By Pala Copeland and Al Link
The heat is on. You can literally feel it arcing between you. Whether it's an enticing stranger you've just met or a special someone you've been slowly getting to know, you're aware that now is the time to take your connection to the physical level. You can sense that she's about ready to hop into bed and you damn well know that you are. So how do you make this first time with someone new a glorious moment you'll both fondly remember rather than a nightmare you'd just as soon forget?
The first thing to zero in on is attitude. What exactly is it you want from this coming sexual encounter -- a lusty one night romp or the beginning of a longstanding passionate relationship?
There certainly is nothing wrong with a one-night stand. There is something extremely exciting about sex with a stranger, with absolutely no strings attached. Many women feel this way, not only men. What we all have to be careful about is simply using the other person, treating them as an object only for our satisfaction.
No one likes being treated as an object. No one likes being used for someone else's purpose. Men typically use women as sex objects. But just as often women treat men as success objects. What does it mean to treat a person as an object? It means you use that person to get what you want without particular regard to what happens to them or how they feel. At one extreme you would not even care if you actually cause harm. More frequently harm is not intended, but the well being of the person you are using is of little or no concern to you. What is of concern to you is to get what you want, which in this case is sex.
When you want sex and you do anything necessary to get it you are using the woman as a sex object. You may lie and otherwise be deceitful about what is really going on. You may pretend to care or be interested in her, but all you really want is to get laid. After you get what you want, you disappear and she never hears from you again. You don't call. You may not even say hello on the street. You may feel contempt or disgust toward her for having had sex with you. But this is really a disguised form of self-contempt and self-hatred projected onto women. It is very unhealthy and in the long run will leave you alone, lonely, bitter and cynical. This is hardly a prescription for happiness.
Quick sex between consenting adults is not about using each other as an object, assuming both of you understand what is happening, and no deceit is involved. We call this scenario "no-strings sex." With no-strings sex, both parties understand that it is not intended that you will ever see each other again. You do not exchange addresses or phones or personal histories. This situation ranks high on the list of most common fantasy for both men and women. The sex may be extremely hot and passionate. Both lovers may feel an extraordinary freedom and be willing to let go completely, dropping their usual sexual shyness and restraint. Often they will experiment with and allow themselves to enjoy what they would only dream of doing, but never allow themselves to do with someone they knew or were in an ongoing relationship with. They may experiment with things they did not even dream were possible.
There are only two rules for no-strings sex. They are very simple rules. Rule #1: Mutual consent for everything is mandatory. By "mutual consent" we mean that all aspects of your lovemaking are agreed to by both. You meet together on the sexual playing field as equals. No one gets physically hurt. When your partner says "I don't want to do that" or "stop, that hurts" you must stop instantly. This is where "no" always means no. Rule #2: Don't try to find her later!
The other type of first time encounter is with someone with whom you intend to have an ongoing relationship. We will call this scenario "relationship sex." With relationship sex, it is understood by both of you that there may be an ongoing relationship after the sex. In fact, it would be quite normal for relationship sex to take place after you have been seeing each other for some time. In this scenario sex is not the start of the relationship, but a deepening of it. It is also quite common for a relationship to start with a sexual encounter. If the sex rocks the earth, or even if it is just pretty good, you may want to go further into relationship to see if you can connect on other important levels and make something work together in the longer run. This could evolve into living together or even marriage.
The first rule for no-strings sex also applies to relationship sex. 1. Mutual consent for everything is mandatory. In addition to this rule there are a few others to keep in mind. 2. Great respect is mandatory. 3. Great caring is mandatory. 4. Open, honest communication is mandatory. 5. Gentleness is used as required, and roughness is used as mutually desired.
1. Mutual consent for everything is mandatory. If you do not both enjoy it, what is the point? Remember, we are not using each other, we are loving each other. It is certainly all right for one partner to try things because the other person likes it even if they don't, but this is a gift freely given and cannot be required.
