Know Your Style and Use it to Connect With Your Lover!
A guest post by Somatic Sex Educator and sex expert, Caffyn Jesse (Salt Spring Island, BC)
In my work with couples, I often hear complaints like this:
“She keeps zoning out and disconnecting from me!”
“I feel like a masturbation toy. I could be anyone!”
“Ze wants to tie me up! What kind of feminist is that?”
“I just can’t go deep with him!”
People get caught up in conflicts and shaming around the go-to ways they play in the different dimensions of sexual experience.We all have our go-to ways of being sexual. But when we are unconscious in our choice of sexual scripts, or we think our way is the only “right” way, we come into unnecessary conflict with one another.
Psychologist Donald Mosher was the first to name three different scripts people have for sexual experience: Partner Engagement, Erotic Trance, and Role Play. For each sexual script, there are learnings and competencies that can help us go deeper.
For people whose go-to script is Partner Engagement, sex is primarily an opportunity for profound relationship with another human. You want lots of interaction, eye gazing, cuddling, and connected touch. You love the emotions that flow through mind and body with sexual touch and the mutual giving and receiving of pleasure. You want to be sexual with a partner who is special and unique. Sex is an expression of love. Great sex might mean an archetypal, mystical union and a merging with the divine in your beloved.
You can have more and better sex in this dimension with expanded heartfelt communication and practices from Tantra, including Eye Gazing, Connected Breath, Creating Sacred Space, and Yab-Yum.
For people whose primary sexual script is Erotic Trance, sex is an opportunity for a profound experience of thrilling body sensation. You might tend to close your eyes to better concentrate on what is unfolding within. You are likely to feel pleasure most readily with a non-intrusive partner. Great sex in this style is an immersion in sensation that can be transporting, even hallucinatory – an ecstatic union with all life.
You can get more and better sex in this dimension by deliberately separating giving from receiving. Try Erotic Massage, and Erotic Ritual practices like OneTaste and Orgasmic Yoga. Mindfulness meditation, with Breathing Practices like the “Big Draw,” and “Circulating Erotic Energy” can help expand our capacities in this realm.
People whose go-to script is Role Play really enjoy the erotic imagination, and the way thoughts can stimulate the nervous system to trigger arousal and orgasm. If people can create an environment of permission and playfulness around exploring this dimension, they will have a lot of fun.
Big archetypal themes that are common in fantasies and role play include: Boundary Transgression; Offending Cultural Prescriptions; Power and Surrender; and being an Object of Infinite Desire. Great sex can mean rewriting and physically rewiring stories that are grooved into our nervous system by trauma, oppression, neglect and habit.
You can get more and better sex in this dimension by cultivating your erotic fantasies. Look for images online that trigger a visceral response, and write your own stories about them. Make a scrapbook! Make a “lust list” with 10 fantasy scenarios you want to explore someday, and share them with a partner. Pick one and investigate what it would take to turn the fantasy into a real desire, and from there into a goal with a specific time frame. Would it help to take a workshop, buy a costume, make a date? Watch porn together. Laugh and get silly trying something new.
All three dimensions of sexual experience are immensely valuable. Each has its wonderous gifts. Yet all too often we meet each other at the lowest common denominator. Someone whose go-to script is Erotic Trance will grudgingly offer a partner a few words of love, then hurriedly go back into their inner focus. Someone whose go-to script is Partner Engagement will complain they are always unloved and unmet. Fantasies stay as underdeveloped snippets of erotic thoughts. Role Play is explored in unconscious habits of anger and dependency. Yick! Let’s celebrate all the ways the erotic shows up in our beloveds and ourselves. If we get through our initial discomfort, we can dive deeply into each sexual script. When we commit to learning and playing with conscious awareness in multiple dimensions of sexual experience, we bring new joy into our lives and relationships.