PO Box 55045, Phoenix Az 85078-5045
Promoting Intimacy and Other-Centered Sexuality
COPYRIGHTED 1997 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED - MAY BE REPRINTED OR QUOTED FROM ONLY IF CREDIT IS GIVEN LIBERATED CHRISTIANS, MAILING ADDRESS IS SHOWN AND WE ARE SENT A COPY OF PUBLICATION.
From October Intimacy Workshop "Room of Love" Goal
Including Ideas of Nancy of Anakosha/The Sanctuary In Florida
In the Intimacy Workshop on October 5, 1996, we shared with a great group some ideas and practical examples of loving intimacy. Here is a part of what Dave shared, followed by some comments on group discussion on physical techniques, vs emotional intimacy.
We know that learning to share intimacy, especially in a group setting, is difficult and we really are trying to brave new territory since we don't see any model to follow. Some that are active with Stan Dale's workshops and who attend their ongoing monthly gatherings tell me that these tend to be more social, talking events than a continuation of the so called "room of love" that is created at the Workshops. It seems we need structured activities to be intimate, at least in a group.
I've been at swing conventions in orgy rooms with lots of sex going on but little of what I perceive as real intimacy. Our goal is to try and someday create, for those interested, a room of love as a group, as well as encouraging you to include more intimacy in your own private relationships. Many of you may have no interest in any group setting, but for those who do and already have great intimacy skills, hopefully you will enjoy sharing, helping and supporting others who want to have more intimacy in their relationships.
There has been the beginning of this at some of the parties and I hope this will continue. Also, just in the last two weeks I've had two great threesome experiences with people from the latest intro that indicate we do have some people interested in loving intimacy in outside relationships.
The only person I've met in the lifestyle that really seems to have tried to make this happen is Nancy, founder of Club Sensitivity Seminars, which for 12 years offered seminars on swinging in Tampa before her husband died and a local preacher tried to get their group closed. Nancy and I share many ideas on intimacy, but often have the same frustrations.
We've been exchanging letters for a few years and finally met at a Florida swing convention last spring where I did our Liberated Christians presentation, and we were both on a sex and spirituality panel. Nancy and her new husband Doug have founded Anakosha and the Sanctuary and host weekly swing parties again.
Nancy jokingly once told me she did such a great job training swingers, but has failed in teaching love and intimacy. I'd like to share Nancy's ideas from her Reunion Newsletter, since she has so many more years of experience than I and as a woman expresses what many women feel. She says:
"To encourage sincerity and love would do a world of good for a lot of people. Sex without love, or at least some form of affection, is hard to handle. Hugging just a little bit longer, and stroking with just a little more meaning behind it, as though we really cared for them as people, not just as sex objects, would greatly enhance the depth of pleasure and prolong the feeling of arousal. We all need some emotional healing time.
Awesome things happen sexually when loving behavior is integrated into the sex act, both at home and in the lifestyle. Yes, I know. A lot of people are afraid of it, especially men. That's why it's been cut out of lifestyle parties. Men feel awkward with it but the behavior can be learned. They are learning. I know men who have changed dramatically under their wives' tutelage. And it's time.
Now that we've learned how to have sex with the many others, it is time to go to the next level and learn how to love the many others.
When SSG was at its zenith, we saw love being experimented with during the parties between people. Granted, not a whole lot, but it was beginning. It was working.
We understand that most men don't want to do it that way, and since the lifestyle is overly male in its approach we have goal oriented parties with sex as the focus, not love or affection or extended foreplay. If women were in charge, parties would be different. (I can hear loud sounds of protest over that one!) But Lifestyle parties really do overlook the need for emotional comfort and the fact that most people would prefer, if they had their 'druthers, to "grow" into someone's space rather than be rushed, pushed or pulled into it.
I have talked with a number of men whose wives have quit attending parties. The husband blames menopause and thinks she is losing interest in sex. But in my discussions with some of these women I find that they are not losing interest in sex as much as they are increasing their need for affection and not getting it at the parties. They want to be held and loved more before sex is thrust upon them. They want to feel as if they are wanted and appreciated as a person and not a sex object. They want to be physically stroked, massaged, kissed, embraced and caressed for longer periods of time in extended foreplay. A lady recently told Doug & me that she was coming away from parties feeling "empty," that immediately upon arrival men were groping.
Well, not everybody wants love in their swing life and that's okay. Not all women do, either, and that's all right. You don't have to go with the flow if you don't want to. It's your choice."
For about a year now Nancy has been back with swing parties at a new place called The Sanctuary, trying to integrate love and intimacy with swinging. Just this past week I received a long letter from Nancy...here are some of her interesting comments.
"I'm starting off each party with an invitation to join me in a massage in the mediation-turned-group room. This has been working quite well" She then jokes about too much social conversation going on saying, "I really do believe people talk too much. They would have a lot more fun if they stopped talking and started stroking." (I very much relate to that since I tend to sometimes communicate love for a person better with my hands than my mouth).
