Some games are played to win, while other games are played simply with the purpose of continuing to play. For instance, playing catch might be an infinite game when it’s purpose is more about connection and spending time together. On the other hand, once we start keeping score, we’re now focused on winning or losing, and there’s a clear end to the game.
And we bring a similar approach to how we show up sexually as well.
For example, a finite game sexually is one in which we’re focused merely on accomplishing certain tasks – like trading orgasms. The point of the sexual contact here is simply to achieve climax for one or both of us, and then the game is over.
In contrast, an infinite game uses sex as a means to deepen our sense of oneness, joy, and shared beauty with each other. The focus is no longer on achieving some particular physical goal and, as such, no longer fraught with performance anxiety. There’s nothing to perform per se, as long as the space is created for us to continue growing in our love and connection with each other.
Of course, there’s a place for both sets of games.
For instance, winning or losing at a game of checkers doesn’t stop us from playing again. And we can play many finite games within a larger context of infinite play.
But sex quickly becomes selfish when it’s focused exclusively on finite play and what we can get from the encounter. This can leave us both feeling used and disconnected.
However, when engaged in infinite play, we now have greater freedom to explore many finite games as well. We can try many new things out and no longer worry about achieving a successful performance. Even when we “lose” at a new sexual approach, it’s not ultimately a failure because the point was simply to continue playing and connecting with each other.
In the end, consider the games you play sexually. Are you playing just to win? Or is the purpose also to continue playing and loving each other well?