Updated: Jan 18, 2022
The textbook Human Sexual Response Cycle that was created by Masters and Johnson, back in 1966, has been the model conditioned into all of us.
It expends our entire culture. From marketing campaigns, porn, public and private school curriculums, and medical sciences.
Before Masters and Johnson perfected this model, Kinsey made his mark by producing the first porn films showing firsthand how the cycle worked.
The generations following have taken this model as the gospel. Some people like to refer to it as performance-based sex, which is the loop we have been enacting in our bedrooms for hundreds of years.
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 resolution phase. So what’s wrong with that, you might 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 anything, just allowing and being, we naturally begin to feel warmer and our heart rate increases.
We aren’t obligated to react when this happens, and we don’t have to do anything. We can continue to allow and enjoy each other’s presence as our energies continually and subtly shift. No need to worry if there is an erection or not, it’s not required. Just enjoy floating in the wonder and awe of each other’s bodies and essence.
The Plateau Phase
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.
This is where we have a beautiful opportunity to choose another way of making love. We can choose to stay floating in 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.”
When we choose to allow ourselves to steer away from orgasm, sex isn’t over within a matter of minutes.
The Orgasm Phase
This ends the lovemaking. This 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 conventional orgasm and retaining our sexual energy.
The Resolution/Refractory Phase
The refractory period actually has a two-week cycle that follows conventional orgasm. It’s 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, missing that it's actually is an orgasm hangover.
Symptoms include intrusive anxiety and irritability. Each partner perceives each other 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 experience the effects almost immediately after conventional orgasm.
Men have said they can feel like they have been dropped from a ten-story building after a 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.
This is completely different in bonding-based lovemaking when we choose a full-body orgasm because there isn’t a burst of neurochemicals. The penis doesn’t become flaccid like a worn-out boxer. Contrary to conventional sex, women don’t have a resolution/refractory phase, and neither do men who choose to steer away from conventional orgasms and allow themselves to be bathed in the brilliance of the full-body orgasm.
The sexual response cycle leaves everyone feeling cheated. It is absolutely impossible for a woman to feel any real level of connection in such a short time-span. She usually gets an apology from her partner, to which she probably replies kindly ‘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, and it’s honestly needless when there is another way to make love that is much more gratifying.
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