intimacy

How to Turn Up the Heat!!!

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Are you and your partner stuck in a sexual rut?  Are you getting bored with your mundane sex life?  Have you been together so long that you feel like you’ve run out of new and exciting things to try?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, let me take just a few minutes of your time to tell you about some of the many ways you can heat up your bedroom during these cold winter nights!  

  • Start with Foreplay:  This means instead of just getting straight to business, build up the excitement and anticipation.  This can be done in ways such as kissing, exploring each other’s bodies using your hands and mouth, and stimulating each other’s genitals manually and orally.  For those of you who may need a little help in the “how to do foreplay” department, you can start your foreplay by using a pair of sex dice.  With this type of game you each take turns rolling a pair of die and it instructs you what to do (suck, lick, kiss, blow, etc.) and what body part to do it on.  

  • Initiating Sex:  It can get pretty boring, and possibly even frustrating, if one partner is the one who is always responsible for asking for sex.  Switch it up!  Both partners should be responsible for keeping your sex life alive.  

  • Be Spontaneous:  When was the last time you and your partner were out in public when you got the urge for a quickie in the bathroom stall?  Or even right in the middle of the kitchen?  I’m not talking about all the time—or else it wouldn’t be spontaneous, right?!  However, every once in a while, amongst your busy schedules, being spontaneous sexually can heighten your, and your partner’s, interest in sex.  It can also increase the intensity of orgasm.  

  • Introduce Toys:  There are so many sex toys out there now that your possibilities are seemingly endless!  Shop together and pick out the toys you think will be best for the both of you.  There are solo toys specifically for men and women that can be used during masturbation, while being watched by your partner, or even handed over to your partner to use on you.  These types of toys include male masturbators (aka strokers) or vibrators and dildos.  There are also a lot of toys the couple can use together, such as vibrating penis rings, “U” shaped vibrators, and penis sleeves.  

  • Explore Each Other’s Fantasies:  There’s not much out there that can connect you and your partner more than knowing each other’s deepest and darkest sexual secrets.  By talking and acting out each other’s fantasies you will learn more about your partner than you ever thought possible.  This will allow you to please your partner based on their desires and directions, and it will help you find new ways to turn your partner on the next time you want to initiate intimacy.  

  • Maintain Eye Contact:  By this I don’t mean have a staring contest!  I just mean lock eyes from time to time, especially during orgasm.  This may be awkward for some because most people are used to closing their eyes during the big release.  However, if you look into each other’s eyes during these moments, you are allowing your partner to connect with you and see just how much pleasure they can make you feel (and who doesn’t want that boost to their ego!).  Don’t worry either, no matter how silly you may think your “O” face is, that’s probably the furthest thing from their minds!

Remember, these are just a few ways you can crank up the heat in your sex life; there are a lot more out there.  Some of these suggestions may not be for everyone, but as long as you go into any sexual experience with an open mind and trust in your partner, you’ll never know what you may discover together!  

 

 

What is the ratio in your relationship?

Can you remember the last time your partner made a positive comment about you? Or do you feel regularly criticized by your partner instead?  When negative interactions outweigh the positive ones in your relationship it may be hard to even recall the positive qualities in your partner. Although there are no quick fixes to ensure you will live a fairy tale relationship with only positive interactions with your partner, there is a strategy I will discuss in this post that can lead to a happier, more stable and connected relationship. 

Dr. John Gottman, researcher and clinical psychologist, has studied couples for many years to find out what makes marriages successful or end in divorce. He found that expressing fondness, encouragement, and admiration toward one another could go a long way in maintaining a strong marital relationship. This may seem obvious, but in addition he found that happy and stable couples share more positive feelings and actions than negatives ones even when facing conflict. Happy and stable couples may continue to experience some negative interactions, yet the key is in the balance. According to Gottman, the magic ratio is 5 to 1. This means that for every 1 negative feeling or interaction between partners, there must be 5 positive feelings or interactions. 

