The Peaceful Planet Guide to Great Sex

by Leah McClellan

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Seems some of you are wondering whether people who make a commitment to a peaceful, compassionate sort of life have sex.

Quick answer: of course they do. Or maybe they don’t. Maybe they wish they did but don’t or…who knows? Like anything, it’s a personal thing.

But what is sex like if you’re trying to make your world more peaceful? Isn’t it boring?

Good question.

If you think about it, completely consensual sex can sometimes be really aggressive, rough, and almost violent.

Bizarre. Incredible. It can be tender and magical, and it can make you laugh, cry, scream. Make you feel like a little baby and king of the mountain. Parent, child, virgin, whore, pimp and prostitute all at the same time.

Maybe that’s not your experience, but it is for many. And maybe you’re wondering whether people who want to be peaceful and compassionate have to be all gentle and super sweet and lovey-dovey and missionary position or something when it comes to the sex act.

“Consensual” is, in general, a peaceful and compassionate concept, as far as I’m concerned. And if you don’t know what consensual means, please look it up.

When two adults agree they want something—even if that means whips and chains—that can be quite peaceful and compassionate in the sense that one person agrees to help the other fulfill his or her or their fantasies.

So the answer is no, sex doesn’t get boring when you’re practicing peace and compassion and all the stuff I talk about here. If anything, it gets a whole lot better.

There has to be a limit, though, don’t get me wrong. There’s a line, in my book, between fantasy role playing in which someone explores some deeper parts of him or herself and situations in which someone truly gets hurt—or could be.

I don’t personally recommend engaging in sexual activities with someone who truly wants to receive or deliver real, honest-to-goodness injuries.

And if you’re the one wanting to get hurt, I’d look into that if I were you.

Some stuff is risky, after all. Erotic asphyxiation, for example. I don’t like the idea of intentionally depriving my brain cells of oxygen—I have enough trouble with ADD tendencies as it is—and self-destruction just isn’t a turn on for me. And in my world, “just say no” applies to anything damaging or potentially damaging to my body or someone else.

Awhile back, I wrote that the world could be more peaceful if more people have sex more often.

But what kind of sex is peaceful sex?

I don’t have a recipe for “peaceful sex,” per se, though if I had one ingredient to offer, communication would be it. I do know, however, that a lot of people struggle to improve their sex lives—or acquire one. There are countless articles and books that promise sex will be fabulous if you just follow these 10 tips or use these techniques or remember that women this and women that, men this and men that.

Throw out all those books and listen up.

I actually had a few dates with a guy who wrote one of those books. I’ll never tell which one, but it did sell quite a few copies. And I ran away—fast.

That was awhile back. Why did I run? He was only interested in sex. And while I admit that a few glasses of wine had something to do with my joining him in his apartment for yet another, those few kisses on his couch did not imply my consent to him suddenly whipping down his pants and jacking off all over me.

Doing something sexual without both agreeing to it is not peaceful sex.

Not too long ago, freshly divorced and bored out of my brains, I signed up on My profile had more action in the first few days than some big bloggers get in a week. OK I’m exaggerating but it was pretty amazing. Rule of thumb for women: do not place your best photo on your profile. And don’t bother to write anything; they don’t read.

That’s a completely unfair generalization but pretty close to the truth. At least as I saw it. It took quite a bit of effort on my part to convince the self-described ultra-conservative Christian guy with a collection of 20 hunting rifles that he probably wouldn’t have a whole lot of fun going out with a liberal tree-hugging Buddhist vegetarian animal lover like me. He finally said, “You’re probably right” and stopped sending messages.

I went out with a bunch of different guys over a period of about six months.

I sort of liked one guy, but I soon found out that his three-date rule was different from mine. His rule was “sex on the third date.” Mine was “decide if I’m going out with him again by the third date.”

I’m not much for rules, in general, and they’re often meant to be broken, but sometimes it’s smart to have something to fall back on.

The trouble with this guy, from my perspective, was that he had an agenda, and his agenda made him blind to everything else that was in front of him. He wasn’t in the moment. Definitely not in the “now.” He was already in the naked part and, by golly, he was going to make it a reality, even if it meant swinging out of a tree with a banana in his mouth.

Now that’s fine if you’re already involved with someone.

