When we think about the state of our sex life, there is likely to be a range of responses. We may be over the moon with ecstatic satisfaction; politely tolerant and in the automatic pilot zone; apathetic, completely zoned out from todayís sexual hoopla; or perhaps we may be fairly unhappy and just longing for more.
In whichever state we may find ourselves, it is likely that at some point we have recognized that the distinct differences between how men and women approach sexual intimacy have impacted our relationship. In other words, we have probably experienced a level of disconnection from our spouse, on account of our sexual differences.
Men need to "get it on" sexually to feel more emotionally connected and we women need to feel more emotionally connected, to really enjoy our partnerís sexual advances. Although weíve been repeatedly exposed to this information, there is nothing like a sexual comfort zone to make us feel well, comfortable.
We bask in the familiar and in the safety of trying to have our personal needs met in ways that we always have. We may even have a list of sexual expectations which, when not met, leave us sexually dissatisfied. Our focus on what weíre not getting in the bedroom can, therefore, affect our ability to zero in on what our spouse might want. The result of this is often two sexually self-focused and unhappy people.
Moving past this relationship conundrum will require some "out-of-the-box" thinking. Iím not necessarily talking about trying new kinky tricks (although that could be involved) as I am about a change of attitude, which prompts us to prefer our spouseís sexual and emotional needs before our own. This, I call, "thinking outside our sex."
There is something about the pursuit of sexual pleasure, which can seem inherently selfish. We want our sexual episodes to happen on our own terms, including time of day, frequency, levels of experimentation, position, technique and orgasmic intensity. At some level, this approach is instinctive and not inherently wrong as long as weíre not locked into it. On the other end of this spectrum, our own terms might even involve zero or minimal sex, as it may pain us to bother with sexual intimacy for a range of reasons.
The challenge for couples to literally think outside their sex is one which should prompt them both individually and collectively put their preferences asideóat least for a period of time. This is how the experiment should go and the rationale underpinning it.
How to Think Outside Your Sex
You long for greater sexual connection; you feel somewhat alone in your relationship and want to restore the fire. Since sex has been proven scientifically to be a great connector and mood enhancer, couples should quit fighting over sexual differences and learn to maximize on them.
With this understanding in mind, reserve a period of about three weeks where you will commit to "serving" your spouse sexually. This will literally mean enquiring about, discovering and fulfilling your partnerís preferences and fancies, even at the expense of your own (of course within human reason). If your man wants it everyday, donít hesitate to lay it on him. If your woman needs to talk and talk, carve out time to cater to her emotional needs since this is very much connected to her sexual responsiveness.
Whether itís more oral sex for your wife or her taking greater initiative in the bedroom, carving out a period of time (not simultaneously) where each of you can serve each other both sexually and emotionally, can go a long way towards reducing barriers and building your intimacy capacity as a couple.
“While it will bring a deliberate focus on the giving of pleasure as opposed to the receiving of it, making your partner happy can itself be a deeply fulfilling and connecting experience.”
Experimenting with "thinking outside your sex," by deliberately focusing in on your spouse's needs, can subtly change how you approach your sexual relationship in marriage for the long haul. While it will bring a deliberate focus on the giving of pleasure as opposed to the receiving of it, making your partner happy can itself be a deeply fulfilling and connecting experience. While some may argue that this feature should be an everyday part of our sex lives, we know that it often isnít.
Carving out some time to practice and become familiar with the concept of sexual selflessness, can raise the bar in the bedroom by enhancing your spouse's sense of worth. As sexual trust and intimacy are built over this period of focusing on each other, the spillover will be felt as you readjust to also going after your own fulfillment. But now it should be from a context of "no spouse left behind." Hopefully, the increased sensitivity to each otherís needs, which you both learn to demonstrate, will produce mutually increased levels of satisfaction as you grow together sexually.
Denise J Charles is an educator, counselor, relationship-coach, published author and blogger. She holds a Masters Degree in Education and is a qualified trainer-of-trainers. Denise is Executive Director of "Better Blends Relationship Institute," a counseling and training entity founded by herself and her husband Gabriel. Deniseís blog on sex can be found "here". Deniseís new book is "How To Have Mind-Blowing Sex Without Losing Your Brain." Follow her on Google+.