Experience with the Ecstatic Exchanges
My wife and myself started working the exercises about 6 days ago and actually are on exchange 6 today. My wife was skeptical after reading the book but we agreed that it was time to try something different in the relationship. After 5 years of dating and 5 years of marriage and ten years of ups and downs, the roller coaster drama was insane. We both had been married before and brought enough scars and baggage to kill an ordinary relationship, not to mention blending a family with three teenagers, and the fact that ours survived at all is a testimony to the power of the human spirit. We have had other kinds of training and were well versed in other forms of the Exchanges but somehow things have been magical so far. Just doing touch without an expectation of either reward or rejection has made an enormous difference for both of our comfort levels and I would recommend anyone wanting to do intimacy work. We have experimented with non-ejaculatory sex before, although not in a dedicated sense but I think I do have some questions on whether non orgasmic sex is necessary-although just the mind set that the goal is touch and peaceful comfort, not sperm, is essential I suspect.
I personally think your writings are important because they give a scientific explanation to the process of sexual obsession, which is most often described as a weakness of character, rather than physiological issue. The wonderful and for those struggling with misguided sexuality, hopeful thing about your 're-program' is that it is not a white knuckled withdrawal but a gentle and compassionately based substitution. There doesn't have to be pain, privation, and shame involved to change behaviors that isolate the person and destroy relationships, and the reward is better for everyone involved including the "addict". Anyone who knows about addiction, sex, drugs, alcohol, food, whatever, will tell you that the fix, and 'jonesing' for the fix, and the resulting shame is a slice of Hell, made all the worse by isolation.
My spouse is opening to a newer and higher level of comfort in her own sensuality than I ever thought possible. I am feeling more relaxed and at peace in the relationship than I thought possible. I feel a constant buzz of sexual energy which for me feels like I have had a couple of double expressos-not bad or uncomfortable but different in some way. I walk around with a kind quiet clarity that I have experienced only at moments of peak experience or altered state,(or from what I have been told about altered states-I never inhaled). I had read that tantric practice could be transforming but didn't have any expectation that it might actually be so. I can't tell if I am succumbing to some sort of halo effect or if it is real.
My partner and I continue the Exchanges, now in the second phase, and it has been marvelous, in the strictest sense of the word. We had intercourse last Friday night/ Saturday morning and it was a golden moment for both of us - although we were sexual for at least six hours on and off. And no, nobody had an orgasm per se! Although altered states seemed to abound. I don't know that we have been this close in the ten years we have been partners. I still have my doubts about abandoning orgasm absolutely but so far, the last six weeks have been the best consistently-loving time period of our relationship. If anyone has any doubts about trying it, don't. Instead of going crazy from the lack of release, I think maybe we have become sane. (From the "Peace" Chatroom, forerunner of the Forum) (Male reader)