Let me begin by setting up the framework for this website. It consists mostly of reflections of an older husband on marital lovemaking. Why?
First, marital sex is an important part of life, and of my life in particular. So I want to understand marital intimacy better, especially the human side of sex. This means connecting the physiological side with the emotional and psychological and intellectual sides. (I will also reflect a bit on the spiritual side.)
I am sometimes struck by my own difficulties in understanding sexual matters. For example, it’s surprisingly hard to nail down what exactly “sexual pleasure” means. Obviously, there is a certain core idea we all understand. But a little of reflection shows how much more complicated it is than simple physical reactions.
When I go online for answers, I am constantly surprised and disappointed by how shallow much of the material about sexual matters is. So that has made me want to share insights I’ve had and even just share questions with others.
I also want to think about and discuss how to “do” sex well – not in terms of sexual technique, but “humanly.” What does it mean to be a good person and a good husband in this particular area of married life? And, among other things, that means seeing how marital lovemaking fit into life more broadly. (It is amazing how little the internet has on this kind of question.)
One major limitation of this website’s scope is that it will not focus on the most important thing about married sex: children. This is not because I think children are unimportant, or at least just “optional,” in marital sex (as most people today do). They are emphatically the central “point” of marital lovemaking. If you don’t understand that children are the fundamental point of sex (though not its only point) you just don’t understand sex.
The reason I don’t discuss children here is simply because I want to focus on narrower, but still important, questions that don’t involve children directly. For example, married sex after menopause doesn’t involve children directly, and couples have to adjust to that psychologically. That means paying attention to other aspects of sex that are always present in marital sex but become more important after marital sex will no longer result in children because of advancing age. This is important especially because the close tie that should exist between marital sex and children is what most connects sex with “transcendent” — the highest and most noble — human purposes.
On the other hand, another limitation in scope to this website is that it is not about sex in general, but about marital lovemaking. That has tremendous consequences.
One of the most important is the kind of woman we are talking about here. Making love depends so much on that woman. There are such deep differences among sexual intercourse with a loving wife, a girlfriend who is a possible wife, a girlfriend with an uncertain future, a friendly acquaintance, a hookup, or a prostitute. Sex is always similar in some ways, of course, but how could they be the same? I’m not sure how useful it is to look at sex apart from its proper context – for example, at “sex between a man and a woman”, rather than “sex between a husband and wife.” The whole context “colors” or affects the experience so much. The context doesn’t just add something, but transforms everything.
I’m not interested that much in what “average sex” is – what’s typical of most people. (What is the average length of an orgasm or the average time it takes to make love.) I want to know more about a good man who is a husband making love to a good woman who is his wife.
There is so much talk about sex in our contemporary culture, and especially on the internet, and especially of a more technical kind – what are the right “techniques”. But, interestingly, it’s just not clear whether there’s any more sexual satisfaction today, though many people assume there is. (There’s no way to know for sure, of course. We just don’t have much reliable data on sexual satisfaction until very recently. There’s relatively little information especially about “everyday, ordinary sex” in earlier times.)
What we do have in our society today – which is suggestive – is a lot of people constantly obsessed with how to have “better sex.” (This usually means more extended periods of sexual pleasure or more intense orgasms). If we have so much more sexual satisfaction today, now that we are liberated from our repressive past, why do people spend so much time talking about it? Why does Cosmopolitan’s front page every month have something about “The Moves You Make That Will Drive Him Wild!” Apparently, whatever you learned last month wasn’t enough.
One thing about this website has to be clear: there’s no pretense here that there are final or complete answers. Aside from the futility of trying to achieve that with such a complicated topic, there’s always the fundamental point we have to come back to: people – all of us – are different. We have some things in common, but there is a uniqueness to every person, and so also a uniqueness to every couple.
But, still, the things we have in common may make it possible to learn from each other. And I hope this website can contribute to that in its small way.