Agenda Free Sex

Silhouettes depicting couple engaged in agenda-free sexThe title for this article ended up as “Agenda Free Sex”. Perhaps I should have put a hyphen between Agenda and Free, to make it “Agenda-free Sex”, in order to avoid that it is interpreted as “Agenda: Free Sex”. But I decided to be a bit playful and allow for that misinterpretation, because being playful and being relaxed tend to go hand in hand, and having a relaxed approach in your intimate life is what agenda-free sex is fundamentally about.

Intimacy and Sex

Before I get into what I mean with agenda-free sex, I think it is important to highlight a couple of things arounds ‘intimacy’ and ‘sex’; how they overlap and how they differ. For many people there is lot of confusion around these terms, which in itself can lead to misunderstandings when a couple talk about issues they may have in these areas of relationship.

To fully define what each of these two words mean would probably require a whole book (or two), so I will keep it simple. For the purposes of this article – as well as for many other conversations – I will say that ‘intimacy’ fundamentally means ‘being close’, and ‘sex’ means activities that aim at generating sexual pleasure.

Intimacy, therefore, may or may not include physical touch. It can mean empathic connection with (or without) words. You can be intimate with a platonic friend, with your child, with your counsellor (which is typically the case). It is about connecting deeply with someone, by being open to them, and sharing your inner experience with them.

Sex, on the other hand, typically involves touch of different kinds. It most commonly involves stimulating genital areas, and has as its objective to cause arousal and pleasure of a particular kind. It is essentially driven by our drive to procreate, but really, most of the time we try our best to avoid procreating and simply have sex for pleasure.

So, intimacy can take place without sex, and sex can take place without intimacy. When intimacy and sex happen at the same time, we call it ‘making love’. And it is in the area of love-making that agenda-free sex can make a real difference.

Agenda sex

To have an agenda for an activity means that we have a plan for getting somewhere. We have an end-goal in mind, and we try to reach that end-goal in the most efficient way. We set out on a journey, where the objective is to get from point A to point B – and getting to point B is what is important, while the journey along the way to point B is only important in terms of how it helps us get there.

Agenda-sex, then, is the kind of sex where the agenda is to get from the starting point (the first stirring of engagement) to the end point (one or both participants having an orgasm). The goal is what matters, and the actions in between only matter to the degree that they contribute to getting to that end goal. The journey to the orgasm(s) is of lesser importance than reaching the orgasm(s).

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the couple hurry up to get to orgasm(s) as quickly as possible. They may certainly take their time, and enjoy the journey, but the end goal is still what they are aiming at getting to eventually. Sadly, however, for many couples that have problems in their sex life, getting to the end goal is all that counts, and whatever happens along the way feels mechanical. It may be highly efficient, but lacks real enjoyment other than in the brief moments of orgasming.

Efficient sex

For many couples who have spent several years as sexual partners, how they go about having sex is very predictable. They have become “good at” getting from point A to point B. They know what works, and they apply what they know, almost every time. They have become efficient at having sex; they have efficient sex.

Every sex session is very similar to the previous, to the point where they both could describe pretty much what step will come next at any given point of the session. If we were to ask each one of them, in separate interviews, how sex takes place between them, they would give almost the same description, detail for detail, step for step. Who does what and when, how the other responds, what happens next, and how it ends.

No wonder many couples end up having sex only to release a build-up of tensions, to avoid frictions between them in their day-to-day life together. And no wonder some couples end up having several weeks (or in some cases, months) pass between the occasions when they have sex with each other.

Agenda-free sex

The first and most important component of agenda-free sex is to correct the ingrained idea that sex is about getting to point B, orgasm(s). We need to shift our aim entirely away from getting to orgasm(s), and rather have sex without a goal in mind. Other than (the goal of) simply enjoying the pleasure of being close and having sex with one another.

What? Am I supposed to not have orgasms anymore?!

No, no, that’s not what I am telling you. What I am suggesting is that you take the focus away from having sex for the purpose of reaching an orgasm. You may or may not have an orgasm, but getting to an orgasm must not continue to be your reason for having sex. Furthermore, you need to understand that it is possible to have sex, and feel completely satisfied, even when it doesn’t end with an orgasm. And this is true for both men and women! Frustrations over not reaching an orgasm, are wholly generated by the agenda, i.e. that the orgasm is the goal to reach.

If you shift your mind away from the idea that you are having sex in order to achieve an orgasm, and instead adopt the attitude that the sex is a journey that is not leading to anywhere in particular, what you are left with is each moment of the journey and whatever pleasure is there for you to experience in that moment. And this is where you may find the doorway to ‘making love’.

When your focus is on the experience that is available to enjoy in each moment, and not only on stimulation toward orgasm(s), you may be able to (re)discover the pleasure of intimacy, of being close with your partner.

Feeling their whole body with your whole body, not only feeling the touches that are designed to move you forward toward orgasming. Feeling their whole being with your whole being. Merging with them in the pleasure of the present moment, not being on your way anywhere. Sometimes moving, exploring the sensations created by different touches on various parts of your bodies. Sometimes being still, just allowing yourselves to take in the overall sense of closeness. Feeling each other’s warmth. Breathing each other’s breath.

Mindfulness

For many people, what I propose in the previous paragraph seems very foreign. They have ventured into the “game” of sex some time in their youth, without any useful guidance, and may never have gone past the beginner stage. Sex has been limited to just that; sex, actions that arouse and promote the reaching of orgasm. They are not aware of anything much, while having sex, other than touches that stimulate them sexually. When they orgasm, while occasionally quite intense, their orgasms are limited to a genital experience. And the idea of “full body orgasm” sounds like complete mumbo-jumbo to them.

You may agree that removing the orgasm agenda from sex sounds good, in theory, but feel that you are then left with something that seems utterly unsatisfying. What is suggested with agenda-free sex is to be, fully, with the experience that is available in the present moment, but that may require a degree of awareness that you have not yet sufficiently developed. To develop this kind of awareness, you will find it useful to learn some mindfulness practices.

Mindfulness practices are specifically designed to develop your awareness of the present moment, of the actual experience at hand. To increase your ability to sense the subtler aspects of your experience, which may otherwise escape your awareness. An example of this is Eating-mindfulness, through which you can discover flavours of your food that you have never noticed before.

Similarly, when you apply mindfulness to intimacy and sex, you are likely to discover aspects of that experience that you have never noticed – and therefore never been able to enjoy – before. Mindfulness practice can help you come into full contact with what your body is aware of, and open a new range of experiencing that allows agenda-free sex to take your love-making to the place that you always wished for.

If you want to read more about mindfulness, generally, you can visit my page Mindfulness or read some of my articles about Mindfulness and Meditation. Also, if you want to try a very simple mindfulness practice, you can find one here: Sitting Still, Being Present. This is probably the simplest mindfulness practice around, but it will give you at least some idea of what mindfulness practice may be like. However, if you want to deepen your mindfulness practice, and/or learn more about how to develop mindfulness specifically applied to sex and intimacy, then I suggest that you Contact me today, so we can have a chat about your situation and how I can be of help.