Flawed Sexual Response Cycle
The textbook human Sexual Response Cycle that was modeled by Masters and Johnson, back in 1966, has been the model conditioned into all of us as fact. It appears in everything in our culture from porn, public and private school curriculums, and medical sciences.
Before Masters and Johnson perfected them, Kinsey made his mark by producing the first porn films showing first hand how the cycle worked.
The generations following have taken this model as the gospel. We have been repeatedly enacting it in our homes and it has been well saturated through marketing campaigns to become a huge part of the fabric of western culture today. Some people like to refer to it as performance-based-sex.
Unfortunately, this human sexual response cycle is flawed.
The four stages that make up the cycle are the excitement phase, plateau phase, orgasmic phase and the resolution phase. So what’s wrong with that you may ask?
Well first of all the excitement phase is focused on stimulating arousal. This implies that we need to do something special or get something outside of ourselves to get stimulated. When veritably the most connective lovemaking comes from an allowing of arousal to arise from love. Love is the most arousing force there is. As we connect in love we feel compelled to touch one another. If the touch feels safe then we begin to anchor the love we already feel for each other. Neurochemicals relax into a harmonious dance of bliss. With no need to ramp up just allowing and being, we naturally begin to feel warmer and our heart rate increases. We aren’t obligated to react when this happens, we don’t have to do anything we can continue to allow and enjoy each others presence as our energies continually and subtly shift. No need to worry if there is an erection or not, its not required. Again, no need to do anything to ramp up tension, just enjoy floating in the wonder and awe of each others bodies and essence.
The plateau phase is commonly known as the phase right before orgasm occurs. In Taoist teachings they refer to this stage where they have said the boat gets caught in the rapids and comes close to now going over the waterfall. But, this is where we have a beautiful opportunity to choose another way of making love. We can choose to stay floating in the the calm waters for as long as we feel like it, even hours if we choose. We can learn how to recognize when we are getting caught in the rapids and ease back a bit. We can even choose to not orgasm at all. Yes it is perfectly healthy, in fact retaining our sexual energy rather than leaking it out of the body has incredible health benefits. Don’t even go there about energy and it being woo woo and all that..Remember what Einstein, the greatest physicist of all time said: “Everything is energy and that's all there is to it.” So, when we choose to allow ourselves to steer away from orgasm, sex isn’t over within a matter of minutes. The flawed sexual response cycle leaves everyone feeling cheated. It is absolutely impossible for woman to feel any real level of connection in such a short time span. She usually gets an apology from her partner and then she is kind and says ‘that’s ok honey’. Her partner in turn feels inadequate by coming so soon and is at a loss to know what to do about it. Oh my!
Going over the waterfall is a trap for both partners.
The next phase is the orgasm phase which ends the lovemaking. The orgasm phase lasts about 15 seconds. Which is another reason it is flawed. We can learn another way of orgasm which is called a full body orgasm. With this type of orgasm we can stay in a blissful state connected wholly to our partner for as long as we want to. Erections can come and go throughout. Then, we can either have a conventional orgasm when we feel like concluding or we can conclude by not having a convention orgasm and retaining our sexual energy within our bodies.
The resolution or refractory phase is completely different in bonding based lovemaking when we choose a full body orgasm because there isn’t a burst of neurochemicals from the orgasm to come down from (the fall). The penis doesn’t become flaccid like a worn out boxer. And as in conventional sex woman doesn’t have a resolution or refractory phase. And men don’t either if they choose to steer away from conventional orgasm and allow themselves to be bathed in the brilliance of the full body orgasm.
One of the most flawed thing about what we all have been taught about these 4 stages of sexual response is the refractory period. The refractory period actually has a two week cycle that follows conventional orgasm. Its a neurochemical cocktail that doesn’t come without consequences. Some people call it the post-coital cycle and some the orgasm hangover. Women report symptoms similar to PMS so many times they miss that it really is an orgasm hangover. Symptoms include feeling intrusive anxiety and irritability. Men have reported they feel their energy is washed out. They perceive their partners in a negative way and can experience depression and low self-esteem. Also, most people report that women experience more symptoms toward the end of the two week period and men right away after conventional orgasm. Many men have said they can feel like they have been dropped from a ten story building after conventional orgasm.
This drop in neurochemicals, mainly from dopamine levels but also blasted by many other neurochemicals, wreaks havoc on harmony in our relationship.
People have reported that they have tried everything they can think of meditation, sleep and nothing really can change the torrent of feelings that we experience during this time. The best thing to do is just to ride it out. And maybe consider the Not-so-flawed Sexual Response Cycle next time around! Cheers!
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