I think that is one reason that sex is so fascinating to me. It is a way to really get to know people. And a way for me to deepen my knowledge of myself.
Sex is a way that I continue to learn and test my physical capacity for pleasure, for pain, for blending the two. I learn my limits. I learn what my body can do. I am thrilled by those discoveries. Some of my favorite sexual moments have not been orgasm-centered but rather have focused on extending some capacity of my body. The excitement of discovering some new capacity, the, “wow, I didn’t know I could do that!” moment precedes the physical pleasure of the “oh yes that feels good” moment.
Sex is a way that I learn about my mind. My fantasies, my desires, my hesitations, my fears, all these are exposed through sex.
Sex with other people, sexual interaction, is thrilling because it is thrilling to discover what turns people on, how they communicate what they want, how they express pleasure, what they’re afraid of, how they fantasize and how they feel about their desires.
When I have sex with someone for the first time I am often very forward but I don’t want to “run the show.” I want to know how people will interact with my passion, my energy, with whatever I put out there. It’s like dance. I want to know if I move this way how will you move? If I say this what will you do? Then how will I respond? I want to know what you want and how you can make me feel. I want to know how you will react to the exposure and vulnerability and power of sex and how I will react to your power and vulnerability.
And the people I most want to have sex with are people who somehow stimulate my curiosity or who are just so good at something that I can’t help but be turned on. In that way, too, sex is a way of knowing, of learning. Or rather, knowing and learning is, to me, often very sexual. Some examples:
A few days ago I was watching someone enter data on a DOS machine. I’d never seen anyone do this before. There was a series of numbers and letters on the screen that looked like gibberish to me and yet this person pointed out some lines of numbers and read it as if it written in English. I was instantly turned on. I know he can’t teach me how to write DOS statistical programs by having sex with me, but now I am curious about him in a new way. It’s as if the part of my mind that is stimulated by new curiosities is the same part of my mind that sexually stimulates the rest of me.
Another example: Connversations with people who are clearly passionate and expert in a field will often turn me on, if they capture my curiosity. I can remember this happening with a brilliant lawyer when talking about constitutional rights, with a historian when talking about medieval Europe, with a labor organizer when talking about arbitration rules, with an engineer when talking about machine vision. The criteria seem to be that the conversation center on something about which I know little about, that I become curious about it through the conversation, and that the person to whom I’m talking is both expert and passionate about the subject.
Knowledge is a turn-on. Skill is a turn-on. People doing what they’re good at are sexy. This is why long-term monogamy seems so potentially limiting to me.
There is always more to know.