Ask any therapist and they will tell you that no therapeutic technique or program can ever be expected to be 100% effective. But in the small sample of the 100 cases I treated or supervised before writing How to Fall Out of Love: evenly divided between male & female; college students to people in their late sixties; gay, straight, and bi-sexual, I had a 100% success rate. I couldn’t believe it, but it was true.
“It works, it works,” I shouted out loud. I was so happy. I thought “this is how Edison must have felt when his light bulb first glowed.”
I felt as if I had invented aspirin or penicillin. And I knew that I had to write a book about my program. I have never had an unsuccessful outcome with my How to Fall Out of Love clients. I do a two year follow-up and in a few cases, I’ve done some “touch-up,” usually for jealousy, the most stubborn of the emotions in unrequited love.
Yes, falling out of love is harder to do by yourself without the guidance and encouragement of a trained therapist. But if you are in enough pain, do the exercises, the program in this book will work for anybody who is in pain because their love is not returned or because they are in a dead end relationship.
Why do people who barely know each other have sex? A huge number of single adults assume that if they like each other, they’ll have sex on the first date.
And then they wonder why they feel empty and unhappy. If the sex was any good it was a miracle because great sex is all about affection, love, vulnerability, trust and communication. You can’t conjure those emotions and skills out of thin air. Especially not with a stranger. Your chances of getting it wrong are very high. Making love to Sally the way you made love to your former girlfriend Joan is like forcing Sally into Joan’s clothes. It’s uncomfortable, awkward and, well, all wrong. Sex with a stranger can hurt either one of you or both. One of you might feel waves of affection. While the other can’t wait to get away.
Great sex isn’t an accident and it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s worth repeating: great sex is the result of the trust, affection, intimacy and confidence between two people who take the time it takes to know and love each other. Some people need more time than others. Of course there are exceptions, there are always exceptions. Sex and love may not be connected. But great sex and love are.
Sex without commitment is losing its appeal for both men and women. The idea of waking up with someone we don’t know or trust or would not even choose as a friend is far worse than having no partner at all. If women were ever lured by casual sex, it was our way of overcompensating for past repression, of breaking out the Victorian closet with the advent of the Pill. To be sexually unrestricted was considered Nirvana; it was our total declaration of independence. We could finally enjoy the privileges men had enjoyed all along, including the right to “sleep around”. But the emotional casualties of the new freedom were very high.
The reason: Early conditioning and deep-seated values cannot suddenly be erased by fool-proof contraception and adopting even the most liberated outward behavior; they can’t be easily overcome by progressive or radical social trends. The resulting conflicts experienced by many women in the throes of the sexual revolution manifested itself in a variety of ways. The failure to feel or respond, a sense of numbness, the inability to get aroused, and most frequently to have an orgasm were among the consequences. (Without romance, without intimacy, feelings are going to inevitably be dulled). But probably the most dramatic outcome was the appearance of performance anxiety. A perennial male problem, it began showing up in women in the late seventies. (I’ll go into that in tomorrow’s blog.)
Yes, women are more assertive, opening up areas that were closed to them. On the other hand, some women focus on orgasms, and emphasize performance as much as men do; and can miss out on the sweetness, intimacy, love, joy and pleasure of great sex.
And men, while they’ve been relieved of some of the male burden of always having to take the lead, are often confused. Their old macho role has been discredited. But they still focus on performance — rushing to bed and rushing to intercourse, as if that were the goal of making love. If they haven’t learned sensitivity and tenderness, men don’t know what’s expected of them in lovemaking. Sometimes a man is the target of a woman’s anger when what they both need is empathy. Sure roles are changing, and there’s more sex — but sexual communication between men and women is still stuck back in the 20th century.
What I see now is sex without intimacy, sex without pleasure: people trapped in destructive, repetitive habits, doing things they don’t want to do, uncertain and afraid to try the things they’d like to do — men needing to know more about the sexuality of women, women needing to know more about the sexuality of men.
What do you think? Is sex without commitment losing its appeal for both mean and women? Is the idea of waking up with someone we don’t know or trust or would not even choose as a friend far worse than having no partner at all? Send me a youtube link of your thoughts and I’ll feature it on this weeks blog!
The female orgasm can be elusive. It can be derailed by a stray worry, a voice in a distant room, a childhood memory coming out of nowhere, and, most commonly, from feeling pressure to have an orgasm. There are times when it can feel as elusive as a unicorn. And striving for an orgasm leads to disappointment, not orgasms. Orgasms are learned. In other words, women who have never had an orgasm are not shortchanged by nature, or unemotional, or unfeminine.
They are pre-orgasmic. They have not yet learned how to have an orgasm. (Before I go any further, let me recommend an excellent book for pre-orgasmic women: For Yourself, by Lonnie Barbach.) Apart from never having had an orgasm, a whole range of orgasm difficulties can occur. Some women no longer have them, although they once did. Others can have them with one partner but not another, or can have them masturbating but not with a partner.
Some women have an aversion to the whole idea of sex. Some just don’t seem to become aroused. Some reach very high levels of arousal but never quite reach anorgasm. For all of these difficulties and several more besides, there is a correspondingly complex range of causes. Some women never learned how to have an orgasm because they never learned how to masturbate.
Some women don’t get the right kind of stimulation from their partners. Some women have anxiety that blocks orgasms. There has always been a surfeit of feminine anxiety about sex (sex is dirty, penis fears, fear of pregnancy, and so on). Since the pill, and the women’s movement there’s a new performance anxiety I’ve just mentioned; a “modern woman’s duty” to have multiple and simultaneous orgasms and to give her partner pleasure at the same time. Depression, anxiety, guilt about pleasure, pain, fatigue, boredom, anger, dislike of your partner, and fear of being vulnerable all inhibit female orgasms.
For a video and more information click here.