Anyone who has been challenged with a problem to solve and a looming deadline understands that sometimes, to really tap into your most creative self, you need a little stimulation.
Just like sex, becoming stimulated takes focus, patience, maybe a sense of humor, and a desire to see it through until the end. If these conditions aren’t present, there’s little chance your mind will stay present either – and you’ll end up frustrated, a little perturbed, and generally in a bad mood. #nothowIpictureditgoingdown #TWSS
When we create the conditions to get into what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined “The Flow”, we free our mind to let the really special, interesting new connections find each other in our brain, which naturally create the most interesting, special ideas to solve our most pressing issues.
According to Mihaly, there are nine components that must be present in order to achieve a “flow” state. To help you remember them, I describe how they also apply to sex:
- Challenge-skill balance
I happen to believe that some people are just better at sex than others. What would they see as a challenge? Can you bend this way? Can you last that long? Will there be a meal afterwards? If you don’t understand the challenge, you might not ask the burning questions. And you know what else burns white hot? Desire.
- Merging of action and awareness
This is a serious one. When you merge action with awareness, that means there’s a consensual entering into said action. No matter what, both/all parties must be aware of what actions are happening around them, and what/who they are getting into.
- Clarity of goals
Knowing what you want out of any sexual encounter seems like it would be important? “I need some quick stress relief.” “I want to show him how much I love him.” “I really want that new car.” “Don’t forget to empty the dishwasher.” Whatever your motivation is for doing it, being clear about the outcome leaves everyone more satisfied.
- Immediate and unambiguous feedback
This is the panting “OH MY GOD THE EARTH MOVED”, or a cigarette.
- Concentration on the task at hand
I don’t judge or discriminate. Concentration on the task at hand, or mouth, or leg, or whatever tickles your fancy, is always required.
- Paradox of control
This is the quick smack on the ass when you least expect it. It’s what sparks sentences like, “I didn’t know you were into that kind of thing, but I think I like it…”
- Transformation of time
Losing yourself in sex is like a time warp. Even though the average sex session is just 5.4 minutes from start to finish, it can seem like hours or fly by like a fleeting second.
- Loss of self-consciousness
Entangled bodies can often look – and feel – like one knotted set of human earphones after you fish them out of your pocket. That level of closeness can cause us to not consciously know where one person ends and the other begins. This does not mean a “loss of consciousness”, see #2 for exactly why.
- An autoletic experience
Not to be confused with an autoerotic experience, autolectic means “doing something simply for the pure joy of doing it”. We’re talking about sex here, people. It’s the way it’s supposed to be done, no matter what.
So, even though you might not want to make a checklist of conditions necessary to have great sex, understanding how to make it, and your own creativity, a consistent and repeatable process, can be a really valuable skill.
Or there’s wine. There is always sweet, sweet wine. #TWSS
To grab your own copy of “21 Reasons Creativity is Like Sex”, click here.