The Secret to Great Sex

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About Lion Goodman

Lion Goodman is the co-founder of Luminary Leadership Institute (http://www.luminaryleadership.com), an accelerated initiatory program for leaders of businesses and organizations. With his partner, Carista Luminare, Ph.D., he developed a program to help couples transform old patterns of insecurity and trauma into a secure and passionate relationship: Confused About Love (http://www.confusedaboutlove.com). Lion is a co-founder of The Tribe of Men, an initiatory program in Northern California, and he served as the Director of Men’s Programs for The Shift Network, where he produced the Ultimate Men’s Summit, attended by 20,000 people around the world. He is the author of three books: Creating On Purpose (with Anodea Judith, Ph.D.), Transform Your Beliefs, and Menlightenment: A Book for Awakening Men. He resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, but considers himself to be a world citizen.

Comments

  1. Great article! Thank you!!

  2. Oh gosh I cant even tell you what a lightbulb moment reading this was for me. Its helped me understand where Ive gone wrong with my relationship, shown me that I can make peace and let go of what has happened and gives me hope that I can heal and not make the same mistakes in future. Ironic given I follow attachment parenting methods and yet couldnt translate this to an adult relationship.

    • Thanks, Kiddo. I felt the same way when I discovered the simple, yet profound, truths about secure attachment, and realized that most of my previous relationships were built on a foundation of insecurity. I thought it was normal! And once I got the message, I realized that what I had been seeking all along was that feeling of security I could never find – because I was creating, and supporting, the feeling of insecurity.

  3. Niels Valentin says:

    Sometimes the most simple obvious things has to be emphasized.
    One thing I cameacriss is, that you say that most men are tought to be strong, thus being able to have sex without opening their hearts. I think there’s a level more in this: Biology. We’ve come no further as Humans than biology still has us all programmed to be different sexes. Look around anywhere else on this planet and one will find, that males of larger mammals spread their genes, fecundating several females. Females are more the caring part. This, I think, can still be seen in the modern human, even if we like to think and feel otherwise.
    Where I come from, Denmark, boys are taught to be strong only, but we still see the same problems you adress here. To me there’s an old genetic string in us, dictating sexual behaviour for both sexes.
    I totally agree in having a safe harbour, opens up so many emotions, and the feeling of being cared for opens ones heart. There are so many examples of where the opposite, not loved, not cared for, not emotionally safe people end.
    It’s obvious, that you’re right, but it’s still so difficult to modern western society to act this way between adults.
    Best
    Niels

    • The problem that comes with declaring that humans have evolved to have sexually dimorphic behaviour is that it doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny.

      Firstly, you ask us to look at “other large mammals” – yet this isn’t a tremendously helpful comparison. Other species have evolved under different selection pressures to us, so their life histories can be wildly different.

      Secondly, if we do look at our evolutionarily closest cousins, we find bonobos, whose sexual extravagance is well documented. These are animals where we find the overwhelming majority practise both opposite- and same-sex behaviours.

      Further to this, if the behaviour you consider to be innate in humans (male promiscuity, female monogamy) was an evolved response, we’d see it consistently applied in our species regardless of culture. Actually though, we don’t find that. As global homogenisation sets in an Western culture dominates ever more, we see less and less diversity, but ultimately we must recognise that this Western behaviour is culturally driven, not biologically. Humans show remarkable sexual plasticity in response to their environment, and this plasticity is advantageous.

      What it means is that we have humans with a variety of sexual preferences and orientations from Herero-homo-sexuality to mono-poly-gamy.

      Even if we were to accept that males were driven to seek multiple partners without affection, that would not mean that women are evolved to be monogamous or faithful. You would have to demonstrate that that same drive, to have extra-pair relationships, would be deleterious if present in women. Instead what we find is that women can maximise their evolutionary fitness by having multiple partners, thus ensuring that they carry the genes of the most successful males while having a social partner to raise those offspring with her.

      In short, when I see people try to use evolutionary biology to back up their views on human sexuality, inevitably what I find is someone simply using “evolution” as a trump card to try and defend their pre-existing views of sexuality. In reality, evolution (and sexuality!) is more complex than that.

    • Neils and Susanne: You’ve both made excellent points. Our biological imperative, our instinctual drives, are just one factor in our sexual behavior. There are at least three major brain centers active in romantic relationships: One that focuses on security, one that focuses on love and attraction, and a third that focuses on lust and excitement. The big win is when you can find all three in one person, but the most common pattern, based on statistical research, is a partner, plus “cheating.” More than 55% of woman and 60% of men in relationships have had affairs outside their pair bond. That’s in the U.S. In Europe, it’s closer to 65% and 70%. So the majority of people in relationships also have a little excitement on the side. So it’s clear that we seek security, and we also seek heart/love/attraction, and we also seek sex/lust/excitement. Because PEA (phenethylamine), the “love neurochemical” lasts only about 6 months, it’s important to have more than lust/love, because the glow will fade after about 6 months — long enough biologically to get a female pregnant, and long enough socially to form a multi-faceted pair bond. This is why you see so many people switch partners every six months or so – they’re looking for the love high, and when it fades, they don’t have anything else to rely on. Our program, “The Keys to Secure and Passionate Relationship,” teaches techniques to keep long-term relationships fresh and exciting, secure AND passionate. Both are required. (Program details: http://www.ConfusedAboutLove.com).

  4. FlyingKal says:

    I began to practice reaching out for her when she got upset (instead of pulling away). I practiced caring more deeply (rather than giving up in frustration). I practiced holding her body and heart with care (instead of running in the other direction). And a miracle occurred . . .

    As she felt safe and secure in our relationship, she opened up to deeper level of love, which opened up her desire for me. Her desire opened my heart, and our energy and connection grew exponentially. Love and passion grew together.

    I actually think that most people do want, and strive for, to have this kind of connection within a relationship.
    I think that mistaking, or second-guessing, what your partner is actually missing, and thus providing the “wrong” kind of safety or security, is far more common than actual lack of trying.

    • FlyingKal: Can you describe what you mean by “providing the “wrong” kind of safety or security”? We’ve found that the “right” kind of safety and security settles the brain’s limbic system. There’s a visceral “letting down” or settling, from feelings of nervousness and anxiety to one of calm and ease. That’s evidence that you’ve provided the “right” kind. It may take some experimentation, and in our course, we teach people how to determine what are the right things to say and do. We call the verbal signals “Security Codes.” For example, your partner may want to hear something like “I’m here for you, and I’m not going away.” Another person may want to hear, “I really want to hear and understand what you’re feeling.” One person may want to be held tightly, and another may want to be touched very lightly. You can have this conversation in advance, when you’re both sane, and then pull the codes out when the person is in limbic fire-alarm. At that moment, they are literally out of their mind – or at least, out of their thinking cortex. You have to settle the emotional brain first, before trying to talk about the situation intellectually. Trying to talk to someone who is upset emotionally is a failing formula, because the cortex is off-line when the limbic system gets activated. Check out our course for a series of practical techniques that provide the “right” kind of safety and security for you and your partner.

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