Sex is supposed to sew two adults together so that they become one flesh. As the closest two human beings can physically come, it's the highest form of connection. So why are we seeing a kind of sexual and sensual disconnect, before, during, and after lovemaking? Why has sex become so dissatisfying to so many people?

One of the measuring rods (no pun intended) to prove that sex is losing its potency are studies showing that sex in marriage occurs, on average, twice a week and lasts seven and a half minutes. That's about 15 minutes of sex a week. (I recently repeated this statistic to one of my married friends, who looked at me and said, "Who are these supermen?") When the postcoital cigarette lasts longer than the act of lovemaking, something is seriously wrong.

Furthermore, women always complain about the before-and-after effect of sex on their men. One moment he's panting and swearing that he loves you, he's never going to leave you, he's going to marry you. Then, the moment he's finished, he is finished. That's why these days, when the average husband looks at his wife and says, "Honey, how about a quickie tonight?" she looks back at him and says, "As opposed to what?"

The reason this is happening at such an alarming rate is that sensuality is being drained from sex. G-d gave men and women five connecting points, five sticky points, through which we connect in order to become one. These five sticky points are the five senses. We're meant to make love with our hands, our eyes, our nose, our ears, and our mouths.

The problem today is that today we're making love mostly with our eyes, emphasizing the visual over all the other senses. We work out at gyms to make our bodies more attractive, but we're firing on only one cylinder, connecting through only one sticky point. A generation that's profoundly unsensual is having really bad sex.

Take a look at erotic French literature of the 18th century, and you'll see a greater emphasis on a woman's natural fragrance than on her looks. Napoleon writes to Josephine just after the Italian campaign and the battle of Marengo, "I'll be home in three days--don't bathe." Reading this today, many of us would shake our heads in disgust. A lot of men expect their women not only to look like a Barbie Doll but also to smell like one--the erotic fragrance of shrink-wrap.

The same thing is true with the sense of touch in lovemaking. Great artists, from Rubens to Ingres, nearly always painted plump women--women of substance, literally. To them women who had a bit of flesh were always more attractive. After all, which feels better--to make love to a bag of bones and a rib cage, or to make love to tender, supple flesh?

But in an age where men and women make love only with their eyes, women are starving themselves, thinking that if they just shed a few pounds they'll attract more stares. They're right. But something essential gets lost. And the millions of husbands all across America who daily makes their wives feel that they are too heavy and thus unattractive should take note and mend their ways. There's another, more important reason that sex today is lacking. It's not just diminished sensuality but also diminished commitment. The fact is that sex is beautiful specifically because it allows us to let go. It's is the ultimate act of freedom, the highest form of liberation. When we have great sex, we feel like we can soar.

Now, how can you let go and be free when you're making love to a stranger? Won't you be inhibited and self-conscious? Only when there's commitment and trust can a couple kindle a wild fire that burns out of control, consuming both of you, because you're not afraid of where you'll end up together. And that's why the best sex is that between a man and a woman who have become husband and wife.
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