Enhancing Sexual Intimacy

Sex continually holds the promise of ecstatic union and the regeneration of love between two persons. When freed of shame and guilt and seen as something healthy and beautiful, it is a force that can connect us with the highest levels of love and spirituality.

Over the years, Joyce and I have seen couples reach various degrees of sexual frustration, even despair. We have learned some important secrets for enhancing sexual intimacy both from our own relationship and our work with others over the years. Here are what we feel to be the most important:

Make time for regular non-sexual holding. Women especially, but also men, need non-sexual touching, massaging, cuddling, and holding. As a culture, we are somewhat touch-deprived. When we try to satisfy our need for touch only through sex, we remain frustrated. Allow times to just hold one another – mutually agreed-upon times which will not lead to sex. When there is enough non-sexual touching, the sexual touching will be appreciated by itself, rather than as a substitute for non-sexual touch.

Remember that making love starts many hours before the sexual act. It doesn’t work to be grumpy with your partner all day and then expect to make sublime love when going to bed. Cultivate feelings of attraction by appreciating your partner all throughout the day, giving little gifts of thoughtfulness, even helping each other with chores. Let it feel like you are making love all day long, rather than merely a single act.

Love helps create magnificent sex. Sex does not necessarily create magnificent love. Some people tend to use sex as the method to feel love. The sexual experience can be a powerful way into the heart. When it is relied upon as the only way to intimate connection, it becomes abused. The healthiest sex is preceded by intimacy: emotional sharing, appreciation, spiritual connection. This is true romancing.

Slow down. It is well known that most women need extra time to open physically to sexual feelings in her body. By the time most men are ready to climax, most women are approximately two thirds of the way there, and often require more stimulation than only the penis can provide. Less well known is that men, too, require that same extra amount of time to open to the non-physical sexual feelings, to deeply bond with his mate, to join with her in a mutually-appreciated experience.

Even sometimes stop all movement. This is especially important for the man upon first penetration with the penis, when excitation is at a high level. Experiment with entering all the way and then holding still long enough to control some of the excitement. This will help prevent premature ejaculation. Resume movement slowly, paying close attention to the need to have both partners again stop all movement. Use these times of stillness to look into each other’s eyes.

Stay connected. Sexual excitement will tend to draw each of you into your own experience, and away from one another. The deepest ecstasy results from staying connected, rather than drifting apart into your own sensations and feelings. Keeping eye contact is very useful as a way to stay connected.

Communicate often during love-making. Why expect your partner to psychically intuit your needs, desires, feelings and thoughts? Or you to do the same for your partner? Verbal, and perhaps non-verbal, communication also helps maintain connectedness. Especially important are words of love and appreciation, spoken with direct eye-contact.

Find out what gives your partner the most pleasure. Don’t just assume your partner will enjoy something new or different. Be considerate and ask first. Likewise, let your partner know what gives you the most pleasure.

Find ways to more deeply receive from your partner. Most of us tend toward “give-aholism,” giving as a way to cover up our inadequacy at receiving. Concentrate time on letting in your partner’s love and affection. Affirm your worthiness to be loved.

Sex doesn’t end with the orgasm. It goes on for many more hours, sometimes even days. Treat this period with respect. There is a heightened sense of vulnerability and attunement to one another after making love. Stay connected. Touch, kiss and hug one another frequently. Keep up the flow of appreciation.

Make it sacred. Remember that sex is part of your spirituality. For too long has humanity tried to separate sexuality from spirituality. It has never worked to compartmentalize life. It is one great wholeness. Sex is as holy as prayer. In fact, we often begin love-making with a prayer, asking God (Great Spirit, the Light) to allow our bodies to become instruments of the highest love. And as we become ready for orgasm, we also speak a prayer out loud. We ask to be united on all levels: body, mind, emotions and spirit. We ask that the great light of the universe flow through every part of our bodies and souls. We ask that by our making love, we bring more love and light to the planet.

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