Sex - it's not overrated, that's for sure. Think of all the health benefits it brings - reduced stress, improved cardiovascular health, improved mood/mental health, a general sense of well-being, physical satisfaction, reduced anxiety - the list could go on.
The point is this: people who have a fulfilling and active sex life seem to have better physical and mental health and are more content, productive, and optimistic. The health benefits cannot be denied.
Intimacy. Now here's a term that is often tied to a sexual relationship. It goes beyond just the basic physical sexual experience and desires and adds an emotional connection that brings partners into a deeper relationship than only their sexual activities.
So, we are all sexual beings. And having intercourse brings us physical pleasure. An orgasm gives us release from those desires, no matter who the partner or what type of connection we may have with them. Pure sex is, after all, a physical act.
There are actually two different types of sex. And both are "right" for the goals you may have when you get a partner into the bedroom. If your sexual desires are purely physical and you are into temporary hookups, then you have no focus on intimate sex. You enjoy the temporary attachment, but it is not long-term. You may experiment with new things; you may enjoy the present moment; you may have multiple sexual partners. But there is no emotional closeness beyond that sexual desire and fulfillment. If this is where you are right now, it's all good. Sexual intimacy is not for everyone at all times of their life and may never be for some.
The other form is intimate sex. Now, any encounter involves some type of closeness - kissing, holding, and even what is known as "afterglow." But if it is just a casual encounter, then that mental attachment doesn't linger once that sexual partner is no longer around. True intimate sex is long-term with a single partner and is developed over time, as romantic partners explore and come to know and understand one another, their needs and desires in the bedroom and elsewhere. It results in an emotional connection that adds another layer to the event. Having an emotionally intimate relationship means you are in it for the long haul.
And here's where the connection with the movie, "Finding Nemo" comes in. If you know anything about the plot, you know that Marlin is the father to Nemo, a young fish who lives for the present moment, and his seeking excitement and pleasure ultimately gets him caught by a diver. Marlin now has a single goal - finding Nemo. He doesn't give up, even though many challenges must be met and overcome. Finding sexual intimacy is a lot like that. It takes time, perseverance, and commitment.
Partners who have emotional intimacy exhibit both public and private signs of their emotionally intimate relationship. In public, partners will:
In private, sexual intimacy will involve:
While this is not meant to be a recipe for everyone, there are certain common characteristics to intimate sex.
Mentally "connected" sex must involve the key factors of foreplay. This may begin far outside of the bedroom and involve everything from words to small gestures, to suggestive dancing, to stronger body contact, all of which promote feelings of sexual pleasure and anticipation.
Foreplay does not end there. As the partners move to a more private environment, the foreplay generally continues. This may include the couples undressing one another, taking a shower together, sexual kissing, and caressing one another's body, in order to stimulate more arousal. These sensual forms of sex play are normal for partners who have closeness at the heart of their relationship.
Once ready for the actual sex, which may occur in bed or not, the mental connection continues, slow or more rapid depending on individual preferences but with continued sensual forms of caressing.
Closeness and intimacy during sexual acts require that each partner voices their innermost feelings about the other, and there should be clear communication about what feels great and what additional gestures and moves they want. If you want oral sex, for example, speak up. Honest talk shows that sexual couples are connected at a strong emotional level - a sure sign of intimacy.
Intimate sex does not end with the climax. During this period of time, attached sexual partners will reinforce their closeness with continued touching and caressing, as well as expressions of their intimate feelings about the experience and toward each other. This period reinforces and increases the closeness and emotional connection that intimate couples share.
In all, sexual satisfaction for couples who want or already have intimacy involves sexual pleasure that goes beyond just the sex itself. But what if couples don't have intimacy? Chances are their relationship will suffer at least some during the course of the partnership. If emotional intimacy is lacking, it's time to do something about that.
If a couple is not experiencing intimate sex, and if they want more intimacy in their sexual relationship, they have to take certain steps - figure out the causes of the problem, reduce or eliminate the negative effects of their lack of intimacy, practice intimate behaviors, or get professional help from a therapist or licensed clinical psychologist if that seems necessary.
There are many, among them the following:
When at least one person in a partnership wants intimacy and the other does not, or if their lifestyle has tension or stress, the results can run from negative to disastrous.
It's important to also know this: If you decide that you do not want intimacy with your current partner, you need to be honest and open and move on. It's not fair to keep someone else in limbo, hoping for an emotional connection that will never happen.
If you and your partner make a conscious decision that you want more intimate sex, then there are steps you can take to achieve this on your own. Here is a solid list of actions to take right now:
So much of a great sex life is between the ears as much as it is between the legs. And healthy relationships come from each partner being both mentally and physically attached to the other. Getting and staying there can be tricky and a process that can break down. Sometimes, if either partner has just lost that sense of attachment, a mental health expert who specializes in relationships counseling can give therapy and support to turn things around.
Going to a professional, though, is not a miracle cure. Each partner has to go into this solution determined to fix the relationship and to make informed choices to change things in their life that may be hindering both closeness and lovemaking. Easier said than done.
World peace is built on relationships. And that is why it is impossible to achieve. There are just too many players with too many agendas, and conflicts can break out at any moment.
In a romantic relationship, there are only two players, but their agendas can also be different, they bring baggage to the table, and their concepts of an ideal relationship may not jibe. They may have different desires for what should happen in the bedroom; they may have conflicting ideas of what brings fun to a relationship.
Resolving these differences and reaching common ground about what would please one another, along with acting on that common ground, is the stuff that creates mental attachment and a relationship that will stand the "test of time."
If you want the closeness and attachment that brings about a lasting, long-term relationship, then you have to be willing to listen, to learn, and then act on that. Your partner has to be willing to do the same. This is how mental attachment happens. And when that happens, what occurs between the legs becomes part of a larger picture of mental commitment.
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