The silent saboteur of intimate relationships
The way you make love can affect your emotional health; is it time to change the way you do it?
Picture this: you’ve just made love. You’re feeling good. Things feel sunny in your world. Then your partner has a little dig at you. Or seems to be ignoring you. Just a little comment that sends a few clouds over your heart. You react, and then, before too long, you are both getting emotional.
Wait a minute! You just made love! How can this be happening? One minute you felt like the world was beautiful, the next, you feel lonely, isolated, and distant.
This scenario can enter a couple’s world for no apparent reason at all. It seems incomprehensible that, if you just spent beautiful intimate time together, the exact opposite could be happening just minutes later! (Sometimes it’s hours later, or sometimes the next day.)
This is all too common in many relationships. If you really bring awareness to the patterns of behaviour after making love, you might even start observing it in yourself. It might be a feeling of unrest, of being on edge, or feeling lonely and distant.
If so, there may be a silent saboteur at play here. The way we make love can have a profound influence on our emotional world.
Who would have thought that how you made love just a few days ago could be actually sparking this unrest within and between you?
Barry Long, an Australian spiritual master, termed conventional sex as ‘emotional sex’. In conventional sex, high levels of excitement, sensation and physical tension force the release and discharge of the energy downwards. Many spiritual masters say that when energy is moved downward in the body in discharge, tension is the by-product. Instead, if energy is allowed the time and space to move upwards, without force, as in tantric-style practice based on relaxation, the result is silence, contentment, and joy.
The by-product of building up a high charge of excitement is that ultimately tension, or a charge, is produced and deposited into the body system. The body is always trying to come to balance; so, later on, this ‘charge’ needs to be released one way or another, and eventually may appear in the form of emotions.
You might have a feeling of separation and loneliness. Many people in our retreats deny these feelings when they hear about this, but then, when they begin to observe in detail how they really feel after the usual discharge of tension, many report exactly that – separation, agitation, edginess. Citing a growing body of research, Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow author Marnia Robinson points out that the effects of orgasm can linger for as long as two weeks, colouring emotions, projections and priorities.
With continuous, repetitive high-level excitement with peak and discharge style sex, there is a continual rise and fall of dopamine, the ‘happy’ hormone or reward hormone, which can cause something like a ‘hangover’. It’s the same chemical that goes off in the brain when taking heroin, and the same hormone that causes addiction. The more we have, the more we want – and the same goes for orgasm.
To avoid this consequence, it helps to make love in relaxation, avoiding the build-up of tension. This naturally allows the energy to be recirculated throughout the body system, bringing more balance to your emotional world.
Bring mindfulness to how you make love and you will naturally create the environment for the energy to rise, and enjoy more harmony and balance in your life and relationship. n