The Penetration Imperative

By Stella Resnick, Ph.D.
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The Penetration Imperative
Most of the time when we make love, it’s not to bring a new life into the world but to bring new life into ourselves. We’re not looking to make babies but to enjoy the physical replenishment and emotional connectedness that good lovemaking nurtures. But the way we typically make love more closely supports the objectives of a procreative rather than a re-creative sexuality.

When a couple starts to play sexually, there’s a consistently held belief that the activity should proceed toward penetration. Yet, nothing interferes more with enjoying the emotional and physical pleasures of re-creative sex than compulsive intercourse, what I think of as the “penetration imperative.”

For couples, the sex-equals-intercourse equation means that unless they’re willing to go the whole nine yards they won’t go an inch. They won’t be sexually playful unless they’re available for intercourse because they don’t want to lead their partner on. But then, this attitude places a greater burden on them when they are available. At that point, they have to build up their arousal from zero to whatever heights they can reach in an encounter that may last, from initial kiss to afterglow, all of ten to twenty minutes long.

All-or-none sex can’t help but lead to sexual stagnation because doing the same old routine can be as exciting as watching grass grow. It reminds me of a story a young comedian told. He asked his father if he had been following the recent news on same-sex marriages. His father grimly responded, “I know all about it. Your mother and I have been having the same sex for years.”

Many sexually vital singles also inhibit their sexual pleasure with all-or-nothing thinking. If they’re not willing to go all the way, they may deny themselves the thrill of the turn-on, of kissing and holding someone they like but may not love. Or just the opposite, they may end up in premature intercourse when what they really wanted was affectionate human connection.

How much more spontaneous it can be when a couple is playful in sexually arousing ways without immediately moving into intercourse and orgasm. When energy is allowed to build over several days or even longer, they can reach a level of genuine intensity that makes intercourse infinitely more exciting. However, this does mean that they need to be willing to end a sexual encounter while still turned on, and for a lot of people, this won’t be easy.

Why are we so afraid to stay turned on? Is it the Victorian in us that demands we get rid of the excitement once it’s there? Or else what? … that we won’t be able to think or work? … that we’ll turn into a sex fiend? … that we’ll grab a stranger off the street to have sex with?

On the contrary, sexual energy is the life force made manifest. It is the ultimate creative drive that inspires and animates us. Arousal is not something we have to shake. What we have to shake is old-concept sex.

Excerpted from her must read book The Pleasure Zone: Why we resist good feelings & how to let go and be happy . Stella Resnick, Ph.D. is a psychologist and psychotherapist who specializes in relationship and sexual enrichment. Chapter 11 – Sexual Pleasures: Complete Fulfillment - Turning up the heat. Pp. 232, 233. Copyright 1997 by Stella Resnick / Published by MJF Books Fine Communications 322 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10001

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Heart of the Matter

By Frederic Luskin, Ph.D.
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Forgiveness is primarily for creating your peace of mind.

It is to create healing in your life and return you to a state in which you can live and be capable again of love and trust.

Heart of the Matter
Forgiveness does not have to lead to reconciliation. For example, many people forgive and abusive parent but sever contact with that parent. In contrast, many married couples reconcile after an affair but do not forgive. It can also be helpful to remember we can change our minds and a decision to sever contact in the present is often revisited in the future.

Forgiveness is the experience of finding peace inside and can neither be compelled
or stopped by another.

The religious traditions usually tell us to forgive but do not offer the practical steps as to how. We live in a culture that prized the expression of anger and resentment more than the peace of forgiveness. Because of this,
too many do not take the opportunity to heal themselves, sometimes from great emotional pain and the physical consequences that result. What follows are my 9 steps for training in forgiveness.

Heart of the Matter 2
ONE: Know exactly how you feel about what happened, and be able to articulate what things about the situation are not okay. Then, tell a couple of trusted people about your experience.

TWO: Make a commitment to yourself to do what you have to do to feel better. Forgiveness is for you and not for anyone else. No one else even has to know about your decision.

THREE: Understand your goal. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation with the person who upset you or condoning his or her actions. What you are after is to find peace. Forgiveness can be defined as the peace and understanding that come from blaming that which has hurt you less, taking the life experience less personally and changing your grievance story.

