Who is an Expert on Sex?

Last night, while I was smearing peanut butter on my English muffin and scanning news tidbits on my i-Pad, I ran into another of perhaps twenty articles written by young people about how to be : a great husband, a great wife, great in the sack, great at…well…somewhere, it starts getting a little weird.   I pushed my i-Pad across the table to Pamela.  She scanned it and asked, “How old is the writer?”

aaaaaaaa paltrowI checked.  “She’s 27”, I said, at which point we both began laughing.  Now this is not a terribly new concept.  When anyone gets a handful of gold records or a choice part in a hit movie, suddenly they’re dispensing advice on anything from “How to be a GREAT parent” when their baby is still four weeks old, to How to Make GREAT Budget Meals!  by Gwyneth Paltrow or some such person with a bank account with a one and a whole slew of zeros.

The question quickly comes down to:  Who is actually an expert…particularly on the subject of sex?

aaa cheerleadersThe cold hard fact of the matter is, no one really needs to be a sex expert (sexpert) at age 16 or 17.  At that age, sex is NEW, your partner is NEW and your body parts are set, like little hedonistic land mines to explode at the slightest touch.  At sixteen it seems, at least to people who’ve grown up and become adults, that all of them weigh about 100 pounds, have legs like gazelles and boobs that point toward the sky.  Touch a spot here or there….everything is a G-Spot.

Later, in your twenties and thirties, you begin seeing articles by couples who’ve managed to make it through three or five, or even seven years of marriage, and they are busy at their computers, giving advice to people on how to have a long successful marriage.  The answers they give are to younger people who write in,”I’ve been married fourteen months…and the magic has gone out of my marriage.  It the same old, same old…”

aaa m16If I may indulge in a metaphor, it’s a bit like the newbie Army private, just learning how to put the parts of his gun together.  Then he fires at a paper target and concludes that he’s a soldier.   Really?  Or the sixteen year old, who’s just gotten his learner’s permit and thinks that he can drive rush hour in Boston or D.C. in a snow storm.  There are tricks  and things you have to learn.  And it takes time.

aaa lobsterSame with sex….only…. it’s WAAAAY more complicated.   No matter whom you’ve married, you become accustomed to their “smile”.  If a spouse can get used to their mate in a handful of months, what happens over a handful of years?  And then, let’s get to the big leagues.  What happens over a handful of decades?   I’m tempted to use the punchline from an old joke:  A guy orders lobster…gets a lobster with one claw.  Waiter says, “Lobsters sometimes fight.”  Guy says, “Okay… Bring me the winner!”   That’s what people wanting advice on AMOUR might keep in mind.  Bring me a winner, someone who’s been married for a bit!

To dig even deeper, unlike any other field of endeavor:  when you can riff on your  Martin guitar without looking at the strings, tipple the keys on a Steinway, or make a three-point landing in a crosswind, with sex, right at that point where you get it down to a science, you’re cruising fast toward a major-league pothole.

The reality is:  even the best, most exotic and prop-laden sex technique eventually becomes the old standby, at which point, one or the other  concludes that “we’re just going through the motions,” followed quickly by, “Do you still like me?  Do you still love me?  Do I still turn you on?”   A bit of advice:  If you know the answers…don’t be coy.  Don’t hesitate.  These are questions which must be answered instantaneously.  Shouting the answer is also acceptable.  The answers are:  YES!!!  YES!!! and Hell YES!!!  And then work from there.

PAMELA-FLYING50 Years…  When Pam and I met, we were teenagers.  Pam was a ballet dancer without a single ounce of fat upon her.  Boobs pointed skyward and you could bounce a quarter off her ass…and it would go pretty far!  Sex was easy, incredibly so.  But even back then, one or the other, or perhaps both of us, adopted some rules for encounters.  They’ve worked for close to five decades.

You might give them a try if you haven’t already.   Rule One:  No critiques in the bedroom.  None.  No finding fault, no comments, no verbal directions whatsoever.  Really?  Yes.   Truth is, you can chronicle the amount of talking we’ve done in 50 years of lovemaking on the side of one index card.  In the bedroom, we are only two animals, two creatures, mating, grunting, giggling, growling, sniffing, moaning, breathing heavily, panting, going Mmmmm… that sort of thing.

