Making Love to a Woman

I have spoken to many men who admit that sex is their way to love. The physical act of sex helps them to open their hearts to connect with their partners. Whereas many women need heart connection first so they can be open to sex. Many couples, therefore, are truly stuck. He wants sex in order to feel love. She wants love in order to enjoy sex.

To really love a woman, you can’t use her body to meet your own needs. Even if it helps you to feel love, she may still feel used. There is an addictive element to this kind of sex. It’s using sex as a kind of drug to help fill a void. If there is even the slightest pressure put on her, whether it’s to have sex in the first place, or to do certain things during sex, love goes out the window. Pressure and love cannot coexist. “Pressure” is wanting something from her. “Love” is wanting to give something to her.

How many times have I put sexual pressure on Joyce, thinking I was loving her. How many times have I approached sex from a place of emptiness needing to be filled, rather than fullness needing to give love. How many times during lovemaking have I pressured Joyce into doing something she didn’t feel comfortable doing.

OK, there is a place for “casual sex.” There can be a time for “me sex” rather than “you sex.” It’s about consensus – both of you agreeing to something ahead of time. But if she feels used by you, even a little, something will be taken away from the relationship. 

To really love a woman, you need to learn how to open your heart to love – before you have sex. To really love her, you need to learn how to fill your own cup of love first. Perhaps it’s the journey of a lifetime, but it’s the first steps that make all the difference. If you’re willing especially to start an emotional-spiritual healing journey, to learn to really love yourself rather than merely paying lip service to it, she will notice. So much pressure to be your source of love will be taken off her. It truly makes her happy when she feels you taking care of yourself spiritually and emotionally. She is very sensitive to the difference between your advances out of love and your advances out of need.

We sometimes lead circle dances in our retreats. Sometimes, in couple’s retreats, we’ll break up into a circle of men inside or outside a circle of women. We deliberately focus on the men and women connecting with the others in their own circle. When the women’s circle silently watches the men connecting in brotherhood, we consistently hear the same comments. Each woman delights in the lack of pressure on them to be the source of love for their man. 

Find the joy of giving pleasure to her as an end in itself, not as a precursor to having her give you pleasure back. Find the ecstasy in the experience of giving itself. What I love most about making love with Joyce are those moments when she is not doing anything for me. Yes, she loves me most wonderfully in her receptivity. Time stands still in these moments of serving the goddess, of worshipping the one divine presence sharing bodies with her and me.

(excerpted from the Vissell’s forthcoming book, To Really Love a Woman)

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