On this blog we tend to spend the most words on the physical and mental dimensions of sex with your spouse: topics like games, positions, role-playing, toys, and having more sex. We also talk a lot about the spiritual dimension of sex, about how God wants sex in your marriage to be awesome and fulfilling. Today I want to talk about the fourth dimension: emotion. As your marriage matures and grows, the emotional intensity of sex with your spouse can wane over time. Sex can be fun and frequent, but the emotions may fade to the background as you grow comfortable with your spouse.
It may not be realistic to expect to recapture all the joy and wonder of your honeymoon and maintain it for decades, but here are a few ideas for increasing the level of intimacy in your sex life.
- Eye contact. Instead of closing your eyes and focusing inward, keep your eyes open and on your spouse. Look each other in the eyes while you touch each other and when you climax. Eye contact is one of the most primal, direct forms of intimacy in any social situation. It shows that your attention is completely focused on one thing only: the person you’re looking at. You can’t make eye contact with two things at once! Eye contact during sex may feel awkward, embarrassing, or vulnerable at first, but with a little practice (and humor) it can add a lot of intimacy to your sex life.
- Kiss more. Remember how much you made out when you were dating? Sexy Corte and I would make out for hours while “watching a movie”, and not even remember what we supposedly watched. Instead of jumping straight for the genitals, make kissing a significant part of foreplay and sex.
- Responsiveness. Moan, scream, talk explicitly about what feels good and where. As I wrote in the linked post: “What’s more intimate than crying out your spouse’s name when you climax? When you’re sexually responsive to your spouse you’re sharing the most personal, internal details about yourself, private knowledge about your secret inner workings that no one else gets to experience. If you’re shy about being overtly responsive then work intentionally to overcome that barrier and share yourself more fully with your spouse.”
- Enthusiasm. As the song says, “I want you to want me / I need you to need me”. Enthusiasm and eagerness for sex increase intimacy — no one needs to feel pressure ask for sex in the “right” way, to perform, or to look a certain way. Enthusiasm builds your spouse’s confidence and breaks down the walls of insecurity that hinder intimacy.
- Hold hands. Even if you’re in a position that limits eye contact, it’s often possible to hold hands during sex. Holding hands is an innocent intimacy, and a special sign of love and friendship.
- Orgasm together. This can be difficult unless you’re really in tune with each other. I always try to make sure that I don’t climax before Sexy Corte — because that’s just disappointing — and it’s tricky to hit my peak just when she hits hers. If you want to try this, have the wife do her best to give her husband a few seconds warning before she actually reaches orgasm, and then let him follow as best as he can.
- Vulnerability. Intimacy is increased when one person trusts another enough to show vulnerability, and that trust is rewarded and respected. Vulnerability can be mental, emotional, or physical. It can be embarrassing to tell your spouse, hey, I’d really like to play Sexy Jenga, or, I’d really like you to swallow — there’s a risk of judgement or rejection. Similarly, there’s physical vulnerability involved with bondage or spanking, and emotional vulnerability to wearing lingerie or asking for more sex. But each time one of you offers vulnerability and the other rewards and respects it, the door is opened for greater vulnerability, trust, and intimacy. The surest way to shut down intimacy is to punish vulnerability from your spouse.
- Speak your spouse’s love language. Your spouse will receive your love best when you speak his love language. Our inclination is to show love in our own love language, because it’s the most natural for us, but that’s not the best way to touch your spouse’s heart. Learn his or her love language and use it during foreplay and sex.
- Stay positive. Not every sexual encounter will go perfectly. Not every game, toy, or position you try will work. Not every date will be magical. Not every disagreement will go your way. Despite all these realities, fight hard inside yourself to stay positive about your sex life. Be willing to say yes again and again. Work to improve yourself. Communicate with your spouse, especially when it’s embarrassing or awkward. Laugh together, forgive quickly, and go have great sex with a smile on your face.
Do you have any tips to share to increase intimacy during sex? Leave a comment!