Sexology of the Vaginal Orgasm

BOOK: Sexology of the Vaginal Orgasm
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 . 
Sexology of the Vaginal Orgasm
   - 
Karl F. Stifter




Helpful knowledge for in-depth feeling




Vienna 2005
Stifter, Karl F.:
Sexology of the Vaginal Orgasm Karl F. Stifter – Eschen; HEDACO Int. Ltd. Eschen, 2005


ISBN 3-950-1985-0-4


© 2005 HEDACO Int. Ltd. Eschen All rights reserved
Printed in Germany 2005
Publisher: fgb • freiburger graphische betriebe, Freiburg


Translated by A.S.S., C.R.N., J.K., S.S. English Editor: Andrea Lyman


ISBN 3-950-1985-0-4


Dedicated to all PELflex Users

Table of Contents
  1. The Climax of Intercourse between the Sexes 9
    1. Preface 9
    2. Definitions and Frequency 10
    3. Clitoral, Vaginal or Simply Sexual? 11
    4. Psychological Aspects 14
      1. Sexual Fantasies 15
      2. Feminism and Desire 19
      3. Ecstasy 26
      4. Zen Sex 29
      5. Bioenergetic Blockades 31
      6. Foreplay 32
        1.5. Reasons for the Female Orgasm 35
  2. The Basic Features of Erotic Attraction 38
    1. The Female Face 39
    2. The Eyes 41
    3. The Figure 43
      1. The Waist-Hip Proportion 43
      2. The Pelvic Tilt 43
      3. The Swaying of the Hips 44
    4. The Attractive Male Face 45
    5. Body Height 46
    6. Genes Don’t Explain it All 47
    7. Gender-specific Attractiveness and
      its Effects 47
    8. Male Status 49
    9. Pheromones 52
    10. Sex Signals 59
  3. Jealousy and Promiscuity 61
    1. Gender-specific Aspects 61
    2. A Desire of Variety 63
  4. Different Notions of the Vagina 66
    1. Image 66
    2. Negative Image and Lack of Symbolic Content 68
    3. The Old Roots of Power 72
      1. Sheela-na-gig 73
      2. Vaginal “Genital Display” as a Sign of Derision and Defense 75
      3. The Monstrous Potency of the Vagina 78
      4. A Solemn Oblation 80
  5. The G Spot 81
    1. The Female Prostate 81
    2. Gräfenberg and the Consequences 84
    3. The Deaf Vagina of the Sexual Pioneers 89
  6. The Orgasm-Promoting Vaginal Muscle Structure 91
    1. The Lost-Penis Syndrome 91
    2. The Love Muscle 92
    3. Finding the Right One 96
    4. Unconscious Interaction between
      Pleasure and the PC Muscle 98
    5. The Tao of the PC Muscle 100
    6. Optimal Training with PELflex 102
      1. Preparation 105
      2. Execution 106
      3. Recommended Additional Exercises 108
  7. Raising Vaginal Awareness 111
    1. Learning from the Indians 113
    2. Perineum and Awareness 115
  8. Female Ejaculation 119
    1. Long History of Fallacies 123
      1. The Medicinal Draining of the
        Female Semen 131
      2. From Curative to the Contrary 134
      3. Cynical Sexual Sadism 136
      4. The Inadequacy of the Female Sexual
        Response 139
      5. The Theologia Moralis 142
      6. The Last Ignoramuses 143
    1. Rediscovery 146
    2. My own Analyses 148
    3. Increasing Knowledge 149
    4. Like a Japanese Fireman’s Hose 153
    5. Ethnological Evidence of Female Ejaculation 155
    6. Do Woman Actually Want a Prostate? 158
Bibliography 163
Illustrations 195
Acknowledgements 199


The Climax of Intercourse between the Sexes
    1. Preface
      I bring to this book my 25 years of experience as a sex therapist and sexologist in order to present the basic knowl- edge needed to help achieve orgasm during intercourse. These pages are intended for those who see it as a means of enriching their lives and sexual relationships. Nothing could be further from my mind than to fuel the feeling of being pressured to perform or to preach ideological sexual standards. And it is certainly not my intent, in the chapters that follow, to explain to women how to “come”. Numerous authors have already endeavored to do so over the last dec- ade, as evidenced by the stacks of “how-to” manuals they have penned. Instead, in the ensuing chapters I shall attempt to gain some sexological perspective and highlight those contexts best suited for changing attitudes about promo- ting orgasm. I trust my male perception will not distort, but rather serve to show certain facets more vividly. They say it takes two to tell the truth…
    2. Definitions and Frequency
      According to estimates, approximately 10% of all women are generally anorgasmic (Bancroft, 1985; p. 199). This means that they are unable to reach sexual climax despite the presence of the proper situational framework and despi- te being appropriately and sufficiently stimulated, neither by masturbating nor during sexual intercourse. The percen- tage of women unable to climax during sexual intercourse, but indeed able to experience orgasm during other forms of sexual activity, amounts to over 60%. These women are referred to as
      anorgasmic. The term
      pre- orgasmic
      has a much more pleasant ring to it, as it has a less judgmental connotation. However, this term is found even less frequently in the literature.
