The website of best-selling sex author Anne Hooper
Anne has worked for years for UK and international magazines and newspapers. Her skill lies in writing about sex and relationships in acceptable and non-sensational language in what is a contentious field. Here are examples of her journalism:
HOW TO ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT IN BED
Beautiful, clever bonds dealer India told 40 men what to do – at work. At home, in contrast, she was so in awe of her husband that she did not dare to ask for a change in his love-making technique! What IS it about the ‘inner’ woman that makes even the most self-confident incapable of talking in bed?
Could it be that one’s sex life is SO intimate that if a partner’s response ‘goes wrong’ it feels as if your relationship will never recover? Isn’t it because something inside you loses hope when your man seems incapable of responding? And of course you question (even if only unconsciously) that if you ‘mortally wound’ him might he not start to withdraw? It’s a hideous double bind.
Give to get
India most specifically wanted more foreplay – her husband was always hurried and perfunctory. India decided to approach her husband with a ‘give-to-get’ approach. She reckoned this was a way of moving him forward (and of educating him) without criticism involved. She told her husband she was going to give him a special treat one weekend and that she hoped he would return the favour. The treat was a spectacular all over body massage and India had taken the trouble to practise at a massage lesson first. He felt so good at the end of it that he was relaxed enough to want to massage in return. And the extra touch was exactly what she needed. Better sex grew from there.
Another approach is to try some assertion training. This equips you with the courage (and the practise) to voice your request.Sabrina couldn’t climax during sex but could manage to satisfy herself. She felt certain that if only her man would use his dextrous fingers alongside regular sex then she would have no problem. Unfortunately he seemed blithely unaware that there was any difficulty.
“My assertion teacher made me practise making difficult requests. I worked my way up a list of real requests, in order of difficulty. The simplest was the first and the hardest the last. Through achieving this, I got to a stage of realising that if my man was climaxing it was perfectly reasonable of me to expect to do so too. I felt for the first time as if I deserved something more. But I had to take some responsibility for it. So the next time we went to bed I said “Do you mind if I have an orgasm as well as you?” He looked surprised but then said “Well fine, OK.” And I produced my trusty vibrator. “This feels good on men too,” I told him. “Feel it.” And I ran it across his sensitive areas. He agreed. And became immensely turned on. We both ended up sexually satisfied.”
The power of encouragement
Sabrina had included her man in solving her problem. Susan was terrified of destroying her man’s sexual confidence. But she was dying to make their love-making a bit more daring. “We weren’t even having oral sex,” she explained. “I read about the power of encouragement in a psychology book. And decided to do a bit of my own.
“Next time we make love”, I managed to say “That’s feels absolutely amazing when you touch me there. Could you do some more of it a bit further down?” I got him feeling so good about his skills that he became completely comfortable with my genitals (I think he was scared before). And I went on to “God, your hands feel amazing. Do you think we could try next time with your mouth.” He’s a brilliant lover now and is confident like you’d never believe. He asked me recently if I would consider trying a bit of light bondage. And I was very careful to let him initiate it!” By preceding all her requests with words of praise Susan boosted her man’s feelings so that he felt great instead of criticised.
The following appeared in the Daily Mail:
SECRETS OF TANTRIC BLISS
Sales of Tantric sexbooks are staggering – obviously the world remains fascinated by the idea of having sex for hours in a state of ecstasy! There are 20 different editions of the Kama Sutra on the market and sales figures on the two that are mine warm the cockles of my publisher’s heart – over 500,000 copies of each have been sold. To feed the public hunger for this disciplined/spiritual approach to sex, my publisher and I are even now working on a new third version to circulate alongside the other two.
I used to feel impatient with the philosophy of the Kama Sutra and cynical about the efficacy of Tantric sex. These were, I once thought, merely excuses to titillate men and women’s appetites — nothing more. Until I was forced to study entire texts when commissioned to write my interpretations.
Admittedly another reason for suspending my disbelief was a paean of praise for Tantric sex by powerful and well known New York businessman Bob Schwarz. Bob, now in his 80s, told me he was in the habit of restoring his life energy by isolating himself for the weekend and following a rigorous Tantric training programme.