Back to Nancy...She continues, "The feminine issue of needing more stroking is top most in my mind. While men have the same problems that women have, women, I've found, can break through their negative programming easier than men and become highly sensual with prolonged touching, soothing stroking, kissing and affection, plus labia massage followed by yoni (G-spot) massage. The technique is teachable. But with men, its harder. I've not had the same luck with men because they resist so much. They want to stay in control. I believe impotency could be helped a great deal if only men would give up being the controller. I would like to see a good workshop showing men how to love unconditionally. The Lifestyle is full of men who just think about themselves and forget that they are supposed to give pleasure too. Men are not programmed to give pleasure, except for a few. I want to be fair and say there are those men out there who are different, but to tell the truth, I don't see them hardly at all. So it is time for erotic skill training sessions.
We are going to add one more party a month for the 20's and 30's age group. The older people are very difficult to teach new ways to, so we've concluded that we can't change them. But the younger couples are more sensitive and more trainable. They are the future."
While Nancy may be hard on men, many women also tell me the same thing and some are amazed at what is possible, when they share with me intimately. Women keep telling me they so much want more good loving touch intimacy, not JUST great physical sex and orgasms. But many men don't understand this desire of many women.
So what is this magic that so many women want but only a few men seem to know how to give? Its almost too simple to explain. Its simply loving, nurturing touch. Its simply the right kind of touch and knowing how to touch and where to touch in loving intimate ways. It is not about groping sexual touch. Foreplay can be full of great intimate touch instead of "Ready - Brace." While having sex, it's different ways of holding her or positions that are much more intimate than just the typical "spread- her-legs-and-get-it-in-and thrust" type of sex. I enjoy a legs-together position that most women tell me they really enjoy but often have never done before. Even in the hug circle in the Phoenix groups, despite all our direction about intimacy, not sexual groping, in the past women have told us that some men just insist on being too sexual. They have not learned that sexual touch is much different than intimate touch. Many men find enjoyment when they learn intimacy, but others will never enjoy anything but sexual touch. And some women don't want intimacy either. Some men and women need to break barriers to intimacy, but when they do, they often they find their sexuality much more fulfilling.
Emotional And Physical Intimacy
In the Intimacy meeting we also had a very good discussion about emotional intimacy. While much of what we talked about was physical "techniques," most people need more emotional intimacy which includes communications and getting to know and trust the person. This is why traditional swinging is not emotionally fulfilling to many couples.
We can enjoy the "techniques" of physical intimacy but we also want to be nurtured and feel close emotional intimacy. This is harder and takes longer to develop for most people. Yet good touch and physical intimacy can also be shared and enjoyed for its own sake. We don't have to eliminate either type of intimacy but seek to integrate both in our relationships, whether they are primary, secondary or casual relationships. Sometimes we emphasize physical intimacy in the group but we don't mean to exclude the importance of emotional intimacy.
As one wise woman wrote reflecting on the intimacy discussion at the meeting:
"...physical intimacy can enhance a chance encounter or be a building block for a deeper relationship. By getting beyond physical inhibitions you open the door for emotional levels at a later point. Physical inhibitions are the easiest to work on and really should be the first step not the last. If the group never gets to the next step, OK. It could take awhile and that is not a bad thing."
She continues to express excellent ideas on intimacy by saying: "Intimacy is really MUCH more (than physical); it's a connection to the other person and cannot be done immediately. You can like the person, enjoy their presence, but without full intimacy you cannot participate in the full experience.
"The psyche is what is 'turning' you on. All the physical elements may exist but without a desire there isn't going to be anything more than just rubbing parts. Example, when I am with someone I ALWAYS look in their eyes. But in the absence of words all that is happening is two people trying to figure out what the other is thinking. If he doesn't' care what I am thinking he will initiate more physical activity, if he does care he will talk to me; make some statement. I will say something like 'I am really happy to be here' or 'I am excited about sharing with you because I think you are nice (or like your ideas or something about them)'. At that point I have made an attempt at emotional intimacy. There is more meaning attached to my next physical touch not an empty gesture with guesses behind it. (It goes further than that...)
"Good sex is OK, but I think life is built on touching inside each other not just on the outside. I could walk into your room of love and have sex with anyone in the room. Even the worst lover can be coaxed and directed into a pleasurable experience. But there would be people in the room that I would prefer to be with, because of the next level. The emotional level. He would respect me more, care about me, start connecting with me on the inside. That's where the next step lies. (There is nothing wrong with sex, enjoying it, getting beyond inhibitions. But there is also more than that)."
NOTE: A audio tape from a 1997 Intimacy Workshop where we discuss these ideas and introduce the hug circle is available for $10 to cover costs. To purchase snailmail $10 to Liberated Christians, PO Box 55045, Phoenix Az 85078-5045.
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