By Michael Kimmel
Sex is great right? Lots of fun. Easy, no problems. Always available when you want it. Your libido is strong and will do whatever you want, whenever you want. You can have great sex several times a day with any number of hot men and/or women who come your way.
Yeah, maybe if you live in a porn video.
In real life, sex isn’t always great and often creates unhappiness. Whether we’re single or coupled, sex is an important part of our lives that sometimes doesn’t work so well for us.
What can you do?
For the best sexual experiences, I recommend balancing the desires and demands of your heart, mind, and genitals (what I call “The Three Musketeers”). For example, when you meet someone and feel an attraction, how and when do you decide to have sex with them? Is it right off the bat, when your heart and mind barely know them? Or is it later on, when your libido has been moderated by the wisdom of your mind and the feelings in your heart?
Whether you’re looking for a lifetime partner or someone just for tonight, you want the sex to be good, right? So, how can you have a sex life where your heart, mind, and genitals are all working together? Let’s take a closer look at The Three Musketeers.
Emotions and feelings are the provenance of your heart. So, when you’re getting to know someone, take some time and check in with yourself. Do you feel good around this person? Do they make you feel attractive? Are you happy and relaxed around them? This is your heart speaking.
People who are stuck in addictive, repetitive sex are rarely in touch with their emotions. Their genitals are running wild without any emotional connection to the people they have sex with. Their emotional, heart-centered needs never get satisfied, so they keep looking for the next hookup and the next one after that.
Sound like anyone you know?
Without having your heart involved in a sexual relationship — whether it’s a one-night stand or marriage — the sex is likely to be meaningless and leave you feeling empty and alone.
When you masturbate, what fantasies do you have and of whom? What are these people saying and doing to you (and vice-versa)? This is all in your mind; it’s all your thoughts. Thoughts create feelings, and the feelings work in harmony with erotic physical sensations. The result? Great sex.
Whether you’re with someone, or alone, a crucial component of great sex is your mind.
Yet, sometimes your mind gets in the way of wonderful sex and you spend too much time thinking, judging, analyzing and obsessing. We all have lots of “voices” in our head, and sometimes they fight each other.
For example: you meet someone attractive and a voice says, “There’s potential here with this person, they’re a lot nicer/smarter/funnier than I expected … could they be partner material?”
You may also hear another voice: “Oh yeah, right, like this hookup is going to turn into a deep, meaningful relationship. Don’t be an idiot, move on!”
You might hear both voices giving you conflicting advice simultaneously. These internal debates often keep us stuck. At times like this, call on your heart for help. Don’t let your mind talk you out of something good!
And what about your genitals? When should you listen to them? Watching porn, you’d think that perfect bodies and great orgasms are all that count. Very few porn videos show more than genitals in charge — the heart and mind have been left behind.
While our libido/sex drive is a powerful force, we don’t need to let it run our lives. Just because we can have lots of sex, will it bring us satisfaction? When we’re conscious about the role our heart, mind and genitals play in our sex life, we can maintain a good balance of the three. Sure, some days the balance may be a bit skewed, but overall, the best sexual experiences are those where your mind is attracted to someone, your heart feels a good connection, and your genitals get just the right amount of attention too.
Hooray for The Three Musketeers!
— Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit lifebeyondtherapy.com.Tags: Column, Gay San Diego, Life Beyond Therapy, Michael Kimmel, Sex Life