Emerson is depressed

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Yesterday morning, I woke up and we snuggled and cuddled. I tried to get her sexually excited. She let me stimulate her vulva and clit a bit and I think if we had had more time she would have become into it. I didn't try to take or in any way, with either words, looks or anything. Then we got up.

It feels weird to just do this without taking it further but it is exactly the right thing to do. I can feel how right it is.

At one point we kissed and gazed into each other's eyes and it was so nice. It's so important not to have any pressure from me this way. All good.

I felt flat and depressed yesterday. Very unusual for me. Don't know why. This morning I think I have my finger on it.

I'm feeling sexually frustrated. Sparkles went to sleep last night and as she was reading she drove me crazy with her hand running all over my body. I'm not sure how much she was really reading. If she is doing that why read? Why not just pay attention to what she was doing? It was quite erotic though.

I told her that and she instantly tensed up and I said, that doesn't mean we have to have sex and she relaxed.

I thought, wow, there is a lot of conditioning that I've caused here, negative stuff.

This morning I woke up very early as usual and hung aroundu until she woke up. Then we started messing around. And then it was time to get up. No mention of sex. It is so difficult but I don't say anything. I don't indicate interest in sex by looks or anything I say.

This is very tough for me and I realize that it is causing a lot of internal conflict inside. I guess that's good. I feel kind of depressed again this morning and I think this is the reason.




I've heard you rationalizing that your sex life will get better if you incorporate more traditional foreplay. Frankly, I doubt that, but the reason is that I have made the same experiments you are now making...for the same reasons. *chuckle* Everyone has to make these experiments, I suspect.

The truth is that it's the deepening connection and sensitivity that seems to work the magic of karezza, but that cannot be rushed. And we driven types don't want to hear that.

Make your experiments if you will, but be honest with yourself about the results you are getting, and keep an open mind about which choices cause which effects. Cause and effect is very confusing in sex. The immediate "reward" of intense arousal fools us every time.

this is one reason I value this forum so much

I write everything that I can think of in as honest a way possible. And then smarter people pick something that sheds light I never would have noticed.

I mean, I have thought that there is something not so right about trying to get her aroused this way, in the Karezza Tantra sense.

I remember Sood's comment recently to the effect that I am really moving very fast and maybe my partner isn't moving as fast as me but she's more normal :)

I do see progress. I *know* that this "no pressure zone" thing I'm doing is exactly what I need to do. And I'm doing it...but this is a cheat in a sense, isn't it.

I guess I will add this to my growing list of "dont' do this" -- no more of that stimulation stuff trying to arouse my partner so she will ask me for sex :)

It hasn't felt really right anyway. It's a way of cheating on my "vow" not to ask for sex.



Hang in there Emerson, let

Hang in there Emerson, let her come to you in her own way, her own timing. I agree, pass on the stimulation stuff. I really believe thsi will all pan out in a very positive way. YOU CAN DO IT MAN!

I'm interested in your

I'm interested in your reaction to your wife running her hand over you while reading. There's a couple things this makes me think about. One is a memory of doing something similar to a previous lover. We were lying down beside each other and talking and I was running my hand around on his face/beard. I remember it felt soothing to me, as touch usually does, but it was driving him nuts. He asked if I was aware of what I was doing. I said no, and he told me not to touch him unless I'm conscious of what I'm doing. At the time I felt hurt that my touch could cause him frustration, but now it makes sense to me that when you are sensitized and present (through Karezza or in my former lover's case, that seemed to be his natural state), then touch that isn't conscious or present would be more stimulating and you could receive that as erotic or irritating. Since I've become more aware of that distinction, I definitely find conscious touch far more pleasurable.

Although your situation is likely very different, this also reminds me of some of my sexual fantasies that I was having while I was with my husband. Disconnection and lack of presence was omnipresent in my relationship with him by that point. The fantasies often revolved around someone turning me on while I'm engaged in something completely different, like reading or working on the computer. Thinking of that now, I find it very curious how disconnection and unconscious stimulation can lead to heightened arousal. When I think of it now, I was often getting aroused with him trying to arouse me while I was pre-occupied, although I never consciously acknowledged it to him or myself. If it was conscious, I was consciously shutting that down.

Anyhow, your post got me thinking lots. Don't know if that's relevant for you at all.