FOUR: Get the right perspective on what is happening. Recognize that your primary distress is coming from the hurt feelings, thoughts, and physical upset you are suffering now, not what offended you or hurt you 2 minutes – or 10 years – ago.

FIVE: At the moment you feel upset, practice stress management techniques to soothe your body’s fight or flight response.

SIX: Give up expecting things from other people, or your life, that they do not choose to give you. Recognize the “unenforceable rules” you have for your health or how you or other people must behave. Remind yourself that you can hope for health, love, friendship, and prosperity and work hard to get them. However, you will suffer when you demand that these things occur when you do not have the power to make them happen.

SEVEN: Put your energy into looking for another way to get your positive goals met than through the experience that has hurt you. Instead of mentally replaying your hurt, seek out new ways to get what you want.

Heart of the Matter 3
EIGHT: Remember that a life well lived is your best revenge. Instead of focusing on your wounded feelings, and thereby giving the person who caused you pain power over you, learn to look for the love, beauty and kindness around you.

NINE: Amend your grievance story to remind yourself of the heroic choice to forgive, and focus your conversation on what you’ve learned about yourself and life.

"I work as a clinical science research associate at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where I teach people ways to manage their stress and reduce their risk of heart disease … I developed a process of teaching people to let go of the grudges and grievances they carried around. As I started to teach forgiveness, I discovered that an unexpectedly large number of people responded to this with fascination, confusion, enthusiasm and mistrust, and almost no one knew for certain exactly what forgiveness was and why it might be useful to study." Frederic Luskin, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Stanford University, Center on Conflict and Negotiation and Associate Professor, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, CA.

Excerpted from the illuminating book, Consciousness & Healing: Integral Approaches to Mind-Body Medicine by Marilyn Schlitz and Tina Amorok with Marc. S. Micozzi, Elsevier Churchill Livingstone Copyright 2005; The Art and Science of Forgiveness, pp. 335-340.

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Birds of a Feather

By Mantak Chia
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Energetic and sensual touch is featherlight touch that simply grazes over the surface of your partner’s skin, awakening the nerve endings and drawing energy to the area.

Birds of a Feather
In a massage, harder pressure will relax your partner’s muscles, while light touch will awaken your partner’s skin.

For sensually touching a woman, a man needs to remember that her sexual energy must be brought to her genitals from her extremities. Time providing, he should start at her hands and feet and move along her legs and arms. Then he can start at her head and caress along her torso. Only after circling her genitals should he touch them directly. In the metaphors of the Tao, yin is like water and so it must fall down the mounds and folds of a woman’s curvaceous body to the lowest point, her vagina. Water always settles in the lowest place.

For sensually touching a man, a woman needs to remember that his sexual energy needs to be brought out of his penis to the rest of his body. For this reason, she can start at his penis, touching it lightly but without focusing on direct stimulation. She does not want to stoke his fire but to keep it at a low burn. If he gets too excited, he will explode and ejaculate. By taking the sexual energy from a man’s genitals, his partner can spread it out through his legs and arms, out to his hands and feet, and up to his torso and head This will draw the energy away and allow him to have greater ejaculatory control and help him experience whole-body orgasms.

Of course, if he is having difficulty with an erection, the energy should be drawn to his penis. (Bear in mind, when a man lies on his back, gravity works against his maintaining an erection as the blood flows out. If maintaining an erection is an issue, it is best for the man not to lie on his back, so that gravity can draw blood to his penis, not away from it. Standing, sitting, kneeling, and lying over his partner are all better positions for helping a man to get an erection.)

Body Parts
In the West, we tend to think of people as machines and the parts of our body as separate, like the parts of a car. When touching your partner’s body, it is important to remember that the energy meridians (channels) circulate throughout the body and that you are trying to awaken your partner’s sexual energy and not just to stimulate a particular part of his or her body. Put differently, great pleasure can be generated by touching particular nerve endings on our hands and feet, or nipples and genitals, but these nerves are connected through a
Birds of a Feather 2
complex web with the rest of the body. Try to maintain a holistic ad energetic view of your partner’s body even as you refine your skills for pleasuring individual parts. In Healing Love, every touch is part of harmonizing with each other; holding hands or pressing lips together is as important as intercourse.

