…if sexual intimacy has to do with disclosing yourself through sex, people who can let themselves be known have more potential for profound sexual experiences. — Dr. David Schnarch, Passionate Marriage
How willing to be known are you?
Does intense intimacy scare you?
As someone who seeks out intense intimacy and profound connection, Dr. Schnarch’s quote intrigues me.
As someone who recently turned 45, I was happy to read that people are not necessarily in their sexual prime when they are younger. They are merely in their genital prime. I believe I am better in bed now than I was in my twenties. The men I’ve experienced post 40 are also better lovers than the ones I danced with in my youth.
Why is this?
Speaking only for myself, I have more self to give now. I know who I am and am willing to be open and loving with my body and words during the most intimate times, which creates mind-blowing connection. I can look deep into my lover’s eyes as our bodies merge. Rather than focusing on how the body parts are rubbing, I try to focus on staying present with my partner. True, physical sensations are heavenly. Sometimes it is nice to go internal and just feel; or to simply get down and dirty, but overall the bond created when two beings are joined by emotional intimacy is so far beyond that made during physical-only sex that I can’t imagine ever going back to strictly sensation sex on a regular basis.
Elements of profound sex
Eroticism: It is what turns you on. It is pleasure for its own sake. It is how we approach our partner and the part of sex beyond basic instinct. It is our style of sexual play, our sexual personality. It has nuances. It is sexy. It begins in our heads and moves down to our genitals.
Love is what we know we have in our relationship. It’s the intimate familiar. Eroticism is what we want or desire. The mysterious otherness.
We want love AND eroticism in order to have profound sexual connection.
As I mentioned in, Eroticism Requires Space: Are You Getting Any?, eroticism is like fire and fire needs air. Hence our relationships need space in them. The otherness of our partner is intriguing. If we are completely one with them (always compromising or considering ourselves a unit rather than individuals), there is no one to reach across the chasm of separateness and connect with physically or emotionally. Eroticism dies if there is no breathing room.
Space and separateness work for introverts, yes?
Desire: Profound coupling requires a strong passion for our partner. In other words, there is desire DURING sex not just FOR sex. If eroticism is our sexual way of being, desire is wanting. It’s how we want. A healthy amount of lust for our mates brings energy to the encounter. Energy is always welcome, particularly for introverts. Desire springs from our hearts as well as our loins and greatly enhances our arousal. This arousal cannot be denied.
How to stir up desire? One way is emotional connection.
Emotional connection: When we are younger or less sexually mature, we count on sex to produce feelings between us and our partner. We had sex together. Now we’re serious about each other. We should feel bonded. Many of us did not know how to get to that profound feeling of connection BEFORE sex or after for that matter.
As we mature, it is easier to start with a connection we have with our partner and let it lead into sexual activity. Dr. Schnarch coaches his clients to follow the connection. This requires being in the moment and being self-directed because there is no technique or sequence to follow. It requires truly listening to your and your partner’s signals. For example, picture talking easily and making dinner with your special person. Now imagine a favorite song comes on the radio and you start to dance and flirt with each other. Then you add soft kissing to the dancing. Eventually you hold hands and head off to the bedroom… How would sex play out then? You would be following the connection, wouldn’t you?
Self-awareness a gift to sex
Self-awareness and an increased willingness to share myself are two gifts of getting older. As we get older, hormonal drive and reflexive bodily responses diminish but that does not mean sex is no longer hot and fulfilling. Feelings and thoughts can offset that decline and lead to a different kind of stimulation and arousal. The kind that encourages you to speak through your sexuality.
Do you think introverts have an easier or harder time revealing their inner world? Have you ever been with someone who could not go beyond physical-only sex?