Ideas about increasing the passion in long-term relationships
One of the questions that I ask people when they come in to see me as a sex therapist is “tell me about the best sex you’ve ever had. “ Men usually base their answer on their sexual performance. Or the time when they acted out the Kama Sutra and did 10 positions in the same love making session.
For women I often get one of two answers. They talk of high school when the foreplay was long and extended, and there was a denial of intercourse. Maybe it was because most of the action took place in your parent’s basement or in the backseat somewhere. That tentative touching was so hot. When was the last time you had three hours of nothing but petting? There was also a newness of sexual feelings that were supremely powerful. Alternatively, women describe mind-blowing sex in a hotel room, having beach sex, or in the bushes by the golf green. Sex anywhere but in the bedroom.
I think desire needs newness, mystery, and a sense of adventure to really combust. You may think that is opposite of what relationship counseling preaches. And you would be right. Couples therapists suggest increasing the connection, the closeness and the communication. Relationships thrive with touch, and mutual interests. Those are all good things. And that closeness works for some couples. But intimacy only sometimes begets sensualuality. For some couples the closer and more loving you become, the less heat that is generated in the bedroom. For many people the “crazy monkey sex” needs space between individuals to flourish.
Ethel Perrel in her book Mating in Captivity has this to say “ Ironically, even the closeness generated by good sex can have a boomerang effect. Many couples experience their relationship as a dance in which great sex brings them close but then this very closeness can make sex difficult again”. It can be difficult to generate the nuances of passion between cooking, cleaning, laundry and child care. For many couples the mystery is long gone.
So if this year’s New Year’s Resolution is to crank up the heat in the bedroom to get through those cold Ottawa nights, I’m suggesting there is more to do than lying back and suggesting your partner “can have a go at it”. Look for both newness activities (I’ll have a list of then next month for Valentine’s Day) and adventurous interludes. Take a class, try out a new image, and do a couple of things separate from your partner. And initiate sex somewhere besides the bedroom . You might be able to re-kindle some of that heat you felt when you first made out on your parents couch.