The Age –
What does it take to make sex more than merely functional or even satisfying but truly memorable and extraordinary? That’s the question Canadian psychology professor Peggy Kleinplatz has spent the past decade trying to answer.
Together with students from the University of Ottawa, she’s conducted a series of studies featuring long interviews with volunteers who referred to themselves as experienced in great sex in order to describe in an empirical way the components of what she calls ”optimal sexuality.”
Her 64 participants included many older people – 60 plus – recruited for the knowledge they acquired in long-term relationships, as well as gay and bisexual volunteers and a group of sex therapists. The result was that eight components were identified as contributing to optimum sexual experiences:
■ Being present, focused, and embodied – staying totally absorbed in the moment.
■ Connection, alignment, merger, being in synch – two becomes one.
■ Deep sexual and erotic intimacy – mutual respect and trust.
■ Extraordinary communication, heightened empathy – being tuned into each other’s feelings, needs and responses.
■ Authenticity, transparency, being genuine, uninhibited – stripped bare, emotionally and physically.
■ Transcendence, bliss, peace, transformation, healing – a unique ”high”.
■ Exploration, interpersonal risk-taking, fun – great sex involves laughter.
■ Vulnerability and surrender – one’s entire being in someone else’s hands.
What surprised the researchers was the uniformity of responses. ”The participants differed enormously from each other in terms of sexual orientation, age, relationship status, level of physical ability and sexual functioning but their conceptualisations of great sex were far more similar than they were different,” say the authors.
Indeed, great sex turned out to have very little to do with sexual techniques, orgasms, erections or physical prowess.
The rest of the article is good — but the intellectual center is the above author’s work.
Dr. Kleinplatz’s early work on understanding the erotic encounter is some of the most foundational and brilliant understanding of the inner workings of human sexuality.
This work looks to match it and, at the very least, functions as both a clear picture of how similar male and female sexual desires are as well as a decent and highly achievable checklist for building a really great sex life.Read more