So if you feel that your relationship is not practicing the magic ratio, here are some things to help you start increasing positive feelings or interactions. 

Show Affection

  • Hold hands, hug, kiss
  • Offer a back rub or foot rub
  • Sit together while watching TV
  • Say “I love you” 

Show care and concern

  • Buy your partner his or her favorite dessert while out on an errand
  • Write a short email, send a card, or a thoughtful text message to your partner
  • Write a note of encouragement 
  • Let your partner know it matters to you when they are concerned
    • Example: “it sounds like you had a really rough day at work today.” 

Show thankfulness

  • Recall and share with your partner ways that they have been helpful or caring
  • Thank him or her for what he or she does for you
  • Compliment your partner
  • Point out positive qualities you genuinely appreciate and admire

Listen to understand

  • Be aware of your verbal and non verbal expressions when listening to your partner
    • Example: nodding your head and maintaining eye contact
  • Tell your partner how you understand his or her perspective
  • Listen carefully and completely to your partner before commenting
  • Avoid providing advice too quickly, listen completely first

Be respectful

  • Acknowledge your partner’s opinion and let them know you think it is important
  • Avoid name calling or being sarcastic towards your partner’s comments
  • Be open minded with your partner even when you do not agree

Lighten up!

  • Be playful 
  • Engage in activities in where you both can laugh 
  • Joke around with each other, but avoid jokes that are sarcastic or hostile towards your partner
  • Share memories with your partner about when you first met
  • Share your feelings with your partner when you feel good or happy, especially when they have been brought up by your partner

Aim for the magic ratio and watch your relationship blossom! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surviving the Damages from an Affair

What exactly is an affair?  Many people have different definitions for this word.  Some people believe an affair is having a sexual relationship with someone outside of the relationship, others believe becoming emotionally attached to someone else is considered having an affair, while some believe the act of watching pornography could be considered an affair.  This is why it is so important to communicate individual expectations with your partner in where healthy boundaries and limits can be established in order to protect your relationship.  

If an affair within the relationship does occur, it can be very detrimental to the relationship, as well as to the non-offending partner.  However, just because damage has been done, does not mean it cannot be repaired!  It won’t happen overnight, but with the guidance and support of a skilled professional, it can be done.

You may be asking yourself, “How?”  A licensed therapist will be able to help the couple identify the underlying contributions to the affair.  The shared responsibility of these contributions may not be equal; however, addressing each partner’s role in the relationship could provide clues on issues that weakened the relationship prior to the affair.  This can help the couple prevent these circumstances in the future.  A therapist will also help the couple with improving their communication patterns.  They will learn how to “communicate more sensitively, how to listen with more respect, how to talk about sensitive issues without anger or criticism, and how to offer more positivity…” (Heitler, 2011).  The most difficult aspects of surviving the affair are forgiveness and trust.  Be prepared for the long haul while repairing these pieces.  It can, however, be done while working with a therapist through the anger, pain, and fears. 

Once the communication gate is open and flowing, and the partners have repaired trust, it may be time to explore restoring the couple’s intimacy.  In the beginning, sexual intimacy may be compared to the intimacy that occurred during the affair.  The therapist can help the couple come back together in order to achieve more enjoyable and pleasurable intimacy that may have been missing or lacking previously.  

With all of this being said, in order for the couple to survive this rainstorm, both partners have to be willing to repair the damages together.  This can all be done with the support and help from a professional therapist.  Some couples even report developing an even stronger and more intimate relationship after surviving the affair!

References:

Bloom, Charlie & Bloom, Linda. (2010, May 10). Is there (marital) life after an affair? [Web log post] Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stronger-the-broken-places/201005/is-there-marital-life-after-affair

Heitler, Susan. (2011, Nov 1). Recovery from an affair. [Web log post] Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/resolution-not-conflict/201111/recovery-affair

McCarthy, Barry W. (2012, Jan 2). Sexual recovery from an extramarital affair. [Web log post] Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/whats-your-sexual-style/201201/sexual-recovery-extramarital-affair