2. Great respect is mandatory. Respect implies that you are aware of what the other person wants. You are willing to discover what they are capable of and what their sexual limits are. Your lover may have been injured psychologically or emotionally from past relationships. In fact this will almost certainly be the case, almost everyone has had their heart broken at least once. At the extreme, they may have experienced sexual abuse as a child. They may feel insecure about their sexuality. They may suffer from low self-esteem as a lover. They may be quite inexperienced in sexual technique. You must be extremely patient and ever so sensitive to the messages they send out about how fast to proceed, what to do and not do. Talk openly to establish the boundaries of your sexuality. Then experiment to push back the boundaries at a pace you can both find comfortable and safe.
3. Great caring is mandatory. Love is always given and received as a gift. It has been said that there is no such thing as bad sex, that sex without love can still be great sex, but sex with caring adds a warmth that connects two hearts and souls together. This is sex beyond technique. Sex with caring leaves the lovers filled. Sex with love leaves the lovers overflowing. It is caring that moves sex beyond the physical to allow for the creation of a deeper spiritual connection. Most men want an emotional connection and most would welcome a more spiritual experience of sex, but they are afraid and they just haven't learned how to do it yet. Most women quite frankly, require the emotional connection as the price of entry.
4. Gentleness is used as required, and roughness is used as mutually desired. With mutual consent anything goes. But it is usually best to start out with more gentleness and progress to more roughness only as you learn that she wants it and likes it. Many women like a playful roughness as long as they feels truly safe. But if you have not established a high degree of trust with her, roughness prematurely can end what could have been an excellent long-term sexually passionate relationship.
5. Open, honest communication is mandatory. Talk about sex. Tell each other what you like and dislike. A good way to do this is to always offer choices A and B and ask which she likes best. This avoids the damage to fragile egos that young men are so prone to when they are learning about a new lover. If a man hears, "I don't like that" it is very easy for him to have his feelings hurt and this may cause him to withdraw, or get angry, or react in some dysfunctional way. But if you give your women, for example, the choice between fondling her breasts this way, or this way, and ask which is best, you will not have your feelings hurt, and you will quickly learn what she really likes. This is how a lover becomes a great lover.
If you need to have your imagination stimulated to know what to try, read any of several great lover's manuals available in good bookstores everywhere. Then use the A-or-B technique to find out about your woman specifically. Here are a few titles to look for. You can order these from our web site if you can't find them in your local bookstore.
Once you've honestly considered your attitude you can move into the physical aspects of loving: like the setting, foreplay, afterplay and all the juicy bits in between. In the East there is a long tradition of the warrior lover - a man who has prepared himself physically, emotionally and mentally for the great and glorious battle between the sheets. This is not for dominating or defeating your lover but for skillfully bringing out the best in both of you so you can rise to new heights in your sexuality.
The idea of creating the right ambience for lovemaking may seem artificial or calculated, but there is an art to great loving and why not bring out the artist in yourself? A secluded place, candlelight, music, wine, food and clean sheets may sound like a trite scene from an old James Bond movie but they still hold true. Women love to be adored and creating a special place for loving shows that you care about what they want too.
It has become common knowledge that foreplay is very important in bringing a woman to sexual satisfaction. She takes longer to become aroused to the point where she can match you in intensity of desire. But what is also essential is afterplay. When you've come to a happy climax don't just roll over and go to sleep or get up and go home. Even though your hormones may be telling you you're finished, your lover won't be. Take the time and make the effort to show your appreciation and caring through some tender cuddling and soft words or by sharing some food and conversation. You'll benefit too from staying in love's sweet afterglow.
Finally, it shouldn't have to be said but it still does, always, always practice safe sex. Use condoms and dental dams until you are certain you're in a completely monogamous relationship and you've both had AIDS tests. Remember good first time sex with someone means no one gets hurt, during loving or afterwards.