Jackie Summers, on technique.
“Technique is noticed most markedly in the case of those who have not mastered it.” ~ Leon Trotsky
A brief recap:
In The Exquisite Lover part 1 we established three key elements for great sex: passion, technique and resonance, and extolled passion as that elusive component than can be neither learned nor faked.
Sadly, in and of itself, passion is insufficient. There is no amount of passion that can absolve the sin of clumsy ineptitude. Technique is the mechanism by which passion finds expression. Without technical mastery there can be no artistry, as expertise transforms desire into ability.
Unlike passion, the great thing about technique is that anyone can learn it. Unfortunately there is no formal institute for the Study of Carnal Knowledge. How does one satisfy the search for sexual sapience?
You learn from the masters.
Sex has been around for a long time, and many ancient cultures dedicated themselves to its study. Ancient Taoists saw coitus as a spiritual practice, believing the life of a body was in the fluids. This meant every time a man ejaculated he diminished his limited supply of “qi,” (氣) or life energy, thereby shortening his life, whereas creation and exchange of bodily fluids via orgasm greatly increased a woman’s vitality. Based on this, sexual techniques were developed to allow a man to separate his orgasm from ejaculation, postpone ejaculation indefinitely, significantly decrease–or eliminate entirely–his refractory period, have multiple orgasms, and artfully give as many orgasms to his partner as she could stand. Having as much sex possible rejuvenated your jing (精) restored vitality and lengthened life.
Interestingly, the greatest periods of strife in Ancient China came when Confucianism (puritanical) replaced Taoism (sexually liberal) as the dominant system of belief. During the Han Dynasty when the sexual arts reached their peak (pun intended) China enjoyed a prolonged period of peace. When Confucianism became the dominant religious system during the Qing dynasty, public discussion of sex became taboo. Shortly thereafter they entered a period known as “The Warring States,” two-and-a-half centuries of continual warfare.
Has a better case ever been made for World Peace?
East Indian sexual compendiums such as the Ananga Ranga, Koka Shastra and the Perfumed Garden were written for aristocracy and focused on the physiological differences between men and women. Despite the well-meaning claims of our founding fathers, not all men are created equal. Modern medicine has mastered making dicks harder, but they’re still fervently working on how to make them bigger. If–metaphysically speaking–you were a horse and your woman was a deer, there was a position that provided the most stimulation for both partners. Conversely, ideal positions if a woman was an “elephant” (an actual term from the Kama Sutra) and her partner was only a bull.
Let’s face it, size matters, but even a mack truck looks small driving through the Holland Tunnel.
The acquisition of knowledge however, is only meant to be the beginning. Mastery is the ability to put information into practice; the difference between knowing and doing, between capacity (quantitative) and ability (qualitative). Technical proficiency is meant to put as many arrows in your sexual quiver as possible but cannot teach you how to aim.
Once skills have been mastered it’s important to resist the temptation to become mechanistic. Dependence on technique denotes lack of imagination, and as Einstein said, “imagination is more important than knowledge.” Nowhere is this more important than in the boudoir. The hardest part of mastery is making it appear effortless. In the words of Pablo Casals, “the most perfect technique is that which is not noticed at all.”
Passionate virtuosity achieved is still not without limits. Devoid of emotional content, even the best unconnected sex will ultimately leave you bereft. Why does resonance add so much depth and dimension to sex?
Read The Exquisite Lover, Part One, here.
© J Summers 2012
photo of couple dramatic image by Shutterstock