Looking for ways to deepen your connection and enhance your sexual communion? Try these ideas:
1. Prayer for passionate other-centredness.
It can seem like a strange thing for which to pray, but the truth is, God is deeply invested in our sexual intimacy and wants it to be an experience of deep communion. We can be reassured that when we pray for the desire to be completely surrendered to our spouse in our love making, God wants to help.
Grace: Passionate other-centredness in our lovemaking; for the desire to be totally focussed on my spouse.
Reflect: What barriers to I have to being more other-centred in our love making? (eg fear of being taken advantage of; laziness; disinterest; selfishness; fear of losing control etc)
Pray: Ask God to help you overcome whatever barriers you have to being more other-centred in your love making.
2. Verbalisation of Touch Messages.
A simple exercise that can help couples discover the deeper meaning of their physical relationship involves putting words on all their touch for a set period, such as a day, or a week. Each time you touch one another, simply say what you mean by it. For example, when you reach out to hold the other’s hand, it could mean any of the following:
- I’m aware of you and want to connect with you.
- I’m feeling a little uncertain and want to be reassured by your presence.
- I like to be seen with you. I want others to know that I belong to you.
- I’m feeling amorous, and I want to be close to you.
- I love you and I want you to know that.
- I want to protect you and take care of you.
At the end of the time period use these questions to reflect on the experience:
- Did you find yourself being more intentional about your touch?
- Were you surprised by any of the touch messages, either your own, or your spouse’s?
- What impact did the exercise have on your lovemaking experience?
3. Eye contact throughout love making.
Most people close their eyes during sex in order to focus on their own sensations because that is only way they can achieve orgasm, and, the intimacy of seeing and been seen is terrifying! The problem with this approach is that we often end up tuning our partner out – and get sex without intimacy. Connecting with our partner by making love with our eyes open doesn’t mean that we rigidly keep our eyes open all the time, simply that we don’t have to close our eyes in order to become aroused and orgasmic. The idea is to be relaxed about whether our eyes are open or closed, allowing them to do whatever makes for greater intimacy and connection.
4. Slow it down! : Slower pace, avoiding penetration until fully aroused and lubricated.
Foreplay is important for both men and women. Women, physically are slower to be aroused. The wife may be ready psychologically to make love, but is not physically ready. Most women need to be romanced and to have experienced gestures of care and intimacy throughout the day, so it is helpful to think of foreplay as something we begin immediately after we finished the previous act of love. Every gesture of tenderness and concern mellows her and readies her for lovemaking. Men are more quickly aroused and are often ready physically to make love, but may be mentally and spiritually absent. It may take a husband some time to become fully attuned in his heart and soul to his wife.
Foreplay, then, is an opportunity for the husband to focus his emotions and thoughts on his wife, allowing him to feel the full force of his longing for union with her. At first thought, we might have believed that having such different physical responses was a problem, a mismatch. In fact, it is an intended part of God’s plan. When we make love, God doesn’t want us to just complete the act in a purely mechanical way, such that procreation is possible and sexual tensions are relieved. No, God’s plan is for a total, reciprocal exchange of our entire personhood – body, psyche and spirit. By making us such that the wife is slower to be aroused physically, God provides us with the opportunity and incentive to make our lovemaking more than just a ‘romp in the hay’.
“After-play” is a beautiful time to savour our experience and share with each other. Sometimes words are not necessary – even a distraction, but at others it can be important to reaffirm each other sexually, to verbally say what is in our hearts. Continued physical contact is often important as some women report feeling used when their partners roll over and go to sleep. Try slowing down, in your lovemaking, savouring each other, and allowing your passion for each other to develop fully before you attempt penetration and orgasm.
5. Rediscover Kissing
Many couples jump straight to their partner’s genitals when love making ‘starts’. Rediscover the nuances of kissing that you enjoyed before you became genitally active. So much can be communicated in our kissing – from a prolonged languid kiss savouring the smells and tastes of our partner, to the hard kiss of urgent passion. In fact, some sex therapists recommend a regular time for just kissing, without sexual intercourse. This helps couples to reignite the sense of romance between them. Another great opportunity for kissing is the Good bye and Greeting Kiss. Whenever you are parting for more than a few hours, take a full 10 seconds to kiss. It helps us feel connected to each other when we’re apart, and it helps us reconnect when we come together again.
6. Kissus Interruptus (Schnarch)
The idea of Kissus Interruptus is to encourage connection with our partner during love making (to make love to our partner, not to our technique). Periodically stop love making to look at each other. Look deeply into your partner’s eyes and connect, before resuming love play.
7. Follow the Connection (Schnarch)
Most couples make love with the end game already determined – penetration followed by orgasm. In their determination to ‘accomplish’ sex they often overlook opportunities for intimate connection with each other. In this exercise, start with something that puts you in touch with each other, something that reliably gets you ‘feeling’ each other and in touch (e.g. dancing, long hugs, skinny dipping, snuggling in front of the fire, massaging, caressing, Connect Cuddling, undressing each other etc). Once the ‘feeling’ link is established, allow yourselves to ‘follow the connection’. Change the tempo or focus or location of your touching according to what draws you together, rather than directing your touch according to how much it stimulates. Keep an open mind about where the ‘connection’ will take you – it may not be penetration or orgasm at all.
8. Non-demand caressing.
This is a popular exercise among sex therapists and basically involves the leisurely, gentle touch of your partner’s entire body. Some massage oil may be used, but the exercise is not about deep-tissue massage. Nor is about arousal or orgasm. The caressing is the lightest of touch. It is a sensory experience, designed to help you be physical and sensual without intercourse or arousal. The exercise is most effective if you take turns to be the one caressed and avoid the erogenous zones (genitals and nipples).