A sex script is the sequence of interactions (physical, emotional, psychological) that underlie a couple’s last sex. Most of the couples I work with have some sort of standard sex script, and when they visit, their sex script most likely aggravates the problem rather than helping.
My job is to help couples understand and rewrite their sex scripts. For a fly on the wall, the sex script is the progression of actions: clothes come off, mouths find each other, hands explore, body parts connect and loosen, muscles tense and loosen. But beneath the surface of the sex script is an emotional underground: the mental space between bodies. Sometimes sex is a bridge; another time it shows a rift. When the sex script works, we get lost in arousal. Sex becomes like a familiar dance and we don’t think twice about the choreography. But if the sex script fails, all we can do is not think about the details.
I know that to some, thinking of sex as a scripted event with various elements unfolding in a sequence can sound rigid, overly clinical and repulsive, the opposite of spontaneity – what sex is “supposed to” be, right: spontaneous. But I’ll compare my general approach to playing jazz. Sure, you want to improvise and cut loosely, but to do that you and your partner need to know which song you are playing, which genre, which key and chord progressions, which tempo, etc. Legendary jazz bassist Ron Carter said about playing in the legendary Miles Davis Quintet from 1963 to 1968: “We went to a laboratory visit every evening, Miles was the chief chemist. Our job was to mix those components, these changes, this pace into something that is sure to explode with a little danger every night. “That sounds like good sex to me – sure to explode with a bit of danger – and to do that you need to know all of the components that you are mixing.