Slow Sex: Stage 5 - Afterglow
This is the sixth in a series of seven blog posts by Roger Tolle. To read them in order, start with Slow Sex, Intro. Perhaps it’s a cliché, but sex is a journey, not a destination. In this blog series, we have invested a lot in this journey so far, and it has been really delicious. We have whetted our appetites with anticipation, and opened our hearts in honest communication. And oh, all that tasty skin that has passed under our hands, and lips, and...other parts.
We kept our minds, and hearts, and maybe even our eyes wide open as we dined on the main dish of love. We whispered, and sang, and wept, and cried out loud...or silently worshiped at each other’s feet. We maybe even surrendered in a fireworks of ejaculatory bliss. Am I getting a bit melodramatic?
Just because I have lost control and am rapidly plummeting into the post orgasmic denouement, it’s no time to abandon my present- moment awareness. There is still a lot of subtle and amazing sensation to pay attention to. And perhaps more importantly, my guy is right there next me. If anytime was the right time to stay open to him, to deepen our relationship by sharing something meaningful, this would be the time.
When the main course of our fabulous feast is cleared away, and the last jolts of pleasure have subsided, what then? If I am still awake to my experience, amidst the aftershocks in the wreckage of our bed, I seek the man I love.
There. I admitted it. I love him. But it is not a romantic thought. It’s a body feeling. A sense of connection to this man who has held me, challenged me, listened to me, opened up to me, cheered me on, and shared this feast of pleasures with me. And that body feeling is chemical. Triggered by slow caresses and eye gazing and orgasms, it makes me want to stay with him, to protect him, to nurture him.
I can’t help it. I want to hold him close, now. But maybe there is a sticky mess to deal with. Or maybe his skin is too sensitive now to allow more than a fingertip contact.
What happens then? Whatever it is, can I pay attention, stay present to it? Do we lie completely still? Do we change positions? Does one of us move before the other? Do we get up to shower, then get back in bed for some in-depth cuddling? How long can I pay attention to the tiniest of sensations? How precise can I become in parsing the particular flavors of what I am feeling when very little is going on? How much sweetness can I feel in our connection?
What I most often do is listen to him breathe. I listen to his heartbeat with my ear to his chest...or am amazed to discover I can hear it from an arm’s distance. I become acutely aware of how quiet the room is...or I notice that the music is still playing. My ears are pulling in sounds that I never noticed I could hear.
And I look over, through the warm glow of candlelight, or with the moon streaming through the window. Or sometimes it is bright midday and golden sunlight illuminates every tiny hair on his belly and the sleek curve of his thigh. There he is next to me, glistening, glowing, panting, spent. He looks glorious this way...godlike or devilishly handsome, powerful or exhausted.
I wouldn’t want to close my eyes and miss this most beautiful sight. I wouldn’t want to tune him out here in this most vulnerable moment. I wouldn’t want to roll over and fall asleep. I wouldn’t want to interrupt this flow to reach for one of my digital devices. TV, phone or email would really spoil the mood, a mood we have so carefully crafted. But sometimes I do allow myself to be distracted, and later regret it. An opportunity lost. An opportunity to savor the sweet dessert of afterglow.
Afterglow is underrated, especially in gay culture. So for a well-planned date, Nick and I plan time for afterglow, too. We make sure there is time to float in the sea of sweetness.
Read Roger’s seventh blog post – “Stage 6 - Pillow Talk.“
Roger Tolle and his partner Nick Evans have been building a conscious and open relationship for seven years. They are each long-time meditators, and are trained as Sacred Intimates through The Body Electric School. In addition, Roger leads workshops that focus on professional and personal growth through movement, awareness and touch, and is certified as a Surrogate Partner, working with gay men as an adjunct to sex/intimacy therapy. Roger and Nick were on the faculty of the 2015 Gay Freedom Camp at Easton Mountain, and they will be facilitating a fall workshop called “Pathways to Intimacy”.