The talk was presented by Susan Quilliam, Relationship Psychologist, who recently updated the iconic "The Joy of Sex" for the 21st Millenium. As Susan said, her aim was to bring a 70's book written by a man mostly for men to an era where it could be about a subject equally for men and women.
For those of you hoping for a more salacious article, I do have to disappoint you in advance, though you may find the section on the calorific value of ejaculate interesting at the end. For Susan was looking at three elements relating to sex, rather than the acts themselves, namely:
- How sex can support success
- How sex can sabotage success
- And how the choice rests with us
Susan, a composed competent speaker with a twinkle of humour in her eye, took us through the points individually. She then gave us the opportunity to discuss and come up with insights. These were either our own experiences or the very public ones by the great and not so good ingrained into the consciousness of our society, or at least the red top papers.
Apparently there are at least 237 reasons or benefits of sex with some of the key elements being improved health, a better emotional balance in life and, when redirected, additional drive and enthusiasm in achieving other tasks and objectives.
However, sexual dynamics and relationships in the workplace can have a destructive effect. This is not just on the individuals involved, but due the disintegration or just lowered efficiency of the teams in which they take place. Sexual desire can seriously affect decision making, resulting in business errors bitterly regretted later.
Making the right choices for us
So it came down to us to accept that sexual dynamics, tensions, attractions existed. There is a wide spectrum of cultural backgrounds and socially accepted behaviours, from dealing with strangers to the apple of one's eye. It is up to us to make a choice which ones will be positive and to know when we reach boundaries we should perhaps not cross over.
I must admit that in the open discussions, we were a very cerebral, rational and demure lot. The word that raised the most frisson, was the use of the word" frisson" in relation to a married relationship. However, with a drink and food at the table after the formal part of the talk, conversation became a lot more animated. Laughter, innuendo and some intriguing stories emerged.
One common theme at our table was the relationships we had with our children and the cross-generational inhibitions there seemed to be in accepting that either side could actually talk about and understand - sex.
But perhaps the biggest surprise was the gender/sexual inequality that was revealed when we took a closer look at the avowed fact that the sexual act used a full 85 calories. For it seems that one party in the final consummation dispenses a further 5 calories as ejaculate, therefore using 90 calories, whilst the recipient therefore could suffer a deficit by receiving those 5 calories and therefore only using 80 in total.
Humour aside, it was an informative and thought provoking evening which I was thoroughly justified in talking myself into attending. If you want to know more, contact Susan Quilliam or read her books, covering topics from body language, through relationship management and coping with crises.
Congratulations Ann, for another Inspired talk.