Most of us, no matter what we're like the rest of the time, have been through the Divine Madness known as falling in love. Colors are brighter. The world regains the magical qualities it had when we were children. And every miracle we've ever longed for seems to be reflected in our Lover's eyes.
And then ''something'' happens. Not with everyone. Even after the first blush wears off, a few couples still remain in love for life but only a few. And on the other side of the coin, a few unfortunate individuals have sex only once before they lose interest.
But these extremes are both very rare. Most of us are somewhere in between.
What, exactly, is this ''something'' that happens to us, when it seems that all we could ever want is to remain passionately in love?
The God/Frog Syndrome
Many have tried to explain the lessening or loss of love as a spiritual dynamic that can happen to everyone. For example, we might theorize that at first we see God in our beloveds, and adore them. But as we become aware of their flaws their humanity adoration goes out the window. The old ''kiss the god and he turns into a frog'' trick.
The spiritual solution to the God/Frog Syndrome, if that's the problem, would be learning the saintly trick of seeing our partners ''in perfect light,'' even when they are not fulfilling our expectations. Yet we all know of couples who are happy together while scarcely being in line for sainthood any time soon. Not many, admittedly. But they do exist.
Of course, for people on the spiritual path there are relationships that simply drift apart when the lessons involved have been absorbed, or karmic ties have been dissolved, or it is appropriate to one's mission to have a new partner or no partner. The way you can tell if this is what's going on for your own relationships is this: ''Does one of you think that the other needs to change?'' It doesn't matter which partner is being critical of the other. When others criticize us, it is because we think we deserve it. When we are critical of others, we have taken the victim position. Either way, we are caught up in dysfunctional relationship.
The Mars/Venus Syndrome
Other theorists opt for variations on the Mars-Venus syndrome, explaining relationship dynamics in terms of the differences between men and women as though God built disappointment into the very fabric of Reality itself. Intuitively, this cannot be true.
There is a reason, however, that this work seems to hold up so well. Let's see if you can figure it out for yourself as you read further.
On Being ''More In Love''
All explanations for the waning of passion seem to ignore one extremely interesting fact, which is that in almost all relationships that fail, one partner is ''more in love.'' Readers who have counseled others may think back and notice that these ''more in love'' people tend to possess two characteristics that are not gender related:
- The ''more in love'' people, except where spousal abuse is involved, almost always are the ones seeking therapy; and
- The ''more in love'' people almost always believe that it is their partner who actually needs therapy.
Over and over again, we see one half of a love relationship or marriage practically dragging his or her counterpart into the counseling room. And although the dragees characteristically don't want to be there, they are usually quite willing to agree that the relationship problems are probably their fault!
The complaints are typical: He doesn't want sex any more. She never spends time with me. All he cares about is his career. All she cares about is her mother. He never remembers special occasions. She never says she loves me any more. He never talks to me. She is having an affair.
Male or female, the ''more in love'' people usually consider that their own behavior is exemplary, and that the therapist should somehow convince their partner to change.
The Physical/Emotional Syndrome
There is another theory of relationships that transcends the God/Frog and Mars/Venus perspectives, giving us a whole new way of looking at the dynamics between two people. This theory is called Emotional and Physical, or E and P, Sexuality.
The theory of E and P Sexuality was developed in the late 1950s by John Kappas, PhD, the famous therapist who founded the Hypnosis Motivation Institute, in Van Nuys, CA. Unlike the God/Frog view, Dr. Kappas's approach takes into account that each partner wants different things out of being in relationship. But unlike the Mars/Venus view, E and P Sexuality acknowledges that the ''more in love'' partners have similar patterns, whether they are male or female, and the same goes for the "less in love" partners.
Most importantly, the concept of E and P Sexuality enables us to actually make sense of what is happening between two people in a way that puts no blame on either party. In many cases, simply understanding one's own sexuality within this system is all that is needed.
