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your depth of understanding, and talent at sharing it amaze me. Speechless… and for your sharing of it.. Thank you… deeply. *sigh, its like coming back into my body through acceptance….. Sherrie on space2live
Sherrie
Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…
J.K.
You’re so honest in your writing. It’s bold. It’s frank. It’s wonderful. I could definitely see the work you are doing here as a useful book. It could save/make a lot of relationships! — Jimmi Langemo
Jimmi Langemo
For the first time in my life I could truly explain, through your words the way in which I experience life and myself. Brenda… It all fell into place. I had found myself and had such a moment of clarity. It felt like such a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Finally I felt like it was ok to be me. I was not the only one. I had found people and a little space where I fit in. … I was at work and crying on the inside. Emotions ran wild inside me. I was ecstatic, sad, confused, motivated, i…
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“I was struggling with my daughter (16 at the time) and our constant fighting. You said something to me that changed my life! You were speaking about your own situation and you said to me “my child could not handle my emotions”. This was a HUGE “lightbulb moment” for me and it forever changed the way I dealt with my emotions when I was around my daughter!

I am happy to say that things have never been better between my soon to be 18 year old daughter and myself! I honestly never thought we would…

Mom M
Thank you for all the words. You’ve created the magic drug I’ve been looking for all my life. Your blog has transformed my life, and I feel like I am on the brink of a most satisfying fulfilling journey…You’ve made me see everything in a new light. I now feel calmer, able to care better for my toddler, less hateful of people around, and hopeful for my future. I am not so afraid for our marriage anymore. — Shilpa CB
Shilpa CB
Your words are my lifeline.  I sit down to your posts and as I read I can feel my acceptance of myself and my needs grow.  Your words validate my feelings about my life, motherhood, relationships and it is something I hold onto.  And during the times when I feel like I am not able to be a mother or a wife or a sister or a friend or whatever someone needs me to be, I go back to your words and find some peace…I send your posts to my husband when I need him to understand that I love him but I need …
D.R.
Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live
Indepthwoman
THANK YOU….. you just summed up my swirling thoughts into something i can read with out everything else in my head meshing with it. I finally feel like i can explain what happens within without getting distracted. I’m an Introvert with ADD and it makes it so hard to explain quite what im feeling sometimes. — M.G. on space2live
M.G.
I have been dating an introverted man who I am very in love with for almost 2 years.  Reading your posts have helped me to be more supportive and understanding to him especially during the times when he needs space.  I just wanted to thank you for your weekly posts and let you know how helpful they are for someone who is in a relationship with an introvert. C.M. on space2live
C.M.

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How Does Introversion Affect Your Sexuality?: The Results from the Quickie Survey

At the end of June I wrote, How Does Introversion Affect Your Sexuality? It touched on  demi-sexuality, a sexual orientation that requires a deep emotional connection before  physical intimacy takes place. Physical attraction and magnetic personality are not enough to draw the demi-sexual. Since introverts are big on meaningful conversation and the sharing of dreamy inner worlds I wondered if there was a connection between demi-sexuals, emotional intimacy and introverts. So I asked questions at the end of the post.  I received a smattering of responses but felt I needed more so I surveyed space2live readers regarding their sexuality.

Want to take the survey? Click here. 

As a novice survey creator I learned post publishing that I should have asked the gender of each survey participant as well as their personality type (i.e. introvert or extrovert). Sexual orientation is another facet to explore. I assumed the majority of the survey takers would be introverts. C’est la vie. Live and learn. The results could be more defined but they still give a nice overview of an introvert’s perspective regarding affection and sexuality.

On to the results based on 149 respondents…

Emotional intimacy backed by security

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As mentioned in the first How Does Introversion Affect Your Sexuality?, according to a survey conducted by condom manufacturer Durex, there are three requirements for excellent sex: Physical attraction, emotional intimacy and feeling secure/loved. I added sexual prowess as an option.  Of course, we all want the home run with all of the above present in our intimate relationships.  I wanted to know which one was key or crucial in order for the relationship to be healthy.

Emotional intimacy ranked highest with Security, Feeling Loved close behind.  Emotional intimacy is that heavenly space where partners allow their inner worlds to mingle and touch. Sharing personal and revealing thoughts with another is nourishing for the introvert for very often we are left to listen to and untangle our own deep processing. It’s a godsend to be able to air our internal dialogue and have it validated or simply heard by another.

