With the passing away of Virginia Johnson; we have lost both the pioneers, who led us to a better understanding of healthy, pleasurable physical relationships. Masters and Johnson developed the practice of sensate focus, which helps couples refocus on each other through emotional skills and body awareness. In sensate focus therapy, sex is removed while the couples reconnect through touching and developing a heightened sense of sexual self-awareness. They did not use drugs or surgery or any of the new technical techniques or modern methods; and were able to sill help reduce anxiety and misunderstandings between couples, that led to more fulfilling relationships, in their taboo breaking cases. Much of what has become common knowledge since then; originated with Virginia’s down to earth approach, in handling Dr. Masters’ patients and research volunteers. It just goes to show that you do not need an advanced degree to use common sense and observation; to solve some of the most complex problems; of human physical and emotional interaction.
With all this talk of the sexual revolution and the liberal post pill world; I feel that we can still learn a lot from their original studies, which seem outdated today. With the increased stress of modern life; we probably have more problems today, than we had when the research was carried out, to maintain a healthy and joyful sexual relationship. Where is the time for today’s couples to really connect emotionally, and enjoy just the simple touch of basic human interaction? With the pressures we put on our time for achieving more and having more; we lose the simple pleasures of a soft caress, or a moment spent in just speaking our minds, or listening emphatically. We are prone to predispositions of what a mate should be; and quickly move on to pronouncing verdicts and laying down edicts, of what our life together should be like. Long gone are those lazy days and nights when couples just had each other and none of the intrusions of TVs, phones or electronic gadgets; and touch and talk was the only entertainment.
I love Facebook; but a single hour of just talking about our life with a loved one, is worth more than a year of posts, likes and comments.We need to be able touch the face of the person we care about; and just the passing of the fingers softly over the skin, can develop more trust and emotional well being, than all the therapy sessions in the world. My feeling is that we have to shut out the external world for a number of hours each week; just to talk, touch and heal ourselves. I have too many friends who are suffering not because they do not care for each other; but because they have forgotten how to reconnect to the magical time, that built their relationship in the first place. We must never forget Virginia’s lesson that simple touch and understanding our internal conflicting emotions; can do more to for repairing the ills in a relationship, than all the plastic surgeries, drugs, therapies or counseling. To have a fulfilling relationship each of us has to invest the time to be with the other, and slow the world down to just being you. You do not have to be a Greek God or Goddess to satisfy your partner; but just have to be yourself and all else will fall in place (we can always use our imagination and make our partner or session into anything we crave). Life should be about simple pleasures and not driven by a paranoia of phobias and expectations that will remain unfulfilled even in our death. Play the games that you like and become children again; just like a mother’s loving touch is something, which lasts a child all its life. The light on this previously forbidden path was shone by these pioneers; and all we need to do is walk on it to find happiness, thus enriching our soul with natural and pleasurable acts.