Now before any of you imagines that the title of this blog is insinuating any reference to one of your body parts, let me set you straight. Across humankind universally, this organ is the top player for all of us with regards to sex.
The brain. Of second most importance would be one’s heart or cardiovascular function but that topic will have to wait for another blog spot.
When I speak to college students on female orgasm, many are surprised to hear the facts of the wonderfully complicated work of numerous hormones and organs involved in bringing a woman to climax. For more on that, please read the blog under the PHYSICALLY category. Most are under the misconception which stems from the belief that what turns a man on, turns a woman on. To find out some specific details, check out the blog under the SOCIALLY site.
Students seem agreeable to the idea that a woman needs to know her own body first and foremost especially with regards to what gives her pleasure. Likewise students aren’t particularly opposed that a woman needs to share this self-knowledge with her lover. Over and over again, the problem arises when I talk about the “C” word and the important role it plays with female orgasm. Students get angry, hostile, resistant and frequently all sorts of facial grimaces follow, along with eye-rolling and heads shaking. Yes, I would say the majority feel dismayed. Even though I provide excellent arguments such as how a woman needs to feel safe to be able to share what turns her on. Despite the fact that I point out the vulnerable risk a woman takes to speak honestly with her lover such as “I’ve never really gotten anything out of that thing that you like to do so much.” This level of talking is scary. Her lover may get upset or hurt and pull away from her. Yet when the “C” word is present, well, frankly, that creates a completely different backdrop of safety.
I did not come up with the “C” word. Actually, the “C” word has been around since the beginning of mankind. Over the centuries many philosophers have attempted to make sense of this thing called love. In 1985, Dr. Robert Sternberg came up with his own theory. It’s called the Triangular Theory of Love. He proposed that there are three elements of love: Intimacy, Passion, and now for the “C” word—Commitment. Dr. Sternberg defined Commitment as the cognitive (brain) element involving the decision to love and remain with the other person. Intimacy is considered the emotional element involving self-disclosure that leads to connection, warmth, and trust. Finally, Dr. Sternberg defined Passion as the motivational element based on inner drives that translate physiological arousal into sexual desire.
Then sort of like a mathematician, Dr. Sternberg took these three identified elements of love and made certain combinations resulting in eight different types of love.
He offered that to the extent that these three components are present affects the kind of love people feel for each other. Here is the list of what he came up with—take a look and decide where you are right now with the love of your life. Where would you like to be?
Type 1 – Non Love – all three elements (intimacy, passion, commitment) are absent. This type best describes many personal and casual relationships.
Type 2 – Liking – intimacy is the only component present. This is what is felt in true friendships and in many loving relationships including: closeness, understanding, emotional support, affection, bondedness and warmth.
Type 3 – Infatuation – passion is the only element present (i.e. “love at first sight”). This type of love relationship involves a strong physical attraction and sexual arousal without intimacy or commitment. It can flare suddenly and may also fade just as quickly.
Type 4 – Empty Love – commitment is the only element present. This type of love relationship is usually found in long-term relationships that have lost both intimacy and passion (such as arranged marriages).
Type 5 – Romantic Love – intimacy and passion are both present. Romantic loves are drawn to each other physically and tend to bond emotionally, but do not share a commitment to each other.
Type 6 – Companionate Love – intimacy and commitment are both present. This love relationship occurs in marriages in which physical attraction has died down but the partners still feel close alike a long-term committed friendship.
Type 7 – Fatuous Love – passion and commitment are present without real intimacy. This love relationship is usally characterized by the “whirlwind courtship.” The couple makes a commitment on the basis of passion without allowing intimacy to develop. This sort of love usually does not last despite the initial intent to commit.
Type 8 – Consummate Love – all three elements are present (intimacy, passion, and commitment) in this complete type of love. This type of love relationship is often the focus or romantic relationships. It is often easier to reach than to maintain (i.e. either partner may change what he/she wants from the relationship thus changing the type of relationship).
So, what does this brain function called commitment have to do with female orgasm? That’s exactly what many of those dismayed students ask me when I bring up the important role that commitment can play in intimate relationships.
In my years of experience, when a woman feels safe and secure that her lover does not have one foot out the door, well, that woman is more likely to be honest in revealing every little thing about herself. In a setting of unconditional love and acceptance, a woman feels free to share the oftentimes complicated parts of what makes her tick.
What do you think?