hard work. You discover that you have all of these barnacles on the bottom of the boat. Conventional thinking is that you need to put on gloves, grab a tool and start chipping away at them. After much hard work, they will be gone. Then you strategize how to keep them from coming back.

That approach is not necessary.

The better way to do it is to see the barnacles and say "Hmmm. There are barnacles here. These barnacles do not help anything, so I will let them go now." The barnacles attached to your psyche feed off of your energy. If you stop giving them energy, they will die and fall off. Since there is no energy to feed them, they will not come back either.

That is the basic premise of spiritual healing. You stop giving your energy to patterns that do not serve you and those patterns will fade away. Then you consciously direct your energy into new patterns that do serve you.

In my opinion, trying to get your husband to understand why you do not want him to have certain habits is the hard way to approach that issue. That is chipping at the barnacles with a tool.

The better approach is to recognize that you have insecurities in this area (which you already know), recognize that this insecurity does not serve you (which you have already done) and then stop putting energy into that. That last step is the only one left for you to do.

I agree 100% but it's that

I agree 100% but it's that process of letting go - or no longer putting energy into something - that takes time and 'work' (for lack of batter terminology). If it didn't take time and we could all just snap our fingers and be done with our demons, then I'm pretty sure the world would be a far less tumultuous place. And I'm willing to dive in and do whatever work is necessary. I'm not sitting here suffering. I'm consciously endeavoring to understand and be aware.

So I'm in agreement. But... I also won't compromise for less than love as I've said before. I refuse to accept anything less and so far I haven't had to. Louie, you might be familiar with Barry Long's take on compromise. He even makes a point of saying people can't allow themselves to accept less than love because it's not only dishonest but leads to inevitable emotionality that drives people apart.

My personal psychic issues cause me to have certain reactions to my husband's former actions (again, the habits are over). My husband is not to blame for my old wounds. But regardless of those old wounds, withholding sexual energy (for whatever unconscious reason) from your spouse because you've jerked it out over someone else is not love. And I will not now or ever accept it. Because things are different now and my husband has grown out of those habits, the likely reason it's hard for me to let these things go is because of my old wounds. Not because of my husband (he has gone above and beyond) or because I have a need to be right. LOL If only I were that deluded. Life was so much easier when I was concerned with being right and the world was black and white. Oh to be 24 again. :) I realize the issue is with me at this point and I am perpetually working on it and avoiding becoming emotional at the expense of my husband's happiness.

I couldn't care less about being right. And while I'm happier than I've ever been in my life (That's right! I'm happy!) - if I were to find out that happiness was based on something false - what is it really worth? Just because someone ponders things and is vigilant about the state of their relationship doesn't mean they aren't happy.

I'm not sure that makes sense and more often now I'm beginning to see that I am not easily understood. My apologies in advance if things seem unclear or if I seem harsh. Definitely not the case.

Agreed

Agreed. It is not as easy as 1-2-3 to let go. It can take a while. I have spent 3+ years working on letting go of my insecurities around rejection.

In one of his books Adyashanti talks about how truths need to sink in on three different levels. First the mind buys in. That is the easy part. You decide that something makes sense on a logical level. However, your emotions and your habits may still be against it. Then it sinks in at the level of the heart. Now it makes sesne logically, and it feels right. However, your habits may still be against it. The last level is for the truth to sink in at the gut level. It becomes automatic to act in accordance with this new truth.

So, you can chnage your mind about something easily, but living it is something else.

Mediocre Men

It dawns on me that there is another level to this issue. Beyond any personal hang-ups, I am sure that it frustrates most women to know that their men are turning away from true love making and settling for the mediocrity of jerking off to porn. It would be like eating at McDonald's when there is a great restuarant next door that costs less and is much more enjoyable.

I think that is best way to describe my life over the past few years before I learned about tantra and the benfits of conserving my masculine energy. I was mired in mediocrity. Perhaps I felt that was what I deserved.

Maybe. Or maybe you just didn

Maybe. Or maybe you just didn't know any better. I mean, it's not like anyone ever pulls you guys aside and says "Hey man, I know it's hard to pursue a girl and rejection is a real bitch. But seriously, don't get hung up on whacking it. Trust me. Go for the girl and give her your all. Even if you've got to risk your heart." I don't think that happens often if ever. Though maybe it should. Fathers and sons should probably be having these talks.