Describing E and P Sexuality
In describing the dynamics of relationship in terms of E and P Sexuality, as we will do below, many readers may react unfavorably to the labeling that seems to be involved. Please understand that when we say a person ''is a physical'' or ''is an emotional,'' we actually mean that he or she is exhibiting physical-sexual or emotional-sexual behavior. That's a long phrase and would get in the way of our being able to talk about this. Also, we are normally referring to exaggerated behavior the kind that causes problems in relationship. We do not mean to imply that all people with a basic physical-sexual or emotional-sexual tendency have all of the characteristics we describe.
Also, people do sometimes switch behaviors. However, we are then usually dealing with problems more complex than can be addressed by understanding the dynamics described by Dr. Kappas's system. So for purposes of this discussion, we'll keep it simple.
And please understand that we are describing behavior that sets in after the ''honeymoon stage.'' In the honeymoon stage, we all seem to act the same.
And, finally, we are specifically not describing the behavior of individuals who have transcended fear and guilt and are coming into relationship from wholeness or Oneness. Guilt and fear are stances that push our behavior into these polarities. When guilt and fear no longer play a part, this entire system collapses and we regain the childlike ease and grace that reveals our own inner being and our spiritual path.
That said, let us begin to describe these two polarities of sexual behavior.
What Is Physical Sexuality?
Physical sexuality is the phrase Dr. Kappas used to describe the ''more in love'' partner. Physical-sexual individuals have a long list of characteristics that differentiate them from their partners, who always possess emotional sexuality (more about that later).
The word ''physical sexual'' here describes an individual's entire relationship behavior, not just the sexual aspects. Dr. Kappas used the term ''physical'' because people with this behavior tend to relate to love in physical terms, or actions. Is she home when I call? Does he send me flowers? How often will she have sex? Does he remember our anniversary? Did she have an orgasm? Does he say he loves me? Is she physically affectionate with me? Does he tell me he likes the way I look? Thus, physicals also typically want as much sex as their partner will provide, and when they do not get enough, they feel rejected.
Because they are always checking out signs to see if they are loved, physicals are primarily aware of patterns. If their partner has been calling once a day and misses a day, they will feel rejected. If they hear ''I love you'' twice in one day, they'll expect to hear those words twice a day from now on, and if they do not, they will interpret that as loss of love. If the emotional keeps to a pattern, physicals feel secure. Programmed sex is heaven.
To the physical-sexual person, the love relationship is at the top of their priority list. In fact, many people who exhibit this behavior don't even have a priority list. There's just love (crucial), and everything else (unimportant). Someone who truly longs to live on a desert island with his or her beloved is exhibiting extreme physical-sexual behavior.
The desert islands of the world would be really crowded except for one little problem. Physical sexuals always attract and respond to their natural opposite, which is the emotional. And no emotional-sexual person would be able to stand the beach-hut style of intimacy for more than a couple of days.
Physical-sexual behavior is triggered, or exacerbated, by rejection. And since physicals ''see'' rejection when the emotional is simply engaging in his or her normal behavior, physicals feel more and more rejected as time goes on, and thus more and more in love.
What typically happens is that, after the honeymoon stage, the physical's partner stops calling as often, or spends more time working. This is simply their normal behavior, because their primary focus in life is, and always will be, their career or mission. But the physical interprets the return to normalcy as rejection, and becomes obsessed with trying to make the other person return to the attentiveness of the honeymoon stage.
In trying to change the other's behavior, the physical, coming from rejection, is triggering the guilt that motivates their partners to withdraw. ''Why didn't you call? You said you would call? You really hurt me.'' When that happens, it's all a downhill slide from there on in.
What Is Emotional Sexuality?
Emotional sexuality, as with its physical counterpart, describes the individual's total behavior in relationship, not only the sexual aspects. The extreme emotional is simply nonfunctional in relationship, and attracts physicals who are so attentive to the least sign of rejection that no relationship is possible for them, either.
