Is it the "thrill" of sex that causes many couples to have problems?

Submitted by TommyMaddox on
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Another thing I've been thinking a lot about lately is whether one of the big challenges in relationships is that the sex isn't "thrilling" anymore. Think about it. It seems based on our biochemistry that the recipe for loss of sexual desire would be to have sex with the same person in the same setting in the same ways and all with the complete approval of society. Contrast that with the rush people might have when thinking about starting an affair. Or two teenagers making out and being deathly afraid of being caught. Or even the porn addict who is also nervous about getting caught (adrenaline rush) and excited about the novelty of "new" partners.

It seems like a lot of what Marnia teaches is to basically condition ourselves to not want the thrill anymore. And perhaps that simply the only way for us as humans to be able to maintain long-term monogamous relationships. But I do wonder if it's the only way. At a certain point, this all feels like asceticism and while we might be trading in the intensity of dopamine surges for the good steady uncurrent of oxytocin there's something there that's ultimately all about overriding our inherited neurochemistry. It's a little like people who get on a health kick and tell others that they like the taste of lettuce more than that of chocolate cake. Is that really the case or have they simply conditioned themselves to feel this way (assuming they're not simply lying!)?

It seems like even if you're able to pull back from dopamine surges (through abstaining from orgasm) that you still have a linkage in your brain with one type of experience (e.g., sex in a risky place or with a novel partner) and the intense emotions you felt. My concern is if that's the case and a similar situation presents itself in the future (e.g., the opportunity to cheat on your partner with someone new) will you be able to override those feelings? To go even further, will the oxytocin promoting bonding activities form new neural pathways in the brain that now link up more pleasurable emotion to being intimate with your existing partner than to seeking a new partner.

This seems to be what is being suggested by Marnia's work but I'm not sure she has ever gone so far as to say this (I've only read Cupid's Poisoned Arrow so perhaps there's something in Peach Between on the Sheets on this front). I have a high degree of sexual energy and have been unfaithful in past relationships and want to do everything I can to make sure I am 100% faithful to my existing partner. That's why this topic is very interesting. I do know that the thought of having sex with someone other than my partner excites more than I would like it to (although that of course doesn't mean I will act on it). The good news is that now after reading about The Coolidge Effect, evo psych, etc. I understand why that is the case. However, what I haven't found much of is prescriptive options for solidifying a monogamous relationship (other than the bonding behaviors).

yea thrill, that ties in

yea thrill, that ties in heavily with the whole 'good guy vs badboy jerk' thing that good guys finish last because good guys are seen to be "less thrilling" and why girls go looking for 'social thrills'... cheat for thrills, in a way that is most hurtful of the man involved in the relationship, the type of cheating like when the women cheat on good husbands at clubs and parties and degrade to really hurtful and betraying things, risky behavior with men who would just laugh in the face of the husband, even take a beating from him. I think it also has to do with the brutal competition in our ancient history.

Tommy

Although "thrill" might not exactly the be the word I would use, my experience is that Karezza style lovemaking puts the thrill BACK into sex with ones partner, it sure has between Annabelle and I. Personally, I have no interest in accepting anything less than the absolute best sex I can have. I dont want to condition myself not to want the thrill, I want it.

Again, the word "thrill" has certain connotations so let me put it this way, I want the thrill but not the ups and downs that go with it, or for it to end. The word thrill kind of denotes a high point and then an end. I want it to go on in a state of consistency. Karezza, once you get the hang of it gives you a steady feeling, not to high and not to low. I want my "thrill" delivered by different means.

Let me use sugar as an example. Sugar gives you energy. Unfortunately it also gives you a sugar buzz and then dumps you, requiring more sugar to pick you up again. A balanced diet on the other hand gives you the energy without the ups and downs, or the sugar style "thrill". I think of karezza like this. I like my dopamine, lets just meter it out in a more balanced way and mix it with some nice oxytocin. God, I sound like some druggie mixing up his brew. I have Marnia and Gary to thank for this perspective.

My sex life is better than its ever been. I'm getting more, and better sex than I ever have. I'm enjoying it more, and am much more bonded to my wife. All thanks to karezza. Karezza style lovemaking is way more pleasurable than conventional sex. I dont feel like I've given up anything at all. Conventional style sex has absolutely no attraction for me at all. Orgasming?..... Boring!!

There's another point as well, which I think ties into the "thrill" thing. I believe some of us simply have more sexual energy running than others, and this can get us "horn dogs" in trouble. Have you noticed how some folks hardly have sex on their radar at all. Sometimes I envy them. For myself, I need a strategy to manage the amount of sexual energy that has flowed through me for pretty much as long as I can remember. People with a lot of this energy tend to get themselves in trouble, sexually speaking. Karezza to the rescue! Karezza is like natural ridilan for the ADHD personality. Its been a life saver for me.

The only down side to karezza is it takes time before it really kicks in and becomes a sweet flow. To all you newcomers, hang in there and keep practicing, the flow will happen. It takes a while before you'll be willing to say, "boring" about orgasming.

Excellent points,

Excellent points, Darryl!

One of the best things about it, for me, is it takes away that urgency you normally feel during sex and lets you go slowly with the flow...so rather than a quick thrill it's a long-lasting, pleasurable, sensual, loving experience.

My lover and I have both become "addicted" to that~~and it's something you can't just go pick up any person off the street and experience it with...by definition, it almost has to be with someone you cherish and love.

Very soothing to the soul and less of a thrill and more of a spiritual experience.

rediscovered

Time resensitizes brains

(if you get your foot off the orgasm accelerator Wink ). Until your brain has returned (or surpassed?) normal sensitivity, other people's karezza stories will sound apochryphal. That's just how it is.

And if you're a slow learner like me...you'll get a taste of karezza's gifts...slip back into orgasmic sex...lose the amazing feelings...and wonder if it was all a meaningless detour. And you'll do it more than once. Smile

In my case, I so loved the harmony that built during the karezza lovemaking that I found the crankiness and friction that arose during the weeks after orgasmic sex less and less tolerable. That's what drove me back every time. Eventually I realized consistency led to greatest overall pleasure.

So take your time; make your own experiments. And try not to draw any fixed conclusions about what is possible based on your experience to date. Things change as your brain changes.