Discussing our intimate needs with our partner requires more than talk, it requires trust.
If there was a manual for discussing sexual fulfillment between committed couples it would read:
Sex. Just Do It. Repeat. The End.
What is it about sex that makes it so difficult to discuss with our partner? Even among couples who’ve been married for years, many times sex talk falls under the “no fly zone.” The exposure of sex is far more than physical. Interestingly enough, the authors of the Old Testament enthusiastically mention sex 200 times, likening its mysteries to that of a ship on the high seas and that of an eagle transcending the law of physics.
To feel comfortable talking to our partner about such an intimate subject, let’s first explore what sex does. We all know of the obvious benefits, but regular fulfilling connection with our beloved has been found to extend our life by as much as 5 years. If you start each morning with this delightful ritual you could cut your gym time by a third. If that’s not enough to fire up your sexual furnace, consider this: sex is also a natural pain reliever and immune booster.
Still doesn’t convince you to have that discussion? Consider this: A man can not emotionally express himself the way a woman truly desires if she doesn’t connect physically first. That’s right; a man’s desire for sexual touch goes far beyond external gratification, unbeknownst to him. Sex is actually just the portal to get what he really needs and has difficulty accessing – connection.
Life has a way of overwhelming a marriage with stress. A woman’s software is programmed to release tension through excessive talk, thus calming her and refilling her serotonin reserves. A man lacks this self-soothing. His tension tank builds, without his awareness. He becomes angry, distant, and may eventually explode. Without knowing what he needs or how to ask for it, it’s like being hungry in a foreign country and not speaking the language.
Intimacy and great sex, notice how I said great sex, not just participating in the act with completion as the goal, but passionate steamy lovemaking, will help him feel emotions that have long remained dormant, making him calmer, happier, and connected to his partner. For many men this area is difficult to access without an assist from a loving woman and not without releasing testosterone that’s used during orgasm.
In order to feel comfortable or make our significant other feel at ease discussing our sexual needs, desires, even discomforts and insecurities, we need to trust our partner. Trust is built outside the bedroom. If a woman creates a compassionate, safe space, free from judgment and criticism, then her guy will feel it’s okay not to perform to perfection in the bedroom, this being his greatest insecurity. That’s why Porn is a multibillion dollar industry: she doesn’t criticize, she’s always eager to please, and she doesn’t care if he can’t perform.
He needs to feel desired outside the bedroom, but permitted, even encouraged to take the lead inside the bedroom without any inhibitions from his partner. To stoke a woman’s sexual furnace and ease her apprehensions about discussing sexual needs and desires, she requires emotional foreplay with compliments about her appearance, constant assurance of his love, and non sexual touch. After all, sex is never limited to lovemaking. Sex goes on all day long in airports, over email, phone calls, texts, in the kitchen, across the dinner table, running the kids around, and during domestic tasks with flirting, seductive playfulness, love notes, body language, eye expressions, smiles, non sexual touches of affection and the words “I Love You.”
All of these build desire and intimacy. Trust, safety, and vulnerability are the emotional cement of intimacy and the absolute needs behind sex and security. But they must be discussed and mirrored without any judgment at all. Try passing a juicy journal or email of erotic talk back and forth, for him, one week and alternate with non sexual words of affection, for her, the next. Men respond and recall much greater if it’s in writing.
Experimentation and creative expression between the satin sheets free from judgment, criticism, inhibitions, and past limiting sexual beliefs based on poor body image, religious taboos, and socially acceptable rules will allow you both to explore and pleasure each other in new ways. Always keep in mind, the greatest turn on for a man in and out of bed is a woman who is confident. That’s right your guy would rather make love to a less than perfect woman who is comfortable in her own skin rather than an insecure, inhibited beauty.
I encourage you not to be afraid to teach your beloved if you need something he or she hasn’t tried yet. This may in turn open them up to freely express their own desires or genuine insecurities. It also demonstrates trust, and for a man he feels most loved when he feels trusted and he feels most fulfilled when he knows he’s pleasing his partner.
Copyright © 2011 by Denise Wade, Ph.D. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.
Denise Wade, Ph.D. is devoted to helping committed couples reignite passion and intimacy through awareness of each other’s different sexual and emotional needs. Denise provides couples education coaching, a comfortable alternative to marriage counseling. http://denisewade.relationshipcoach.org/ 1.610.639.6627.