One time in college, a girl I was dating assumed the role of a traffic cop at a busy intersection:  “Hey, a little faster there…nope too fast.  Slow down.  When I said move in circles, I mean bigger circles, littler, faster, slower.”  Although I do remember the name of this gal, I’m still trying to forget it.

aaa back seat Rule Two: Need to have a meeting of the minds?  Some things need to be ironed-out?  Of course this happens.  It should happen, however, hours or days later, and preferably when you’re out to lunch.  And there’s a way to say it that doesn’t destroy the other person.  One of us will say something like,  “As we’re maturing in our lovemaking, I’m finding it takes me a little longer, or…I find I like it a bit rougher…or softer, or can we mix it up a little.  Wanna make out in the back seat?  I’ll resist.  You persist.”  Stuff like that.  Communication is important.  The time and manner in which you communicate is even more important.

 Rule Three; Empathy:  Some spouses feel like Mother Nature let them down.  “It’s not fair!  I had a 19″-inch waistline and 36-C cups!”  Or, “it’s not fair!  I used to have more hair on my head…and not so much hair on my back.”  The rude reality of life is that every single one of those perfect teenagers walking to school, is going to go through the identical arc that life threw at you.  In that regard, life is fair.

The saving grace:   Fortunately….  Fortunately… Fortunately…   The absolute best sex in the world is a result, NOT of how much you weigh, or if you have any wrinkles, or even how long you’ve known each other… it all comes down to how the ganglia are firing between your ears…not your legs.  More bluntly, it’s your brain that gives you the magic, not your neat parts.

Handfuls of people reading this will sigh and say,  “Yeah….sounds good.  Real hard to do, though.”  That is where your knowledge of your own brain, your memories, your fantasies kick in.  Everybody has different quirky images they use.  Yours will differ….God I hope so.


Gratuitous Sexy Vampire Seduction

But by way of example, and attempting to keep things abstract and thereby tasteful,  for reasons unknown, I fantasize about the possibility of getting caught.  Pam and I are dating again and we’re upstairs in her bedroom…and her mom is calling us down to dinner.  Oh, God what to do?  Go for it!   Or….Pamela really used to be a camp counselor at Camp Tegawitha in Jersey.  Tonight, Pam is my counselor tucking me in.  Or, a variation, I’m a counselor and it’s raining like buckets and Pam shows up at my sleeping bag, soaked to the bone.  She has to crawl in for her very survival.    Or….here’s a strange variation.  I’m dating some bimbo from way back and Pamela, as she is today, is the bimbo’s mother.   I’m hitting on Pamela…but in her role as a taboo and unapproachable icon.  Works for me.

It’s okay to imagine stuff, scenes, naughty details…  Pamela truly loves vampires… something I can approximate with great zeal.   To quote an old song by the Four Lads, “Brother you can’t go to jail for what you’re thinkin'”

Yeah, having sex is easy at seventeen or twenty-seven, or thirty-five or even forty-five.  But it gets more complicated.  Time to use your brain…and your empathy.

H&PHenry & Pamela







12 Responses to "Who is an Expert on Sex?"

  1. mo says:

    Hello Dear Henry

    It is almost about 46 days that I had an open heart surgery, and Dr. told not to have any sex for two months. At first I thought he is joking, but later I find out he was right, I am not able to do it.

    old friend mo.

  2. Henry Harvey says:

    Hello my wonderful old friend,

    Terribly sorry to hear of the surgery, though if this were 60 years ago, we might not still be communicating. And, if my math is correct you have less that two weeks to go!!! Take it slow and easy,but Pam and I are very very very glad you are still in this world.
    Big,but gentle hug, old friend,

  3. Lynn LeBec says:

    This blog was most enlightening. All relationships morph over time. What was so spontaneous in our twenties and thirties, becomes a more thought-out and often a pre-planned event. For some couples, it makes some of the magic vaporize. As long as two people are still in love, they can adjust. One way, is to take your time. Try to eliminate distractions and do not focus on having that orgasm. Become an explorer and show some enthusiasm. Be grateful that you aren’t competing for someone at the local bar. Enjoy your mate, and tell them when your
    love making session is over, that you had a fun and how wonderful it was.
    Appreciation is a wonderful encouragement if you want to do it again!
    Lynn LeBec

    • Henry Harvey says:

      Yaay Lynn!