Excerpted from The Multi-Orgasmic Couple: Sexual Secrets Every Couple Should Know (How Couples Can Dramatically Enhance Their Pleasure, Intimacy, and Health) by Mantak Chia and Maneewan Chia, Douglas Abrams and Rachel Carlton Abrams, M.D. Copyright 2000 by Mantak Chia, Maneewan Chia, Douglas Abrams, and Rachel Carlton Abrams, M.D. All Rights Reserved; HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York NY 10022.

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Have You Exercised Your Vagina Today?

by Stephanie Moses & Natalie Geld

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“I didn't know you had to exercise your vagina."

Teri Hatcher discovered the surprise of her life while flipping through a catalogue during some downtime on the set of her series, Desperate Housewives. She detailed her transformation ad nauseum with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show. It’s hilarious, she’s darling.

The Almighty Kegel. Your doctor may have mentioned it to maintain urinary continence and shore up after giving birth. You may have smirked, and pondered the effect of an acrobatic vaginal canal. You may have ventured a few clenches here and there, and wondered about your performance of this vague prescription: “like stopping the urine flow.”

FIT women have more orgasms, a survey has discovered - and doing regular pelvic exercises can increase your chances of ecstasy. A recent survey stated that 8 out of 10 women improved their sex lives in 4 weeks by doing these exercises daily - and 7 out of 10 of their partners said sex was better for them, too. Woo hoo! Although you may not be inclined to shoot a round of ping pong balls out of your coo anytime soon, nearly all women surveyed said they would make more effort if they had information on the right routines.

Teri Hatcher
While we are not recommending you buy a kegelmeister, as Teri coined it, surely a simple squeeze and release is good medicine, and a vigilant discipline will work wonders. But is there more to it? And why does this improve our sex life? "Oh yes, this is a pivotal subject that I always teach,” Says Caroline Muir of the Divine Feminine – Awakened Masculine Institute and co-author of Tantra, the Art of Conscious Loving.

Caroline Muir
“It's the power of the mind and breath that turn a Kegel into a transformational, healing and awakening practice.” This conscious connection while Kegeling does make a difference. After a lifetime of unconscious Kegel success, bringing awareness into the process stimulates a sparkling energy flow and an inner smile that cannot be contained.

She says, “Imagine sipping the energy through a straw up through the central nervous system and into the brain... flooding the brain with the energy of passion and consciousness from the sexual chakra to the brain. It allows women to own and claim their own passion energy, and to awaken their yoni (vagina) in preparation for lovemaking.

These exercises strengthen the inner walls of the yoni and bring blood flow into this area, creating more feeling and more lubrication and therefore energy and pleasure.”

Wispy Teri Hatcher has a “very strong kitty kat.”
Her yoni can probably pick up lawn furniture now, so believe me, these work.

We asked Caroline what she thinks of PC muscle workout items, like the Kegelmaster and Smartballs, “Why not? Although I've never used them. I believe you get all the workout you need on your own and with a lover. But I'm not the athletic type, being built for comfort and not for speed." She also teaches men how to access their PC muscle so they can maintain control while in the grips of an awakened yoni, “Once women are awakened and alive, they don't always want the man to come so soon, but rather to sustain their sexual potency.”

“Men and women want to learn the feeling of drawing in (tightening) and energy flowing out (relaxing). Both male and female genitals have the capacity to receive energy and send energy, continues Caroline. She offers a few more important practices:

The Sustained Grip Exercise
The internal muscles will get strong by taking in a deep breath - holding the breath while squeezing tight on the muscles in the genitals - and then releasing the hold with the exhale. Wait a moment, and repeat several times. It’s likely you were forgetting to breathe in and exhale while doing Kegels before, these conscious connections makes all the difference.

Squeeze and Relax Exercise
Inhale and hold the breath. Squeeze muscles – relax, squeeze – relax, squeeze – relax, all the while holding the breath. When the need to exhale takes over, let the breath out slowly as you relax the muscles in the genitals -- completely relaxing as all the breath leaves the lungs. Spend five seconds with the breath held out ... experiencing complete emptiness.

Hello! Bring on the ping pong balls!

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