      In Shere Hite’s famous Hite Report, only 30% of the women interviewed indicated that they were able to achieve coital orgasm either “always” or “almost always” (Hite, 1977, p. 555). Those who checked the box “sometimes” or “rarely” were not included in this statistic. Carol Rinkleib (1999) reported similar figures, leading her to conclude after having interviewed 2,500 women that 38% had never been able to reach orgasm during intercourse. The sex researchers Tavris and Offir (1977) published an even lower statistical percentage (25%). In terms of frequency of orgasm, large cultural differences appear to prevail. A study of 695 middle-class Indian women carried out by Dastur (1983) revealed that only 10% to 15% were able to reach orgasm during sex.
      However, statistical percentages on frequency are not suffi- cient as a yardstick for measuring sexual satisfaction. In response, a team of psychologists developed a special ques-
      tionnaire to study this variable. The outcome was that without a doubt the women interviewed very frequently wished to be able to have a coital orgasm; however, the psychologists underscored that as many as half of the women in the study did not view climaxing as the apex of their emotional experience. Some 37% indicated that feeling physically and emotionally close to their partner was more important than experiencing orgasm. Other factors associ- ated with sexual satisfaction are tenderness and good com- munication (Busing et al., 2001).
      In order to avoid any confusion, it is important to distin- guish
      . Frigidity is used to refer to a very minimum increase in sexual arousal, and the conco- mitant physical responses, such as an increase in vaginal lubrication, often do not occur to the desired degree. In con- trast, an anorgasmic woman can most definitely experience a high degree of sexual arousal.
    3. Clitoral, Vaginal or Simply Sexual?
      According to Sigmund Freud, a girl’s “clitoris is initially her primary erogenous zone. But this should not remain so; with her maturation into womanhood, the clitoris should cede its sensitivity either completely or partially to the vagi- na” (1932; p. 126). In other words, the
      orgasm was the “mature” orgasm, and a woman capable of experiencing only
      orgasm was consequently to be considered psychosexually underdeveloped. By endorsing this view, Freud has caused a great deal of women to suffer horribly and feel pressured to perform. Ever since, there has been no end to the bitter and senseless discussions to this day about the “right kind” of orgasm. Woody Allen’s film “Manhat-
      tan” sums up this absurdity quite nicely when one of the female characters says, “
      I finally had an orgasm … and my doctor told me it was the wrong kind.
      ” The tendency is to back whatever agrees with your ideology. Feminists endeav- oring to liberate themselves from the penis as a symbol of male oppression insist that the clitoris is the only
      fe- male center of pleasure, whereas conservatives stubbornly refuse to let go of the idea of a
      climax. The wome- n’s rights activist Alice Schwarzer, for example, denounces the vaginal orgasm, saying, “Only the myth of the vaginal orgasm (and consequently the significance of penile pene- tration) ensures men’s sexual monopoly over women” (1977,
      p. 206). In contrast, Françoise Dolto, the renowned psycho- analyst, is of a different mind, “Contrary to what men be- lieve, desire among many women is not exclusively centered on the clitoris, or at least not always. Desire in many women is immediately concentrated in the region surrounding the vulvo-vaginal opening; clitoral pleasure is only a concomi- tant effect of maximum vaginal pleasure. … In short, cli- toral orgasm alone does not relieve sexual tension” (Dolto, 2000; p. 182).
