Sexual intimacy is a great mystery for some, even while it seems easy and natural for others. The sex part is nearly always easy - especially when you're young.
When you're really young - such as when you're moving from adolescence to adulthood, it can be complicated and difficult. These days, though, the teenagers seem to be doing it like rabbits.
Much different from when I was a teenager - but that was some 55 years ago.
I remember very well being reluctant to have sex as a teenager. Seemed there were too many potentially negative consequences. I was not interested in getting anyone pregnant. Most of my male friends felt the same way, and our female friends were not interested in getting knocked up.
Birth control pills didn't exist during the '50s and '60s. Condoms were not very reliable.
For most people of my generation, sexual intimacy was reserved for married couples. Well, I suppose I'm not really sure that was the case. I was aware that some of my peers were sexually active.
Having sex is one thing, but real intimacy is something else, altogether.
For most of my life I've been convinced that genuine intimacy could only happen between a man and his wife.
I'm somewhat more enlightened now.
Obviously there are lots of same sex relationships in which sexual intimacy happens as a regular and significant event. And there are lots of relationships in which there might be little or no romantic love involved.
Apparently some adults find it easy to develop physical intimacy in the absence of emotional closeness - or in the absence of love.
It's fascinating to look at some of the ads for casual relationships on websites such as Craigslist.
Some of the ads are there for monetary purposes, but some seem to be honestly looking for a partner for casual sex.
Call me old fashioned - and I am very old fashioned - so I question how much intimacy beyond just physical intimacy is possible in a casual sex relationship.
For Joyce and I intimacy has developed over decades of togetherness - mutual enjoyment of a variety of amazing, pleasure-filled activities. We both love classical music - so live concerts are great. We also love many of the same pieces of music. We have a great sound system with lots of CDs.
We also greatly enjoy nature, especially here in Colorado, but also spending time at our favorite seaside retreats together, in California where we grew up and where our relationship had its beginnings.
Birdwatching is another incredible activity we greatly enjoy.
We both enjoy reading books. She loves fiction, and I gravitate toward non-fiction. We also enjoy excellent movies, and we have a decent collection of movies - which is growing all the time.
Our personal library at home is pretty strong, too. Joyce is a regular patron of the Arvada library system.
All these things we've enjoyed together for almost 5 decades guarantee that we have very intimate experiences sexually and otherwise.
Based on my own experience with my wife and based on what I've read in books and online, shared intimate experiences are great for greatly enhanced sexual intimacy.
I recently bought and read Bruce Lipton's new book, The Honeymoon Effect, - the science of creating heaven on earth. The subtitle makes you really curious and eager to open the book and dive in.
Having read Biology of Belief by the same author, I knew I was going to learn a lot from this new book.
Bruce Lipton has suffered through one failed marriage, and yet was brave enough to go into a second one - which he views as a heavenly relationship.
One of the amazing aspects is that he was relatively young when he entered his first marriage, and considerably older at the beginning of the second. Some would say older and wiser.
It's widely recognized that many marriages entered into at a young age don't last long. Typically, each partner is head over heels in love, and thinks the marriage is forever. When the honeymoon is over, though, it's really over.
Our marriage was anything but blissful during the first 5 or so years, but Joyce's incredible love and determination along with some from me, has made it last. The last 25 or more years have been outstanding. Genuine lasting love takes a while to develop.
If you're interested in sexual intimacy only to a very limited extent, you most likely don't care about a lasting relationship with your partner. You may be among the throngs of folks who move from one relationship to another.
I guess that's okay for you - if that's really what you're looking for.
My guess is that you may be missing out on something extremely special that comes from a long-term relationship in which partners are completely committed to each other. Sounds old fashioned, or maybe even silly. But my experience along with the experiences of a lot of other old fashioned people indicates that there is great value in such relationships.
Honeymoon Effect is loaded with great information for anyone interested in allowing a lifelong relationship in which sexual intimacy is at its very best.
Even if you're not especially interested in sexual intimacy, a lot can be learned from this book and others devoted to personal relationships.
One of the most useful discussions in Dr. Lipton's book is his handling of the relationship between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. Included in that very helpful dissertation is the relationship between the mind and the brain.
Lipton tells us that 95% of our decision-making occurring during our waking hours is determined by the subconscious mind. Apparently that's because the part of the brain where the conscious mind is activated - the pre-frontal cortex - can only process about 40 nerve impulses per second.