Instead everyone is so hung up on shame when it comes to sexuality that they'd rather tell dick jokes and giggle like 12 year olds about where all the lotion and tissues went. God forbid anyone actually try to talk about sex in a mature way. Ever try that? Everyone gets all red in the face and inevitably someone takes the first possible opportunity to throw in a joke about butt sex or something else way over the top. Like that's somehow better than facing the truth about sexuality?

I think it's because it really is so sacred and holds the keys to so much that people are so afraid of it. That's why it makes people uncomfortable. It's too much to face - like staring into the sun. So they joke and they blush. And no one gets anywhere except lost in the Victoria's Secret catalog. All this goes back to your original point about mediocrity. Because accepting mediocrity is easy. We'll be miserable, but it's still always easier in many ways to live an unexamined life.

You're a great thinker Louie. Thank you for introducing me to your opinions, your ideas, and your knowledge. There's no way you're mediocre. Wink

I think people clam up

with each other and with their kids because they have all run into the same brick walls and not found a better way. Easier to joke and change directions if you don't have any light to shed on a subject.

I've been talking to people about sex as a separation mechanism due to biology for 20 years and I find that I have some amazingly deep conversations with people...and quickly too. Show them the brick wall they've been hitting, and you get their full attention.

But if you try to reduce their problem to "issues," they know they're on a merry-go-round. Who can blame them for not choosing to ride it with you?

Huh. First of all, merry-go

Huh. First of all, merry-go-rounds are fun. That's sort of the whole point. Second, I don't talk to people about their sex "issues". And if I did, the reason for them clamming up is plain and simple lack of courage in facing the truth of themselves. I'd be willing to bet many people would find it easier to stop coming than to actually admit their selfishness is causing their relationship problems. "All I have to do is stop coming? Oh, thank god. I thought I was finally going to have to admit I'm a jerk." (No offense intended to those forgoing orgasm. I'm thrilled for you and celebrate your happiness with you. ♥) And let me make it clear that I believe seeking orgasm as a means to an end in sex is selfish.

Maybe the reason so many relationships end badly is because people are a bunch of selfish, ignorant, materialistic idiots. We all believe we're entitled to something from someone else. Generally speaking, men expect sex and women expect money and security. And we all expect an end to disappointments and a lifetime of candy coated romance complete with mirrors-on-the-ceiling sex. All of these are selfish and unrealistic expectations.

Lack of compassion and an over abundance of self indulgence are not issues. They are part of the unfortunate modern human condition. More. Better. Different. Consume. Eat. Screw. Buy. Change the mentality and you change the pattern. We are extremely adaptive creatures - more nurture than nature - and we always have been. Children raised by wolves think they are wolves.

I believe love is the only god in the universe. It's real and so much more than mere brain chemicals. Actually, I find that idea preposterous. So maybe I'm in the wrong place here. Maybe this is not the road for me at all.

I notice

I can't help but notice you seem to live in your thoughts...a lot. Our thoughts can constantly replay the same story over and over and with no good outcome. And during our menstrual cycle it becomes even more pronounced.

That is the beauty of being able to experience the kind of tantra/karezza some of us are practicing; it gives us a chance to experience what life can be like, if even for awhile, when we stop our obsessive thoughts and truly allow ourselves to experience our bodies and the present moment. You get a glimpse of what serenity feels like and you want more of it.

And if you're lucky, this will lead to learning how to live this way as much as possible~~just stopping the endless cycle of thoughts for even a few moments and feeling yourself from the inside, your breasts, your essence, the beauty of just *being* is *such* a welcome respite from constantly thinking of either the past or the future or how we are lacking in some way or how we are deserving of this or that~~and you are able to feel a beautiful presence in your life that gives you comfort in knowing everything will always go and always be the way it should and you do not need to worry about it. You just surrender. Whether you are making love or doing the dishes. It's a wonderful way to live.

