We learn about sex from a huge range of sources. From anatomy manuals to Victorian housekeeping manuals, our shelves are packed with books that have given us unexpected insight into human sexuality.
One unexpected source of sex lessons is Improv Wisdom by Patricia Ryan Madson. She is a drama teacher at Stanford University and a leader in the world of improvisational comedy. This book is a little gem of life lessons that she has gleaned from the world of improv.
When you think about it, sex is improvisational. It is a call and response, in the moment act of creativity. Maybe that is why it is so scary sometimes.
How would you react if I told you that you were getting on stage to do improv comedy tonight? Most people would freak out.
Why do we panic? We are afraid of making mistakes and looking foolish. This is the same worry that holds us back in bed.
From Improv Wisdom:
“There is a sign in my classroom that reads, “If you are not making mistakes, you are not doing improv.” Mistakes are your friends, our partners in the game. They are necessary. Making mistakes is how we function. We don’t consider them as something to be avoided; they are part of our operating system. The tenth maxim invites us to jump into the world of “oops” with both feet. You will have some adventures.
It may take some getting used to. Mistakes have a bad rap, and nobody likes making them. We imagine rows of stern-faced judges throwing up low scores every time we take a misstep or flounder. “Fortunately,” my husband remarked, “there are no Olympic judges watching our lives.” We need to start a revolution to celebrate the good that can come from seeing mistakes as natural.
When I say, “Make mistakes, please,” what I really want is for you to do something risky, where mistakes are possible (and likely) and to proceed boldly.
We hear from so many people who are terrified of making mistakes in bed.
They hold back out of fear of doing something wrong and looking foolish. Many people resist trying anything new in bed out of fear of doing it wrong or goofing up.
The fear of making mistakes and appearing foolish in front of our lovers is one of the biggest things holding us back from exploring new realms of sexuality. Especially areas that are new or unknown to us.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently as I put the finishing touches on our new course. The new course is a guided adventure into the world of kinky sex. It takes place over 25 date nights and invites couples into many totally new experiences. As I design each date night and share kinky sex techniques I always strive to make them fool proof, to create the best possible odds of a highly pleasurable and sexy experience.
And, part of my hope with the Kinky Sex Mastery Course is that you will laugh together, that you will find totally new areas of sexuality to explore together, and in doing so will discover new highs of pleasure but also make a mistake or two – and in doing so, build your communication, your trust and your intimacy. In fact, I built into the course strategies for communication that demand something more than “that was great honey” but get you talking about what could have made it even better, what your body wanted but didn’t get – so the next time you play together you’ll have an even better experience. This is the only way to an ecstatic sex life together.
Of course, there is no audience in most of our bedrooms. But there is an even harsher judge, omnipresent – our own self judgment.
We teach techniques that are designed to activate tons of pleasure, raise arousal and give you an incredible sexual experience.
You can master these skills, but that doesn’t mean you are doing it wrong if you don’t do it in one exact way. The beauty of erotic skills is they give you a touch vocabulary and then you make up your own story. Just like in language, there are endless varieties of expressions.
What does succeeding at sex look like?
- Performing with Olympic precision, being judged for perfect strokes and low splash?
- Or making erotic art with joy, pleasure and loving connection?
The trouble is, worrying about making mistakes takes you out of the present moment.
If you give yourself permission to make mistakes, get vulnerable and trust your partner will still love you, you can start enjoying more improvisational sex.
To get started with improvisational sex, pay attention to your touch and to your lovers responses. Follow your intuition and notice what feels good to you – often that is what feels best to your lover as well.
Be Mindful: Pay attention to what you are doing while you are doing it. For more on mindfulness during sex, check out episode on Mindful Sex, Episode #123
Remember there are no mistakes, just exploration. finding that moment of “just right” each time.
There are just a few absolute rules about erotic touch, and we will not be shy in telling you all about them. But once you master the essential erotic touch techniques, you can start feeling free in improvisational sex. You can start trusting your hands and getting creative.
One of my favorite moments during sex is when we are both completely present in the moment, and it feels like our souls meet at the point of touch. I am not thinking about specific strokes or techniques, my hands are just moving and I can feel the arousal building, like an ocean tide, each wave bigger than the next. Then we are submerged, swimming in orgasmic release, and we don’t know which way is up. When we finally wash up on the shore, catching our breath, bodies tangled like seaweed, filled up with love.
What does your best sex moment feel like? Are you willing to risk making a mistake to get there? What if you find out that there are no judges, that you can be free to be fully yourself and express your eroticism with creativity and spontaneity?
If that feels far away, what would it take to get there?
As you reflect on these questions I’d love to hear your thoughts. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or come over to PM.com and contact us through the site.