But dating is a testing ground, and a person really ought to be a bit alert.

This guy wasn’t getting even a smidgen of positive reinforcement from me. Remember, I wasn’t even sure if I liked him well enough to go out with him again. He really should have given up on the first date. I should have too, but I was trying to be fair and open-minded.

I didn’t return any of his gestures. I didn’t encourage them either—I think at some points I was supposed to smile or giggle. Maybe. He was kind of mushy-gushy, you know?

Doing stuff he thought was seductive—like suddenly reaching over a tall, lit candle and our wine glasses to delicately place a loose tendril of hair behind my ear, which I promptly shook back out after checking to see if his sleeve had caught fire—but it wasn’t anything I’m into so it was almost a comedy act.

He wasn’t seeing that his efforts were falling with a big thud because he had a tape playing in his head called If I do this, I’ll get that.

Maybe he took lessons somewhere.

But as you might already know, I’m a big fan of clear, direct, in-your-face honest communication and just being real, although some stuff—like flirting—has to be a little subtle. I mean really.

“I’m just dying to get in your pants” is something that should be reserved for special occasions. Or at least there should be some sort of build up to that. And that’s what this guy was communicating, though I had the sense that it didn’t matter whose pants he got into.

So we’re subtle, we flirt, and we watch for a response to see if we should continue. But this guy was in his own world, the Energizer Bunny on his own bunny planet while I enjoyed my dinner somewhat amused, somewhat annoyed, and somewhat disappointed since he was interesting in some ways, although he mostly talked about artificial insemination of horses. I kid you not.

Whether we should get physically intimate on the third date, the first, the 30th, or wait until engagement or marriage is a personal choice.

But to me, there’s no way to have really amazing, deeply satisfying sex if you can’t be aware and in the moment. Conscious of yourself and your partner, and un-self-conscious at the same time. And that usually works best when you know someone beyond date number three. For me, I want to share an energy field before I even think of sharing bodily fluids.

Sex can be so much more than a performance that results in a release of some pent up sexual energy.

The guy I just mentioned might as well have masturbated or bought a blow-up doll. He didn’t need a human. He needed an outlet, and I wasn’t interested in acting in that capacity even if the exchange rate meant that my needs would be serviced in kind. I was well stocked up on batteries, thank you very much.

Not every woman is seduced by expensive dinners, wine, and specific gestures or actions As Seen On TV or read in some book.

I’m actually turned on by intellect and intelligence and communication—that’s where I make the connection. My brain is the way to my, um, heart, and I wasn’t his type any more than he was mine. And even if I wanted to jump in bed with him to alleviate a drought, it wouldn’t have been worth the time or effort. There was no way he looked at sex the way I do, so there was no point.

This is why I believe it’s smart to get to know someone first before we jump into bed. Or on the table. Or in the pool. Or wherever, I don’t care.

Without further ado, here is The Peaceful Planet Guide to Great Sex.

First, the basics if you’re not already in a committed relationship. I’ll assume you know all about birth control and safer sex and all that. If not, there are a few links below.

1. Get familiar with your sexual personality (if you aren’t already). One of the most important factors in a relationship is sex, but exactly what you do and how often isn’t as important as mutual satisfaction with what’s done or not done. Try this quiz: Sex Personality Test

2. Learn about your potential partner’s sexual personality. Discuss sex in the news, books, magazines, or online. Talk and listen. Watch a sexy movie and see where the discussion goes. Try Romance (note that in the US there are two versions available: explicit sex scenes edited and unedited)

3. Decide when and why it’s right for you to start having sex with someone—and stick with it. I’m not here to tell you how to figure that out—that’s a personal choice. But knowing how you want to conduct your sexual life isn’t any different from conducting other aspects of your life.

4. Whatever your choice, make sure it’s your choice, not something that “just happens.” Breaking up with someone post-sexual involvement is a lot more complicated than pre-involvement. And if you’re getting pressured to have sex, that’s a great reason to walk away. Nobody should ever be pressured to do anything.

Good to go? Ready set? Engines fired?

5. Shut off that brain, forget the agenda, be present, let things happen. Breathe. Sex is about feeling, not thinking. Shut it off. Ignore the noise of your brain so you can feel your sexual energy blend with that of your partner. Watch. Listen. Pay attention. Be there.