Emotionals, rather than responding to physical stimulation or to actions, respond to imagination and expectation. Programmed sex is a total turnoff. They look at it as ''performing on demand.'' You reach this type of person through his or her emotions through what he or she cares about not physically.
The emotional does have a priority list, and his or her career is always at the top (some emotional-sexual females make a ''career'' of marriage, but the principle still holds they want more money and prestige, not more of the spouse's time, or more sex).
Second on the emotional's priority list is usually the family. Then, children. Then, hobbies! The spouse or lover comes last.
This is not to say that emotional sexuals don't care about their partners, or even love them very deeply. It simply means that they tend to allocate time to everything else first.
As physicals are motivated by rejection, emotionals are motivated by guilt. Deep down, they feel that they are inadequate to the needs of being in relationship. They usually feel that their partner would be happier with someone else, and that it is wrong of them to ''hold on.'' The guiltier they feel, the less interested they are in the intimacy of romantic relationship, and yet the harder it is for them to leave.
Sometimes the physical sexual, in an attempt to win back their spouse, will have an affair and make sure the partner finds out about it. The idea is that the other will feel rejected, and will thus become ''more in love.'' The consequences can be disastrous, because emotionals are just as likely to feel relieved when their partner strays. No more guilt! It may give them permission to dissolve the relationship.
But if they are married, they will usually stick around and use this permission to have affairs themselves if they're not already doing so. It is the physical, in most cases, who will opt for divorce.
The Sexual Cycle
An important aspect of E and P Sexuality is Dr. Kappas's discovery of the Sexual Cycle. We have not seen this phenomenon reported elsewhere. And yet understanding the Sexual Cycle is absolutely crucial to understanding how relationships function.
Briefly, emotionals have a Sexual Cycle, and physicals don't!
The emotional's Sexual Cycle is normally three days. In other words, they are physically open to sex every three days. Dr. Kappas called Day 3 the ''cycle day.'' At HMI, this cycle has continued to show up for emotionals, both male and female, in thousands of case histories. Often, the cycle time is longer than three days, but it's almost never less than that.
When an emotional is on a ''cycle day,'' he or she will tend to be more affectionate. Body temperature is higher (this has also been proven out in the HMI case history files). Women lubricate more easily and are more orgasmic; men are more potent.
The sexual cycle may be one of the reasons that emotionals and physicals always end up together. It works like this:
If an emotional who is cycling this week on Monday and Thursday were in a relationship with another emotional who was cycling on Tuesday and Friday, they would never get it together. It's convenient, if you have a sexual cycle, to be in relationship with someone who is always available.
It's also convenient, if you're busy with many interests, to have a spouse who wants to adjust his or her life around yours. Convenience is of the utmost importance to someone who has to fit relationship into the little spaces between job, family, children, and hobbies.
So emotionals do not usually stay with emotionals, even if they get together, because neither one cares enough to put up with the inconvenience of adjusting their lives to the other. On the other hand, a physical sexual partner will gladly volunteer to give up everything in order to be available when the emotional wants them.
And physicals do not stick with other physicals, because in that kind of relationship they are not being rejected, and the pain of rejection is what tells them that they are ''in love.'' Eventually, they just lose interest and often become great friends.
All the physicals we have ever met have totally believed that they would be deliriously happy if only their partners would put them first, but if it happens they fall out of love. So if you are an emotional and you don't know how to end it with your jealous, possessive partner, try nagging them for more sex, more time together, more ''I love yous,'' more anything. It's an easy, quick, and bloodless approach.
Using E and P Sexuality to
This is a giant topic, and we can only skim the surface in an article of this scope. But there are some simple things that you can do that will make a big difference to the quality of your love relationships.
