3 Tips for Building Sexual Intimacy in Your Relationship
Great sex doesn’t just happen. It takes time to learn your partner’s desires and turn-ons. It also takes time to understand and acknowledge your partner’s mindset about sex. Men and women are wired differently, and it’s important to take those differences into consideration. One of the most significant roadblocks to great sex is the inability to communicate openly about it. Even couples who have been married for years struggle to talk openly and honestly about what they want, like, or fantasize about. For many, there is shame built into our sexuality due to cultural influences, religious philosophies or family stigmas. Men and women often view sex from differing perspectives. Men think of sex as a physical release and a way to connect with a woman. Women, on the other hand, look at sex as an extension of their emotional connection to a man. Emotional vulnerability is one of the building blocks of intimacy, a component this is missing in many relationships today. As I speak to more people about their satisfaction level of their sexual relationship with their partner, several issues continue to surface:
- Sex is routine, one or both partners are bored. - Men don’t understand the female anatomy and don’t take time to help their partner orgasm. - Women are embarrassed to speak up about what they want and desire - Fear of rejection for sharing wants and desires - Withholding sex as a form of punishment
The age of the couple doesn’t really matter, there is a variation of all of the above for each generation. So, how do we move past those challenges and develop the type of mind-blowing sex lives we all crave?
Develop assertive communication – Effective communication is essential to creating a satisfying and healthy sex life. Your body does not come with a manual for your partner to read, so it is up to you to communicate to the best of your ability what pleases you. Without communication, your sex life will become dull and routine. Talking openly about sex can be awkward or even uncomfortable at first, but like any other skill, it gets easier with practice. Ask your partner questions to help the flow to dialogue. Keep in mind, your partner can’t meet your needs if the needs aren’t known. Understanding your partner’s mindset about sexuality will go a long way in discovering what is pleasing and what is off limits. Openly discussing sexual preferences is a healthy way to increase emotional intimacy and build trust. When discussing sex, use “I” statements to share what you like and don’t like in the bedroom. If you don’t know what you like, take time before your conversation for self-exploration to discover how and where you enjoy being touched. Then you can take your partner’s hand and show them how you like it. Don’t be shy, there isn’t anything to be embarrassed about. Sexuality is a natural part of a relationship. And, if you invest time and energy into your sexual relationship, you will experience deeper connections inside and outside of the bedroom.
Be supportive – Create an environment that is conducive to vulnerability. Agree that there is no right or wrong, no judging. Your partner’s view on sex is uniquely theirs, and it’s up to you to fully accept where they are in the moment. Be supportive and encourage them to open up and share honestly. If there was sexual trauma in the past, empathize with them and help them process how that experience is impacting their sexual attitudes now. Listen with a desire to understand their feelings and respect any boundaries they may put in place. When it comes to sex, feelings and emotions are highly relevant to how much pleasure can be experienced together. Seek to understand and shame or guilt your partner might feel based on culture, religion or family influence. Once you determine the root of the emotion, you can formulate a plan to deal with it. If it is too difficult to talk about face-to-face, write a letter to your partner to express your feelings and desires to improve your sexual relationship. Learning to speak openly about intimate issues can be intimidating. Be open to using alternate forms of communication until you become more comfortable with the topic.
Anatomy – There is more to sex then just coming together physically. However, it is essential to have a basic understanding of the female anatomy and how a woman’s body is designed to bring her pleasure. A man’s body is designed for quick release and is easily satisfied through oral sex or vaginal penetration. Since the head of a man’s penis is covered in 8,000 nerve endings, it is easy to stimulate and bring a man to climax via intercourse. A woman’s body is different, the nerve endings that produce orgasm for her are located on the clitoris. She also has about 8,000 nerve endings concentrated on about 1/10 of the surface area. These nerve endings aren’t accessible from a penis thrusting internally. Some studies show that only 20% of women can climax from penetration alone. Nearly 40% said they needed to have clitoral stimulation from touch or oral sex to climax. And, about 40% said they needed a combination of internal and external stimulus to achieve orgasm. As a woman, it is essential to know your own body. Knowing what type of touch you like, the kind of pressure you prefer and where you are most sensitive will help your partner pleasure you better. Different positions can help accommodate angles, force and enhance stimulation. Unlike what you see in movies or on TV, it takes longer for a woman to experience arousal. It takes time for her body to prepare for a sexual encounter. Women are more emotionally connected to the sexual experience than men are, so it’s important to take your time and touch her body, and kiss her before you move to her love zone. If you want to enjoy great sex, investing in your relationship outside of the bedroom will pay dividends. Practicing kindness, showing mutual respect and using effective communication skills will lay a foundation for how you treat your partner and how they treat you. It is our responsibility to take 100% ownership of our thoughts, words, and actions. Part of that includes owning our sexuality. There is nothing selfish about teaching our partner how to please us. If you’re going to experience mind-blowing sex, extend that attitude outside of the bedroom as well. Find ways to resolve your misunderstandings or arguments that end in a positive outcome. Be creative and loving in your attitudes towards each other and allow your partner to love and accept you unconditionally, just as you would want them to do for you. The more you love yourself, the deeper you will be able to feel for your partner and the easier it will be to have these vulnerable conversations about intimate details in your life. Are you ready to get started?