Couples stop making love for all sorts of reasons - maybe they've had children and just get out of the habit, maybe one of them seems to want sex more than the other and they've reached a stalemate, maybe they've been together for a long time and lapsed into companionship - but that doesn't mean they can't start making love again. There is a common myth that endures which says that once lost, the sexual urge is lost forever. This is simply not true.
The seven day Making Love Retreat for Couples was created by Diana and Michael Richardson. Diana has written various books like Slow Sex, and Tantric Sex for Men co-written with Michael. Tim (my partner) and I started running these workshops because we got so much out of it ourselves. We hadn't stopped making love but we knew there was more intimacy, connection and joy to be had. Plus there was an imbalance between us, Tim wanted to make love more than I did, I started to feel pressurised and could become avoidant. One of the delights of this work for me, and for him, is that now I initiate more than he does. And one of the things we feel passionately about is - sharing these possibilities with other couples.
The basic premise of this new way of making love is that it is about cooling down and relaxing into making love rather than working hard to arouse each other and reach orgasm. It's a sort of everyday tantra. The opposite of hot sex, in fact. It's about slowing down rather than getting faster. During the seven days, couples are encouraged to really feel into their bodies, we do a lot of bodywork and kundalini meditation in order to increase people's awareness of what is going on inside their own body on a more subtle sense level.
Sex that we're familiar with, is focused on the few seconds event of orgasm, whereas this work focuses on reconnecting us to the innate sensitivity within our own bodies inside, and then from this place, connecting with our partner. It's about letting go of expectations and 'doing' in sex and discovering how to 'be' together, which opens up a vast landscape of possibilities.
For couples who have stopped having sex, shifting the focus away from performance and working for something can be liberating and allows them to re-discover each other in a different way. It's very moving to witness this happen.
Diana Richardson - who credits Indian Tantric Master and visionary, Osho as an inspiration - explains that energetically male and female bodies are designed to compliment each other, which is good news! But a key piece of information, missing in society in general, is that the bodies are completely different in design. Men generally raise sexual energy quicker than women. And for women, sexual energy is raised through the breasts. This was a revelation for me and has significantly changed the dynamic in our lovemaking. Women are frequently not ready for penetrative sex but will sometimes allow a man to enter her before she is ready, or over time, she may close down, which is something no woman wants and of course, can lead to tensions in a relationship. It is this key missing information that is almost a universal source of misunderstanding and difficulty between men and women. Simply having this awareness can
make all the difference.
We found that our love for each other has deepened and our experience of lovemaking has greatly expanded, revealing a delicious orgasmic state that pervades throughout the body and is profoundly more satisfying and enlivening.
There are no rules in this work, no judgement, no goals. Everything is allowed. The key point is to bring more awareness to each moment. For me, this workshop provides the missing link in making love and I want other couples to know that these possibilities exist.
Four Key Elements of The Making Love Retreat:
1) Getting away from performance pressures.
2) Understanding the value of man supporting a woman's sexual opening to enable her to receive him more fully.
3) Allowing vulnerability and genuine feelings enables intimacy to deepen and the love to grow.
4) The retreat is led in a very respectful and professional way that ensures privacy for each couple. There is no public nudity in the workshop.