Improve Your Relationships
First of all, you have to figure out which side you're on. That's pretty easy. If you are reading this article, it's about a 99% probability that you are a physical. Emotionals almost never read articles about improving their love life! (Herein, I believe, lies the answer to the success of the Mars/Venus material physical men are macho and would almost never initiate going to a relationship seminar, while their emotional-sexual wives have no interest in relationships. Emotional men, on the other hand, feeling guilty, will allow themselves to be dragged into therapy or seminars by their physical wives. Much of the validity of the Mars and Venus material, I believe, relates to physical-sexual women and emotional-sexual men.)
But if only physicals are reading this, it's fine because it is the physical who normally has to change if the relationship is going to change. Not fair? Consider: The physical is the one who wants things to be different. Can we legitimately ask others to change so that we can have a better experience? Do we not have to do the changing ourselves?
But if you are an emotional and you feel motivated to improve your relationship, then you, too, can make some changes that will create a huge difference in your quality of life.
See A Checklist of E and P Characteristics to learn more about recognizing emotional and physical sexuality in yourself and others.
Following are two case histories, one of an emotional-sexual female, and the other involving a physical-sexual male. Both cases involve suggestions that improved the relationship. Each one is followed by a list of things that you can do to improve your own love life.
Case History 1: Jennifer
We were in a weight-control seminar about ''undieting'' learning to lose weight by changing our self-image instead of what we eat. Jennifer, a successful chiropractor and energetic businesswoman, loved the class and had noticed many spontaneous changes in her eating behavior. Yet, unlike the others, she had not lost any weight.
At five-seven and 135 pounds, Jennifer was not really overweight. But before her marriage, she had always been super thin, so she felt really fat. ''When,'' we asked her, ''does this trouble you the most?''
''It makes me uninterested in having sex. My husband, Larry, hates this, but I just can't help it. I can't stand having sex when I'm feeling fat.''
''Jennifer, if you could have your druthers, and you never felt fat, how often would you opt for sex?''
''Oh, I don't know. Couple times a week, I guess.''
''And what about Larry? How often would he want sex if you were available?''
She laughed ruefully. ''Twice a day, probably.''
''What if you just told Larry you didn't want to have sex when you don't feel like it, instead of blaming it on feeling fat?''
''I couldn't do that. He'd feel totally rejected. I'd feel so guilty.''
I explained to Jennifer the concept of the Sexual Cycle that it was totally normal for her, as an emotional-sexual female, not to be interested in sex more often than she was. I also told her that for her husband, not wanting sex was equivalent to permanent rejection, so she had to explain her cycle to him. Larry would not feel rejected if he simply realized that wanting sex every three days or so was her normal behavior, and had nothing to do with him. And she did not have to feel guilty about it. She could now say ''no.''
I'll never forget the look on Jennifer's face, as though she'd been let out of jail. And it worked. She lost her excess weight without doing another thing about it. I saw her two years later and she said her marriage was much better. And without ever dieting, she now weighed in at 105 pounds, soaking wet.
Here are some other dos and don'ts for emotionals in relationship:
- Don't set up a pattern of sex, calling, dating, or anything else unless you are big-time serious about this person. Don't break a pattern like this unless it's all over for you, because that's how it will be interpreted, and you may never have another moment's peace.
- Do keep to certain patterns if you are in a permanent or long-term relationship. Otherwise, your partner will always be unhappy and anxious. If you're not going to be on time, call. If you're going to skip the movie date this week, acknowledge that you are doing this, and reassure your partner that all is well. Yeah, you're giving up a bit of your precious freedom, but do you really want to be free to keep on making your lovers miserable?
- Explain your cycle. Tell your partner that you turn off and on physically, always have, and it's got nothing to do with how much you love them.
- Pay them compliments about their looks, their manliness/femininity, their desirability, their prowess in bed. Most physical sexuals hate to be complimented for any quality that won't help them attract the opposite sex. If it won't do that, what good is it?