Maybe there is more dopamine

Maybe there is more dopamine released if one phases out a partner. Perhaps the brain gets more stimulated through fantasy or just heightened self-focus. That has a porn quality. It might start with a partner's conscious or subconscious motivation to heat up the situation. This could be a well-intentioned desire to heighten pleasure. There must be an anti-presence or whatever we want to call the opposite of presence.

Hmm.. I wonder if it might be

Hmm.. I wonder if it might be more like rape fantasy - there's an element of disconnecting from the body, and giving the body over to be played with. There's a separation from the mind - the mind is occupied elsewhere (reading, working) while the body is being used for pleasure, with no real connection to the person stimulating the body. In fact the lack of connection to that person seems important as well. Maybe the dopamine is higher because there isn't the oxytocin from connection there to add some balance.

Two sides of the same coin?

Two sides of the same coin? Rape often induces a survival of self detachment up until the severity at which memory is entirely blank (body still knows, but the mind doesn't). Detachment could be a sort of voluntary form of that. Taking that a step further, hot sex could be connected in some way too.

Is the rape induced shutdown purely fear based or is there some need to shut down because of the irreconcilability of the rape occurring while the dopamine circuitry firing? Is that always how this sort of shut down works?

Marnia, have you stumbled into anyone researching these connections?

never would have occurred to me

but you're right. And last night I made it a point to have my partner do it with presence, the same thing she had done the night before. And it was very, very pleasurable but not erotic.

I wonder why this is and what's going on? Doesn't matter.

I'm pretty sure the "low attention" way qualifies as edging and it isn't good for me and I'm not going for it anymore.

I am grateful for your post because I hadn't realized this before and it is true for me -- something about the low attention caressing turned me on and it really isn't good for my brain or my psyche.

I'm really happy that this

I'm really happy that this was useful for you, especially since these things I'm learning are reflections on things I didn't understand when I actually experienced them. I can't wait to 'try out' these lessons myself with my next lover!

I just read your more recent post too and am happy to hear how things are progressing, especially with her becoming more comfortable with her breasts. Btw, Diana Richardson's book just arrived...it's on my bed ready to curl up with!

depressed again today

I am still suffering some of the aftermath of a major business problem. It's pretty much resolved but there is some fallout from it which I suppose is really bumming me out.

And also I will just be blunt -- I feel kind of emotional right now. I yo yo around with my partner--she's not that into sex, this is a long term proposition, I'm more into her than she is into me for sure.

Even when we had intercourse yesterday I sensed it was for as short a time as it could be for and then she had to go to exercise class. Today she woke up late and we didn't even have a real hug.

I sound like a girl -- there, I said it. UGH!!! This is VERY difficult for me -- to completely give her space and not show in any way what I want her to do. But I'm doing it. It's tough though.


[quote=freedom]Remember, you're accountable for how you feel. It can be tough to hear the noise as music. What's wrong with being emotional? Men aren't dead.[/quote]

I'm not accountable for how I feel. That's impossible.

Being emotional sucks. I'm trying to do more of the Richardson stuff of getting rid of feelings when they start up.


I didn't understand the

I didn't understand the Richardson's emotion versus feeling book to suggest that feeling leads into emotion. We feel and sometimes things trigger an old emotion. One tries to keep emotion and feeling separate so as not to act from emotion. I don't recall her suggesting not feeling or quashing feelings.

I've been more emotional too for some time. This is good in a way. I feel more and also have to cleanse some of the older stuff buried in there. Eventually, the dust might settle.

A tangent: It's puzzling that many women see men as living a better or at least fairer existence. If given the choice, many men would take a lifestyle cut to feel more. I suspect the glass ceiling is there more because women hit a point where their feelings limit their actions from being yang enough to go further. If true, men don't hold women down other than by acting so yang. They can't act less yang because they are numb. How exactly alpha male became numb, yang male is unclear. Maybe when enough men get on this karezza path we'll begin to learn more.


[quote=emerson] This is VERY difficult for me -- to completely give her space and not show in any way what I want her to do. But I'm doing it. It's tough though.[/quote]

When you say you are expressing no interest or preferences concerning your wife's behaviour towards you, it's likely to be only partly true. Unless you are genuinely - that is, on all levels of your being - disinterested in how your wife acts, she will 'know' your hidden motives, either consciously or unconsciously.

