Can Tenderness And Sexual Heat Coexist?

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passionate couple man touching woman's lips
How couples can have lusty, passionate sex AND tender love.

"The pseudo-masculine imagery in mainstream culture seems to be passion from a position of distance," says David Steinberg, an erotic art photographer, and the author of the monthly e-column Comes Naturally. "It's easy for men and women to get confused and think you do one or the other. Or to think of intimacy as being not so masculine or something separate from heat."

Of course, I know there are people who have no trouble merging these two seeming polarities. Not only are they able to seamlessly move from a gentle, sensitive sexual encounter to a rough, animalistic sweat-fest, but they're actually able to express lust and tenderness in the same moment. Steinberg photographs couples like this during the sexual act. His goal is to capture the simultaneous expressions of intense passion and loving intimacy. For these people, sex isn't about orgasm; it's about knowing every aspect of each other fully. It's about bringing the emotion of love into a sizzling physical expression. It's a spiritual and sacred connection, but it's also hot and steamy.

For most of us, this kind of multidimensional sexual experience is an enigma. Why? There are no easy answers. Each individual's relationship to sexuality is a thorny psychological soup of control and trust issues, relationships with parents, religion and the Madonna/whore complex, and the simple fear of not being lovable. Our culture teaches us to not just suppress our sexual feelings but often to judge them harshly—even in a committed relationship. Our natural impulses end up caged before we even recognize what they are. So how can we open ourselves up to a fuller, richer experience of sex? How can we feel deliciously lustful without losing that loving connection? The 4 Types Of Attraction

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