Attentive & Inventive

The Joyful Work of Becoming Attentive and Inventive
by LiYana Silver

Bare With Me, January 2007

72890664Although love and relationship are often the most important areas in our lives, they are also where we experience the most confusion and suffering. The relationship models we have inherited don’t fit us so well. We have few tools or skills with which to navigate ones we are in. Or we can’t seem to find one at all.

In an intentional community in New Mexico, I was raised on liberal doses of critical thinking, self-expression, and interpersonal relating. During the span of my career from modern dancer to business consultant to nutritional counselor to relationship coach and teacher, I have developed irreverently reverent perspectives on relationships, love and sex. As the traditional boundaries of life and love seem less and less applicable to our current lives, I notice that navigating sex and relationship in the quickly-evolving landscape of 21st century life calls for nothing short of a revolution of relationship re-definition.

Let me introduce myself: LiYana Silver, Relationship Specialist. Consider me your intrepid guide on your joyride to your relationship edges. I am honored to have my life peppered with exquisite relationships – co-created works of art – which have been workshop, crucible and launching pad. Join me as I address the sex and relationship questions posed by ReDefining Monogay. readers.

“I love to have prolonged sex with my partner and nothing gives me more pleasure than when she reaches climax. The problem is that as she's about to, the energy gets so strong that I ejaculate moments before her and cannot continue to bring her to completion. What can I do so that I am not so affected by her energy and able to focus more on her than me?”

First of all, hats off to you for being in the small percentile of men who are actually conscious of his partner’s pleasure and orgasm, and for being as in tune with her energy as you already are.

You have identified the classic conundrum of conscious sex – men tend to reach orgasm quicker than women, partly because the energy given off by a woman close to orgasm is so potent that it usually brings on the male orgasm quicker than intended or desired.

Somewhere along the line you might have received this sage piece of advice: to prolong sex or to stop climaxing before your partner, think about something completely non-sexual, like baseball. Although the intention is good, the problem with it is that it takes your focus entirely off your partner and has you focus on an unrelated subject, which can have you disconnect totally from the moment. And yes, she can feel this. Even if you are thinking about sexy baseball, she can still feel your energy and attention wane or leave.

So, the idea is to manage your sexual energy in a way that still has you stay present with your partner. Let me give you a couple of options. These can not only help you become able to have an orgasm at the same time as or after your partner, but could also allow you to become multi-orgasmic.

The energy of male sexual excitement and orgasm is downward and outward. The energy moves from the top of the body, down the spine, and out the penis, the end result being ejaculation. One way to manage your energy is to consciously reverse that flow of energy, to move it inward and upward instead, using your breath and intention. Another way to say this is to breathe your energy up your spine. This breath work will keep your energy flowing and your attention on both you and your partner, but will ease up the intensity.

If that is a little too subtle, you can also, as you notice you are almost about to climax, contract your Pubococcygeal muscle, or PC for short. Your PC muscle is the one you would activate by stopping the flow of your urine. Sometimes it can be hard to access if you’ve never consciously tried, but believe me, you have one and can cultivate control of it.

However, if that also is a bit too elusive, you (or your partner) can press manually on your perineum area, which will have the same effect. If you catch this before you get into the “no turning back” phase, you will have much longer to spend with your partner before ejaculation. Your perineum, in case you don’t know, is the smooth area between your testicles and anus. Pressing on the perineum area can have the same effect as constriction of the PC muscle, and can actually stop the flow of ejaculate. This will either slow your climax, or might have you be able to orgasm without ejaculation.

The thing to note here is that it is actually possible to separate orgasm from ejaculation. You’ve probably heard that it is possible for men to be multi-orgasmic, as are women. Let me explain how you can.