6. Forget everything you have ever read about what women or men need or want. Men are supposed to do this, women are supposed to do that. Skip that part—unless that’s what you’re both into and know what the other really wants. Play passive, play dominant, do whatever. Just make sure it’s a choice, not blind adherence to social norms, gender-specific expectations, or culturally-approved forms of sexual expression.

7. Try not to imprint your idea of how things should go onto the most wonderful of human experiences. Let it evolve and unfold. Slow down and see what happens. Discover and explore. Don’t try to control the natural process of arousal and an instinctive act with intellect. Nurture it and allow it to blossom instead.

8. Forget about goals. Forget about “achieving an orgasm” or two, or three, or whatever. Sex isn’t football. Skip trying to schedule orgasms to occur at the same time. Try having sex without reaching orgasm. Relax. If you don’t climax, that energy stays with you and makes the next time that much more amazing.

9. Guys: if you don’t already know how, consider learning how to “surf.” Ride the wave, come back down, back up, and so on (women can do that too). Consider learning how to separate orgasm and ejaculation (links below).

10. Also for the guys, forget the blue pill. While some men do have medical conditions that make sex impossible without medical help, many ED problems are psychological or linked to manageable physical problems (such as obesity or poor overall physical condition). Go for the gusto and get real. Consider facing your issues, getting healthy, and getting some blood flowing on your own. Your sex life will thank you for it and your partner probably will too.

11: Gals, if you don’t know how to pleasure yourself, consider learning. If masturbation is considered wrong in your belief system, question it if you haven’t already. Explore. Guys that applies to you, too. Some people still believe you could go crazy or blind from masturbation but if that were true, most of us wouldn’t be reading this.

12. Forget about specific techniques. Sure, it’s a good idea to know your partner’s anatomy and the basics. But trial and error is the best teacher along with “How does that feel?” whispered in breathy excitement. Beyond basic anatomy, everyone’s different.

13. Relax. What’s the hurry? Unless you’re having a quickie, set aside plenty of time for sex. Maybe you have limited privacy time or barely any time for sex—but if you make it a priority, you’ll find some. Consider trading TV or movie time, gaming time, Facebook time, or any other time for sex time.

14. Talk about it, especially if you’re in a new relationship. I don’t mean all sorts of discussion about whether he’ll respect you in the morning, or commitments, or emotionally reassuring stuff that women supposedly need, I mean talk about your fantasies. Your quirks. What felt good last time. What gets you going. What you dream of. What you’re afraid of. Share.

15. Don’t use sex as a bartering system. You know the standard thinking: women need emotional closeness to have sex and men use sex to feel close. Have sex for the sake of sex. Don’t use it to make up for something lacking in another area of the relationship or place conditions on it. Don’t use it to put him or her in a good mood (so you can get something else) or just because you think it’s your duty. Be real and call it what it is.

16. Communicate. Don’t try anything without asking first. In other words, don’t suddenly start spanking her because you read in Cosmo or Men’s Health that women go wild for it. Ask if she likes that or if she’d like to try it. And communicate during sex: if you’re stretched out on the bed afterward, sweating, falling asleep, and you mumble “Did you come?” it’s a little late. What if the answer is no?

17. Gals, don’t fake orgasm. Lots of us have, I know (I did too, a few times, way back when), and men do as well. But what’s the point? It’s OK to not have an orgasm during sex. It’s not necessary to have an orgasm to have fabulous or just nice sex. Being open and honest just feels so much better. In fact, it’s a good thing to not make orgasm a constant goal every time (more on that in links below).

And there you have it: The Peaceful Planet Guide to Great Sex.

If only I knew some of this stuff when I was younger, boy oh boy. But we live and learn, and some stuff just doesn’t sink in without experience or trial and error.

Don’t forget: question everything and find your own truths. Learning someone else’s truth can help you identify your own, but don’t just follow the crowd or the latest headlines. Have fun.

Comments are always welcome! And please Tweet and share.

Safer Sex

How can HIV be prevented?

Birth control

Love, sex, and the sacred belong together (short video)

Tantric Sex

Multiple Orgasms for Men

Freeing Female Orgasm

Why You Should Learn Tantric Sex

The Tantric Sex Quickie


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