The secret of the success of such esoteric eastern tuition, I learned, is a poetic and spiritual approach coupled with control of the physical reactions by the mind. When I explored the archaic language of the Kama Sutra and got beyond the more ridiculous of the sex positions, I discovered that there were good reasons for most of the light-hearted suggestions made by the 4th century Buddhist author.
The Kama Sutra, a kind of handbook for 4th century businessmen is based on Tantric philosophy. Tantric thought however goes much further than a variety of sex positions. It theorises that, through sex, we can experience expanded and enhanced being and can double our physical pleasure. Tantra, like yoga, originated in India; nicknamed ‘the science of ecstasy’, it heightens and prolongs the special rapport that exists between a man and a woman while making love. The point of a Tantric sex programme is to aim consciously at merging yourself ecstatically with your partner and through him or her, with the rest of the world.
If that sounds like a tall order remember that if you were the complete student of Tantric philosophy, you would have to go through an extensive programme of training your senses to detect every subtle nuance and change – pulse, temperature, muscle flexion as well as level of sexual arousal. You would practise physical exercises to strengthen the muscles needed to make extended intercourse a pleasure rather than a pain, and mental exercises to extend your imagination.
A TANTRIC PROGRAMME
To give Daily Mail readers an edge on the rest of the reading public, here’s a two-day programme recently devised for my new Kama Sutra based on Tantric disciplines of self-knowledge.
It was first invented for a couple who wanted to re-discover each other, after their children had left home, leaving them on their own together for the first time in 20 years. But I’ve also used it with young couples in the process of getting to know each other.
THE RULES OF TANTRA
The three-day programme comes with a strict rule about sexual continence. You need to agree that there will be no intercourse or sexual release before Day 3.
Ensure privacy with no interruptions of any kind during the time.
FIRST EVENING (FRIDAY NIGHT)
Devote the evening to each other. If it’s summer go for a walk together. Enjoy the warm night air, and the smell of blossom. Focus on the scents and the scenery. Reminisce about what life was like when you first met. Remember the beauty of your love in the beginning, the way you felt about each other in those early days of your relationship and the things you did together. Have a quiet meal in a restaurant where you wouldn’t normally eat and turn off your mobile phone.
When you talk with your partner about yourself and your relationship, let down your defences and be completely open about your feelings. Don’t be afraid to show emotion; hold hands, laugh, cry and talk freely of your fears, fantasies, hopes and hates BUT don’t say anything that might hurt your partner. Give each other plenty of time to speak and to express opinions, thoughts, hopes and fears. Make the other feel good. Yet use restraint. Although you may walk hand in hand or arm in arm in the evening, hold back from lovemaking at night. Cuddle but don’t caress.
SECOND DAY (SATURDAY)
Spend the day, after bathing and eating a light breakfast, lightly stroking and lovingly caressing each other all over but not including the breasts or the genitals. Be naked. Do not speak as you stroke but carry on handling your partner as you would if you were caressing a delicate flower. Despite any arousal, continue stroking for half an hour and when you have finished, lie down side by side and relax together to allow any sexual feelings which may have built up gradually disperse.
Continue to do this during the day, eating only light meals. In the afternoon the stroking changes slightly. These exercises are now focussed on enhancing empathy between you. If, for instance, you stroke your partner on the arm, imagine it is your own arm that is being stroked and try to think what it would feel like to be touched in that manner. The point of this is, by using your imagination, you attempt to experience more of your partner’s feelings.
THIRD DAY (SUNDAY)
Continue the light stroking but today include the sexual areas. If you become turned on, allow yourself to gasp or cry out. Continue to empathise with your partner’s experience of touch. Feel what they are feeling. After an hour of stroking, move on towards more obvious forms of foreplay. Traditional sexual intercourse is not advised but instead the couple tries to regard penetration as a version of slow massage, spending a long time savouring the physical feelings each creates in the other and proceeding with micro-movements. Try to hold the position of face-to-face intercourse with just enough movement to maintain the man’s erection and, with your eyes closed endeavour to synchronise your breathing. Only towards the end of the day should the act of penetration culminate in more vigorous movements and orgasm.
This Tantric love exercise teaches you to tune into your partner’s sensations as if they were your own. Through experiencing his or her delight, your own love and tenderness is awakened