Sometimes things turn out very different from what you expected… yet they seem to be meant that way. On the Speakers Event in Los Angeles, last November, I stepped in front of an audience of 2600 people for an interview about my business and mission. Good heavens, what an adventure! Event leader and interviewer JT Fox was mostly focused on making his own point: that it is impossible for powerful men in the business world to lead a monogamous life. How would I ‘solve’ this dilemma, as a sexologist?
He took me off guard with this opening question and I began to defend myself. A classical pitfall and a good example of how communication between men and women often goes wrong! After some minutes I was able to steer the conversation back to my mission, and the rest of the interview (which you can find on YouTube under my name) [beter meteen een link plaatsen?] turned into a hilarious experience with lots of cheering from the audience. We covered so many subjects in those 15 minutes that I could write a whole book about it.
When JT Foxx mentioned the development, in Barcelona, of robots that you can make love to without feeling guilty, I really warmed to my subject. Can a robot ever be a substitute for the energetic dance of our genitals? Or surpass human emotion in sex and eroticism? How can a man ever relax if he does not find the peace and deep surrender in a woman that enables him to really connect to her? Wouldn’t JT’s legs wiggle a little less, as they were doing during our whole interview?
I can see how we are heading straight for a society with less and less live contact. This is generating a new kind of loneliness, for which social media and porn, let alone love robots, seem a poor comfort. How could these ever truly fulfill us?
Youngsters and sex
Another subject was the fact that youngsters have less and less sexual experiences. Girls are sexualized at a young age (especially in the US) and walk around in sexy clothing in their teens, but are scared to death to enter into a sexual relationship. How can you develop your sexuality if you are bombarded with frightening messages about all that might go wrong? The tension between the sexes is strongly colored by media images of sexy looks, instrumental sex and other externalities. Good luck with reconciling this with your deep inner longing for connection, intimacy, security and love.
American society is characterized by an enormous porn industry on the one hand and a strong puritan-religious mindset on the other. How do you grow up in an environment with so much confusion and contradictory messages? How can you relax and experiment with your boyfriend or girlfriend and explore sexuality in all its innocence, as a way to become a master in pleasure, honoring life itself? The gifts of sex can be so pure!
I want to convince parents, too, of the importance of enjoying, creating and maintaining a sexually meaningful life, without brushing aside any fears of pain or disappointment. As parents, we will have to become living examples if we don’t want to lose our credibility in the eyes of the next generation. Sex is so much more than what we are shown in the media. It is so much more than how JT Foxx described it, as eating steaks with once in a while a side dish “in order to keep things exciting”.
How exciting is true intimacy?
Isn’t it exciting to show all your naked humanness to your partner in an intimate encounter, your beautiful and less beautiful sides, your fantasies and your fears, your shame, your desires? Isn’t it exciting to reveal yourself layer by layer and also see the other person with ever fresh eyes? How deeply we would feel seen! Isn’t that what we all secretly long for?
It is precisely within a long-term relationship that you can find your own erotic keys, discovering what turns you on in life, what moves you. It is such a rich journey to discover that you can celebrate your life and your lust in many different ways. By deepening your capacity for pleasure and learning to embrace your pain instead of shoving it down, you can develop yourself as an erotic being. You will find that you are a wonderful instrument for giving and receiving shimmering love. This naturally evokes gratitude in us and upgrades our whole existence to a new level.
From glutton to connoisseur
A friend once told me: “My way is the path from glutton to connoisseur!” Sex is such a rich entranceway for connection. It offers space for sublime growth and pleasure, revealing a much larger context in which we all live and have our being. In our society, we do not learn anything about this larger context, but in sexuality we discover it anyway. I want to wake people up to the fact that they have a whole body to enjoy, and that a quick-fix orgasm usually just leads to hidden deception.
It requires courage to explore that depth in your love life, to enter into that dark place where the fire is beckoning you, where the flames will burn your ego and love itself will start to glow. The key is to never stop reaching out and receiving, and remaining authentic about what you feel.
Let us become erotic connoisseurs. No robot will ever match that!