      Clearly, the socio-political realm has co-opted the orgasm for the purposes of affixing the “appropriate” label as well. Not unlike a dancing bear, the experts have led the orgasm around by the nose in any direction that manages to ease their own fears and protect their own personal sensibilities. Questions about desire and the subjective quality of the experience are never raised. Sex physician Dr. Sabine zur Nieden decided to correct this tendency in her dissertation, summing up very succinctly just how misled this worthless discussion is in principle, “The subjective quality of the experience is a very complex psycho-physical phenomenon, in other words a human reaction composed of physical,
      psychological, symbolic, learned and culturally shaped per- ceptions … We will never be able to pin down the sexual experience, the intensity of desire of the degree of sexual satisfaction by describing it with the objective, matter-of- fact, dry and measurable facts of sexual physiology. Science will never be able to explain why we reach orgasm when our nipples, ears or the tip of the clitoris are gently caressed, or during deep penetration or even just by using our imagi- nation without any kind of physical stimulation, or even through pain; or why we experience a deep physical and psychological satisfaction with one person; and we demon- strate a measurable “adequate” physical and orgasmic reac- tion without feeling truly satisfied with another person, and why we show no reaction at all with yet another or in a dif- ferent situation” (1994, p. 89). The fact is that we will never be able to expose every last secret, even after every genital secretion has been analyzed, every nerve pathway dissected and light shone into every mucus membrane fold. Sex will forever remain a mystery. During orgasm the entire pack- age of body, mind and soul comes into play. The decisive factors are optimal sexual arousal and the elimination of cen- tral inhibitions. This considered, there can be only one kind of “correct” orgasm, the
      orgasm! And there is only one way to evaluate it, namely in terms of the deep satis- faction we feel, no matter where and how it comes about.
      The fact is that, statistically speaking, clitoral stimulation leads most frequently to orgasm. Equally unquestionable is that 66% of the 1,243 women interviewed said that they were familiar with sensations felt in a sensitive region of the vagina (Kaplan, Sager and Schiavi, 1989). The average age of those who knew of the existence of this area was 27 years. It would seem that most women took about a decade after their sexual coming-of-age to have had these experiences.
      In any case, it is a fact that an orgasm triggered by vaginal stimulation involves different sensory nerve conduits than the clitoral one. In the former, the
      plexus hypogastricus and the nervi pelvici
      , in the latter the nervus pudendus is affected (Beverly Whipple and John Perry, 1981). The contractions of the vaginal musculature and of the uterus are also stron- ger with G spot stimulation. (Perry, 1984)
    4. Psychological Aspects
      Psychological blockades are the cause of a woman’s inabili- ty to reach orgasm in the case of anorgasmy, which often become manifest in conscious or subconscious conflicts and vaguely fearful expectations hindering women from acting on their desires in an uninhibited manner. Here, fears in various degrees of intensity and shapes play a central part. Not all of them are neurotic, such as fear of an unwanted pregnancy. This includes disturbances as well, such as chil- dren sleeping next to their parents’ bed, or even a rela- tionship that is not very harmonious outside the bedroom. Problems in reaching orgasm under these conditions are just as asymptomatic of a neurotic sexual disorder as is
      coital anorgasmy
      that occurs only because the male sexual partner ejaculates prematurely and the woman does not have enough time to climax. The failure to experience orgasm can only be seen in conjunction with the qualities of the woman’s sexual partner as a lover, with the relationship as a whole and the situational framework. Equally, it goes without saying that male impotency cannot be considered on its own without looking at the role played by the female partner in the couple’s sexual interplay.
      The main guideline for reaching orgasm can be stated as
      follows: Maximize your arousal and minimize your inhibi- tions! In the case of general anorgasmy, the fear of losing control and giving oneself over to forbidden feelings of des- ire often painted as bad, sinful, dirty or threatening during childhood represents a key blockade. Often the roots of the problem also lie in ones inability to give of oneself due to a personal identity crisis. One example of this is when a woman rebels against the role proscribed for her by a patri- archal society. Open and hidden aggressive tendencies and feelings vis-à-vis men can destroy the foundation of trust that is indispensable for letting go of oneself. In this con- text other conflicts for women may also arise in their efforts to emancipate themselves, for example the feelings of ambi- valence, on one hand in wanting to be an independent woman, and on the other hand in longing to be “taken by a strong man”.
