Copyright 2013 Roberta Gallagher
Intimacy both sexual and emotional is something couples and individuals crave. Yet, despite our desire for it, this is a delicate area for most people to voice.
In counseling, really intimate thoughts and behaviors are one of the last things that many people will talk candidly about. So I tell my clients: It is difficult to create an environment for these most cherished ways of connecting if we cannot share what they mean to us.
Funny story — When my oldest daughter was 17 and I was 39 she asked me how I go about telling a man what pleases me sexually. I was flummoxed. I had never spoken of that to any partner. I am and was a very sexual person, and yet I was inhibited to speak about it.
But I learned, and you can too.
Turn Those Mental Obstacles into Opportunities
Obstacle 1 — Fears of rejection and feeling foolish
These fears create an obstacle to intimacy becaue if you cannot say what you want, and what feels good or bad, you are doomed to a life a sexual dissatisfaction. In taking the risk to speak up, you give yourself the opportunity of becoming more emotionally intimate and sexually satisfied.
Obstacle 2 – Opening a difficult discussion
Always begin a difficult conversation by telling your partner that is difficult and you would like them to hear you out and not be defensive. Start with the least fearful issue and see how that goes.
Obstacle 3 — Boredom is an obstacle to great sex
Dare to make suggestions for spicing up your love life. Start the conversation in a positive way not with a criticism or complaint, but with a statement of what is so good about how you are together. Then be ready with a suggestion for change to make it better.
Obstacle 4 — Poor body image is an obstacle to great sex
The opportunity is to focus on what you like about how you look. Focus on what you like about how your partner looks. Use words to convey this confidence. That is very sexy. You don’t have to be a supermodel for your partner to like how your eyes exude warmth or how your hands are strong yet tender.
Obstacle 5 – Petty daily arguing, criticsm and complaints
Foreplay starts in the morning. Compliments, touching, and soft eyes throughout the day open opportunities for building sexual tension — the good, exciting kind.
Obstacle 6 – Belief that fantasized desire isn’t real
Fantasy is a great way to leave the humdrum, stress filled day behind. It requires that you accept that fantasy is an opportunity, not a judgment on your desirability. The obstacle is your fear that if we need to fantasize it means that the desire is not real. But the reality is that all desire starts with the seeds of imagined outcome, sometimes visualized in a basic way, sometimes quite elaborate. Whatever two consenting people do to create a personal world where sex is encouraged is moral.
Now go and be courageous with yourself and your partner, and have some fun. Approaching the your sex life with humor and playfulness will guarantee success.
And if you need more ideas for breaking down the mental inhibitions to emotional and sexual intimacy, seeking out a little couples counseling can help.