Thursday, October 29, 2009

Robert Augustus Masters - Some Suggestions for Sex in Intimate Relationship

Robert Augustus Masters is perhaps the best and widely unknown integral psychotherapist working. Others talk a great game, but Masters is the real deal. In this article from his most recent newsletter, he talks about sex and intimacy, an issue all of us can be better at in our relationships.

You'll want to pay attention to this - here you get the truth, the "talk" our fathers should have given us. If you can learn these skill, your partner will be begging to have more sex with you.


1. Open Your Eyes

Be conscious before sex, during sex, and after sex. Open your eyes to whatever is going on during sex besides the erotic; do not pull away to thus see, but let your looking be as intimate as it is focused. Stay present, stay vital, and stay committed to being fully engaged with each other. If you see or feel yourself and/or your partner getting mechanical, step in, interrupt, and redirect the energetic flow, making your connection with each other more important than any sexual payoff.

Have enough light in the room — a single candle may be enough — to be able to see each other’s eyes. For at least some of the time, keep eye contact with each other, letting your gaze be open, relaxed, and present. Sometimes during orgasm, keep full eye-contact, allowing yourself total vulnerability and freedom of expression. At times when you gaze into each other’s eyes, you will see only personality; other times, you will see far more; and sometimes you will see everything. Let it be.

When sex becomes an ecstatically intimate, wide-awake loving, we will find ourselves in a depth at once familiar and beyond all description, a depth inviting us to walk through it hand in hand, hearts as one, minds but pure space, our flesh but energy fluctuating between electrifyng joy and unshakable peace. Open eyes.

2. Stop Making Orgasm So Important

Orgasm tends to be as overrated as it is misunderstood.

First of all, orgasm is not necessarily equivalent to ecstasy. It is often not anything more than the pleasurable rupturing and dissolution of erotic buildup, having more to do with a craved maximizing of erotic sensation than with genuine sexual intimacy. When orgasm follows sex that was primarily engaged in for the purpose of making us feel better, then it is mostly just pleasurable release, however intense it might be. Orgasm is ecstatic when sex is ecstatic, and sex is only ecstatic when we come to it already loose and happy, already open and unpressured, already unburdened by any craving to have something special occur. (By ecstasy, I mean an intensification and expansion of happiness, not situational happiness — or the kind of happiness that depends on something in particular occurring, like winning a load of money — but the happiness that is inherent to Being.)

We cannot stimulate ourselves into ecstasy, even through the most intensely arousing sexual rituals or practices. The very peak of sexual excitation positions us for the release for which we’ve been aching, the thrilling discharge of whatever tension that we may have sexually generated. Orgasm, the promised payoff, the eruption of the peak, the Big Moment, the little death, the all-too-brief break from mental chatter, the sleeping pill par excellence, and so on — but with whatever we might associate it, orgasm is not necessarily ecstasy. If what precedes orgasm is less than ecstatic, then orgasm is at best but a bolt or flood of intense pleasure, a few waves of delicious thrill, very soon to be but a cul-de-sac of quickly spent excitation.

Ecstasy is not addictive. Only when we have turned away from ecstasy do we get addictive, creating dependency-relationships with whatever promises to deliver to us some relatively convincing semblance of ecstasy. In the absence of ecstasy, eroticism holds immense appeal, with orgasm being its star attraction.

When sex is ecstatically loving, orgasm is not discontinuous with what precedes it, but rather is an explosively felt intensification of full-bodied mutual happiness, an overwhelmingly blissful explosion throughout our entire being, streaming, rushing, and expanding with delicious force and abandon as if from our very core, pouring and flooding up through our heart (sometimes even beginning there), both enveloping and expanding our body from the inside out, until we are but sentient energy in profoundly loving, indescribably intimate communion with our partner. Orgasm as such is inherently rejuvenating.

Typical orgasm, however, is very different. In men, it does not rejuvenate, but rather only drains (and here I’m talking about orgasm which includes ejaculation), regardless of its intensity. Orgasm for men is often no more than a discharge of excess or built-up energy, an emptying of tension, a pleasure-spasm soon followed by enervation and a dulling drowsiness. Orgasm cannot enliven us if love is not present, and nor can it fill the whole body if there is any holding back, physical or emotional or otherwise, anywhere in us. Even at the moment of ejaculation, many men (especially in me-centered relationships) tend to control themselves, repressing their vulnerability, merely emptying themselves of their desire, no longer pumping any energy into a display of apparent intimacy. By not remaining heart-open and emotionally naked, they force the energy of orgasm to dissipate itself in their legs, pelvis, and head, thereby sedating their system.

Typical orgasm drains women in a different way. Its soporific or stress discharging effect may still be present, but is usually not so strong or central as is an underlying dissatisfaction, a suddenly naked sense of emotional and perhaps also spiritual loneliness, which may lead to a longing for either more distraction (sexual and otherwise), or for some real intimacy. The pleasure and relief of orgasm may mask this, but usually not for long.

Don’t try for bigger or better orgasms. Rather, do the necessary work to go into sex already loving, vital, and vulnerable. Make connection with your partner priority. Get naked and stay naked. Allow your sexual times with your partner to be not orgasm-aimed, but rather orgasmic, moment to-moment sensually and sexually lovingly alive. Don’t go for orgasms; let them come to you, and when they do, give yourself wholly over to them, even as you invite your partner into the heart of your joy.