      1. Sexual Fantasies
        Another type of contradiction that can make reaching orgasm impossible concerns sexual fantasies. Although fan- tasies are highly conducive for bringing about a high degree of sexual arousal, they are often blocked out, mainly becau- se their content runs counter to one’s personal ideas of morals or political correctness.
        During a summer university held for women in Berlin focusing on the topic of sexual fantasies, the participants finally came to the conclusion that the desire to be “swept off one’s feet” is a key feature in fantasies (Lawrenz & Orzegowski, 1988), ranging from a stranger’s glance that has a “sweeping” impact to even undisguised scenes of rape. Even the gentle scenarios center on the subjugation of the
        woman. Although the message is “
        I don’t want to
        ”, this “
        I don’t want to
        ” simultaneously forms part of the “sound track of desire” (Azoulay, 2004).
        A comprehensive empirical study was carried out on this subject at the Institute of Psychology at the University of Freiburg, Germany (Gromus, 1993). A “hit list” of sexual fantasies was drawn up, and a wide range of statistical calculations were performed. It was observed that sado- masochistic fantasies featured conspicuously frequently in female sexual fantasies. Another study showed that 41.4% of all women and only 14.3% of all men answered the question “Do you sometimes have fantasies or dreams in which you are raped or sexually humiliated?” in the affir- mative (Hartmann, 1989). The authors Knafo and Jaffe (1984) noticed that the statement “I appear to be resisting until I am so aroused that I just give in” ranked third as a sexual fantasy among women.
        But let’s not allow ourselves to be deceived. The statistics would lead us to believe facts that do not have much to do with penetrating insights. Clichés pregnant with meaning use figures to cover up the fact that they convey no meaningful information. Those who count fan- tasies like beans, have neither understood nor mastered them.
        Pohlen and Wittmann criticize attempts undertaken by psychoanalysts to interpret these fantasies and dreams and the reductive tools they use to do so with appropriately flo- wery language, “Officially appointed tour guides and car- tographers have built a few pitiful cul-de-sacs according to the map laid down by Freud and now have duped themselves into thinking that they are the lords of the
        jungle. The construction noise created by these stalwart reconstructionists has frightened off a large number of wild animals. From the concrete road, the analytical tour guide’s view reveals a tamed environment. When he looks behind him, he sees the completely presumptuously surveyed landscape of civilization. Looking ahead, he sees the domesticated, fatigued and footsore animals that can scarcely be herded into his zoo – into the three cages labe- led oral, anal and genital” (Pohlen & Wittmann, 1985). After Sigmund Freud it was primarily the psychoanalyst Helene Deutsch who made a name for herself with the inter- pretation of sexual subjugation fantasies. In the 1930s and 1940s she penned several books on the subject of the fema- le psyche. For her it was a matter of course that masochism was a female-specific characteristic that helped women reach ecstatic heights (Deutsch, 1930). All of her analytical inter- pretations agree with her assumption that these fantasies are based on a strategy of alleviating feelings of guilt. Only when the woman is swept off her feet by a man’s desire, is she capable of letting herself be forcibly and inescapably overcome by taboo, ecstatic feelings. In this way, she cir- cumvents shame and guilt, as she cannot be held accounta- ble for her actions.
        There is certainly truth in this interpretation, but in my opinion it comes up short. Principally women feel attracted and aroused by manly strength, no matter if this “power” comes in the shape of status, strength of character or an athletic body. The next logical conclusion is that they also give themselves over to this erotic fluidium, tangibly putting themselves at the mercy of this aura and wishing to surrender to this stimulant. This is far removed from masochism; otherwise everyone who lets themselves be swept away by Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony runs the risk
        of being labeled a masochist (Stifer, 1999).