Most communication goes on beneath the surface. Only a tiny fraction of what we truly mean is revealed by what we say or do. The rest shines through and is as easy for others to read as an open book, even if they're unaware they're reading it. 

Until you genuinely don't mind how she acts, she will know only too well that you do mind. Once you genuinely don't mind, although she will know this - and I'm sure, appreciate it - it may not make her any more likely to change.

Of course, if you do genuinely not mind, it won't matter if she doesn't change, as you would be happy with her as she was!

From what I understand, the way we feel - emotionally - is the direct consequence of the way we think. It's difficult to control, or even steer, our thoughts, so we can end up feeling bad, if things aren't going as we want, and we get into a spiral of negativity. If you're having thoughts along the lines of, "she's not (and never will be?) as enthusiastic about this as me", running through your head, it will inevitably make you react, because her relative disinterest is not the outcome you desire.

I've been in these sorts of situation, needing to genuinely stop caring about outcomes I desire, in the hope that, by not desiring them, I make them more likely to come about; while knowing that that 'hope' is the major impediment to useful progress, but also that without it there wouldn't be any 'situation' in the first place.

The conclusion I've come to is that, not being a saint, I can only genuinely stop caring on a temporary, conditional basis. In other words, I can not mind about a preferred outcome for a limited period of time, so long as I know that once that period is over, I can revert to minding again - assuming I still want to. That way, either nothing changes and I go back to feeling frustrated again; nothing changes but I stop caring about it; or I get my preferred outcome.

This seems to give full scope to the possibility of change taking place because I am no longer pushing for it, while at the same time reserving my options in case change doesn't take place and I decide to start pushing again in the future. There are plenty of examples in my married life of changes for the better brought about by one or other of us 'pushing' for what we wanted, and eventually getting it - many of them after periods of 'not caring' about the outcome.

So, maybe, if you've committed yourself to one month of no intercourse initiated by you, you could try to genuinely 'not mind' if your wife shows little interest in initiating it herself, knowing you were giving it your best chance, and you could review the situation at the end of that time.

Although, on the surface, that's what you're already doing, your posts seem to indicate your preferred outcome is still dominating your thinking.

This is great. I agree. I met

This is great. I agree. I met a woman who was in a rocky separated period in a long-term relationship. I was confused about my attraction and yet fought to keep space because I knew she loved this other guy. Eventually, I managed to resolve to a not knowing place and removed any attachment to an outcome. Soon after that, she got engaged. The timing seemed coincidental. I was amazingly happy, perhaps in a way I would be for family or someone I know much better. I feel more loving than I did during what was perhaps a more attractive phase. I still don't understand or know beyond certainty that I am grateful to have shared space-time with this woman.

@emerson, are you watching how you are changing? Maybe the doors are in you. Those are the only ones you can ever control or perhaps fully understand. Rather than waiting for her to open a door to allow you as you see yourself now to enter, what about evolving into the person that is more suitable to that door if it opens? This will allow her to come toward you in ways that she can choose and you might not be able to predict.

yeah I'm there to the greatest extent possible, Sood

of course there are subconcious vibes that I put out. I can't help that. But in my heart, I don't want to be a participant at this point in a one sided intercourse situation. So really and truly, I'd rather not. And although I'm always and still probably the pushy partner in a subconscious way, I am breaking the pattern as best I can for this month.

Caring about the outcome? Yeah, well, I care about the outcome but I'm finding it helpful to care about the longer term outcome, which is to be more in sync, and not the short term outcome, which is to have intercourse. Since that is what I *really* want, it is very difficult to do this but it is possible, without sending "let's have intercourse or I'll be disappointed" vibes.


Think you could be caught in/reacting to her latest post-O cycle? Read back through your posts. I think you'll see a pattern. This mood will pass in a couple of weeks. Draw no major conclusions about the potential in your relationship until then.

today I was bad at it

Really crappy at the whole no-pressure thing.

It just is so, so frustrating right now. Putting out pressure and needy vibes. Trying not to but it didn't work today. I can modify my behavior but not my inside emotions. But at least there's that.

We had intercourse today but it just isn't really much fun.

Give it a couple of weeks

Sparkle's sparkle will return. Don't expect much until her hangover passes. And stop feeling sorry for yourself. You coaxed her into that orgasm, my friend. You have to pay the price. Don't separate the two events, or you will constantly feel like a victim, when you're actually the "perp." wink