How to Pick a Lover

Posts tagged ‘love making’

A Deal Breaker: The Sexless Marriage

Living with impotence is like sleeping in a shroud.
—Jadah Vaughn

In discussing why husbands stray, it is common to observe that they are looking for something they need which they do not get at home. One hears homilies such as “nobody encourages adultery more than a wife who consistently refuses her own husband’s advances.” While this may well be true, it is only one side of the coin. Worse than a husband who is sexually incompetent or sexually apathetic is one who has become impotent.

A great deal of impotence, perhaps most of it, is psychogenic in nature. That is, it does not occur because of illness or hormone deficiency but because of depression or some other negative state of mind. It may relate to a loss of self-esteem due to business failure or to the aging process or to a midlife crisis. Fortunately, most impotence that is psychogenic can now be easily overcome with Viagra or Cialis.

Marlboro warning impotence

Marlboro warning impotence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Often, however, impotence relates directly to unsatisfactory and unresolved dynamics between the husband and wife. In these circumstances, it is not very useful to tell the wife not to take it personally. It is personal. A sexless marriage may be especially galling to the wife whose husband is impotent with her but who, under her suspicious and watchful eye, appears to be quite potent with other women, which may very well be the case. Impotence may be only an occasional occurrence; even when it happens frequently, it is not usually a permanent condition. In the meantime, however, the disruptive effects for a particular couple may be pervasive enough to permanently affect their relationship.

Almost all couples fight, and some fights are worse than others. After apparently irretrievable things have been said and done, being able to have sex (which under those circumstances can hardly be called making love) does not mean that everything is restored to where it was: it only means that restoration may still be possible. The erotic communication does not solve the problem; but it does keep open, at least, some avenue of communication. If the sexuality itself can be gratifying, the bond of emotional rapport is strengthened, and the reassurance of your own attractiveness is maintained. But when a couple can no longer depend on or use sexuality as a palliative to their conflicts, then the marriage is indeed in big trouble.

Impotence breeds bitterness and insecurity. The wife may need reassurance that she is in fact still attractive and feels quite justified in seeking sex elsewhere. The rejecting and frigid wife triggers much the same reaction in her husband. If neither husband nor wife is particularly sexually oriented, then perhaps the two of them can disregard their impasse and settle for mutual apathy. Refusal to make love is something else. The wife who is bored stiff ends with a husband who is bored limp.

Making Love To, Making Love With

Maria's Lovers


One can know nothing of giving aught that is worthy to give unless one also knows how to take.
—Havelock Ellis

The great lover, when or if you find him, is a man who takes seriously the experience of making love to a woman.

When he is with you, you are the center of his experience and you have his complete attention. He listens to your breathing; feels your hands, your body; and—by a blend of intuition, experience, and trial and error—has the uncanny ability to somehow know what you want now and what you want next and where and how and for how long. Marvelous.

The great lover concentrates on making you feel good, on making you have an orgasm, without demanding that you spend so much effort showing passion that you are distracted from feeling it. This kind of lovemaking is a gift to you.

It is the kind of cherishing and communication that is meant in the wedding prayer when the groom pledges, “With this ring, I thee wed; with my body, I thee worship; and with all my worldly goods, I thee endow.” Unfortunately, many husbands are more willing or able to give worldly goods than to give this special kind of lovemaking. Some never give it at all; some only give it sometimes. When you do experience it, you recognize it as a present that is better than show tickets, better than a new dishwasher, better than the proverbial dozen roses. Attentive lovemaking is the ultimate gift of caring.

Being made love to is great. The next best thing is a man who can let you make love to him. I doubt that, in this case, it is always more blessed to give than to receive; but it is also a benison, and it is different and in its own way rewarding.

Not all men are comfortable with this kind of role. They need to be taught, sometimes, to lie back and enjoy it, to be passive while they are being pleasured, and to let someone else take responsibility for the staging of lovemaking and control the timing and the sequence of events.

Maybe it is because past generations associated being passive in bed with not being masculine. Maybe it is a sense that no nice woman could possibly enjoy that; and so while they could be made love to by a hooker who was later paid, they cannot feel good about being made love to by a nice woman whom they respect. No matter the reason, most men can eventually be taught to lie back and enjoy something that has so much intrinsic appeal. But then . . .

Best of all, for the very lucky, is the level of mutuality when you and he can make love with each other. Then there are no favors, no largesse, no performer, and no audience. Instead, there is a kind of reciprocal dance in which there is not one person who leads and another who follows and, if there is a lead, it moves back and forth from one to the other. Maybe that leads to the celebrated mutual orgasm; most likely it does not, but that does not matter. Because both of you do climax eventually, the lovemaking process is, at least, as important as the achievement of orgasm. Or as John Prine says in one of his songs, “The going is as important as the getting there.”

