Sex is an art. There should be no shame in having to learn it, to practice it, to ask questions about it, to communicate with one’s partner about it, to plan for it, to read about it, to experiment with it. We shouldn’t have to feel like failures in magnetic sexual power when we prove not to be mind readers who can expertly figure out all that a specific partner needs and wants without ever having to talk about it explicitly. We shouldn’t feel like our pleasures are unreal or not worth it for our partners if they take some work to achieve. We shouldn’t have to feel like we cannot deliberately schedule sex lest it be inherently routinized. We shouldn’t feel like there is no way to deliberately create a sexual mood lest we be faking it. We shouldn’t have to fear that committing to a lifetime of sex with someone (whether monogamously or polyamorously) is a death sentence to passion. In lovemaking familiarity can breed an intimacy and mutual understanding and rhythm and experimentation and practice and mutual experience that can make the whole thing richer and more reliably satisfying than many barely pre-discussed one night stands with all their risks of miscommunication and hit-and-miss experiments and social norms against treating sex like something intimate friends do rather than something only for the mindless animals within us all.
While everyone’s habits of thinking about sex are different and some of these dualisms may be so ingrained and such a part of the rush of sex for some people that they are things people don’t even want to change their minds about, we can control and renew our attitudes through different habits of mind. And I think we will be generally better off the more that we have attitudes such that reasoning is not the enemy of true emotions, talking is not the enemy of true feelings, working is not the enemy of playing, committing is not the enemy of wanting, comfort is not the enemy of excitement, consent is not the enemy of passion, and sometimes awkwardly experimenting and practicing is not the enemy of fun.
All in all, we will do better if we see sex, even casual sex, as about engaging a full person (or people!) with a full personality and foibles. We can do that and still see them as sexually exciting, impressive, and amazing. There is so much more that we can learn about making ourselves and our partners ecstatically pleased by dealing actively with the realities going on in our sexual encounters than by desperately trying to create and live by silly illusions…
—Daniel Fincke “Hot, Passionate, Rational Sex”