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As you know, I'm a sex geek and I'm a scientist. I also have experiences that are not considered mainstream, in particular sexual experiences. As a practitioner of both Tantra and Sensual Kink, I have ecstatic experiences and enter blissful states that are quite different and far more pleasurable than what is considered 'normal sex'.
I am not exaggerating when I say that normal sex is to this type of sex what a fast food hamburger is to gourmet cooking (keeping in mind that sometimes a hamburger is just fine, and you don’t have to like fine food).
So the geek in me asks ‘why?’ What’s going on that I experience this and others don’t? I’m not delusional, and I have met plenty of other people who have similar experiences.
Historically it’s clear that we suppressed sexuality in the West, particularly female sexuality, so when sexual liberation came in the 1970s we really didn’t know anything.
Scientifically I feel that scientific interest in sex has been so focused on reproduction and disease that there has been very little focus on sexual pleasure, let alone sexual bliss and ecstasy. It’s still mired in the values of the past where sex was not considered something ‘higher’ and therefore worthy of study.
Socially I feel that because people don’t know what they don’t know they’re not looking for it. Although I do believe that is shifting as people start to realise that there’s got to be more to sex than prudery or porn.
So back to the ‘why’. I’ve written and spoken and lectured at length about the approach to sex that leads to these states. What’s going on in the body though?
I suspect it works at two levels:
In entering into this kind of sexual experience, biochemical reactions are initiated that release the chemicals that cause the good feelings. By staying in elevated states of arousal and avoiding the genital focused intensity of ‘standard’ orgasms, the biochemical state is not turned off, so the pleasure lasts.
Within the brain you’re using less of the detail-oriented, monkey chattering left side of the brain, and settling into more of a right-brain orientation. So that you feel, what the neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor describes as a oneness “I am the life-force power of the universe. I am the life-force power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form, at one with all that is,” - a sense of bliss. (View her wonderful video 'Stroke of Insight' on TED.)
I believe we need this bliss. Without knowing how to achieve it naturally, we are driven to use drugs and alcohol to create artificial versions of this state, and which lead to addiction and poor health and lowered quality of life. Achieving natural highs from bliss-inducing sex not only feels wonderful at the time, it also helps enormously with life, so you have more energy, think better, look better and feel better. Others might think you’re looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses - but you know the world really is rose-coloured.