Abuja - I was prompted to write this column the other day after I was propositioned by a very charming, but woefully naïve, man. Let’s call him Garçon.
After arranging a drinks meet, Garçon told me that he believed I would make a good person to teach him about slow sex.
‘I’m very experienced,’ he said. ‘I’ve had had sex with many women – and many different types of women. But this slow sex, this “intimacy”, thing is something I’d like to try now. And I think you would be good for this; that you could teach me this.
Garçon added that he wasn’t interested in a relationship, that he was in love with several other women, and that he didn’t ‘do’ dates. The upside for me was that we would have fun.
Sounds like a win-win right? Obviously I declined his smashing offer.
‘Slow sex’ is really just a rebranding of several Tantric tenets, and is now on the market as a spin-off of the slow food movement.
If you don’t know, ‘slow food’ started off as the soft backlash against the conveyer-belt, "bigger-better-best" attitude to food we consume. The idea is that adding time, quality ingredients and care to the production of your artisanal red velvet cupcake, for example, will make for a better eating experience than the McMuffin you threw down your gob this morning.
Slow food principles apply nicely to sex: invest your time, quality and care to your love-making and your experience will simply be better.
Basically it is the exact opposite of the McFuck hook-up culture. It’s about taking time to explore whole-body pleasure as opposed to rushing to penetration and orgasm. It’s about learning the slow, deep grind as opposed to banging away relentlessly until you’ve ‘achieved’ orgasm in under a minute.
It is being present, not getting lost in a fantasy. It’s using all your senses instead of focusing attention just on your genitals. It’s being honest about where your body is at instead of trying to force fun or orgasm with gadgets, gimmicks and crazy positions.
Mostly? It’s about cultivating intimacy and connection: making love with your eyes open.
It’s an uncomfortable space for people used to distracting themselves away from being emotionally open and vulnerable.
Tantricas will call it ‘building a fire’; the slow and steady, the bliss dance, riding the wave... in this space you’re not concerned with how you look, performance anxiety or being the best lay. You’re taking the time to touch, taste and just to be physically, emotionally and spiritually present with the person you’re into.
It’s not something you hook up with the Garçons of the world to do. You don’t give someone gems when they’re offering you potatoes.
You try slow sex with the man or woman you trust and love. Or at least with someone you trust to be as emotionally open as you will be.
I find it interesting that these ancient principles of human sexual and emotional connection are finding resurgence just as the Cult of Whatever and the pornification of our sex lives is snowballing to epic proportions. But we’re human after all, and no amount of balling is going to override our need to connect.
Maybe it’s a pity that slow sex is something we need to learn to do. But, then again, no one becomes a great cook without a recipe at some point.