- Don't walk away when your partner is nagging you. Imagine that they have been sent by Central Casting to test your ability to remain loving in the face of criticism. This stance will tell you what to say if anything needs to be said after you've really listened to them (for once).
In general, stop thinking that your partner should not require the things they ask for just because you don't require them. It's not about giving in. To paraphrase the Bible, ''If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?'' Then don't do it to your lover.
Case History 2: Jerry
Jerry came into therapy because his wife, Melissa, was not interested in sex. She sometimes complied dutifully, but not always, and never gladly. He wanted to bring her in to see us, so we could teach her how to be ''more of a woman.''
We declined, and explained why. ''She's already feeling guilty enough. I'll bet she's told you that you'd be better off leaving her, and that you should go out and find yourself someone who can make you happy.''
He admitted that he'd heard those exact words many times. ''But I just want to make her happy! Why can't I do that? I work hard and bring home my pay. I don't go running around with the guys like some of my friends. I tell her how beautiful she is, and how much I love her. I bring her presents. I'd have sex any time she wants, if only... I pay a lot of attention to her. I'm a good man.''
''And what if those things are not what makes Melissa happy? Would you be willing to give Melissa what she wants instead of what you want to give her?''
He found this thought confusing, but finally agreed to try it.
''Okay. Just do this and see how it works. First of all, stop complimenting Melissa on her looks. Tell her how smart she is, or something else that's true but not related to being female. Melissa places no value on being female, and when you compliment her for that she finds it annoying.''
He looked a bit abashed, as he agreed that this was definitely true.
''Secondly, realize that the emotional sexual is never the one to break up a relationship. Melissa isn't going anywhere. Get a life. What do you like to do?''
He said he'd thought about playing poker with his friends from work, but he hadn't wanted to leave her alone. ''Good. Join that game. Think of some of the other things that you used to love to do before you became obsessed with this lady, and start doing them.''
He agreed to try.
We then explained Melissa's Sexual Cycle, told him how to identify her cycle days, and advised him not to even think about trying to have sex with her on an off day.
''Now, how do you let Melissa know that you will be wanting sex tonight?''
He said that he touched her a lot, acted lovey-dovey, and ''hinted around.''
''Good. Let's change that. Stop giving sexual signals, period. The next time you want to act lovey-dovey, do it, but not when you want sex. What's happening is, every time you hug Melissa, she feels that you are asking for sex. And since Melissa can't handle knowing that she has to perform, the everyday give-and-take of affection takes on a sinister meaning. Don't try to have sex with her except on her cycle days, and then, don't give her any warning beforehand, just do it!''
''I don't know if I can do this.''
''Can you spend the rest of your life trying to be sexually satisfied by a woman who's totally turned off?''
Here are some things that you can do to improve your relationship to any emotional-sexual partner:
- Never, ever, ever ask them, ''Do you love me?'' If necessary, put masking tape over your mouth every time the urge arises to enforce an avowal of feelings from your emotional lover. You will be destroying the spontaneity that is their sole source of magic in relationship.
- If they say, ''I love you'' without prompting, a simple thank-you will suffice. Or look deeply into their eyes, think of Han Solo, and reply with deep seriousness, ''I know.''
- Do you tend to nag and point out your partner's flaws? Get out that masking tape. If you don't like to see underwear/lingerie lying around on the floor, pick it up yourself. You're the one who doesn't like it, so it's up to you to change it.
- When you need to communicate how you feel, don't do it at the time your feelings were triggered. Get yourself sorted out first. Then make an appointment to talk about it.
- Never make negative comments during sex. The emotional will begin to associate sex with the comments, and start to turn off to you.
- Stop following them around when they don't want to talk and are trying to escape; especially, stop hollering at them through the bathroom door.
- Allow yourself to make life convenient and comfortable for your spouse. It's what they want, and they won't continue a relationship if they don't get it. And don't start thinking that your partner should start doing the same for you. Physicals like to do these things, emotionals don't. We're different. Vive la difference!