Without going too far in to the physics of ejaculation, when a man ejaculates, there is a “refractory period” of time wherein he must rest before he will be able to have another erection or ejaculation or orgasm. With either the breath work I described above or physical or manual contraction of your PC muscle, you can learn to stop or delay ejaculation. If you orgasm without ejaculation, you may be able to have another orgasm – and possibly another and another. To learn more about any of these practices, check out the works of David Deida or Mantak Chia, for starters.

While you are working at these practices of managing your sexual energy, it is likely there will be some times when you still come before her. And so to further include your partner, I suggest you take the opportunity to check in with her – what might have her be okay or even delighted by the situation? Ask her to articulate to you some other way you might heed her pleasure, even if you have climaxed before her. It is a rarity and a treasure to have a partner so attentive to her pleasure and satisfaction.

Granted, all of this may require some patience and practice, but I (and likely your partner) could think of worse things to work on!

“My boyfriend and I work together, creating and teaching partner yoga workshops. We always manage to get things organized for our events but generally wait until the last minute because when we get together we get off track, in a good way. How can we establish a "working space" with a different energy than our personal space?”

It sounds like you and your boyfriend have a vibrant working relationship that brings you closer and combines your creativity and talents. Working together can also, as in your case, have you both playing several “roles” at once, which can potentially get pretty confusing pretty quickly.

And at first glance your question seems like an easy and delightful one to address, but it actually touches the tip of the iceberg of modern romance and relationship issues: in playing so many roles within the container of relationship, how best to come together, and how best to individuate? How best to establish boundaries between your selves as work partners, as love partners, as life partners? It seems like so far it has been nothing but fun, but kudos to you for addressing it now before it could become an issue and affect your personal relationship.

No doubt creating partner yoga workshops has you innovating movement possibilities and requires you both to tap your ability to be acutely aware of your own body, while listening and responding to another’s. It is these same skills of awareness, creativity and innovation I would suggest you apply here. In short, identify that you are many things to each other and have fun with it!
Co-created guidelines and agreements are the key to a strong foundation that supports your unique relationship to grow and expand, all the while reflecting you both – the individuals in it.

So how to create some separation between work time and personal time, become more efficient and not so last-minute but keep having a good time in the process? If you have the time and money, I suggest that you physically go to a separate space for working on the workshops, as this would clearly delineate work space from personal space. If you live apart, but need to use a living space for work, decide on whose place is for work, and whose place is for play, and whenever possible, stick to that. Our bodies and energy respond to the environments we are in, so it is more likely work will get done in a space intended for work.

If you live together, and have to do everything in one small shared space (as is the common issue for New York relationships in New York real estate), you’ll want to get even a bit more purposeful in “setting the stage” for work. Apply the intention of going into the office, even if you are using the home or personal space. You can demarcate the space by moving furniture around so the space is more conducive to work energy, and move it back when you are done working. You can also delineate the time when working on the workshops starts and ends.

What I am suggesting here is that you consciously decide what “mode” you are in, when. Are you in “work” mode; in “lover” mode; in “tutor” mode, in “student” mode? You probably do this in some circumstances naturally, but I am suggesting you try doing it more intentionally. It might seem a bit artificial at first, and the roles you are playing might switch around in the next moment, but it being clear what mode you are in and when can bring a lot of clarity to your multi-dimensional relationship. This can also allow you to fully work when you are working and fully play when you are playing. It will also have you both be clear when you want together time, and when you want individual time.

All things considered, it sounds like you and your boyfriend are working well, working together. By applying the same skills you use in your partner yoga work together you can originate guidelines and structures that will support the growth of your relationship as well as circumvent potential problems. It might require a bit of effort initially, but if you proceed in a spirit of playfulness and invention you will continue to discover and co-create the ways that you work best together. And the clarity of who you are within the relationship can inform who you are as an individual outside of the relationship, so you can continue to be two vibrant, attentive beings, coming together to play, create and innovate.


Have a burning question?
I’d love to hear from you! Your question will be answered live in my Ask LiYana tele-class, in my articles, newsletter or other publications. To submit your questions, click here.

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