Bad Ideas, Cultural Traits, Culture, Erotic Love, Human Nature, Jennifer, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Memes, Relationships, Sex, Sexuality, The Art of Living Well

Emotional Intimacy or Sexual Skillfulness?

(About a 2 minute read)

A very experienced man, Patrick, tells me that the most pleasurable sex he’s ever had in his life came about as a one-night stand with a perfect, but perfectly skilled, stranger.

Patrick has been married for at least a dozen years to the love of his life.

I myself cannot say quite the same thing as him about the best sex.  The best sex I have had came about within a committed relationship.  But I do think I can confirm that — in terms of pleasure — sexual skillfulness can go quite far towards making up for a relative lack of emotional intimacy.

Confirm that for me, if for no one else.

Put differently, the notion that emotional intimacy is absolutely key to sexual pleasure might be a myth — at least for some people.  For while intimacy certainly enhances sexual pleasure for most of us, so too does skillfulness for most of us.

Our culture does not recognize that fact.  We are so often told that almost everything depends on emotional intimacy and emotional intimacy alone.  But is our culture doing us a service there?

I recall another friend of mine, Jennifer, telling me she stayed in an abusive relationship for six or seven years because she had convinced herself that surely she must be in love with her abuser or otherwise the sex would not be as mind-blowing as it was.

Was she encouraged to think that way by our culture?  Or was that her own idea?  Or both?

Who really knows?

It would be nice to see some science on the subject.  A few surveys might give us an idea how most of us rank emotional intimacy relative to sexual skillfulness.  In the end, however, there is no substitute for figuring out your own answer to the question.

As for myself, I am greedy and want both.  Give me warm intimacy and cold ice cubes!

Andrea Dinardo, Carla, Eudaimonia, From Around the Net, Human Nature, Life, Living, Love, Outstanding Bloggers, Quality of Life, Resilience, Self-Flourishing, Stolen From The Blogosphere, The Art of Living Well, Well Being, Wisdom

Is the Difference Love?

Break yourself.
Or have someone else do it.
(It’s easy. You’re frail, you know.)

Throw yourself into the ocean.
(Don’t be afraid.
It’s like baptism.)

Grinding tides
…lullabies…
(with a bite)

Don’t fight.
(Surrender.)

Seasons scour, gales rend
Breakers crest,
And in the end

You are precious.
(A jewel.)

How to Make Sea Glass, by the gifted Carla, Carla’s Corner.


 

“At least 99.9% of everything good in my life has come to me through the door of pain.” — Dr. Andrea Dinardo, Thriving Under Pressure.


 

(About a 3 minute read)

It’s curious to me how much truth there is to the notion exquisitely expressed in Carla’s poem that we can come to be better people through adversity and suffering.

It is equally curious to me how much truth there is to the notion insightfully expressed by Andrea that most — or perhaps almost all — of the good things in our lives are in one way or another born of our pain and suffering.

I think both ideas might seem at first to be counter-intuitive.   Does not pain and suffering focus us on ourselves, make us self-centered — perhaps even bitter and cynical?   If so, how can it turn us into jewels?

Again, how can good things come of bad things?  How can blessings enter our lives through the door of pain and suffering?

Continue reading “Is the Difference Love?”

Adolescent Sexuality, Bad Ideas, Cultural Traits, Culture, Erotic Love, Ethics, Free Spirit, From Around the Net, Fun, Horniness, Human Nature, Jane Paterson Basil, Judgementalism, Learning, Life, Living, Love, Morality, Morals, New Love, Play, Seduction, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, Self-determination, Self-Flourishing, Self-Knowledge, Sex, Sexuality, Sexualization, Society, Stolen From The Blogosphere, Village Idiots

The Feral Sexuality of Teenage Girls

(About a 6 minute read)

It is easy to fall for the cliché that ours is the most sexually liberated age in history.  It might be actually closer to the truth if we were to think of ourselves as among the most sexually complicated ages in history.

Continue reading “The Feral Sexuality of Teenage Girls”

Alienation, Alienation From Self, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Eudaimonia, Free Spirit, Goals, Happiness, Human Nature, Life, Living, Meaning, Oppression, Outstanding Bloggers, Passion, Political and Social Alienation, Purpose, Quality of Life, Resilience, Self, Self-Flourishing, Shreya Vikram, Spiritual Alienation, Spirituality, Talents and Skills, The Art of Living Well, Well Being

Dreams Gained and Dreams Lost, Dreams Regained

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  Paul offers his take on the difference between an enthusiasm for something and a passion for something, and on what the difference means to our dreams, ambitions, and visions of ourselves.

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THE CRITICS EXPLODE! “Paul Sunstone knows all about dreams.  He knows how to mangle and crush the dreams of his readers.  He is the terrifying juggernaut of blogging.” — Arun Ghani, India’s Blogs and Beyond, “The Herald and News”, Hyderabad, India.

Continue reading “Dreams Gained and Dreams Lost, Dreams Regained”

Coffee Shop Folks, Law, People, Suzanne

Susanne Decides to Get Some Legal Advice

In the over 20 years I’ve known her, Suzanne has routinely done the most improbable, astonishing things — without herself even beginning to think how astonishing they are.

For instance, she was out in Boston one Sunday afternoon, driving through the Harvard area, when she saw the famous law school’s sign. Not at all knowing how prestigious the school was (Suzanne doesn’t concern herself with such trivia as which universities are notably good universities), she decided on the spot she needed legal advice about something.

So, she parked her car, marched into the offices of Harvard Law School, searched around for someone to talk to. Finally, she found a man alone in his office, working on that Sunday afternoon. She actually managed to get the man to give her free legal advice.

After she thanked him for it, she got curious. “So what do you do here, sir?”

He told her his position.

A day or two later, she called me up to tell me how she was doing. She mentioned the incident in passing, told me the man’s name, and then asked, “So Paul, is a dean, like, the head guy, the guy who runs things? I think that might be what a dean is, but I’m not sure.”

Later I googled the name she’d given me. Sure enough. Suzanne had gotten free legal advice from the dean of Harvard Law School — arguably the best law school in America.

Coffee Shop Folks, Coffee Shop Stories, Magic, People, Suzanne

That Loud Pounding Sound You Hear Near Midnight​

Suzanne loves to hike moonlit mountain trails, and her favorite hour for it is midnight.

To give her credit, there are few things so magical as the mountains on a moonlit night. The trees, the bushes, the rocks, and even the occasional animals, all look ghostly, enchanted.

Add to that, the charm of sometimes being able to come within a stone’s throw of wild animals, such as a herd of mule or whitetail deer. Mule deer — at 30 or 40 feet away in the night — are so well camouflaged they can barely be seen at that distance, even in moonlight. And once they spot you, they don’t flee, as they might during the day, but stealthily move off, as silently as they can.

Large, silently moving, dimly seen shapes have a short of eeriness to them. An eeriness that appeals to Suzanne like rain puddles to a child. She loves how the moon enchants the mountains.

Continue reading “That Loud Pounding Sound You Hear Near Midnight​”

Coffee Shop Folks, Coffee Shop Stories, People, Suzanne

Suzanne and I Decide to Get Naked

(About a 3 minute read)

“What’s that?”, I asked, pointing at a large billboard we were passing on the highway.

“I couldn’t read it in time.” Suzanne replied from behind the wheel.

“It said something about a hot spring called ‘The Well’. Ever hear of it?”

“Nope.”

“Take the next exit South.”

Continue reading “Suzanne and I Decide to Get Naked”