Does the idea of having sex with only one other person for the rest of your life give you pause or concern? Are you afraid that having just one partner for the duration of your time here will get boring, stale, or worse, non-existent? Have you heard the rumors that marital sex is…well…boring?
Yes, I have heard that too. Mostly I heard that from clients in my divorce recovery groups. Mostly I heard that from people who were married for a while with partners that they weren’t especially happy with anymore. I have also heard that from some younger couples who have young children at home (translate this to overly tired, in a major life transition, or trying to adjust to the bodily changes that come with birthing the next generation). Do you know who I don’t hear it from? Happily married couples…especially couples who have been married for more than 15 years and have learned the secret to keeping marital sex…well…a-m-a-z-i-n-g.
Marital sex can be the best sex ever
Like the woman said who was watching Sally during that famous scene in the restaurant in “When Harry Met Sally”…I want what they are having, don’t you?
Let’s get real here. Sexual desire naturally ebbs and flows like any other energetic pattern in our lives. Even when dating someone, sexual desire is stronger and weaker at times. Marriage does not have to kill great sex; in fact, creating a great marriage (and I use marriage loosely here since I am really talking about any committed relationship whether you are legally married or not) not only supports a healthy sex life, but it can grow into the kind of amazing sex life that single (uncommitted) people can’t get access to.
Want to know how to do that? I thought you might (seriously, who wouldn’t?)
Intimacy. Yes, it sounds simple, but hold on a second. I am not talking about roses, candlelight, music and oysters on the half-shell. This isn’t romance. This is intimacy and it is not the same thing as romance but is even more powerful as a precursor to sex. Intimacy is so much more than romance and it comes with a price that only the brave are willing to pay: vulnerability. I am not talking about vulnerability as in 50 Shades of Grey, or someone having to be in control of someone else. It is quite the opposite. I am talking about vulnerability of the heart and the realness of letting someone completely in without hiding who and what you are. It’s about the vulnerability of real communication of how you feel, what you like, and being courageous enough to completely trust each other without criticism or judgment. It is being naked in both the physical and spiritual sense.
So, how does this intimacy thing work? What are some ways to get more intimate with your partner?
Open up past your fears and let them in. Here is a great intimacy building exercise that you can try at home (together, of course!).
Soul gazing: Stand or sit about two feet from your spouse. Look deeply into each other’s eyes, as if you’re trying to look into the very core of your spouse’s being.
This is staring, but with an important difference. Staring is both intended and received as a threat. (If you doubt this, I suggest you try staring at a stranger on a New York subway.) Soul gazing differs because you are giving each other permission to stare. You are both becoming vulnerable to each other, and, Epstein explains, vulnerability is a key element in emotional bonding. Willing vulnerability brings out our tendency to provide care and protection to the other person and to like or even love him or her.
Hold the gaze for 2 minutes. Then talk about what you saw and how you felt.
Did you try it? What happened? Were you uncomfortable? How did you break away at the end of the two minutes? Were you anxious to get the two minutes over with or were you perhaps anxiously awaiting the completion of two minutes so you could get closer?
If you were anxious, then your fear of intimacy is in your way. Talk about that. Don’t beat yourself up for it and do not judge your partner or relationship either. Just acknowledge it is there, take a big breath, and try it again. Let those walls crack and crumble between you. Let each other in.
Soul connection and the ability to be vulnerable and real with each other and to really see all the way in to each other creates the kind of intimacy that translates into hotter, more satisfying sex that happily married couples know.