      I think you put your finger on the solution. Enthusiasm! With it, you can make all kinds of mistakes, use the wrong timing, etc. and still have a wonderful time. Without genuine enthusiasm, you have….mud. and no fun at all.

  4. Henry Harvey says:

    Amen to that!!!! Hope you guys are well and surviving the snow and cold. Finally, empty nesters. I like it!

  5. Henry Harvey says:

    Empty nesters! It’s party time! Remember how to party? You just get out your… Wait a minute, you put on the… I’m trying to remember.
    Good for you guys!

  6. Phil Kaufman says:

    No argument but probably TMI!  I think and always have thought that what goes on between a loving couple should remain that way.   Who am I to give advice to anyone except that most women are damn smarter than most men……get over it guys.

    Pat and I will be married 53 years next month.  Put simply…we have a very loving relationship.  We are not bored with each other and there is no other one I would love to be with.   To use an airplane analogy,  we have climbed through the clouds…married, had and raised kids, careers, endless decisions and now no “have to’s” except each other….there is a purity there.  The plane has broken through the clouds, leveled off and we enjoy the brilliant sunlight…..together.  You can understand and fill in the blanks.  Long marriages are not the norm any more….but it should be. Welcome to the club. Since I’ve met you and Pam, you are boh special people to me.

  7. henry harvey says:

    Okay…. Ya say ya want metaphors? I’ll give ya metaphors! Pam and I are two honey badgers wrestling and snarling, chasing each other around the dumpster out back. No wait, we’re two planes, a Spitfire and a Mustang doing pylon racing to the death! No, we’re two cobras in the same basket. We’re… Actually that sailing along in the sunlight doesn’t sound too bad!!! I think, in addition to love and empathy and respect, you need a good sense of humor too. Good show for both of you!

  8. henry harvey says:

    Henry, I was about to say that i just read your…but why would i tell you that when I am taking this opportunity to comment on your instructional guide to happy, successful sex wherever you do it. Well, i can tell you that fantasy setup work absolutely great, but imagining that your partner’s mother or god forbid mother were to catch you in the act, that to me would be the cause of prolonged impotence. But then there are the really good ones, say like having “miss fantasy” come…oops to your door dressed up in a sever business suit with thick glasses and a briefcase intent on selling you uh..anything. Of course you invite her in to have a seat on the couch, and let her do her sales thing. You of course, ask her pertinent question like does she like….and she either excitedly or nervously readjusts her raincoat that covers her uh, uh there we go again. shall we say epidermis/ How’s that for class/ But back to work now. This is a serious seduction taking place, so your attention is critical or else you might miss out on one of the most subtle provocative moves in this action…not yet…thriller. So, it is important to make sure that the room is heating up especially since you set the temp for 88 deg…no not centigrade..cheez. Getting impatient? Well now so uh, I’ll bet that it’s getting hot where you are…See? ..It works..I told ya so…Love you guys, and practice makes..Uh. W.M.

  9. henry harvey says:

    Hey Bill!

    Good to hear from you!

    As I was reading your e-mail and song began running through the back of my mind……something from Simon and Garfunkle. Still crazy after all these years!!!
    That’s how it should be.

    For what it’s worth, the fantasy you describe is something I’m very familiar with! Didya ever happen to watch Cheers? Back then, there was a character played by Bebe Newirth. Her character was Lilith. Glasses, serious, sour, hyper-intelligent and droll beyond belief. Until she got in the bedroom. Bebe was great and you reminded me of watching her.


  10. henry harvey says:

    Love it!

    Pam F.

  11. henry harvey says:

    Love it as in, Love the topic? Or…love it as….oh, never mind.

    The day you get sick of talking or thinking about sex…is a sad day.

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