        This reminds me of a story of a female patient who demon- strated the relevant mechanisms in a particular manner. Eve- ry time she slept with her sex partners, she fantasized about having sex with the guitar idol Jimi Hendrix. This was the only way for her to reach orgasm. At some point she deci- ded to become a groupie and follow her chosen star around for several years. Finally, she was allowed to join him after a concert, allowed to share his bed. She found out that she was forced to resort to her familiar sex fantasy during coitus, as the real Jimi Hendrix was not as talented a lover as she had always imagined.
        Isabelle Azoulay (2004) who has written on the subject of “violence in female sexual fantasies” also considers the hypo- thesis of using fantasies to suppress feelings of guilt insuf- ficient, albeit for a different reason. In her opinion the sub- jugation motif grows out of a feeling of longing “that yearns for intensity.” It is an expression of one’s willingness to dis- solve boundaries. To lose oneself in desire expresses the momentum of “against my will”, the desire for self-disso- lution, thereby acting as a signal for one’s willingness to go quite far. This considered, it would be correct to interpret this “resistance” as an affirmation and not as a refusal. “It is not only succumbing to a man, but also surrendering to desire, worshipping the phallus, delighting in what completes you” (Azoulay, 2000; p. 72).
        In the end, indirect female power and strength are embed- ded in subjugation and succumbing as well. The man falls completely for the woman. He wants her at all costs, and it has to be now. The female’s supposed “no” boosts her nar- cissistic satisfaction, as it stokes male desire. In the rape fan-
        tasy, the rapist is actually perverted into a masochist. His lust becomes so torturous, dominating and “overpowering” that he loses his composure and cannot help himself.
        The common thread here is something that until now has seldom been linked to female sexual fantasies. The tone is not the usual gentle one, but moody, despotic, cruel, ego- tistical and lonely. It is reminiscent of the French writer and philosopher Georges Bataille (1972), who wrote that sensu- ality represents a domain to which our suppressed despera- tion has relegated us. We remain in this domain in order to escape from the unbearable realization that this synthesis with the Other is merely an illusion. Does that alone not explain the dramatic intensity of passion to the point of desperation and self-destruction?
      2. Feminism and Desire
        A marked contrast to the above is the feminist ideologiza- tion and fetishization of tenderness throughout the women’s movement that has, at times, assumed sexually hostile overtones. Consequently, heated conflicts have taken place within the emancipation movement over female self-determination within the realm of sexuality. For example, some women criticized this one-sided view of feminism, accusing it of creating a new mystique of female innocence with its often lesbian emphasis on “cuddling and petal soft sex”. It was often viewed as feminist desexualization, a castrated “gentle and peaceful” female sexuality so to speak (cf. Sichtermann, 1984). As a result, it was women from the feminist-lesbian subculture that determinedly opposed this development. This conflict breaks out repeatedly within the women’s movement. For
        example, Sina-Alina Geißler (1990) writes, “Women’s emancipation movement demands self-determination and women’s right to fulfill their needs. This endeavor must – also and in particular – not exclude the right to be masochistic. The art of integrating masochistic tendencies into a self-determined female existence gives evidence in actuality to a successful, real and credible emancipation. It is high time that we recognize it as such” (Geißler, 1993).
        But even from the very beginning there has been the other extreme: emancipation met with aggressive anger. When Shulamith Firestone, one of the first key figures in the US women’s movement, was speaking to a meeting of radical groups about the oppression of women in 1969, men attacked her, calling out, “Get her off the stage and give her a good fuck for a change!”
        Andrea Dworkin, also an influential American feminist, strikes a similar tone when she characterizes the sexual act between man and woman as essentially unnatural. For her, “torture” and “penetration” are one and the same, and the sexual act is purely an expression of male class superior- ity. She writes, “Intercourse is not.... ending in sexual climax but in a human tragedy of failed relationships, vengeful bitterness in an aftermath of sexual heat, perso- nality corroded by too much endurance of undesired, ha- bitual intercourse, conflict, a wearing away of vitality in the numbness finally of habit or compulsion or the loneliness of separation” (Dworkin, 1987; p. 21) … Male power may be arrogant or elegant; it can be churlish or refined; but we exist as persons to the extent that men in power recognize us. When they need some service or want some sensation, they recognize us somewhat, with a sliver
        of consciousness; and when it is over, we go back to ignominy, anonymous, generic womanhood” (Dworkin, p. 127).
