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What’s in the Pack You Schlep?

Sheila went to a financial planning convention last weekend. She intended to take home information about retirement, life and disability insurance, and how much to save versus spend. Instead, she took home Mike.

Sheila never dreamed that she would have the best sex of her life one steamy night at a Marriott with a man she just met over a discussion on stocks and bonds. Mike never imagined that he would pay $800 to learn about money just to blow off the majority of seminars. But when Mike saw Sheila, he was instantly attracted. Maybe it was the pheromonal chemistry, or maybe it was the way she twirled her strawberry-blond hair around her slender finger. Either way, Mike was mesmerized.

Luckily, Mike kept up with his sex education through the Sexy Shabbos and he knew he had to seduce Sheila to pique her interest. He started by offering her a coffee and some dark chocolate mints, and then complimented her courage on attending a male-dominated conference.  She laughed at this, but allowed him to sit next to her. The seduction continued as they lubricated their brains with rousing conversation from religion to rock climbing.

Mike then invited Sheila to lunch and continued to seduce her with homemade rugelah and a bottle of Mogen David. Eager to take it to the next stage, Sheila slipped her foot out of her heel and slid her toes up Mike’s leg under the table.

And so begins the sensation or arousal stage where Mike and Sheila went up to her hotel room and continued to touch, fondle, and electrify each other’s necks, legs, and lips. It was only one night and they’d never have to see each other again. Or so they thought.

As they laid there in bed, reflecting on their post-orgasmic bliss, they realized the whole experience was so delicious, it begged to be repeated—20 minutes later. Then two hours later. Then again after room service dinner and a pay-per-view movie.

By the end of the seminar, they had a stockpile of positive experiences to reflect back upon—and thus decided to meet once every few months to have a sexual rendezvous.

Sheila and Mike underwent a positively perfect example of Dr. David Reed’s model of human sexual response. They experienced seduction, sensation, surrender, and finally, reflection.

The reflection stage is a time to look back over the sexual episode and size up its worth. If we felt good and all the stages were satiated—seduction, sensation, and surrender—then we often look forward to a repeat sex session. If we felt bad or unfulfilled, then we may steer clear of future sexual encounters.

Sometimes we reflect back on more than just the latest sexual incident, but also the past few ones, or events as far back as childhood. As pleasurable as the most recent sex might have been, our past will still affect how we experience the world in the present. It’s like we are schlepping a backpack into the bedroom. Some of us go mountaineering and some of us go ultra-light. What we stow in the backpack shapes how we have sex and how we feel about it. If you suffered from sexual trauma, you may face some blocks with sexual intimacy. Getting rid of these items may mean unpacking and sorting through stuff with a partner, friend, or therapist. It may also mean adding updated items such as new, enjoyable sexual experiences. Like Sheila and Mike, if you start collecting appetizing sexual adventures, your backpack will feel filled with more positive than negative—and those fun times can help drive you forward.

So pop open a bottle of port, plug in the disco ball, and pull out the old shag rug from the early days when you did it on the floor. If you prefer to be in bed by candlelight with soft jazz in the background, that’s cool too.

Either way, it’s time to re-pack your bag and get on the trail. There are many exciting sexual escapades waiting to be experienced—and remembered. Have a Sexy Shabbos!

About Dr. Jenni Skyler

Jenni Skyler, PhD, MSEd is a sex therapist and board certified sexologist. She is the Director of The Intimacy Institute for sex and relationship therapy in Boulder, Colorado. She holds a doctorate in Clinical Sexology and a Master of Education in Counseling Psychology - Marriage and Family Therapy track. She has worked in the field of sexual health as a therapist, educator, and public health consultant since 2005. In addition, Jenni is a PAIRS® certified instructor and hosts workshops and retreats to help couples emotionally enrich their relationships.

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