I agree with you that karezza isn't just about overcoming our biology~~I do think the chemicals can make it *harder* to get to a better place where you can stop the obsessive thoughts. So stopping orgasm (for me) is just an "aid" for me to get to a place where my thoughts don't run (or ruin) my life. Because I do feel our thoughts are what keep most of us from experiencing bliss~~we can be our own worst enemies.

As we endeavor to incorporate

As we endeavor to incorporate the self into our true being, the self inevitably revolts. Yes, during menses this can get more pronounced and more emotion tends to surface. This process of incorporating the self, self love, etc. just happens to be the focus of most of my posts. It's important to get feelings out in the present so they have less chance of becoming harder to remove emotions. These thoughts do not take up my every waking moment. Thank goodness, or I'd never get anything accomplished. LOL Wink

Karezza

Hey LB, last fri you planned to do a two week experiment with Karezza. Did that go like you had planned? Have you both discovered that it is not just a matter of "not coming " but something much much deeper than sex without Os?

It is much more than that.

It is much more than that. Yes! Absolutely! This deeper aspect is already (and has always been) a fixture in our relationship. I think the assumption here has often been that my relationship is in constant turmoil simply because I'm an excessive thinker. We are very happy as I've said many times. We are the couple who is always touching and cuddling and flirting. We spend most of our free time together in some form of bonding. And no, the experiment has yet to begin for various reasons.

I don't mean to sound angry or harsh...

But just in case I come off that way I want to apologize. Perhaps I'm a little more loose tongued because I began my cycle last night. Something about bleeding profusely from one's body seems to cause tact to go out the window. LOL Besides, I'm naturally pretty honest to begin with. Hope you all have a lovely Friday and weekend! Much love! ♥

No need to apologize

If you are saying all of this stuff it is not because of a menstral cycle. It is because you have this bottled up inside of you and it needs to get out. So let it out. If you do not like venting in public then send me PMs with your opinions about the world. I would like to hear them.

It is true that most people are running around trying to fill themselves up with various things. They try to fill themselves up with food, money, sex, electronics, awards, accomplishments, thrills, adventures, children, houses, socializing ... etc, etc, etc. All of this stems from the same basic cause. There is not enough self love in the world. We do not love ourselves enough, and thus we feel empty. When we feel empty, we look for ways to fill ourselves up.

Look at a drug addict. See how he keeps pumping himself full of pills. There is a desperate lack of self love there. The man does not need to be admonished. He does not need pity either. He needs to love himself, and to have faith in himself. If he can manage that, then the perceived need of drugs will just fall away. It will no longer serve a purpose.

The exact same principal applies to masturbation, porn, orgasmic sex and anything else you could care to mention. When a man (or woman) learns to really and truly love themselves, they stop seeking external means of filling themselves up.

Give a man a fish and he he will eat for today. Teach a man to fish and he will never go hungry again.

Give a man love and he will feel loved for today. Teach a man to love himself and he will never feel empty again. In fact, he will overflow with love.

The amazing thing is that once you are truly resting in self love, all of the other stuff becomes more fullfilling as well. Trying to fill yourself up with sex does not work. The ONLY thing that can fill you up is love of self. No other substitutes will work. However, when you have self love, then sex becomes more fulfilling. You come into right relationship with sex. Sex is no longer something that are trying to extract love and meaning FROM. Instead, it becomes something that you express love and meaning THROUGH.

When you have two people both trying to get love from sex, they both come away frustrated. Neither got what they needed. However, it was wrong to think that they could get it that way.

When you have two people fully sourced in their own love of self, and openly sharing that with each other, then something even bigger is created between them. That is divine love making.

"Sex is no longer something

"Sex is no longer something that are trying to extract love and meaning FROM. Instead, it becomes something that you express love and meaning THROUGH."

Yes, yes, yes! I completely agree. I'm having a little yes-gasm over here. LOL This is so true!

Just to clarify,

I think karezza doesn't cover up issues. It creates a safe space for them to bubble up and be healed. I do, however, believe that we often get the cart before the horse today. We get the orgasms and (hopefully) affection the way the mainstream tells us to...and then try to tweak the issues. Yet, when people are willing to work "backward," they often discover that the issues easily dissolve if they take a gentler, less driven approach to sex. Amazing. This is not, however, reducing love to chemicals. It's mere a different way to approach disharmony/harmony.