The much larger, more powerful part of the brain which gives life to the subconscious mind, is capable of processing 40 million nerve impulses per second.
As Bruce Lipton says, "...that makes the subconscious mind's processor 1 million times more powerful than the conscious mind's."
So, are we locked into that 95% rate of decision-making by the subconscious?
Clearly, no - as Lipton and many others have been telling us. It is not only possible but highly desirable to re-program the subconscious mind. This last statement may or may not be true for you.
I think there are many individuals on the planet who will never attempt to re-program their subconscious minds. For some, this is clearly advantageous in terms of pure enjoyment of life.
Your subconscious mind has maintained a huge database of memories - storage of both verbal and mostly non-verbal information or experiences which have shaped you as an individual. If you're mostly comfortable with who you are, and satisfied with your lifestyle, then you have no need to reprogram anything.
Unless, of course, your programming has resulted in a life or lifestyle which is largely problematic. You might be comfortable with it, but it might be highly toxic to yourself or others.
Looking back over our nearly half century of marriage, it's clear to me that sexual intimacy has not been the primary factor which has kept us together. Other forms of intimacy have become much more important as we've aged.
During your younger years sexual intimacy is really greatly enhanced by all the other commonalities shared by partners in the relationship.
When Joyce and I were very young - that is, when I was 21 and she was 19 - our ages when we got married - one important thing we shared was our love for music. We had both been involved in band and orchestra in high school and college, and both had fantastic experiences with the groups we'd played in separately.
So, when I went into the music education as my first career, it was a great unifying factor.
Three years later, when our daughter was born, then another 16 months after when our son was born, our children became our focus.
That priority was the main reason we made a major geographical move - from Southern California to Western Colorado.
That 6 year stay in the small Western Colorado towns of Nucla, Naturita, and Uravan with those fiercely independent people had a very strongly positive effect on our marriage - and even sexual intimacy was enhanced.
Being very closely involved with our kids as they grew up was beyond terrific for us. Now, enjoying our grandkids is also highly rewarding and relationship enhancing.
There was a period of time when the church seemed to be a positive factor for us as a family.
We were members of a church and very active in the church for nearly 18 years as our kids were growing up. But we saw a lot strife within the church. It's clear in general that there's a lot of division among Christians of the various denominations, and even between members of the same congregation.
The church repeatedly admonished congregants to read and study the Bible.
We took that admonition seriously, and spent a lot of time reading and studying.
That study led us to the point where we recognized a lot of conflicts between what the Bible says, and what Christian theologians say it says. For us, doctrines developed by hierarchies of church leaders deviate from anything indicated by the writings within the Bible.
Our time of conflict with local church leaders leading to our dismissal from the church was another great unifying factor for us and our family. Praise the Lord.
One thing many churches teach is that man is separated from God. Sin, we're told, is the separating factor.
There's a fairly new book out, now, entitled <u>Jesusgate.</u>
We were mostly aware of many of the things discussed by the author of Jesusgate long before it was published. But it's great to see that someone within the church is cognisant of the problems of credibility inherent within the church and its various doctrines.
During the years we were moving away from the church, we grew closer as a couple, and our then adult children became closer to us and each other as well. it seems that the kids had seen a lot of the same problems much sooner, as had many other young people within the church.
I bring this up not to discredit anyone's church, or belief system, but to point out that shared experiences pertaining to various important institutions can be strongly unifying factors, and can be among the strongly unifying factors which enhance intimacy.
Neither of us has ever questioned the existence of God. We did come to question whether He, She, or It is fairly or correctly represented by the organized Christian church.
Funny how this is all coming out while writing about sexual intimacy.
During the time we'd begun to take exception to some of the rigid doctrines of the church, we also began to come in contact with books from writers and publishers we'd never seen before.
Step by step we progressed together until we bumped into the writings of Eckhart Tolle.
The first Tolle book we bought is his first best seller, The Power of Now.
We both read it cover to cover - though it took a couple of years to do that. At first it made no sense to either one of us.
Gradually, though, as we adjusted to Tolle's very simple, plain language style of writing - with none of the complicated jargon of theologians - we began to see how this non-religious approach to practical spirituality includes everyone and excludes no one.
Many Christians want to dismiss this amazing philosophy as new age or cultish, and refuse to look at it closely.
Again, more intimacy through the shared experience of growing together has been very valuable for us. Not necessarily sexual intimacy, but intimacy which goes beyond, or transcends sexual intimacy.