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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.
This is me. This is me from the day I was born. For so long I felt misunderstood and rejected, even by the people closest to me, because they could never understand my need for solitude, and I had no idea how to explain it to them. Even now that I know more about Introversion and have a more informed understanding of my hard-wired need for solitude, it’s still very difficult sometimes to help my loved ones understand this profound craving for time and space all to myself. This is one of the best…
Sharon
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
I met Brenda and took the MBTI… I had a fairly good understanding of these types before the meeting but was impressed by the depth of knowledge that Brenda shared with me. She clearly has a passion for this work and a gift in imparting the information. There have been doors opened for me because of our talks… — Alan Hintermeister
Alan Hintermeister
BRENDA: thank you SO much! Your advice is exactly what I need to do. I am amazed how much you “get” me after only exchanging a few messages!… Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped me more than a year of therapy sessions! – Megan on space2live
Megan
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
During one of the harder times in my life I found Brenda’s website
and reached out to her. To say the least it has been one of the best
decisions I have made. Being an extrovert I never quite understood
what it meant to romantically involved with an introvert. Brenda does
an incredible job listening, giving in the moment feedback, and helped
me understand the how an introvert functions. She helped explain to me
that I am introspective extrovert, and this gave something to identify
with and allowed me t…
Evan H.

“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
That courage and dedication you so generously share with the world, has inspired me to push myself a little harder, persevere at each task a little longer, dig a little bit deeper to where the answers just “feel” right to both my humanity AND my spirit. Your insights have reinforced my direction and given me additional tools that help me clear my path. I’m wired into my creativity as never before and the new music is pouring out of me faster than I can record and produce it; this is the Un…
Gary
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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Disclosing Yourself Through Sex: How Revealing Are You?

Source: The Gameoflove Blog Tumblr

Source: The Gameoflove Blog Tumblr

…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?

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8 Comments

  1. sheketechad April 6, 2015 at 9:31 am - Reply

    Brett touches on the true requirements for deep intimacy – feeling heard and valued. Since my husband died, I *thought* I found that once with someone, and actually got involved with a serial ‘user’ of women. While it did not enter the physical intimacy realm, I still got burned very badly. Nearly seven years into widowhood, I’m not really certain that the kind of relationship I’d seek if I were back seeking, even exists any more.

    The intimacy that I had with my late husband was a first for me, and permitted a transparency of all facets of ourselves that I think is rare. It started as a friendship that caught on fire. That is key for me, the knowing of another and them knowing me – good and bad, as that is what comprises our personhood. Even though he was my second marriage, it was far different than my first in terms of emotional closeness and entered arenas I didn’t even know I was missing out on in my previous relationship. My first husband never went beyond the sex portion, and sometimes used the term ‘receptacle’. To later meet and partner with someone who valued all parts of me, particularly the mental, was a headiness I don’t think I’ll ever forget. It surely was not a perfect relationship, as neither he nor I were perfect. But there was more elasticity there I think.

    “Dating” makes me feel awkward, like I am on trial. Hanging out with people that have mutual interests is much more enjoyable and less pressured for me.

    At this time, I don’t know how revealing I am anymore, as it has been such a long term of abstinence by choice. Maybe what that reveals is I am not willing to reveal much 🙂

    Thought provoking, as always Bren.

    • Brenda Knowles April 7, 2015 at 5:05 pm - Reply

      Your second marriage sounds like a divine match. As you said, it wasn’t perfect but no relationship is. I admire the intimacy and friendship you had. That’s what I want. The intimacy was definitely missing in my marriage.

      Hanging out with people with mutual interests is the ultimate validation and energy boost and it’s just fun! It’s easy on the spirit. Keep it up dear friend. 🙂

  2. Brett de Villiers March 31, 2015 at 12:28 am - Reply

    My level of being self-revealing depends how receptive the other person is about knowing me that deeply. I’m turned on by that kind of receptivity because I really do want to feel free to be that open and honest with someone who wants to see inside of my mind and soul.

    I’m as keenly aware of when I’m getting that level of receptivity (and reciprocity) as when I’m not. I agree wholeheartedly with deep emotional connection: it’s the shizzle.

    So, I don’t think my wife should necessarily be worried about the woman who’s successfully learned to squeeze herself into a mini skirt. She should be worried about the woman who asks me how I’m doing, and then listens with genuine interest to what I have to say.

    A woman who is a safe haven for my ever-expanding imagination and who makes me feel seen/heard/understood, is definitely going to arouse my interest and desire to reciprocate…

    I heard a lyric in a song recently where the woman says, “You were lost in dreams, I was lost in you.” I think that’s hot.

    Also, I think that there’s something to be said about men and vulnerability in general, with regards to men avoiding vulnerability like the plague. For myself, I know I don’t want to be seen falling off my white horse in front of the womenfolk. I appreciate having male friends in my life that I can confide in, and feel validated. I don’t seek validation from my wife or from women, in general. It feels wierd, or “off.”

    In thinking about it more with regards to sexual relationships, I came to the conclusion that vulnerability in men is like a woman’s p*ssy: deep down, we’re longing to give it away… but not to just anybody. We don’t want to wake up regretting having shared all of that with you the night before… Much easier to cover it all up with bravado… but perhaps I digress…

    Great post.

    • Brenda Knowles April 3, 2015 at 9:03 am - Reply

      I’m on vacation so sorry for the late response. I think you are the masculine version of me. Interesting that you don’t seek validation from women but you get it from your male friends. I guess I would say I get more validation from my girlfriends than the men in my life. I am not sure that is the way I what I want but that is the way it is. My dad is a pretty big supporter/validator, but that has only been in the last ten years or so.

      Your pussy analogy rings true for me. I think the right woman is eager to receive a man’s vulnerability just as she is eager to give the right man her pussy.;)

      Brett you never have to apologize or backpedal regarding your comments. Your insight is always appreciated and usually resonates deeply.

  3. Vernon March 29, 2015 at 2:41 am - Reply

    Yes I think as an introvert I can easily reveal my inner self because that’s where I dwell but I’m just very choosy . Yes I have been in a relationship that could not go beyond the physical and when I tried to communicate what I felt was lacking it didn’t register. We where both lonely I was asking for something she could not give. I long for the time when we will live without fear of fully disclosing ourselves when we will be intimate with each other and making love will take on a new meaning. Can you imagine making love without sex,having intercourse without sex? I think then having sex will be deeper then deep when channels of connections are open that we never felt, seen or heard.

    • Brenda Knowles March 29, 2015 at 12:54 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your experiences. I have been in similar relationships, especially where the other person could not understand what was lacking. Interesting thought — making love without sex. Such a heightened sense of intimacy sounds heavenly.:)

  4. Diane Michalowski March 28, 2015 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Just watched your video ( The Space We NeeD)…Thank you again for the your inspiring words. I feel SO normal and alive inside after I visit with you.

    • Brenda Knowles March 29, 2015 at 12:48 pm - Reply

      Wow! I’m so honored my words move you.:) Thank you for letting me know. Nothing better than feeling ALIVE. 🙂

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