Do your relationships often start with high levels of passion and deeply satisfying sex, but that awesome connection just wanes over time? While a sexual spark is not the key to a long-term union, it’s the most valuable ingredient for a happy, satisfying life with another person. Thus, if you feel disconnected sexually, you are likely stressing about what this holds for your future. Can that closeness ever be restored? If not, would either of you wish to hang onto this struggling union?
According to the research into romantic bonds, we can all nurture and grow our sexual connection with our significant others. Five of the best intimacy techniques for couples follow. While these techniques focus mostly on boosting physical intimacy, they also aim to foster more meaningful emotional and mental connection and help you reconnect sexually with your partner.
Stages Of Intimacy
First, let’s review the five major stages of intimacy through which most couples cycle.
- Infatuation: You are obsessed with your partner, can’t get enough of them and feel euphoric. Neurological studies show this phase is similar to a heroin high.
- Landing: Here, you start to see your partner as a real human being with flaws. They are finally off the pedestal and you are starting to adjust to sharing your life with them.
- Burying: You start to turn your attention outwards again, focusing less on the relationship and more on things like planning, organizing and working out a division of labor.
- Resurfacing: You reflect again on just how attractive and appealing your partner is, in spite of the fact they are so imperfect! This can be triggered by any bonding event you experience.
- Love: Often said to arrive around the fifth year, you will feel the most happy, secure and calm in this stage.
Intimacy Techniques For Couples
If you’re struggling with your sex life, visiting a couples counsellor or sexual relationship therapist can be a positive, healthy step to help you abandon old, unproductive ways of interacting. This is doubly wise if there are also physical barriers to a good sex life.
Yet, many couples really just need more concerted effort to keep an open mind and a genuine commitment to try out new things.
Five Couples Intimacy Exercises to Boost Emotional, Physical And Mental Intimacy
- Breathing Connection Exercise. Intimacy in a relationship often begins to slide because life gets so hectic and stressful. This means that you can boost your connection by doing relaxing, calming things that slow you both down. Listening to mindfulness recordings together is great, but there are also more romantic ways to ground and center yourself. In this particular breathing exercise, sit across from your partner and lean your forehead against theirs. Close your eyes, then breathe in and out as slowly and deeply as you can. Most people begin to benefit by the seventh breath, but you should feel free to do as many as you like. When done with your partner, you naturally feel more connected and in sync because you’re physically aligning and creating a rhythm together. So, it’s hardly surprising that you feel like kissing or holding each other after trying this technique.
- Soul Gazing. As much about emotional intimacy as it is about sexual intimacy, the Soul Gazing exercise focuses on the power of looking into another’s eyes. Once again, this technique helps slow your mind and focus your energy on your partner. Do it a few times per week. It may only take five minutes but it can deeply impact how you feel about each other. To soul gaze, sit facing your partner and gaze into their eyes. Consider the old adage “the eyes are the window to the soul.” Note what you’re picking up from your lover. What are you feeling, remembering or desiring? What do you think they’re experiencing? You may feel uncomfortable at first but this gets easier, as well as more relaxing and intimate with practice.
- 15 Minutes of Tenderness. You can’t recreate a sexual connection overnight, but you can systematically develop habits that maximize your chances of connecting on all levels. The 15 Minutes of Tenderness exercise will help you feel more comfortable with touching your partner and being touched by them. Such experiences can become tense and anxiety-evoking if your sex life is on the rocks. Sit down together, looking in the same direction. The optimal positions for this exercise are side by side or standing behind your partner’s chair. Next, engage in some soft, gentle touch. Try this exercise focusing on massage, or brushing your partner’s hair/massaging their scalp. Experiment with different approaches to see which feels the most intimate and satisfying. Do this for your partner then have them do it for you, or leave a gap between sessions.
- Uninterrupted Listening. You may think that listening has little to do with connecting sexually with your partner. However, when you don’t feel sexually close it often has much to do with feeling under-appreciated, and we all feel under-appreciated if we feel like nobody is listening to us. Once again, this exercise takes less than 15 minutes per person. It can make you feel like a team again! First, set a timer for 10 minutes. Then, let your partner vent about absolutely anything they want to. Listen carefully, so as to take it all in. Don’t interrupt unless there is an emergency! Then, when your partner finishes speaking, reflect back what you have heard by paraphrasing your partner’s main points. How amazing it feels to just validate and be supportive! Next, set the timer again and have your turn talking before listening to the proof of your partner’s attentiveness.
- Conscious Sensuality. When you consider bringing back intimacy into a marriage, you may believe that if it isn’t spontaneous, then it isn’t authentic. On the contrary, your efforts must be conscious at first, as you’ve likely outgrown the habit of being sexually connected. Conscious sensuality is a tantric practice that works wonders for physical intimacy. Take five minutes to gaze into each other’s eyes and breathe deeply. Next, spend five minutes touching and caressing your partner’s limbs, neck and torso before letting them do the same to you for another five minutes. Then, take another five minutes to kiss each other. Focus solely on what it feels like without trying to progress to more overtly sexual interactions. You can if you like, but you can also agree to limit this exercise to kissing until you feel more comfortable.
Self-Hypnosis For Boosting Sexual Pleasure. An array of different psychological and interpersonal reasons can cause lack of sexual desire, and your subconscious mind’s wiring is pivotal when it comes to increasing pleasure.