The predominant sexual paradigm, particularly in Western culture is phallic, in that sex typically begins with a quick arousal, peak at climax, followed by separation, drowsiness, and even slight depression. The Ego is usually heavily invested in the beginning and ending stages, in terms of what it requires for arousal as well as how it enfolds the experience into the narrative of one's identity. (Orgasm usually suspends all thought and is a brief reprieve from Ego.) Most romantic relationships take this same course: there is a build of courtship, dating or friendship; followed by the sexual relationship that typically peaks over 6 months to 2 years, followed by either a break up or relationship stagnation in which partners become more like “roommates with benefits” rather than spiritual lovers. This pattern is a result of natural selection in human sexuality, where individuals in their fertile years pair-bond, procreate, and then stay together for at least a few years until a helpless infant grows into a child with a better chance of survival independent of its parents. At this point, relationship conflict is unsustainable and many couples break up (if they haven't already), often experiencing inordinate pain in the process. Note that the typical course of relationships parallels the model of penile (and clitoral glans) orgasm and results in a craving-like attitude for both sex and relationships, facilitated in a society where sex is fetishized.
I pass no judgement on the phallic model other than to question whether it serves our needs in an era where individuals are hungry for spiritual partnership. Perhaps this phallic model, like our food reward system for sweets, was selected for in a time that is no longer relevant today. Sex, and sweets, are in abundance - and so are dysfunctional sex patterns and obesity.
The yonic paradigm is how I describe the alternative to the phallic, modeled after deeper vaginal arousal and orgasm that is slower to build yet plateaus without a significant drop off. In this paradigm, how humans relate to one another even in the course of a breakup looks entirely different. There may or may not be the typical fireworks the come from the infatuation-with-something-new phase, but there is always a consistent, slow, and relaxed climb alternating with brief descents into valleys for an overall oceanic-like experience of relationship, even continuing on past the end of a single relationship so that all subsequent relationships in an individual's lifetime are experienced as the extension of the same Beloved.
Compared with the frenzied phallus, the yonic path is inclusive - it's not possible to leave behind one partner for the sake of carnal pleasure. Both must buy into the process and remain wholly present throughout the journey. This way of relating to one another, whether literally or metaphorically, takes more effort, trust, and intention, but it is available to anyone who values profound connection in their relationships.
In the yonic model, it's not as easy to pinpoint where one is on the journey compared with the phallic. Ups and downs are expected and natural; in fact, both are essential to build connection. When the lovers eventually part (either through the completion of sensual activity or an ending of the relationship through a break up or death), the heart and mind are open and calm. Because the yonic model extends the state of orgasm, it suspends the ego as well. Pain will always be a part of human experience, but the added suffering created by ego-identification is diminished, if not absent.
I've intended to make the distinction between phallic and yonic not to demonize one sex over another, but rather to show that each innately follows a different trajectory. The deep presence that’s available in the yonic paradigm is inclusive to all people, does not require any distinction based on sex or gender, and is the paradigm that can offer those seeking meaningful connection real hope of finding it.