From Dr. Jane's Notebook
Try "golden" sexuality for the 21st century
Dr. Larry Davis, Psychiatrist and Author, describes 21st
century sexuality as an active human experience that can last until age 85 and
beyond, assuming good health. In his thinking, men and women at age 50 are at
the midpoint of their sexual life, and “Golden Sexuality” refers to the kind of
fulfilling sexuality that takes years of preparation to achieve. Why does it
take so long, you ask? Dr. Davis
says it takes years for humans to fully understand their sexuality; to overcome
traumas that have led to guilt, shame or worries about sexual functioning; to
fully appreciate and take care of our physical bodies; and develop a mature
sexual relationship that is based upon respect, love and appreciation.
For more thoughts on the matter, read on.
- Sexual intimacy is an essential ingredient in
marital satisfaction. In the 1990’s, I conducted research on couples
that demonstrated the importance of affection and sexual intimacy in long
term marital satisfaction. Every day, couples say “I do” to marriage vows
which clearly state the expectation to continue being passionate, satisfy
each other’s sexual needs, and keep the relationship exclusive. In my work
with couples, it is clear that those who are affectionate and intimate on a
regular basis develop a kind of long term insurance together, as compared
with those who have lost interest in flirting with each other.
- Avoid the trap of placing sex on the back burner.
Work, children, exhaustion and apathy can easily get in the way of making
love. If not addressed, spouses often migrate into separate bedrooms, keep
different sleep schedules, and suffer a loss of romance. Don’t fool yourself
into thinking that sex no longer matters. Where human beings are concerned,
if sex is not going on within the relationship, you have to ask yourself
“where is the sex?” Never assume that sex is not important; lack of intimacy
makes spouses vulnerable to new friendships and attraction to others outside
the marriage even among the most moral of human beings.
- Couples should plan to grow together in their
understanding of sexual pleasure. Let’s face it… people did not invent
the idea of sex and we certainly don’t know everything about it.
What we do know is that we’re all
born with the potential to be sexual and this potential does not go away
when we’re done having children. Sexuality unfolds over the course of our
lifetime, providing a renewable source of gratification and method of
sustaining a deep connection with our mates. Keeping sex interesting, fresh,
and stimulating over time requires a mutual effort between partners.
During the early years, sex tends to be more goal-oriented where
success is measured in terms of erections, intercourse, orgasms and often,
pregnancy. Later on, sex becomes more process-oriented as we slow down and
enjoy prolonged foreplay, learn the nuances of how to give and receive
pleasure, and take time to enrich and nurture each other.
- Golden sex requires a little planning, but doesn’t
replace spontaneity. Dr. Davis suggests that you make a date with your
mate for a time when the two of you can devote at least an hour to be
together, at a time when you’re not
tired, and when you can have
uninterrupted privacy. Take control of your environment by turning off
telephones, lock the doors, and use music to transform your mood and shut
down your internal self-talk. Some couples like to watch romantic and erotic
films together as a way to become aroused, gain some new ideas and to
further enhance your sexual environment.
Long term love allows both partners to freely communicate
what they want from each other and negotiate when there is a difference of
opinion. For those who are a bit self-conscious, Dr. Davis says that when it
comes to Golden Sex, clothing is almost always beneficial. He suggests that
specially-selected clothing can add to our sensuality, and that dressing and
undressing for the occasion can add to the intrigue, humor, and playfulness of
the moment. When sexual intimacy is
process-oriented, it’s all about getting in the spirit of things and spending
time renewing your bond of love.
Golden Sex should always be approached with kindness, consideration and
attentiveness. It can be difficult to make the transition from our usual workday
cerebral and physical tension to a state of relaxation, where we can actually
feel pleasurable touch and physical affection. It is often necessary to bring
our bodies back to life though gentle body massage that awakens our senses.
Couples who have been together for a long time recognize each other’s stress and
tension and begin to care for one another’s bodies as they do their own.
Electric hand-held massagers by the bedside can assist couples in helping each
other to relax. Looking around us in nature, it is easy to spot birds who help
preen each other’s feathers, cats who help wash each other’s faces, and couples
who walk hand-in-hand affectionately, helping each other through doors and on
stairs. Dedication to loving another person goes far beyond superficial
attention. Golden sex is part of a daily ritual of caring for each other’s
physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. When you’re ready, I suggest you
©Copyright, 2009, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
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