There’s one surprising element missing from too-many relationships. This is the same element that has the ability to transform your sex life. Curious?
There’s an epidemic spreading through our bedrooms. It feasts on intimacy and deteriorates our physical and emotional health… and it destroys relationships. But it’s something we can overcome, because it’s all about what’s missing from our love lives.
You see, society constantly bombards us with the message that we need more sex; and sex is important. According to K-Y.com, “Sex does play a large part in furthering intimacy, largely thanks to oxytocin or the ‘love hormone’ that floods the body during post-coital bliss.”
But it’s not just about sex.
What we actually need more of is what sex gives us: Connection, closeness, and physical intimacy.
What is this thing that we’re desperately missing in our bedrooms? We are starving for more non-sexual, physical touch.
A new survey by the renowned sexual health Kinsey Institute and K-Y found that 87 percent of both men and women say touch is extremely important to intimacy, but sadly more than a third admitted they don’t get enough of it in their relationship.
So what does that mean, and how exactly do we prioritize it back into our bedrooms?
Touch just to touch.
Don’t get me wrong … sex can deeply connect us with our significant others; but if the pre-existing connection and intimacy in our relationship is lacking, the quality of the sex that we’re having is going to hit a very low ceiling.
To add some metaphorical logs to the burning intimate home-fires, try out one or all of the following three tips:
1. Indulge each other with massage.
Regardless of whether or not sex comes from it, physical touch ignites an instant erotic charge in your bedroom, and massage is hands-down one of the best ways to instantly magnify the connection between you and your partner.
The more time you spend connecting, the easier it is to transition from a non-sexual massage to intimate touching. Not really sure what you’re doing? That’s fine. Sometimes a little touch is all it takes. And just the fact that you’re attempting to prioritize your partner’s satisfaction means enough in itself (and don’t worry, your partner likely isn’t expecting you to be a registered massage therapist). Simply put, the meaning behind your effort means more than your skill level. The goal, as always, is connection, harmony, and loving intimacy.
2. Find time to enjoy cuddling.
Human beings are a social species. As such, we are literally hardwired for connection and physical touch. We all crave touch, and we especially love it from the people who we already love and adore.
Do whatever it takes to remove all distractions from your environment (phones on airplane mode, kids to bed, TV turned off, no beeping digital devices, etc.) and make cuddling a nightly priority.
You’d be amazed at how much 10 minutes of cuddling with your partner can do for your stress levels, your sense of connection to your partner, and the ease with which you move through your life. The happy chemicals that flood your brain after a few minutes of cuddling can’t be replicated as easily through any other activity in our lives. It could be one of the best things that you’ve done for your relationship in months.
3. Take turns being physically tender with each other.
If cuddling is the mutually beneficial two-way street of physical intimacy, then this step is all about the turn-taking version of cuddling.
Sometimes we feel a bit hesitant to ask for exactly what we want (whether it’s regarding sex, cuddling, or even our jobs). This exercise is all about fully embracing our healthy selfishness.
Here’s how it plays out…
You each get a pre-determined amount of time to have whatever kind of physical touch you crave carried out for you. As long as your partner is comfortable with whatever your requests are, there’re no holds barred. Maybe you want to be the little spoon for a while. Maybe you want your partner to stroke your hair and lightly scratch your scalp. Maybe you want a deep, strong foot rub. Whatever feels heavenly to you, it’s yours for the receiving.
After the time runs out (or the playlist ends, if you’re using music to keep track of time), switch turns and give your partner whatever physical touch they need and have the courage to ask for.
Take turns touching however you’d like to be touched, load up on delicious oxytocin (the “cuddle hormone”), then move on to step three.
So, where should you start? Once you make touching a non-negotiable activity that you and your partner are going to engage in, there’s no turning back. Don’t let your love life slide anymore than it already has… there’s nothing more important and high-leverage to work on in your entire life than the depth of connection that you have with your significant other.
I wish you and your partner the best of luck in your intimate journey.
This article was originally published with YourTango; republished with the kindest permission.
About the Author
Sex and relationship coach Jordan Gray helps people remove their emotional blocks and maintain thriving intimate relationships. When he’s not coaching clients or writing new books, Jordan loves to pretend he’s good at surfing, immerse himself in new cultures, and savour slow-motion hang outs with his closest companions. You can see more of his writing at JordanGrayConsulting.com