What woman didn’t dream of frolicking in the arms of a randy stranger after bingeing Netflix’s new drama Sex/Life (wistfully staring at her husband’s bum-crack as he grunts over the dishwasher)? However, Australian sensuality expert and cognitive coach Alina Rose Berdi argues that the show’s narrative typifies the dichotomy that women feel that their only choice is safety or sizzle, and that your Homer can never be your Brad Pitt.
“If Billie actually voiced her sexual yearnings from the start, her Cooper could have been as raw as Brad”, muses Alina Rose. “But sadly the protagonist fell prey to the classic Madonna / Whore Complex that many patriarchal systems hold us prisoner to: that sexual lust is only borne of promiscuity; and the only way to keep your marriage safe is to dim your sexual appetite.”
Alina Rose says that when women take ownership for their sexual energy (speaking up for what they want, going out dancing, visiting a naughty lingerie boutique), it can ignite even the most reluctant partners.
“Billie has fabulous sex pre-Cooper because she’s sexually liberated. Half of us wouldn’t attempt her escapades because of our own biases and inhibitions (well the thought of contorting through 73% of the KamaSutra does sound exhausting). It’s her mindset, not her minxy moves – and certainly not Brad – that gets her into the racy adventures we covet from our couch.” Observes Alina Rose.
“This is why Cooper immediately, almost irrationally, sexually responds to Billy when he felt her sexual surge return (thanks to that game-changing journal entry) … even when it was directed at someone else!!”
Conversely, when Billie’s carnal side takes a pause (hello motherhood), or gets tucked away in “perfect wifey” mode (because God forbid women with lusty sexual appetites make good wives!), Cooper also turns away, almost involuntarily, in response to the shifting energy field, between them – rather because he’s ‘boring’.
Indeed, Alina Rose says in Tantric and Daoist practices (which have been lighting the way for erotic illumination, for those who dare), there is sexual energy exchange that is dependent on the woman’s own level of permissiveness and passion. “The show gives all power to the men in igniting Billie’s desire… when she had that passion all along. And when she displays it, we see Cooper more than willingly along for the ride”.
Finally, Alina Rose argues that the show puts female arousal through a masculine lens.
“Everything in our society is so YANG, from the way we exercise, work, do yoga… And Billie is painted to enjoy very masculine-oriented, hungry and fast sex… which is actually unsustainable for a lot of women.”
That kind of sex produces a lot of dopamine, the same neuro-chemical that fuels drug addiction, where it spikes, then depletes our joy.
“It’s the kind of rush where you’re insatiable, and the more of your ‘hit’ you get, the more unsatisfying it becomes.
Is that why Billie is always upping the ante? Because chasing only that as a kind of orgasmic holy grail can be dangerous.
So what could have been a more blissful, sustainable high that Billie and Cooper failed to realise at the ebb of their relationship?
“Slow sex. Connected sex. Oxytocin producing sex. the kind that sustains relationships, and is far from boring when approached from a state of frequency (rather than just friction).”
During oxytocin sex, the heart and genitals connect, creating an energy circuit (like a Torus)”, says Alina Rose. “That’s why it’s literally called, making love.”
If we expect that dopamine rush from each act of intimacy and consider that to be “good sex”, shows like Sex/Life cheat us out of nourishing and delicious passion that can be activated with our current partners, should we show them the way.
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