Hot Monogamy Keeps the Home Fires Burning
In our sex-drenched culture, casual flings are promoted as a form of entertainment to be shared with anyone who takes your fancy. However many people believe that sex is the most sacred and intimate act any two people can share and belongs within an exclusive, committed relationship.
And contrary to popular belief, married sex does not have to be boring and routine. A little helpful information and some clever planning and effort can keep your sex life sizzling. Did you know there are four stages of sex: arousal, plateau, climax and recovery? In her revealing book, Hot Monogamy, marital therapist Dr Patricia Love explores nine key areas: communication about sex, sexual desire, intimacy, technique, sexual variety, romance, body image, sensuality and passion.
Pat say: “More than any other factor, your ability to talk freely and honestly about sex is the key to a passionate sex life.”
She encourages couples to avoid the silent treatment, criticism, sarcasm and generalised accusations such as: "You’re never affectionate” or “You never show any interest in sex”. Instead, express your sexual needs in more positive terms such as: “I’d really like to make love to you tonight. I’ve been thinking about you all day long.”
When One Partner Wants More
Desire discrepancy is a common problem in marriage, where one partner wants sex more often than the other. If you are the one with the higher sex drive, honour your partner’s ‘preconditions’ such as the kids are asleep, turn off the TV early, have a shower etc. Become an expert at creating desire in your partner.
For the one with a low sex drive, accept more responsibility for your own arousal and ensure you get enough rest and exercise.
What makes a man lose desire for his wife? Sexuality and power are intertwined for men. If a man feels controlled by his wife, he will retreat from her sexually. It is crucial for both partners to be empowered in daily life to feel amorous in the bedroom.
Intimacy means communicating on a personal level. There are real gender differences in communication styles. Generally, women talk too much and men talk too little on personal subjects. But it is possible for women to tone it down verbally and for men to crank it up.
Improving your sexual technique requires open sharing with each other: What gets you in the mood; what heightens your arousal; what stimulates you to orgasm and how would you like to end your lovemaking session?
Long-term marriages can spark up with an injection of variety. There are four styles of lovemaking; the quickie, the routine cosy cuddle, the romantic session and adventuresome sex. To spice up your love life, enjoy a mixture of all four. At least once a month, indulge in an extended lovemaking session: play music, light candles and give each other a massage. Adventuresome sex takes you away from your everyday habits and adds a sense of risk and playfulness.
There is a distinction between romance and the brief romantic stage of a new relationship. True romance is an ongoing expression of love and respect and can last a lifetime. Mutual self-disclosure, eye gazing and knowing that the other person loves you leads to feelings of romance.
If you want to create romance, find out what says, 'I love you' to your partner and do it. It means seeing the world through your partner’s eyes, not imposing your own preferences. Giving diamonds to the woman who lives in jeans and hiking boots will not say ‘I love you’ to this outdoorsy gal. Surprising him with tickets for the ballet will not say ‘I love you’ to your bloke if he prefers fishing and footy.
Accept Your Body
A poor body image can damage confidence in your sexual appeal. Don’t believe the mass media message that you must have a perfect body and be extraordinarily beautiful to be worthy of love. Unrealistic standards can affect the way you view yourself and your partner.
Pat says: “Whether you are distressed about your own appearance or unhappy with the appearance of your partner, you have to find some way to become more accepting if you want to enjoy your sexuality to the fullest. You have to find some way to love yourself and make love to your partner just as you are now.”
Sensual lovemaking revels in all five senses: touch, smell, sight, hearing and taste. The sixth sense is the mind. The brain is our most powerful sex organ and the lover who is not distracted by the mundane but focused on erotica is highly sensual.
True passion is NOT the thrill of illicit sex, the novelty of someone different or the ego trip of proving your prowess. It is NOT experienced through the delusion of infatuation or a rebound affair. Passion is NOT just physical; it does not require gymnastics or advanced techniques. Sexual passion is a natural combination of intense feelings of arousal with genuine love for your life partner. Passion requires a true heart connection. And when the heart is engaged, sex becomes a sweet, exquisite experience of ecstasy and tenderness.
This article was published in September 2007 in XL Extraordinary Lives, an international magazine for entrepreneurs and business people.
For more information, read Hot Monogamy by Dr Patricia Love and Jo Robinson or visit www.patlove.com