        A recently published book written by the psychologist Age- la Voß entitled Packt ihn, wascht ihn und schafft ihn in mein Zelt (Grab him, wash him and bring him to my tent) (2004) is also anything but a call for lovey-dovey intimate cuddling.
        The general feeling of anger, at times intensified by power- lessness, frustration and fear, often gets in the way of our frequent need to sexually succumb and ability to reach orgasm. Attempting to resolve this inhibiting contradic- tion in the militantly waged battle of the sexes during the sexual act is impossible, even through perversion.
        Nevertheless, many orgasm self-help books polarize this paradox to such an extreme that it has an involuntary amusing effect. For example, in the bestseller How to Have an Orgasm as Often as You Want, written by Dr. Dido Davis under the pseudonym Rachel Swift. She lectures that rea- ching orgasm depends chiefly on “developing an important feeling of control”. She quotes a friend, Veronica, who admits guiltily, “I think of myself as utterly liberated – in everything. And yet so often I catch myself making little concessions to his pleasure in bed.” (Swift, 1993, p. 39). According to Davis, this is “principally wrong”, as this undermines the woman’s feeling of control over the situation. One of her most important pieces of advice is to fake an orgasm. “It requires a form of deceit, to be sure, and we would all prefer to do without it. But it is no use tal- king of ideals when the reality itself isn´t in order.“(p. 175). But she issues a word of caution, “Bear in mind that it
        do damage to a relationship if he finds out and feels you´ve wantonly misled him” (p. 179). That is why the deception must really succeed and be practiced on the sly. “To hell with the Knitting Circle!” is her advice. “Get some of close friends together and form an Orgasm Faking Circle. Try this one: each of you tape yourself masturbating alone. Now get together and and play them back, so that you get a really good idea of just how much women vary” (p. 183).
        The orgasm becomes incidental, as the point is to wrest every last bit of power from men. Sexual psychologist Kirsten von Sydow’s take on this subject is, “A woman who fakes an orgasm creates an inner distance between herself and the man. He is unable to get too close to her. She has her little secret. By faking an orgasm, she tells the man, ‘No’, which helps her to draw a line between herself and him and his needs. But a ‘no’ by itself does not im- prove the situation. It would be better to tell your part- ner what you want” (quoted in Nuber, 1996; p. 22). By faking orgasms on a regular basis, there is nothing left for a give and take, for becoming mutually carried away by desire, for letting yourself go and letting go of control, for the spiritual flow of energy between yin and yang, for authenticity or even intimacy. It is better to accept limitations of desire than to be careless with political correctness. For that reason it is not surprising that Davis suggests in all seriousness watching gay porn to increase arousal, recommending, “Though the more explicit ones may not be quite your cup of tea, the milder ones often show attractive males masturbating. And there are no un- comfortable worries about what the women are having to endure” (p. 201)! In other words, if there is to be a phallus, then a “soft” one that doesn’t dominate women. Or one that a women cannot become dependent on.
        This reminds me of a patient suffering from vaginismus who came to me for help. The very idea of inserting something into her vagina caused her vaginal muscles to contract, even when she just placed her fingertip just inside her vagina. Over the course of her therapy she was able to insert vibra- tors the size of a penis. She did this with increasing pleasu- re, and soon this kind of stimulation had become a steady component of her masturbatory behavior through which she was able to reach orgasm. However, it was nearing the final phase of the sex therapy, when success seemed so close, that she had to take the most difficult step. Although her beloved vibrator was no smaller than her boyfriend’s erect penis, it took her a long time before she was able to allow him to penetrate her. In our therapy discussions we discovered that she was afraid of becoming “addicted to the penis.” She feared becoming more indulgent, able to be manipulated, more tolerant and more dependent vis-à-vis her partner.
        Whatever the content of our sexual fantasies may be, they are often frightening, because many believe that they offer a window of our souls. In any case, a ground-breaking stu- dy carried out by the psychiatrists Hariton and Singer (1974) revealed that the content of sexual fantasies does not necessarily point to personality disorders or relationship dif- ficulties. They also discovered that most women, surprising- ly, do not feel the need to live out the images that play in their minds during coitus. Fleeting wishful fantasies do not necessarily provide accurate, profound insights into the depths of our soul. Most often they are a general expression of creativity and the desire for self-forgetting ecstasy. And both aspects fully deserve uninhibited affirmation!