It's great that you have found a balance that more or less works for you...except for the issue you keep raising.

And I don't blame you for feeling testy. I am directly disagreeing with your worldview. That can make anyone testy. Smile But, I do honestly disagree. I tolerate your lobbying effort for your worldview about how to manage one's sex life, and I appreciate your willingness to tolerate some push back from those of us who are experimenting with an alternative.

I honestly enjoy debate and

I honestly enjoy debate and don't shirk from disagreement. So I appreciate your views and how thinking about them can help me examine my own. I'm not really trying to lobby for anything though. I'm not trying to make anyone else believe what I believe at all. Only speaking my own truth and hoping to hear the same from others. I think this is one of the best ways people learn about themselves. :)

My Thoughts from Reading This Thread

Marnia had the most succinct response I think I have ever heard, "Do you want to be right, or happy?" That is probably about the best question anyone could ever answer in life. I think it would solve roughly 90 percent of all relationship problems on the spot.

You give me the impression that you just always need to be right. What is even worse is that you are a score keeper; you tally up all the things your husband does wrong. You feel put upon because you would be making a sacrifice by meeting him more than halfway. You just can’t let it go. Then you jump into “awfullizing”. That is where a small issue is dwelled upon until you jump to the next awful thing that could happen, then the next and then the next. Your issue is your husband looks at other women, then he will use “harsh word” with you, then he will cheat on you. There is no logical reason for this progression. The only reason he is likely to cheat on you is if you drive him away.

All of these things are relationship killers. You say that you have a loving relationship with your husband, maybe you do. The problem is that a person’s attitude starts seeping into the intonation of what they are saying, not the words but the underlying feeling. The other person will “read” that intonation and start listening to that instead of what you are saying. You need to drive these negative thoughts out of your mind before it is too late.

Marnia, Emerson, Darryl, Treehouse, Louie, Rachel and others have all told you some form of the same thing. We are all challenging your worldview of love and relationships. We are all trying to help you from doing maybe irreparable harm to your relationship.

I find your avatar an interesting clue to your personality, it is black and white. That is how you see the world, black and white; good and evil. This is all or nothing thinking. Life is not black and white, at the very least it has shades of grey in it, and at the very best it is full of color. All art speaks to us; the first question you should ask yourself is why you picked that for your avatar, what it is that picture said to you.

I am Impressed!

Your awesomeness rating just went way up with me. You proved you really paid attention in Analytic Geometry and Calculus classes—a feat in itself. Most people don’t even know the shape has a name let alone what the name is. I think the only people on campus who know it is called a lemniscate are math and engineering majors.

That is truly a great avatar; it signifies to me your potential is unlimited.

Wow. You haven't actually

Wow. You haven't actually read half of what I've written here. Either that or your projecting a lot of your own stuff this way. I actually make my living as an artist, but thanks for the theory lesson. My avatar is a pair of bonding monkeys. I liked the contrast of the animals to the pale green (tonal value is an important element in good art) and the underlying statement about bonding instincts. Plus I liked the subtle reference to the Zen of Yin and Yang. The only clues to my personality are my words, which you have failed to interpret correctly or compassionately.

And as I said before... like 20 posts and a week ago - I don't need to be right. I'm not that young or deluded anymore. I could give two woolly shits about being right. I am happy. Happy that I am true to myself and perusing the purest love imaginable. And black and white? You're telling me I can't have a problem and be happy. You're telling me that I keep score simply because I don't want my husband to want to have sex with other women. Things are never that black and white. Again, ten years ago this was more me. I've learned a lot since then.

"You say that you have a loving relationship with your husband, maybe you do. The problem is that a person’s attitude starts seeping into the intonation of what they are saying, not the words but the underlying feeling. The other person will “read” that intonation and start listening to that instead of what you are saying. You need to drive these negative thoughts out of your mind before it is too late."

I say what I mean and I mean what I say. There is nothing to read into because that would be dishonesty at its best. The underlying feeling is ALWAYS love. And there is no half way when it comes to love. It's either love or it isn't.