Vulnerability and transparency fuel emotional intimacy.  It makes sense that with emotional intimacy a need for security arises.  There must be trust.  Introverts have a lot to say but often wait to speak until they feel sure about their words and the likely responses they’ll garner.

Sexual sparks just by looking at someone?

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Can you be sexually attracted to someone based solely on their appearance or personality? The majority of you said yes, but a full third of you said no. A few readers responded saying they won’t even kiss someone if there is no deep intimacy first.

One thing I’ve found personally is that I can be sexually drawn to someone even if initially I don’t find them attractive, as long as I feel a deep connection. Often men get more attractive as they reveal their depths. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a good looking man but there is no need for him to be model perfect or traditionally handsome. For me, an emotional connection goes a long way.

Another interesting point is that most of you said you could be attracted by looks or personality but that would be the end of it. There would be no follow through sexual behavior, just a distant attraction. I wonder if that changes with age.  As a college student, I recall a lusty attraction I followed through on with very little knowledge of my partner’s mind/heart/inner-life.  I would not seal that deal today.  Your thoughts?

Good news about exquisite sex

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There is magnificent sex to be had with introverts and extroverts. No need to limit yourself to one or the other according to the survey.  Of course, each of us has our own experiences and biases but overall it was almost even (a < 5% variance with introverts edging extroverts) when it came to divine partners between the sheets. So, does that mean that our extrovert counterparts are just as capable of creating emotional intimacy and security with us as our fellow introverts? Is a healthy sexual relationship a requirement for exquisite sex? Or can exquisite sex stand alone?

One note of slightly bad news — roughly 17.5% of those surveyed said they have never experienced exquisite sex.  I was in my 40s before my mind was blown so there is always hope.;) Now you know you can experience the magic with either temperament.;)

When is the best time to hit up an introvert for physical affection?

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Apparently, we are most physically primed just after intimate conversation with our partner.  A little over half of the respondents claimed intimate conversation as their physical affection trigger.  Twenty-five percent of the survey-takers said they are most affectionate after having time to themselves. These situations make sense for an introvert given our desire for meaningful connections and our need for personal space. I’m sure this is what confuses extroverts.  How can you love me and my open communication one minute and then need to get away from me the next? It’s how we roll.  Ebb and flow. We are capable of emotional intimacy and affection but not all the time.  We need a break to fill ourselves up (visit our internal world of ideas, associations, mental mulling) and then we are ready to give again. How long does it take to re-charge? I saw one introvert say online that she would need a year to get back to herself.  I had one reader say he sometimes needs six months to get to a point where he is ready to connect intimately again with his wife. For me, a few hours a day away from a significant other is sufficient with occasional whole days apart.

What we learned

There are definitely demi-sexuals in our introverted crowd (33% can’t be sexually attracted without deep emotional connection). There is a high correlation between emotional intimacy and the best sexual relationships for introverts although I believe the general population would show similar results. The difference being that introverts are more likely to require it for any sexual relations to occur. Extroverts have it going on too when it comes to exquisite sex. Intimate conversation or time alone can prompt an introvert’s desire to provide physical affection.

Have fun with these results.  Use them to create your best most meaningful sex ever.:)

What else would you like to learn about introverts and sexuality? How physically affectionate are you? How can your sex life be improved?

If you enjoyed this post you may also like:

How Does Introversion Affect Your Sexuality?

Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You

It’s Never Too Late to Experience Mind Blowing Passion

Intimacy and Solitude Interrupted: Why We’re Weary and Worn Out

Introvert Relationships: Love Me or Leave Me But Please Don’t Need Me (Too Much)

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5 Comments

  1. lizziearias August 21, 2014 at 10:35 am - Reply

    Love your blog, I could never identify the reasons why I feel drained after spending time with people, this blog explains a lot. In general an introvert is perceived to be shy and antisocial only. I realise now, there are those of us who function well socially but need space to “recover”

    • Brenda Knowles August 21, 2014 at 12:16 pm - Reply

      Right! That’s why it’s so confusing to so many. Introvert = shy in so many books. I’m not shy. I just only have so much energy. I have to be very selective about where I’m enthusiastic and engaged. I have learned to include ‘buffer time’ around my activities. I know I’ll need to recharge.

      We soak up so much stimulation and process so deeply (can’t help it), it’s just draining for us to continuously interact.

      For many of us, deep, meaningful interactions are less draining and even energizing at times. It’s all about figuring out your limits and strengths. Self-awareness helps us teach our important people what we need.

      Thanks for commenting. 🙂

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