Sex tips these days tend to be long on technique — but short on feelings. Maybe that explains why so few couples in my sex therapy practice seem to come in with any idea what good sex is supposed to be all about.
We’re the most sexually over-exposed society in history. Pornography is everywhere. We know the names for sex acts our grandparents never knew existed. But are couples today any more satisfied in bed?
I doubt it. One study from the Kinsey Institute found that nearly a quarter of adult American women in heterosexual relationships were markedly distressed about their sex lives.
Sex Technique vs Sexual Emotions
Emotions are far and away the most important part of sex. But few couples give much thought to their emotions when making love.
As a sex therapist—someone who gives sex tips and relationship advice for a living—I’ve searched for a long time for a book to recommend to my patients that would help them learn about erotic feelings.
Finally, after years of fruitless searching, I finally decided to write it myself.
Over the years, I shared drafts of many of the chapters with hundreds of individuals and couples who consulted me for sexual concerns.
As I developed the book over the years, I noticed patients starting to get better, faster. That’s when I knew I was on to something good.
I was pleased to be able to sell the book at auction to St Martin’s Press, and to work with some of the finest book professionals in the business.
And now it gives me great pleasure to share the book with you:
It’s in many ways a contrarian book, since it contains very little about sex technique, sexual science, or novelties like three-somes and kink.
Instead, the book focuses like a laser beam on sexual emotions: what you actually feel, or don’t, when you’re having sex.
The following video explains in more detail what I’m talking about:
Beyond Hardness and Wetness
Masters and Johnson spent years studying sexual response, but their observations were limited to physical reactions like heart rate, muscle tone, hardness, and wetness.
But you can be perfectly hard or wet and still have very boring sex.
Here’s what I tell patients in my office to look for, if you want to be sure you’re genuinely aroused:
1. You lose a fair number of IQ points.
If someone gave you an IQ test during peak arousal, you wouldn’t do too well on it. The tester might have a hard time getting you to pay attention to the questions.
Good sex definitely makes you dumber. And great sex can make you downright stupid.
When you’re aroused, sex grabs your attention. You stop thinking about bills, worries, responsibilities—your entire portfolio of ordinary concerns.
Your time sense may get a little messed up. (Sexually aroused people tend to arrive late to meetings).
2. You become somewhat more childish.
Sexual excitement puts you in a more primitive and selfish state of mind. It makes you less patient, less forgiving.
You don’t tolerate frustration very well. You become somewhat immature. (OK, sometimes a lot immature!)
If the phone rings during lovemaking, you don’t care who’s calling, or what they want.
You may feel very close to your partner, but it’s a selfish kind of closeness. You’re not really interested in listening to the details of how their day went.
You just want them to give you their complete attention, and to tell you how wonderful you are.
3. You feel absolutely wonderful about yourself.
Arousal feels special. Validating.
Good sex makes us feel good about ourselves. That’s how we know it’s good sex.
With good lovemaking, we have a feeling of “Yes, that’s me. Here I am. You found me.” We feel in touch with our deepest, most authentic selves.
It’s a grateful feeling. ‘Yes, you found me. The me of me. Thank you for finding me. Thank you for bringing me home to where I really live.’