Magnificent Sex: Lessons from Extraordinary Lovers

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This book may upend what many folks think are the elements for great sex. The researchers who wrote this book went after true experts; people over 60 who had been in relationship for 25 years or more and report having magnificent sex. How refreshing! Of course we should be learning from these wise and successful individuals. Why didn’t someone think of this sooner?

Here are some quotes that caught my attention:

“We have found optimal sexual experiences occur among the young and old, among the healthy as well as disabled or chronically ill.” (p.7)

“We are inclined to
suggest that their low desire (people diagnosed with sexual desire disorders)
may be evidence of good judgment. We would not expect ‘normal’ people to have
strong desires for low quality sex. This book is for them.” (p.7)

According to their research, “being sexually functional is not necessary for optimal sexual experiences; the “bad news is that being sexually functional is not sufficient for optimal sexual experiences.” (p.185)

There are several myths about sex challenged in this book, here is a sampling:

  1. “The notion
    that sex should be ‘natural and spontaneous’ ranks among the most difficult
    assumptions to dislodge and among the most deleterious and dangerous to
    couples…it is a contender for most damaging myth, encouraging individuals to
    devalue any sexual relations that took effort.” (p 45)
  2. “Magnificent
    sex in long-term relationships requires not
    lowering expectations over time…..(many) were less willing to settle for
    anything less that what they really wanted….they spoke about prioritizing sex
    in their lives and making time for it.” (p. 50-51)
  3. “May older individuals
    said that as they mature, magnificent sexual experiences become less about
    performance, technique and orgasms, and more focused on the relational and
    spiritual components of the experience.” (p. 52)

I appreciate this book
because the authors dive deep into both the individual development and the
relationship aspects of growing a wonderful sexual relationship over the
long-haul. The authors don’t take a cookie-cutter approach, but sensitively
listen to the complex and layered stories that their research participants
offered them. Some couples find their way through starting with a relational contect that facilitates an individual’s way of being leading to
Optimal sexual experience. Other couples flip the first two. The individual way of being facilitates a relational quality leading to optimal
sexual experience. (p.146) That should give us hope! There is not one pathway
that works for every couple.   

This book is for people
ready to be challenged out of their stuck assumptions, low expectations, and
dashed hopes for a fulfilling sexual relationship for the long haul. It will
make you blush at times and scratch your head at others. I hope that for some
of you who want something more, that this resource might be of help.

Magnificent Sex: Lessons from Extraordinary Lovers Written by Peggy J. Kleinplatz, Ph.D. and A. Dana Menard, Ph.D.,  Published in New York and London by Routledge Publishing

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