        Sexual desire has been cursed and condemned as the work
        of the devil – and not just in the Middle Ages. As late as 1922 the Church permitted the following to be published: “A mother who has martial intercourse with her husband much as a harlot would with her lecher … will pass on to her child the seed of evil, the tendency to sin into the blood
        …” (Ries, 1922). We could point out that this was long ago. Although the Catholic Church’s official position on marital sex may, however, be couched in more modern terms, marital sexuality remains cleansed of any kind of lustful desire.
        As Austrian bishop Andrean Laun once put it in his inimi- table manner, as only a moral theologian could, “As in all other areas of nature, man is naturally acutely marked and threatened in his sexuality by sin. Whenever love becomes subject to egotism, the Church speaks of evil desires and considers this sinful. According to the word of Christ, it begins in the heart and with a lustful glance. Marriage is no exception, not being devoid of this kind of sexual degra- dation of the partner to an object of desire … Chastity is the moral immune system of love which resists being co- opted by sexual egotism … In its entirety, the fruitful, and in this sinful world still chaste, love between a man and a woman is a sign, a parable, helping us to understand the relationship between God and his beloved Church” (Laun, 1999).
        Once, in a conscious attempt to be provocative, I stated in a TV interview that love, respect and appreciation were indis- pensable and wonderful elements of a relationship. But that they had a downside; taken alone, they are unable to induce sexual arousal. The next day, this statement was reprinted by Germany’s highest circulation daily as the “Quote of the Week”. In terms of sexual psychology, it is sheer ruin
        to speak only of true love when our beloved partner is not “degraded to a sexual object”. This would bring us to the reverse conclusion that desire is devoid of love or respect. He who pokes fun at moral theology’s sexual hang-ups, maintaining that this sexual hostility had been completely reversed nowadays, need only look at the hysterical out- croppings surrounding the political discussion on sexual harassment and the “abuse of sexual abuse”.
        While one side kills desire with its neurotic sexual hostili- ty, the other destroys it often out of motives of feminist power-politics. Still, the overall message remains the same. If I am desired as a woman, I am not seen as a person worthy of respect. This leads to the unholy conclusion: In order to be a person worthy of respect, I must refrain from perceiving myself as an object of desire, as a source of sexual stimuli. This is the reason many feminists think that they have to resemble a dull and drab copy of the male. And why erotic charm and flirting alone can be experienced as sexual harassment and a threat, even when it is meant as a compliment. There is a fundamental sexological rule that applies equally to men and women. Those who think that they have to prove something to their partner in bed, lose their desire for play during love-play! Since the beginning of time people have sacrificed, castigated, castrated themselves and allowed sensuality to be branded as dangerous to the system and driven out of them for ideologies’ sake. We can try “to play at not playing any games”, as in sexual perversion. But when the game turns serious, it ceases to be a game; the fun is gone and desire has dissipated. Didn’t Pan, the lustful Greek pastoral deity, play his pan flute to seduce his nymph? Wouldn’t you like to be stolen away by this creature for a shepherd’s hour, with the warm afternoon sun creating a golden love nest for you in the fragrant grass … Put down
        your feminist protest sign; it would just get in the way. You can begin waving it again in a more fitting setting where it is more appropriate. Only when we can push certain things to the side are we able to forget ourselves and relinquish control. And then seemingly incompatible emotions can mesh and contradictions are even capable of dissipating.
        Take Zen philosophy, for instance, as a guide. Become com- pletely absorbed in what you are doing. Don’t try to do something, just do it. In China they call this principle
        wu wei
        , or “doing without doing”. At first glance,
        wu wei
        may sound like one of these incomprehensible Eastern pieces of wisdom that make no sense. However, Zen philosophy goes beyond the words and is sometimes found in a contradic- tion. If, for example, we state that the more things change, the more they stay the same, the contradiction is perfectly clear. But we also recognize the deeper wisdom inherent in these words.
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Love-40 by Anna Cheska
Rough Ride CV4 by Carol Lynne
Dreams to Die For by Alan G Boyes
Redesigned by Denise Grover Swank
Number Two by Jay Onrait