Do you ever wonder about sex?
When I wrote that question, I thought of my own life and there have probably been a couple of occasions when I wondered about sex. Firstly, as a teenager, wondering what it would be like to experience sex for the first time. Secondly, as an older man coming out as gay, I wondered what it would be like to have sex with another man. Apart from these times, I haven’t spent much time wondering about sex, except why it was so unavailable when I wanted it most.
As men, we are fairly pragmatic about things. We tend not to spend much time wondering. If there is a problem, we want to get it sorted. It’s the age-old communication issue between men and women. Women share a problem wanting emotional connection and support, men hear a problem to resolve and then wonder why their partners have got annoyed with them.
We take the same pragmatic approach to sex, it is about "getting our rocks off”; “blowing our load”. Being horny is a problem to solve. This is fine when we are younger and have the advantage of higher testosterone levels, a quicker recovery time and usually more opportunities to hook up on the various apps.
Yet, despite “getting our rocks off” and solving the problem of being horny, we can still feel unsatisfied and dissatisfied, for sex is often more than a physical urge to solve. Sex is ultimately about connection and ecstasy. When you think back to the best sex you have had, it is often because there has been a connection with the person you are with, whether it was a one-night stand, a casual partner or a life partner. There has been a connection that allows you to feel seen and be intimate in a way that doesn’t happen with other “randoms” or one-night stands.
We all crave ecstasy. Much of our drug taking is an attempt to reduce psychological pain and find ecstasy. Within the sexual act we attempt to break down the boundaries between ourselves and the other person and find that ecstatic union that is the stuff of much romantic literature.
The ability to wonder is necessary to achieve ecstasy. In wonder, we lose our pragmatism, we lose our desire for a solution and we simply wonder.
So, I ask again, when was the last time you wondered in the sexual act? Was your partner simply the object you used to achieve orgasm, or did you wonder at the texture of his/her skin, the softness of his/her lips? Did you listen to his or her breathing as he/she rode the waves of pleasure, did you marvel at how his/her body responded to your touch?
Sexual health and mental health, requires the ability to wonder. So I would encourage you, as you engage in your love making - make space for wonder, allow yourself to be caught up in the wonderment of the act of loving another person.