Build Intimacy with Your Partner
Research studies (the most important being the "Sex in America Study") find that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men report inhibited sexual desire. Sometime in marriage/relationships more than 50 percent of couples experience inhibited desire or a desire discrepancy. You are not alone. Feeling stigmatized and deficient is of no value. Intimacy problems are the frequent complaint of couples seeking therapy.
According to Barry and Emily McCarthy "a no-sex marriage does not mean total abstinence, but that sex occurs less than 10 times a year. A low-sex marriage means being sexual less than every other week (i.e.: less than 25 times a year). Approximately the other 20 percent (one in 5) of married couples have a no-sex relationship. An additional 15 percent of married couples have a low-sex relationship. One in 3 non-married couples who have been together more than 2 years have a no-sex relationship."
It is important to acknowledge that there are some couples who consciously choose a celibate or sexless relationship with no negative consequences, as long as both partners have fully examined and embraced it. But if one or both partners want intimacy you need to learn how to rekindle and build intimacy in your relationship.
Resuming physical intimacy with your partner after a dry spell can be overwhelming. One moment you are blaming each other for your sexual drought. The next, you face expectations of rekindling the fire you once had. You can ease back into emotional and physical intimacy with this exercise Undergo The Touch Experiment. When you are getting acquainted with your partner emotionally and physically whether young or old, pick a quiet moment and enjoy the simple pleasure of touching your partner.
Touching is a way to stay connected and serves as a bridge to desire, pleasure, and intimacy, and doesn't need to be confined to the bedroom. Pay attention to your partner's face, body language and vocal cues. Does your touch give them pleasure? Take note of their feedback from encounters. If a particular touch point relaxes or pleasures them, use it again. Enjoy this moment of sharing as you and your partner rediscover each other's bodies and find ways to deliver pleasure. Make sure you're enjoying one another's touch with positive and helpful feedback using this exercise from below from Tammy Nelson.
Understanding and Responding to Physical Sensations
This exercise will help you communicate what feels good and give you a language to understand feedback from your partner. It also gives you a way to focus completely on how to give your partner pleasure.
You can use a 1 to 5 number system during physical intimacy. If your partner hits areas that feel like a 4 or 5, tell him or her. Feedback creates greater intimate communication.
Rating the touch: While sitting comfortably across from one another, the sender holds the receiver's arm so that the forearm is face up and the receiver is relaxed with eyes closed.
Using a scale of 1 to 5 -with 1 meaning "I don't like that" and 5 meaning "I love that"-give the sender feedback on the way he touches your forearm. The sender can start with slow, soft touches to the wrist area.
As the sender moves up the arm to a different spot, the receiver gives a 1 to 5 response. The sender changes the type of touch from a light brush to deeper rubbing.
When the receiver gives a higher number response, the sender can continue that pressure and sensation until he finds a touch that results in a 5 response.
Focus on your partner should be like a slow, sensual dance, where you follow their steps or lead them in the dance, becoming perfectly in tune with their rhythm and breath. The generosity of being totally present and engaged with your partner establishes connection and togetherness.
For further inquiries:
Check out Rachel Moheban-Wachtel, LCSW, at www.relationshipsuite.com
Phone: (917) 273-8836