LOVE LIVES

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The Faces of Love and Sex

The Love World

The Sexual Stage

Sex and The senses

Common Sex Positions

Variations - Standard and Exotic

Other Entry Ports

Rhythm and Release

Love Songs

Love Machines and Love Potions

Fantastics

Sexual insight and Destiny:  Finding New Fulfillment Afterword

Rhythm And Release

The positions that have been analyzed in the last three chapter indicate fundamental relationship patterns between partners. Some couple usually limit themselves to one basic position that is physically and psychologically reassuring for the duration of each episode of lovemaking and seldom vary this duration of each episode of lovemaking and seldom vary this particular position when they have intercourse . Others may vary positions considerably during a given episode or separate ones. Yet even those couples who experiment a good deal are likely to return to certain positions more often than others. This is particularly true in respect to the orgasmic phase. As the couple approach orgasm, there is an increased need to have a stable reassuring platform from which to launch themselves into the love world. We have seen, for instance, that many couples will utilize one position as one partner reaches orgasm and then switch to another in order to facilitate the climactic striving of the other.

But the positions themselves are not the whole story. There is also the matter of the overall rhythm of the sexual encounter to consider. This rhythm is determined by the kind of movements - and by the pace at which these different kinds of movement proceed. Chinese sex manuals, from ancient times, have placed particular emphasis on the importance of such movement patterns. They differentiate among shallow and deep thrusting, shallow and deep rotating, when a grinding maneuver is used, and shallow and deep side-to-side rocking. Often the Chinese texts recommend special combinations of shallow and deep movement. For example, in position which the Chinese called the Dragon in Flight (which is similar to the Locomotive positions outlined in the variations chapter) the male is admonished to create a pattern involving "eight deep and six shallow" thrusts until both partners are "overwhelmed and the clouds burst." In another position, The Tiger in the Forest (a rear-entry position), the male alternates five shallow and six deep thrusts for a total of 100. At the end of this period, the manual assures the reader, "the jade flower will be flowing with secretions which will wash away the cares of life." The jade flower, of course, is the vagina. This position was supposed to benefit the heart and the liver, as well as achieve sexual pleasure.

In another position, "Lady Precious Yin and her Lord Yang," as the lovers are called, stand in front of a couch. She placed one foot on the couch, and he slowly penetrates her, moving with a rhythm of nine shallow and one deep thrust until "the Flower Heart is completely open and the Perfume Dew covers it." This position is called the Standing Bamboos, but once the "Perfume Dew" has appeared, the bamboos bend before he wind, and orgasm is achieved as the couple lie back on the couch itself. The Standing Bamboos position was credited with banishing hunger and promoting longevity.

The thrusting pattern may also be under control of the woman. For instance, in Swinging Monkey position, the Great Lord Yang seats himself in a chair placed under a low tree in the garden, grasping an overhanging branch. Sitting in his lap, facing him, Lady Precious Yin slides up and down over his penis without allowing it to enter the "inner chamber." When the excitement becomes unbearable for both of them, she fully encompasses the penis and uses nine deep and five shallow thrust successively until orgasm is achieved.

It is significant that these ancient manuals recommend different kinds of rhythms for different positions. In fact, when the various positions are viewed functionally, some lend themselves to deep thrusting while others do not. In addition, some position are far more congenial to the use of rocking or grinding motions than are far more congenial to the use of rocking or grinding motions than are others. Thus, the movement pattern that is employed and, indeed, the identity of the of the more active partner will often be influenced by the fundamental position that is selected. Position and rhythm are thus often closely linked.

The missionary and rear-entry ports positions, together with their many variations, are particularly suited to powerful thrusting by the man. We have seen that women who are very passive in the common position, with their legs extended, allow the man almost totally to initiate and control the thrusting pattern. On the other hand, women who raise their legs somewhat, flexing them at the knees and hips, are able to return the male thrust, the woman lifting and moving toward the man as he moves against her. In this situation the rhythmic pattern becomes a collaborative venture; either the woman or the man is free to alter the pace of intercourse, to slow or quicken the rhythm. Of all the missionary position, the Locomotive where the woman's legs are raised high in the air across the man's chest and shoulder, gives the male the greatest leverage for deep and powerful thrusting. The woman has some ability to return the male thrust, but her mobility is not nearly as great as his, and this remain a position in which male control of the rhythm is extremely pronounced.