Sex is a blind spot.
At the back of the eye, the retina funnels into the optic nerve, and in the center of this funnel, is a tiny blind spot. To compensate, our eyes are always moving slightly to mentally fill in this spot. Thus, if you try to fix your gaze on a tiny pinpoint of light (a single star on a dark night is perfect), it will disappear, only to appear when you look away slightly to the right or left, up or down.
A friend confides in me about his sex life, with considerable detail. Maybe he’s seeing if I’ll be shocked, but I think he’s just trying to figure the whole thing out. He wants to be free, senses his parents were rigid and role-driven. So he and his partners experiment with toys, watch porn, talk dirty, and so on.
No matter how great the sex, he’s feeling trapped and lonely; he’s looking for a new partner; he’s grumbling that he’s “not good at this relationship thing.”
The Tale Wagged
Sex can’t be looked “straight in the eye.”
I mean, sex blossoms when I focus on other things, like my partner’s pleasure, or our skin sensations, or that adventurous attitude that lets us have fun, visiting overlooked parts of ourselves, then connecting with them, “hanging out” with some aspect of personality we’d forgotten about, like a day‑trip to a little place we’ve both been curious about.
But if I look directly at the sexual act, focusing on my (or my partner’s) outward performance, the results are usually disappointing.
The most lucrative segment of the internet depends on us staying blind to this fact. That’s the real (and the only real) problem with pornography.
Of my friends who have tried sexual enhancements, the only one who had a positive report really didn’t need it in the first place; he and his partner were playing, not solving problems. Those who had a “problem” are still trying to solve it. Maybe they would profit from psychotherapy — separately, as a couple, or both — but toys haven’t done much to enhance their lives (sexual or otherwise). They need to look away from the sex act, let it be as ordinary (and as sacred) as going to the grocery store together.
But wait; I forgot; they never go to the grocery store together.
Yeah, but how do we put it into practice?
Privately, explore your actual view of sexuality; it’s the one that’s in your body; it sneaks out when no one’s looking. Occasionally, a dream may provide a clue.
Is it about power? Control? Proving (to yourself or someone else) that you are what you wish you were, but are afraid you’re not? If you uncover a role that tries to twist you or someone else into an object, you gotta let it die.
Sex is actually a conversation with another person. If you both listen and both know what you’d like to say, it’s a lot better than words. But if either of you is “deaf” or “can’t speak” sexually, nobody’s gonna be as happy as you’re designed to be.
And if both of you are “deaf” and/or “mute,” then you’re either roommates (which may be okay) or you’re heading for a divorce.