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!

Abstinence Only Sex Ed, Adolescent Sexuality, Bad Ideas, Cultural Traits, Culture, Denialism, Ethics, Human Nature, Life, Living, Memes, Morality, Morals, Sex, Sexuality, Society, Values, Village Idiots

Sex Education in the World Today

(About a 2 minute read)

I am of the alarming opinion that American and United Kingdom sex education is rather on the deficient side, crazy as my opinion might sound to this blog’s typically well-informed readers.

Nevertheless, even if that is so, there is fair and just cause for joint UK – USA pride.

We both beat India.

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Belief, Christianity, Cultural Traits, Culture, Education, Faith, Family, Fun, God, Honesty, Intellectual Honesty, Mysticism, Nontheism, Parent / Child, Play, Reason, Religion, Skeptical Thinking, Thinking, Truth, Values

How Mom Raised Me to Think For Myself About Religion

(About a 9 minute read)

We used gold star stickers in Sunday School. You licked them and stuck them to you. I always wanted my teacher to lick them — because I would over-lick them — and I always wanted her to stick them to my forehead.

It was almost the only good and decent thing I could fathom came of attending Sunday School.

When we three sons would ask Mom why we could not stay home to play on Sunday mornings, she would tell us that “Christianity is your cultural heritage and you should be exposed to it.”

That was mildly confusing because not only did I fail to fully understand what “culture” and “heritage” were, but it also seemed to contradict Mom’s almost scandalously old fashion notion that we were not to make up our minds about religion until we had “reached the age of understanding”.  That is, until we were at least 18 and “preferably 21”.

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Failure, From Around the Net, Goals, Life, Living, Resilience, Success, The Art of Living Well

Failure and Resilience

(About a 2 minute read)

Bob was a university president and — with his wife, Edith — a frequent dinner guest at our table while I was in high school.  I recall one evening Bob used a word new to me. Vita.

“Oh, I mean a curriculum vitae, Paul.” Bob said as an aside in answer to my question.  He all too quickly hastened back to what he’d been talking about.  I could tell by his smile he was merely pretending that he had sufficiently explained to me what a vita was.

“Wait!  What’s a curriculum vitae?”

Bob looked at me in triumph that I had risen to his bait.  Then his expression suddenly changed to fake, drop-jaw shock.  “You don’t know…let’s be sure about this…you do not know what a curriculum vitae is?

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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.

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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.

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Alienation From Self, Belief, Consciousness, Education, Fantasy Based Community, Human Nature, Ideas, Ideologies, Learning, Liars Lies and Lying, Life, Living, Reality Based Community, Skeptical Thinking, Spiritual Alienation, Thinking, Truth

Only a Child Can Believe

(About a 3 minute read)

The next time someone gives you directions, take a moment to notice how you feel about them both before and after you have taken them and discovered for yourself they got you where you wanted to go.

Did your feelings change a little bit?  My own feelings change.  Not much, but still perceptibly change.  Near as I can figure, that’s the difference between my believing that something is true and my accepting that something is true.  It’s the difference between my conscious mind believing something, and my whole mind — including my subconscious — believing something is true.

I have a friend who is in the habit of saying, “I believe you, Paul”.  I have known him for at least a decade, and I have yet to see evidence he has believed me even once about anything!

Continue reading “Only a Child Can Believe”