I have been beautifully surprised of late by men. Men who sit in my studio telling me how much they love their wives and partners, how frustrated they are by their wives' lack of libido, how they want to win their partners back to renewed intimacy, how they want to become better lovers.
Because many men are realising that they are stuck in a rut they learnt when they were 18 or so, with perhaps a couple of tricks thrown in that they've seen in pornography.
Their partners are cold and tired and frustrated themselves, often telling me that men “don’t listen” or “follow the same old sexual routine, perhaps a bit of a hug or tickle, then straight for the nipples or genitals, ignoring the rest of me”.
Heterosexual men are waking up, too, and realising that the women who love them have perhaps not been very honest with them about pleasure. Sometimes because they just didn't know it could be any other way, and sometimes because it tends to be men's sexual pleasure that is sold to the consumer.
And even in gay relationships this contractive, friction-based orgasm is the pattern.
Men have been sold this idea that without an erection they are “bad lovers”. This just isn't true. The master lover has skills far beyond the appearance of an erection.
A man who is willing to base his sensual and sexual experiences on shared pleasure, with or without an erection, is a master lover.
A man who doesn't waste his energy holding an erection while pleasuring his partner and investing in their pleasure is a master lover.
A man who consciously chooses when he wants to have an erection, and doesn't waste being erect when he doesn’t need to be, is a master lover.
Yet, many men panic when their body begins to signal that it is less about erection and procreation and more about pleasure and play, because so much of the sexual ego is based around the performance of the penis!
When men share with me that they just don’t know what to do, and they are aware that their bodies are changing, I know this is the awakening.
This is the time as an Intimacy Coach that I can teach men how to have multiple orgasms, full body orgasms, how to create the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system to begin to take themselves and their partners into extended states of pleasure. Skills beyond just having an erection.
Because this awakening happens for both men and women around 35 to 45, society tends to perceive this as a mid-life crisis, when it’s really a mid-life pleasure awakening. The ageing process begins to shut down baby-making, and awaken the pleasure systems in the body that produce massive amounts of oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine - the chemicals responsible for contentment, happiness, joy.
The body shuts down the quick responses of merely procreating, and opens up the possibilities for long and happy life. Tantrikas, Yogis and some Taoist practitioners have taught about this for thousands of years. And if we don’t know how to move into the pleasure awakening, we end up dissatisfied, in crisis, depressed - trying to have the same sex life we had when we were 18.
When I tell these men that as long as they know there’s no physical reason they’ve experienced erectile dysfunction (check that out first because there are some serious medical conditions directly related to erectile dysfunction) and that this is the time they get to learn some simple and very effective techniques to become a master lover, they sometimes cry.
Most men don't even know that orgasm and ejaculation in their bodies are two separate processes.
There's a gentler way to move into the mid-life pleasure awakening for men and women, and I’ve been thrilled to see more and more men committed to becoming conscious and mindful lovers, learning the skills that can heighten their partner’s pleasure, awakening themselves to receiving more pleasure, and finding intimate play space as an adult. Now I get to share this knowledge and skill safely, with boundaries to protect the people who learn from me, so that their pleasure awakenings can be easier than mine was.
When I tell women that it’s possible to have a two-hour orgasm they look at me with disbelief and longing.
When I tell men this, they look joyous and hopeful.
And that’s why I’m beautifully surprised by men. Because so many men want to be able to share this sort of intimate awakening with the one they love.
It fills me with honour that I get to teach this work, and hope that we can move intimacy and sexuality into a more loving and conscious space in the world.