By the way, I don't think looking at women will turn into harsh words and cheating. It was an example only - something used to make a point. Literalism is almost always a sign of black and white thinking.

"We are all trying to help you from doing maybe irreparable harm to your relationship."

I never asked anyone to fix anything or save my relationship. It doesn't need saving to begin with. And I wouldn't ask for such a thing for the simple fact that there are no absolutes and we are all in this thing called love together. You *presume* you have answers for me that I never asked you for. I can only speak from my own experience and hope that others do the same. For one reason or another we all have pain to work through. No one can fix it for us. But we can be nurtured along the way with compassion and a willingness for understanding. So please put away your hammer and open up your heart.

How Other People May See You

Sorry LB for not responding more quickly, I’ve been totally slammed the last couple of weeks with school and work before the Thanksgiving break. Back home now so I have a few minutes to blog.

I did read what you wrote as did other people. I think you don’t realize what your writing sounds like to others. It’s sort of like hearing a tape recording of yourself for the first time. Everyone’s reaction is always, “I don’t sound like that.” People hear and see us differently than we see ourselves; usually they see a clearer picture than we do. Most of us got the same impression from your comments; to quote a later post of yours, “Well you see our relationship is actually really great. I keep saying this but no one seems to believe me…” I just ask that you step back and look at yourself as others see you. You may learn a lot from doing so.

As to your Avatar, I did see the Ying and Yang element in it. That is why I commented about the Black and White, the opposites making a whole, as with Ying and Yang there is no middle ground. It is probably a good Avatar for you as I think it connects with you on multiple levels, even ones you don’t realize yet. As an artist you certainly understand multiple layers of meaning in a visual object.

I don’t mean to be cliché, but life is a journey not a destination. Karezza is much the same, you are not headed to a place you are enjoying the travel. No one is trying to fix you, we just all want to help you find the path that brings you the most joyful journey. I hope you find the path that is meant for you.

Hopefully

You can make it to the three week point. I know, it's not easy, it sounds like a goal, but it is worth it, so worth it.
The daily thing is also so very good. When you get over the roller coaster ride of orgasms you will both be amazed!

Well then

You know the drill. Did you notice ant difference in your relationship and was it during daily, as you call it " plug in/ practice"? I like that, plug in/practice! Practice makes perfect. LOL

Well you see our relationship

Well you see our relationship is actually really great. I keep saying this but no one seems to believe me because I don't feel it's a loving action for a man to follow social programming and ogle and desire other women. We are constantly cuddling, kissing, touching, etc. We are always lit up to see each other every afternoon and fall asleep entwined in each other nightly. I am kissed goodbye every morning while I doze in bed. We talk at length about anything and everything. We are the best of friends always. I even get little surprises and planned date nights. So no I didn't notice a difference. Our relationship has always been amazing - with or without orgasms - because we don't prioritize getting off with each other but loving each other as much and as long as possible.

We actually went to a wedding over the summer where someone pulled us aside and asked if we'd just met that night. We laughed and said that we'd been together for years. The woman said "Wow, you two looked so taken with each other, I thought for sure you'd just fallen in love".

Insecure or just ungrateful?

[ I keep saying this but no one seems to believe me because I don't feel it's a loving action for a man to follow social programming and ogle and desire other women.

In light of your description of your relationship I would say what you are doing is making a mountain out of a mole hill and in reality it's a pretty minor issue,remember, "don't sweat the small stuff"!
Sounds to me like you've got it made, kissed in bed every morning while you doze off, c'mon, do you know how many women get that luxury? If I were you I would thank God for your blessings and be grateful for what you have instead of worrying about "his desires for other women", do you think you may have some insecurity issues? Does he ever follow through to satisfy those desires you mention?