Sometimes, it is more important. To have someone with whom you can make love is indeed to be blessed even if the relationship does not last and even if the lovemaking is a rare event.

Making love with someone does not just happen as spontaneously as is often portrayed on television and in the movies. It needs a certain kind of attitude and requires the availability of time, space, and attention—all of which must be planned for and made a priority. Amazingly, many people do not have this as a life goal, even people who have been there and should know better.

Love and Kisses


French Kiss

Self explanatory – no caption needed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a line between love and fascination
That’s hard to see on an evening such as this,
For they both give the very same sensation
When you’re lost in the magic of a kiss.
—Ned Washington, “My Foolish Heart”)

Be sure to trust the kiss when picking lover. A kiss may feel magically romantic, or sloppily slobbery, or blissfully gentle, or perhaps too rough and toothy. It can either escalate or kill a relationship. No wonder, so much fuss has been made about kissing. Who kisses whom? when? where? how? How precisely does he feel? Do his lips and tongue feel? Kissing occurs in 95 percent of human societies and is believed to have been first recorded in Vedic Sanskrit texts around 500 BC in India.

Little kids think that the real self, the essence, is to be found in the tummy. For adults, however, the real self is found in the head, behind the eyes, and most of all, behind the mouth. In a recent study, 59 percent of men and 66 percent of women said that they had become attracted to a person only after they had kissed the individual. Whereas, 50 percent of men and women reported in another study that their initial attraction to another person ended after the first kiss.

To lie with words is easy, but to lie with kisses is an unusual art. Those not familiar with the mores of commercial sex workers are surprised to learn that, often, a prostitute will do anything sexual that a john wants her to—except kiss him. She views sexual intercourse with kissing to be a more emotionally intimate activity than sexual intercourse without kissing. The mouth, being closer to the real self, is shared with more reluctance and is given with more meaning, not so much for its potential for sexual arousal as for its psychological import. Women are, however, more sexually aroused by kissing than are men.

A man can fake a lot of things—bravery, wealth, power, influence. But he can’t fake great kissing. Only a man who does it with unassuming honesty and romantic readiness can achieve great kissing. He is someone who values the pursuit for what it is: a pleasurable end in itself, not a means to an end. Pay attention to how he kisses you as well as to when and where. Does he savor your skin? Does he wait for your response and your encouragement, or does he grind on regardless? Remember, many men use kissing as a means to an end—namely, to gain sexual access. Just as kisses can reveal the real self, they can also reveal ineptness and a lack of awareness of you and your feelings.

There are few things sweeter than the right kiss at the right moment, and there are few things more oppressive than having to endure a suffocating and slobbering mouth that relentlessly obliterates your own.


The Role of Pillow Talk in Making Love

By the time you swear you’re shivering and sighing,
and he vows his passion is infinite, undying—lady,
make a note of this: one of you is lying.
—Dorothy Parker

Making love is like a play. It has a script of sorts, partly dictated by the culture, partly created through the continual revisions made by the couple themselves. It is a play with an overture: an apt analogy because, in this case, even the word is the same.

Making love begins with someone making overtures. It has a first act made up of various kinds of foreplay. It reaches a climax in the second act. It has a third act, an afterword. There are intermissions. And as in the theater, there must be a willing suspension of disbelief.

When watching a play, you know at some level that it is not real life. Actors are killed, but not really. It takes place in the eighteenth century, but not really. The scene takes place deep in the forest, which is, really, only painted trees on cardboard. To enjoy the play, you must willingly suspend disbelief: knowing it is not real, you nevertheless agree to go along with whatever the author and the players tell you, as if you did believe.

Pillow Talk (film)


Pillow talk, like a play, needs some suspension of disbelief. When he says, “You are the most beautiful woman in the entire world,” you don’t stop to wonder about his criteria for beauty or what kind of survey he has taken with what kind of international sample. When he says, “I’ve never been this happy before,” you don’t ask, “What about when you were sixteen and your father surprised you with a red Mustang convertible?”

You believe that, at the moment, it is true . . . even if it isn’t true. Pillow talk exists in the realm of feeling, not fact. It is not a time to be too literal.

An exasperated friend of mine told me that he breathed into his girlfriend’s ear, “I love you,” only to have her bolt upright and demand, “What do you mean by ‘love’?” There may well be forty-seven meanings of the verb “to love,”
but this is not the time or place for semantics. The circumstances of pillow talk are not conducive to accuracy. The whispered words and promises, the hyperbole and dreams have to be considered in context.

If you want reality, listen to what your man tells you the next morning while you are sharing coffees and hangovers.

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