“The capacity to give and receive positive influence from each other is one of the most robust predictors of happy relationships.” –Dr. Keith Witt
In a healthy intimate relationship, the partners don’t have to be turned on by each other all the time, says Dr. Keith, “but they do need to be turned on by each other regularly.” Every couple has a balance of how much sex is needed to keep things vibrant, and it’s the responsibility of each partner to make it happen. For many couples, this is something that must be learned and practiced. Here’s how.
Some of the main topics that Jeff and Dr. Keith discuss in the podcast:
- The predictors of happy relationships and how to turn those into practices
- The energetics of arousal: Giving masculine direction to feminine radiance
- The kind of fantasizing that is productive and the kind that isn’t
- The relationship between sex and shadow
- How to raise our children to be sexually healthy adults
In the days of our grandparents there wasn’t much need for sex therapy. Sexual fulfillment was not an expectation for a traditional marriage. The dawn of modernity (orange) brought with it a value structure that focused more on the individual. With changing morals and the advent of birth control, the focus of sex became less about procreation and more about pleasure. Our personal sexual fulfillment took priority over social convention, and divorce began to skyrocket.
With the dawn of the postmodern age, couples are faced with additional challenges. The main challenge is how to keep the erotic energy alive when partners are focused on minimizing male/female differences and elevating equality. “These couples need to practice taking and being taken,” says Dr. Keith, “where one person’s masculine really focuses on the other person’s feminine. One person leads the other person—and the other person allows themselves to be led—into the dance of eroticism.”
In some relationships, such as with many gay couples, the roles of masculine and feminine can even be exchanged.
Text by Brett Walker
Image by Michael Welch
About Keith Witt
Dr. Keith Witt is a Licensed Psychologist, teacher, and author who has lived and worked in Santa Barbara, CA. for over forty years. Dr. Witt is also the founder of The School of Love.
About Jeff Salzman
Jeff Salzman worked with Ken Wilber for several years in building the Integral Institute. He is a co-founder of Boulder Integral, the first bricks-and-mortar venue dedicated to the development of integral consciousness. These days Jeff provides integrally-inspired commentary on politics and culture on Integral Life and The Daily Evolver.