I spend a lot of time actively engaging in activities I hope will prevent me from slowing down: spin class, core exercises, avocados and coconut oil. I will power walk down a beach long before I’ll stroll. If you want to debate gender and sexual politics I will clomp around the room gesticulating. No one would ever describe me as a slow mover. But I’ve discovered a place where I’m happy to slow down; in bed with a man.
Since I decided to limit my exposure to online porn, I’ve been looking to experience sex in ways I might never have seen done before. I also read a book called ‘The Wild Oats Project’ about a woman who gets involved with the San Francisco-based Orgasmic Meditation crowd, whose mission it is to maximize a woman’s experience of sexual arousal by focusing on rhythmic stroking of her clitoris for a set period of time. Along with attention to clitoral stimulation, the group advocates slowing down in sex, and the opening up to a full body experience of orgasm, not just the ‘crotch sneeze’ of a climax.
Despite the notion that men would prefer fast sex and women slow, an online survey of 500 men and women found that men were generally more interested in slow sex than women. This, despite the fact that women typically take significantly longer to orgasm than men. A cynic might read this as a woman’s preference to get sex over with and a man’s desire to make it last as long as possible. Perhaps, like me, women like it fast because we enjoy the feeling of power we experience when our partners orgasm; we are conditioned to have furious, banging sex to get that to happen. Clearly this is an area where we need to start talking.
When I first asked a partner to engage in slow sex with me I had nothing particular in mind, and didn’t want to be prescriptive. I figured I’d see what he came up with. This man had me lean back against his chest and he stroked my breasts and nipples for over a half hour. It was luscious. I thought, with enough practice, I might even be able to orgasm this way. Maybe I’ll give up breakfast for a lie-in and a half-hour stroking of my breasts to get a shot of oxytocin instead of caffeine.
Hand in hand with slowing down the pace of sex is creating more time for sex. In our zeal to multitask we’ve established the attention spans of goldfish, even though we’re supposedly trying to create more free time in our lives. Not only are we thinking and moving fast, we’re eating fast food and buying it at the drive-through. Screw the 15 minute lunch. Set yourselves down for a naked, multi-course, lovingly cooked meal of licks and kisses, fingers and tongues, deep and shallow breathing and yeah, that too. Don’t forget the wine and dessert.
Great Sex Made Simple: Tantric Tips to Deepen Intimacy & Heighten Pleasure and Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-first Century are books filled with savory, sensual exercises with their foundation in the slow, Tantric traditions of connecting with a partner. It can seem like too much unfamiliar information at first but rather than adhere to a ten-point plan for awesome orgasms using a study guide, simply read and consider how you might take just one or two things and incorporate them into your sex life. Breathe deeply and in tandem, place a hand over your lover’s heart as you do so. Kiss for ten minutes without wandering anywhere else.
If fast sex is passion, slow sex is connection. Slow sex is prioritizing your time with a partner and discovering new ways to create pleasure in each other. It’s not about getting to orgasm and getting done. In fact, deliberately avoiding orgasm can open your head and body up to an experience of sex which is fully different than what you’re used to. If you do feel yourself ready to climax during slow sex one of the boldest ways to do this is with your eyes open, gazing into your lover’s eyes. It’s hard. The few times I’ve had a man look into my eyes when he’s coming he wore an expression that said, ‘Good god, my balls are being electrocuted.’ Practice I say, practice.
So even though I’m fighting against my body slowing down due to age, I will slow it down for sex. It’s like enjoying the fruits of midlife by spending more time and money at a Michelin star restaurant. That’s a meal you’ll remember long after all your trips to Pret.
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