For the bronze, all we need to attain is basic functioning and a sufficient quality of connection.
To win silver, we need to move from sufficient to satisfying.
Getting the gold means making good sex great — moving from “satisfying” to “optimal and extraordinary.”
Luckily, optimal and extraordinary sex does not conform to the typical Olympic-ordained categories. This is a gender-neutral sport, with an open continuum for sexual behavior and expression. Like figure-skating, we have solo and partner pleasure. With the luge, skeleton and bobsled, they all use a similar vessel, but positions switch around — feet-first, head-first or back-to-back. Hockey illuminates the group experience. And don’t underestimate the need for the superior hand coordination required in curling, or the power and force seen in speed skating.
But believe it or not, Olympicwinning sex is not about positions, techniques or multiple orgasms. It’s not about alternative behaviors or sexual functioning (such as erectile strength or vaginal lubrication).
To unearth eight secret training tools that help us achieve Olympic-winning sex, let’s look at the work of Canadian sexologist Peggy Kleinplatz. In a research paper (“The components of optimal sexuality,” 2009), Kleinplatz and her team discovered key elements for extraordinary sex:
Total focus and embodiment — In the midst of 50,000 yelling fans and 10 TV stations of commentary, you notice nothing but silence. You are completely focused and engulfed in your sexual activity — so embodied that all your sensations are accentuated and afire.
Synchrony and alignment — Imagine two figure skaters gliding in synch, dancing in unison — making love through movement on ice. Whether you’ve known someone a few minutes or a few decades, there is an electrical alignment when skin-suit and spirit merge as one.
Authentic and uninhibited — Like racing down that Luge of Love, we must be willing to take a risk to be authentically naked and vulnerable in the presence of the other — emotionally, sexually and spiritually.
Deep erotic intimacy — This does not require round-the-clock erotic fantasies about your partner. Rather, this entails fostering high levels of trust and respect, where erotic promise can easily and authentically unfold. Like a hockey team, players must develop deep bonds during practice so they can fully trust each other during game time.
Exceptional compassion and communication skills — Again, the gold-winning hockey teams are those that have cultivated a language for working together — reading each other’s movements fluently. When we learn to speak each other’s love and sex language, we can experience complete compassion.
Transcendent, transformative, blissful — Optimal sex encourages us to embrace moments of ecstasy, awe and peace, like flying through the final gates on the slalom ski, wind in your face, speed at your feet, floating on air.
Explorative and fun — Does your curling puck slide right into the narrow perimeter of the target circle? Or does it whiz to the other end of the ice, skidding into the audience, as everyone wonders why this sport is even in the Olympics to begin with? If we put on the right set of glasses or goggles, sex can be an adventure — a space to experiment and explore and laugh.
Sexual surrender — Imagine taking that leap of faith as you plunge headfirst down the snow on your skeleton sled. Similarly, exceptional sex dares us to fully surrender into the experience and, if partnered, with another person.
These eight ingredients all emphasize the intrapsychic and interpersonal elements of the intimate experience, rather than the so-called physical sex act. Olympic-winning sex cares not about genital response, age, illness or disability. It means diving into deeper levels of intimacy and connection with self and other.
The stronger the connection, the better the sex.
Jenni Skyler, PhD, is a sex therapist and board-certified sexologist. She runs The Intimacy Institute in Boulder, www.theintimacyinstitute.org.