What is Your 2013 Relationship Resolution?
The Eight Keys to Great Sexual Connection
It is January again and for many folks it is resolution time. How are we going to make this year better than the last? What goals do we want to achieve? We often consider our physical or financial health in January, but how often do we contemplate the health of our erotic partnerships? We seem to expect that sexual connection with a partner should just maintain itself because it was once really good. Sexual connections are rarely static and take effort and conscious connection to maintain or grow.
There is much discussion about sexual and relationship dysfunction but rarely what makes them functional or even fabulous. Dr Peggy Kleinplatz did a study of people in sexually successful long-term relationships to discover what their secret was to an optimal relationship. Many are surprised to discover that the answers have little to do with the number of sexual positions, orgasms or exotic places. In fact these people showed that very simple elements are often the keys to making a relationship exciting, satisfying and deep. Entitled “The Components of Optimal Sexuality: A Portrait of 'Great Sex'”, the following are the conclusions as to what makes a great sexual connection:
Being present, focused and embodied
When connecting with a partner, we are focused on the person and the moment, not thinking about orgasm, erection, performance, what to say or chores that need to be finished.
Connection, alignment, merger, being in sync
“One plus one equals three” means that the energy between two people heightens the experience to a whole other level. In a sense it is not about what we do, but how we do what we do. Whether the connection includes intense physical sensations or very gentle ones, it is the energy generated that is the powerful force.
Deep sexual and erotic intimacy
Intimacy is about respect, caring, and acceptance of the other person and all of who they are and what they bring to the relationship. It involves trusting the other to also be all that they can be and wanting them also to feel the same deep connection and awesome feelings.
Extraordinary communication and heightened empathy
Communication is key in any relationship. People in optimal relationships put aside their ego to really listen with their whole selves to what their partner says in words and in body language. Feedback is welcomed as a way to make the connection even better, without judgment and without defensiveness, appreciating the gift that the other has shared.
Authenticity, being genuine, uninhibited, transparency
It can be scary to let someone in and to show our own true feelings, expressions and desires. This emotional nakedness confronts our fears of rejection. We are not taught to value vulnerability or how to be our authentic selves. We are taught what sexy is “supposed to” look like yet we rarely fit that mould. Allowing ourselves to be sexual in our own authentic way is a gift to ourselves and to our partner.
Transcendence, bliss, peace, transformation, healing
When we are unguarded and present and open, we are like children who can play for hours without noticing the passage of time. The feeling is akin to what some describe as highs or spiritual experiences. It also can be transformative, healing and even meditative.
Exploration, interpersonal risk-taking, fun
If we do not push ourselves we do not gain the satisfaction of growing and learning. Being content with the status quo and not taking any risks is a sure-fire recipe for boredom and a dead sexual, and ultimately emotional, relationship. We need to push our erotic edges to try new things, be open to different ideas, to put a little energy into being creative in the bedroom- and outside of it! Those couples who see sex as an adventure of self- and other-discovery reported a lot more fun and connection. The key is to stretch ourselves just a little on a regular basis and to learn from our adventures.
Vulnerability and surrender
Finally, on a more inter-personal level, the willingness to be seen as we are and to let go of our fear of our partner’s (as well as our own) judgment is a powerful aphrodisiac. To trust that your partner will love, respect and accept you regardless of who you are in the moment is a resolution worth embracing. The risk with someone you love and who can love you back is worth taking!
What does this mean for you? Perhaps the place to start in 2013 is with taking a risk. Take a real look at what sexual desires and needs you are hiding from yourself and/or from a partner. How can you be more true to your wishes and expressions? The next step might be making a greater effort to be present and read all of your partner’s signals the next time you connect erotically. See what else is your challenge for you on this list and make it a goal for 2013. If you make your erotic relationship a priority, you will reap intense rewards in heightened sexual pleasure, deeper intimacy and you will probably even like each other a whole lot more.
Carlyle Jansen is the founder of Good For Her, a sexuality s hop and workshop centre in Toronto. If you hae questions or comments she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or go online to goodforher.com