Lisa, you remind me of myself

Lisa, you remind me of myself - always trying to understand the big picture, wrap my brain around this whole male/female thing. The problem is that in order to do that, you have to conceptualize individuals, groups of people, and therefore, potentials. Here is the story I am hearing you tell yourself, "It makes me feel like no matter what I do - no matter how sweet, pretty, affectionate, sexually open, etc. I am - that my partner will ALWAYS be on the look out and at the ready for something more, better, different. How is this love?" First of all, the sensence you read "It’s true that men are wired to seek variety. The mind says we need a fresh partner" didn't MAKE you feel your partner will always look for something more - that sentence helped you to reinforce your choice to believe that that's all men are really capable of, and that you are therefore doomed. True love could give a rat's ass about men as a category. True love is just looking for the perfect love for you, the man who will break through your misconceptions, who WILL be the exception. When we categorize anyone, we are being very violent. When we categorize men, we not only limit our potential and their potential, we make less room for love. So when you categorize men, I ask, How is that love? If you want love, you have to be love, FIRST. If you want the reflection, the mirror, to show you your Love, you have to be that love FIRST.

I only point this out because I can relate to it so well. I'm actually still a little bewildered I managed to hoodwink this part of myself - the saboteur. It's an odd phenomenon how human beings sabotage themselves by telling ourselves stories we don't like and don't want to live out. We tell stories like these to ourselves because our hearts hurt. We think that by figuring out what is going on with the painful part, the unresolved part, doing that hard work, our heart will heal when it gets the answers it wants. Actually, the part of our heart that is healed always has been and always will be, we just have to start paying attention to it. The part of our heart that is hurt is looking to be hurt again, because it only knows what it means to hurt. And when we feed the hurt, we keep the hurt alive. Negative stories keep our hurt hearts happy. A hurting heart is happiest when it hurts.

Actually I've found in personal experience, trying to heal the hurt heart doesn't work. The quest to resolve the pain by continuing to investigate it reinforces it. Then, when love comes knocking on the door, ready to blast our beliefs, concepts, pain, and hurt to smithereens, and to remind us of the wholeness we already are, we get really scared because we realize we actually can experience our heart's desire - but at the expensive cost of giving up our crutches and resentments. We then have two choices -1) shutting out love because love doesn't let us keep our malnourished views of men, potential, etc, or 2) embracing love and becoming healed. Usually when we choose love, it comes in one initial burst that is reorganizing, but the hurt and pain story comes back up, tries to sabotage the love. The great thing is that if the pain story has been shattered once, when it comes back, it does so much less coherently. It can be seen for what it is - a limited, outdated belief system that does nothing to serve you, and never did.

I don't personally believe there is any objective truth about "men" being this way, and "women" being that way. Of course there are trends that we can choose to focus on if we are looking for a conceptual conclusion when speaking in broad terms about these things - but life, and love, rejoice in the diversity and the exceptions to these rules. That is where love manifests. So while what science says is true may be used by you to reinforce a story you don't even enjoy, realize this is self-sabotage and not Truth, even if the observation is true most of the time. The truth is that when you are open to Love, truly READY FOR IT, none of that stuff really matters, or is relevant anymore.

I don't mean, by saying this, that you should dismiss your pain. I personally know that there is a way to feel pain, to REALLY GRIEVE, without continuing to tell yourself such a limiting story. In fact, I don't think I would have found my beloved if I had not so deeply allowed myself to grieve. But let's not confuse conceptual masturbation or the mind's ability to hijack your pain body, with the raw experience of the pain itself, the willingness to love it and accept it. Bringing tenderness to the pain rather than more conceptual baggage. That's the sad part - how we hurt ourselves with our own beliefs. If you want to find the true love of your life, accept your pain and bring it tenderness, care for it not with investigations or proofs, but with absolute sensitive presence.

FWIW

I find this question to be a tough one. I try to respect and admire women without having my eyes bulge out of my head but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to lapses. What I have learned, with the passage of time, is to put the brakes on and keep my attention focused in a positive way.

Men tend to be visually stimulated, plain and simple. We see, we want. It's out job, as civilized humans to keep this in check. Once again, plain and simple. The fact is that any man will meet many attractive females in his lifetime and, hopefully, learns at some point in time that he has to make peace with the whole thing. Amazingly, it can be done, but it's not necessarily easy.

I have concluded, based upon life-experience, that many women are deeply troubled by their mate's wandering eye. My job is to do my best to keep this from happening.

I am certain that there is more to us than that which can be explained physically. The battler between our "animal selves" and our "higher nature" has been going on for a while now. A clear cut winner has yet to emerge. :)