Frank Bongiorno is an expert in Australian History, and recently presented at the Australasian Institute of Sexual Health Medicine Inaugural Conference. He introduced an interesting historical character who had much to espouse regarding sex. William Chidley was a man from Melbourne, who spoke publically regarding the way in which people were having sex during the mid 1800s. Chidley felt that the erect penis was unnatural, preferring the idea that the vagina would draw the penis inside while still flaccid – acting much like a vacuum. It would be wonderful to have been a fly on the wall, listening to his talks and registering the reactions upon people’s faces, especially during a time when sex was so denied! Listening to Frank’s talk reminded me of some teachings in neo-tantric texts about they ways in which sex might be different.

You see, this idea of the vagina acting as a vacuum, inviting the penis inside, is not new. There is a theory that if sex is occurring in a connected and deeply intimate manner, one might place the penis at the entrance of the vagina and as the connection deepens, a man might feel his penis being sucked into the vagina. It is based on the premise that often in our society today, with sex being seen mostly as an act of doing, many of us have lost the element of BEING in sexual connection with another. We have forgotten the aspect of allowing the body to signal when we are ready for each step during intimate union, rather than forcing ourselves to play out a scene believed to represent sex. When clients have reported back regarding attempting a different way of having sex (using meditation, breath, eye-gazing, and other practices) men have said that they felt more invitation to enter the vagina – almost like a light suction.

While there is little science to verify such a claim, it does seem that studies undertaken on vaginal activities during sex indicate that there is indeed a drawing back motion which occurs in the vagina during times of increased arousal. They claim that the vaginal wall is an active organ that changes during arousal to accommodate the penis. Perhaps in some women, this action is more palpable and may translate into a feeling of suction for the inserting penis? Whatever this may mean for women and their vaginas, perhaps William Chidley had a point. Maybe during a time where female sexuality was usually only acceptably linked to childbearing, the idea that there might be more occurring for women than the desire to procreate (as indicated by their vacuuming vaginas) was revolutionary. Either way, why not try out some meditation and connection practices next time you engage sexually with your partner and see if your body responds in a different way? Maybe the vagina holds more information than we give her credit for?