- Realize that emotionals are most interested in sex on a Cycle Day but only before they've had sex. They are least interested afterwards. If they get up and go play computer games afterwards, deal with it. It's got nothing to do with you.
- Compliment them for their brains, their abilities, and so on. Never pay your emotional-sexual partner a compliment that would be out of place at a formal board meeting.
Finally, if you are a physical-sexual, you have a longing for Oneness that can never be satisfied by a man or woman. God never shows up late, or withholds anything you need. Rely on Spirit for your inner emotional needs, and have a go at making relationships a source of pleasure and beauty. When you can do this, you may even attract that Soul Mate you've been looking for all these years.
The basic idea is, our partner doesn't usually want the same things we do. Yet our needs are complimentary, so if we can truly understand each other, we will find that everything works out perfectly.
When we try to tell our partner what we want by showing them, we are almost never doing what they want. If you are physical, accept that even when you have managed to make God #1 on your priority list, your relationship will still always probably be sharing the spot. Well, why not? We're all God. And emotionals need relationships, too. Somebody's got to do it, why not you?
And if you are emotional, try to stop feeling guilty. Realize that if you did give your partner the opportunity to find someone more suitable, he or she would in all likelihood go out and round up someone just like you. We are learning the spiritual lessons we need to learn in this life, and blaming yourself, as emotionals tend to do, is not any higher, spiritually, than the physical-sexual behavior of continually blaming others. Blame doesn't work, and it's really just not much fun.
Your eventual goal is to gradually ''move in'' on the scale, to become balanced. If the physical becomes less critical and stops trying to get his or her counterpart to change, just loving them the way they are, then the emotional becomes less guilty, and thus, more affectionate and attentive.
The problems are complex, but the solution always involves acceptance of ourselves and our partner. And this is a lot easier to do when we can see our partner as someone who's acting perfectly normal for their type, and realize that if we try to change partners we will always pick out the same type until we, ourselves, can change. The emotional needs to work on self-acceptance, and giving up guilt. The physical needs to work on self-love, and giving up judgmentalness.
As always, Love is the answer.
A Checklist of E and P Characteristics
- Dresses for comfort and to please themselves.
- Tends not to wear jewelry.
- Sits with a closed stance.
- Tends to be rather quiet.
- For women, doesn't wear makeup.
- For men, wouldn't be caught dead in a gold neckchain.
- Buttons the top button.
- Dresses to reveal excess weight.
- Dresses to hide an
- Dresses to please men (applies to both males and females).
- Tends to wear a lot of jewelry.
- Sits with an open stance.
- Talks a lot.
- For women, wears a lot of makeup.
- For men, wears gold neckchains.
- Leaves buttons unbuttoned to the edge of decency.
- Dresses to hide excess weight.
- Dresses to reveal a good body.
If you go into a singles bar, the physicals are dressed to kill, are usually alone or ignoring their friends, and tend to locate themselves near the front door where they can see and be seen. The emotionals are dressed to be inconspicuous, and tend to hide in a corner with several same-sex friends.
Since we studied and taught at HMI, Dr. Kappas has added the "mental" type of sexuality to his system, so that in the past couple of years these behaviors are described as the EMP Factor. If you are interested in learning more about this subject, you might want to obtain Dr. Kappas's relationship books and videos at Hypnosis Motivation Institute: Books Section. For therapists who would like to make use of these concepts to help their clients, you can find video courses at the same link.
Susan Barber studied therapy and sexuality with Dr. Kappas in the 1970s and taught the Professional Course in Emotional and Physical Sexuality at his Institute in Van Nuys and at her own school of therapy in Marina del Rey, California. She has continued to find these ideas useful in helping her clients to improve their sex lives and relationships.
Today, she continues to do spiritual counseling and therapy on a part-time basis, and serves full time as webmaster for the Spirit of Ma'at.
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