The act of going to bed with someone may seem superficially similar from person to person: we feel hot for our partner tonight, we go to bed with them; we are attracted to someone new and feel comfortable with the situation that is evolving, we go to bed with them. Simple as that?
Not really. Every person is looking for and expressing different emotions through sex, and many arguments and disassociations arise between couples who are looking for different things and not communicating about it.
So there is the key: communication. If you are in a relationship it would be very unlikely for you not to have a few bumps in the road (!) when it comes to sex. Your needs and feelings around sex will change over time and you cannot expect to second-guess each other. Talking things through and having a solid history of good communication will stand you in great stead not only for dealing with your sexual life, but also with all the other complexities and challenges of life which we all inevitably face.
If you are single but enjoy casual sex then communication may or may not be a long-term project with individual partners, but great communication with all partners is still essential as it will protect your physical and emotional health. What are your partner’s expectations? What are yours? If it’s not clear then it is likely that someone will get hurt.
It may be that whether you are in a relationship or not, part of the way you use sex is to mask and numb complicated feelings. Good partner communication will help you to understand this and develop yourself as a person. Applying understanding and consciousness to all behaviours in life helps to lift us out of habit, and learn and grow.
Men and women may have very different ideas about what they want and need from sex, often not following traditional stereotypes or social expectations. Good sex can allow us to find out more about who we are and how we feel about ourselves, our partners and our lives and can be a conduit through which to develop our emotional selves, our spirituality and our connection to the body. It can also be a simple release and good fun, or a healing or bonding experience, or a stress-buster, or an adrenaline rush, or many other things. Good sex releases great, feel-good body chemicals and is good for you as long as you are practising safe sex and are secure in your emotional well-being.
The true meaning, or to be more accurate, meanings, of sex to each individual cannot really be judged with a quick self-audit. Taking time to really ‘sit with’ (experience quietly, look at) the emotions that the desire for sex and the experience of sex brings can help to uncover more layers of meaning and encourage self-realisation. Doing this work in conjunction with a partner who is also seeking greater consciousness or understanding can be of huge benefit, whether that is within a traditional relationship or not.
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