Recently a reader wrote in: I very much enjoyed your article, Long Term Relationships – 14 Ways Couples Stay Sexually Connected, but my biggest question is how to create or lay a foundation for sex by creating a long-term intimate emotional space. What role does emotion have in long-term sexual satisfaction? — Seeking intimacy
Hi Seeking Intimacy,
I am happy you wrote in with this question because I think most people get confused about how intimacy and emotions play into long-term sexual satisfaction in relationships.
I believe that in order to unleash and expose our full sexual selves, we must be willing to be fully present within ourselves during intimacy, which requires being ok being fully ourselves in the presence of our partners. Most people would consider this kind of “showing up” and willingness to share to be intimacy, although intimacy is big catch-all word to describe a lot of different things and carries different meaning for different people.
In 14 Ways I didn’t address emotional intimacy directly; most of the advice in the article was written with the assumption that everything else in the relationship is functioning well enough. The parts in the article about respecting each other, being able to share openly and the ability to be present would most likely be very difficult for couples who are struggling to stay connected or emotionally intimate. However, couples can remain sexually connected even if they are working through issues that are unrelated to sex.
How we get turned on or what allows us to feel erotically interested in the first place is covered in another article that you can download for free from my site, 7 Secrets to Mind Blowing Sex (scroll to the bottom of the page). In that article I suggest to readers to reflect on why they go to sex or what they want to feel when sexual. If you go to sex to feel close and connected you may be seeking emotional intimacy. Or maybe you want to feel at one with your partner during sex (a very common desire); being very emotionally connected would be a huge part of how you get turned on and how you get what you want.
Other people may want to feel naughty, powerful, relaxed, penetrated, or anything really. People go to sex to get many different needs met — do you know what you are looking to get out of sex? The first step is learning what you want and need, and communicating that with your partner.
Thanks for your inquiry,
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