In the spirit of Sweetest Day I decided to pull an excerpt from my book to share. The Recipe for Ecstasy is a revised dissertation. To complete the requires of my Ph.D. program, I surveyed 105 women about relationships. I was specifically interested in the relationship of intimacy, passion, commitment, and orgasm responsiveness to sexual and relationship satisfaction. In pursuit of this knowledge, I analyzed the responses by marital and parental status. Married women without children exhibited the highest levels of satisfaction. Therefore, I have chosen a recipe from their cookbook of love. These women identified mood, nature of the relationship, setting, newness, intimacy, intense physical/emotional response (passion), and love as being essential to their recipe for ecstasy. I am going to share two of those ingredients: intimacy and passion.
Meaningful relationships can happen in and out of wedlock. Not all relationships are a full course meal; some are just a quick bite to eat, something to tide us over. Whatever the legal status, most of the same dynamics apply. Now, if it is a long-term relationship–that is, over a year—then there are rules and roles. Therefore, if you are in a long-term, committed, monogamous relationship, dinner for two is what’s on the menu.
From the Kitchen of Married and Child-free Women:
A combination of intimacy and passion appeared in equal parts at 42%, in the narratives of twenty-six married child-free women. It is all about how you feel when you are with him. Mmm, Mmm Good! On the inside and out. Titillating. Wonderful. Amazing. Fantastic. Ooh-wee! Beautiful. Loved. Desired. Special. Can you imagine feeling so close to someone that cumming brings tears to your eyes? This next woman doesn’t have to:
My first “true” orgasmic experience. It started out with my partner and myself lying on a couch watching television. We began rubbing and kissing and soon I was lying on top of him with my back to him. I removed my pants, but he was still fully clothed. He began to gently rub my clitoris and soon I felt as if I would explode. The sound of him breathing heavily in my ear even though I wasn’t doing anything to him made the moment even more exciting. Eventually I came, so hard it brought tears to my eyes.
And for her this combination yields an intimate recipe: “I felt complete trust, well-being. I felt excitement, but also contentment.” Intimacy can be substituted for closeness. But be careful not to mistake other ingredients for intimacy. It cannot be substituted for great sex, fun, excitement or powerful orgasms. To get there, a person has to be vulnerable, open up and let the other come in. Like a hot fudge sundae, an intimate relationship is so close it is hard to tell where one begins and the other one ends. Don’t forget the cherry on top!
Intimacy: the stuff that real relationships are made of. Take time to smell the aroma, as these women cook up recipes for intimacy:
We went away for the weekend to a convention and lay naked by each other in our room on a king-sized bed. We cuddled, hugged, and made love and watched horror movies all night.
The next woman places emphasis on feeling, not just physically but emotionally:
My spouse and I took the whole evening to explore each other and be together. We had low lighting and soft music and did not rush to complete intercourse, but instead removed our clothes and lay and talked and touched and explored, not only with our hands, but with various other tactile experiences: foods, various materials, lotions, etc. When, after a long period of foreplay, we moved on to intercourse, it, too, was slow and interspersed with explorations of positions, talking and taking time to “feel.” It was enjoyable because we took the time to feel what our bodies were experiencing, as well as to listen and learn what the other was experiencing. It was not just orgasm with our bodies; our minds were involved as well.
Like the relationship between a mother and child, true intimacy takes place between two partners. Each person should have the experience, no matter how brief, of being the one who gets the full attention of the other—a time when someone is so connected that they know things about you that you don’t even know. So close that they know your needs before you communicate them. So close that it is difficult to tell where you end and they begin. It is this connectedness that is first apparent in the mother-child relationship. This intimacy lays the foundation for the mature union of man and woman, husband and wife. Many people are ill equipped for intimacy. If you did not have that symbiotic relationship with mother than adulthood intimacy can be challenging and for some impossible.
In marriage, true intimacy transcends the good, the bad and the ugly. You partake in all of the meal, or you have none of it. You desire to be so close to your mate that you share everything, including their sadnesses and losses. Therefore, when it is good, marriage is very good; and when it is bad, it is the worst. The true measure of a healthy marriage is that things are good most of the time.
Even the greatest of chefs get it wrong sometimes. But just keep cooking, you are sure to get it right eventually, especially if you follow this recipe for ecstasy. Remember, don’t forget the intimacy. It is key.