3. Let the Whole Relationship Be Foreplay

In me-centered relationships, foreplay is a job, a preliminary, a warmup, a preparatory ritual, more often than not mechanical. In we-centered relationships, foreplay is still mostly a job, but is delivered with more care, being more of a mutually connected undertaking.

In being-centered relationships, by contrast, foreplay ceases to be a separate or preliminary practice. The whole relationship is foreplay. Each conversation, each touch, each greeting, each challenge, in some way keeps the juices flowing. There is no effort to be erotic, no turn-on strategies, no manipulation — but there is great passion, effortless and often instantaneous arousal, and a deep capacity for mutual ecstasy, unburdened by any pressure to get sexual.

The relationship during sex is the very same relationship outside of sex, lit by the same deep recognition of each other. Such profoundly loving recognition is the foundation for the deepest sex of all.

4. Be Emotionally Naked

Take off more than your clothes. Don’t just settle for bare flesh meeting bare flesh. Get wet, and not just physically. The more open you and your partner are emotionally, the deeper and more life-giving the sex. Be emotionally naked, and show it. Don’t just say “I love you” dutifully or mechanically — say it (assuming that it is natural to say it at the time) from your core, sensing and expressing the essential significance of each word.

Get vulnerable and stay vulnerable. This is especially important for us men; if we do not allow ourselves to be vulnerable, then only part of us — mostly cranial and penile — will be participating. If we truly want depth, then we need to leave the shallow end of the pool, without necessarily knowing what we’ll encounter as we venture forth.

Get your heart into being fully vulnerable; there is not a more powerful aphrodisiac than mutual full-blooded and totally unguarded love. When your heart is open and your belly is loose and your voice unrestricted, the energy that has built up in your genitals can flood upward through your belly into your heart, throat, skull, and beyond. The more emotionally open you are, the deeper your sexual experience will be.

Feeling and expressing an unqualified, emotionally naked yes! for your partner, along with a simultaneously arising gratitude and wild yet love-centered lust, enlivens the whole body and more, so that when sex gets going, its palette is our entire self.

5. Increase the Polarity

Assuming that there’s already a deeply shared intimacy, the more male he is, the more female she will be, and vice versa. It is easy (and not uncommon!) to get more androgynous as we journey more fully into our spirituality; this may be fine when we’re doing solitary practice or are in professional mode at work, but not so fine when it comes to our intimate relationship.

For men, it is crucial that they contact and fully embody their core adult masculinity, reclaiming their balls without losing touch with their heart, so that they are simultaneously capable of great erotic presence and equally great tenderness. As he becomes more fully present, more strongly anchored in love, integrity, and his essential masculinity, he becomes not only more trustworthy to his partner, but also more attractive, so that she can open more fully to him, with the result that their lovemaking becomes much, much more than just a mechanical ritual or exercise.

As women contact and embody their core adult femininity, bringing a deeply centered power to their heartfulness, they become more capable of opening fully; and at the same time, their inner radar will be so clear that any shift in their partner will be immediately obvious to them. If he, for example, loses some presence or gets a bit mechanical or goal-oriented during sex, she will call this to his attention without hesitation, giving him the gift of her compassion, however strongly she might deliver it.

There can be great polarity between immature lovers, but it is mostly just a polarity of sensation (as well as being poorly grounded). Upping the stimulation can produce enough erotic tension to set off some powerful orgasms — but so what? A juicy fire — lots of heat, but usually not much light or genuine closeness. Intense sensation, however pleasurable, is not really all that satisfying, for it leaves out too much of us.

The polarity between being-centered partners can be mind-blowingly great, since it hypervividly highlights (and simultaneously celebrates) the differences between male and female in every dimension — which only increases the longing, the enormously rich longing, for the two to meet as deeply as they possibly can.

There’s an indescribably sweet aching in this, for both lovers are keenly aware of how short their time is together, and the more intensely vivid the polarity between them, the more powerful and satisfying and illuminating their encounter.

6. Don’t Separate Sex from the Rest of Your Relationship

What we do sexually may seem very different from what we do in the rest of our relationship, but it is in fact simply a reflection, however energetically magnified, of our overall relationship. What is not working in our relationship will show up in our sex life, no matter how much our sex life may seem to be a “solution” to or escape from the rest of our relationship. Once we stop trying to isolate our sexual relationship from the rest of our relationship — and deal skillfully with whatever’s not working there — we become more conscious during sex, so that it becomes not only a time of deeply felt connection, erotic and otherwise, but also a time of discovering, uncovering, and recovering.

7. Connect Before, During, and After Sex

Instead of trying to find connection through sex with your partner, come to sex already connected — that is, already feeling intimate — with your partner. If you don’t feel close to your partner, don’t then go for sex, but rather mutually face and work through whatever’s obstructing your closeness with each other.

If you start to lose connection during sex — as can happen when we slip into fantasy or try to make things go a certain way — interrupt whatever you’re doing sexually, and let your partner know what is going on with you, and stay with it until you are both reconnected, even if this means not resuming your lovemaking. This is not about shaming or blaming, but about simply changing gears.

Staying connected after sex does not mean dutifully trying to be close, but rather making your connection with each other such a priority that you are held in the circle of each other’s loving embrace, even when that circle expands infinitely.


Anonymous said...

excellent, excellent blog

Ken said...

William, I agree with you that he is too little known, especially in the integral community. He goes really deep whereas Deida only hints at some points or indulges in hyperbole. I've read most of Masters' newer books and learned a lot of them.

Ken (Berlin, Germany)