As I contemplated this problem, I thought about two things that may bridge the gap between these two poles. The first is sensuality. When we're sensual, we can have an experience that focuses less on the genitals and more on the subtle experience of our senses. When we take the time to relish and explore the entire body—the curves, the scents, the sounds, the touch of skin against skin—we can be both tender and erotic.
The second possible bridge is playfulness. It's easy to forget what a deep connection humor can create between two people. Play that begins from a childlike place might just move naturally and easily into more erotic play that maintains a deeper connection. Humor can pull us out of our inhibitions very quickly and allow for a gentle exploration of merging lust and tenderness. In other words, laughter is a great way to begin loosening the noose. Improve Your Love Making With Sexual Role Play
More from YourTango: Skeletons In My Closet: Secrets Real Women Hide From Their Men
Practice seeing your partner as someone you love who also deserves to feel the intensity of your desire and lust. Give your partner the gift of feeling sexy. We all want to feel that, so don't deprive the person you love of this feeling!
If you need to disconnect and imagine your partner as someone else, do it temporarily. Try switching between the imaginary person of your lust and back to your partner until your love and your lust become less separate and more "friendly" with one another. The only thing standing in your way is a false belief that love and lust are two different things.
In turn, imagine your partner simultaneously loving you and lusting after you. Can you allow that these two emotions can be felt and expressed at the same time? What would that look and feel like?
More from YourTango: The Pleasure Is Yours: How Your Brain Interprets Food As Love
Make a pact with one another that you will put your usual defensiveness aside and try to move outside of your comfort zone. Women must be willing to trust that men won't objectify them, and men must feel safe that they aren't going to be accused of objectification. Men must be willing to allow women to express what might be termed "slutty" by some, and women must feel that they won't be judged for exploring their "inner stripper."