Lovers, your hearts will be happy that you are reading today’s column. My friends Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson’s latest book, "Partners In Passion: A Guide to Great Sex, Emotional Intimacy and Long-Term Love", tells you how to customize your very own delicious route to personal pleasure. Mark and Patricia are that cute couple that finishes each others’ sentences and have a lot of hot, sexy time together. Because I love every little, delicious Metro reader, I grabbed them for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes interview about what they call “The Ten Big Myths.” Get ready to mythbust your way to a better relationship and great sex!
TWANNA A. HINES: How did the two of you become so sexy?
MARK A. MICHAELS: [Laughs, blushes.]
PATRICIA JOHNSON: Mark is a noble soul. He’s very curious. He has mad skills, and also mad intellect.
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MARK: Patricia is just a stunningly beautiful woman. She also has a background as an opera singer. In terms of her sexuality, I feel like the amount of connection with your body that you have to have if you’re doing that well just translates into this incredible access to sexual energy.
TWANNA: Why did you write this particular book?
MARK: Our background is in tantra. We’ve written three books that were specifically about tantra, especially the sexual aspects of tantra. We were eager to branch out and write something for a more general audience. We spoke to Cleis Press, and they were very eager to have a guide.
PATRICIA: One thing I really love about the book is that re interviewed happy couples. We talked to people in all kinds of relationships, which we feel is very unique. In a lot of relationship books, the study sample is couples in distress. Therapists write the couples books, and they’re getting couples that are very unhappy. We thought, well, you know, let’s skip that. Let’s go to happy couples and find out what they’re doing ...
MARK: … focusing on what works, rather than what doesn’t.
TWANNA: I love your ten myths. Tell me more about one of them.
MARK: The first myth is that you need to find a soul mate and there’s one person out there for you who will complete you. The reality, as we see it, is this sets people of for very very unrealistic expectations, constant disappointments, and constant searching for something that’s perceived as missing.
PATRICIA: Right. [Singles] will go through exercises and they’ll start to describe their ideal mate, what would make them happy. What they’re doing really is building a fictional character, almost like a fairytale character.
MARK: And, of course, when they get infatuated, it’s really easy to squeeze that person into the mould, even if they really don’t fit.
PATRICIA: When someone actually turns out to be a human being, unfortunately, that’s the time that a lot of people will throw away a lot of goodwill time together. They won’t learn relationship skills, they’ll say “well, you’re not the one.”
MARK: “You’re not the person you’ve led me to believe you are.” You’ve actually led yourself to believe the other person is that way.
TWANNA: Why does anyone need a book to tell them how to have sex or how to conduct themselves in a relationship? This is actually a trick question because, as a sex educator and a columnist, I totally believe we should never stop learning about pleasure.
PATRICIA: This is the theme that we found in happy relationships that were erotically engaged. There is this willingness to learn something new. This willingness to accept that, today, I didn’t know something and I’m going to go learn something new tomorrow. This quest with no end of sexual knowledge.
TWANNA: Are you saying nerds make better lovers?
The complete list of Mark and Patricia's relationship myths can be found here.
Twanna A. Hines is an award-winning educator and sex columnist. Follow her on Twitter @funkybrownchick.