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intimacy

The Mind, Emotions, and Intimacy: How Your Thoughts Affect Your Desire

On the surface, they seemed like the perfect couple. They had much in common and seemed very loving and supportive, despite the many difficulties they had faced together. And the sex… it was always good, especially after they discovered ways to spice things up, ensuring they both felt satisfied in the bedroom.  Beneath the surface and behind closed doors, however, the fire was burning out. Sex became an inconvenient duty; she no longer desired it, and he pushed too hard. The act itself no longer had anything to do with love or passion. It was purely physical, and only an occasional occurrence. She avoided intimacy with him as much as possible, and later, she would discover that she was easily turned on by a new partner, despite such difficulties with her now ex. If the sex was so good, what went wrong?

It’s Not Just About Good Sex

It does not matter how good things feel in the bedroom. Sure, it’s not always difficult to hop into bed and enjoy the physical aspect of sex without much thought or emotion. People do it every day. However, intimacy is an important aspect of a strong relationship. This includes communication, friendship, affection, emotions, passion, attraction, and love. These things enhance the sexual aspect of a relationship, and if any one of these elements is missing, the intimacy in the relationship will dwindle or cease to exist. If the intimacy dies, the relationship could be in trouble.

Where is the Love?

Contrary to fairly tale ideals, falling in love is not a guarantee of eternal love. Yes, you can love someone unconditionally, with all of your heart, and still find yourself eventually falling out of love. This is not to say that couples should not attempt to work through their troubles, disagreements, or petty squabbles. However, it takes two to make a relationship work, and if one partner is not giving it their utmost effort, the other is sure to become disillusioned and unhappy in the relationship. This is because the mind and emotions affect the way in which we relate to our experiences and to other people, especially our partners. Changes in personality, actions, or inactions, can very well dictate our thoughts and emotional responses, making or breaking feelings of intimacy and love. Without these feelings, it is difficult to spend time with your significant other, let alone find the desire to have sex. The brain controls those desires and responses, and if you’re just not feeling it in your mind, you’re probably not going to feel it in your body either.

In the example given above, the wife was suffering from health problems and major stress. The husband did nothing to alleviate these problems, as he was so wrapped up in himself and his own problems that he showed little support or understanding. He caused much of the stress by refusing to seek help for his troubles and using them as an excuse for his actions and inactions. He became abusive in every way possible, thought this was unintentional. After a while, his wife realized that this could not continue. The stress was going to kill her, and she loathed the sight of him. Because these were the thoughts in her mind, it did not matter that he was attractive or that the sex was good. Without feelings of love and intimacy, good sex simply left her feeling empty. She lost all sexual desire, and even found his advances insulting rather than flattering.

Your Mind and Your Relationship

If your brain is causing you to feel negative emotions toward your partner, odds are that this will lead to a loss of intimacy and sexual desire. This can be a warning sign of the beginning of the end; however, it does take two to make a lasting relationship. To overcome this problem, you have to ask yourself what the underlying cause of your negative thoughts and feelings truly is and get those issues out in the open. Even if verbalizing your concerns leads to some tension in the beginning, it is best to try to open the door of communication. You cannot solve a problem if it remains silent. Sex and emotions go hand in hand, and if your thoughts and emotions are interfering with the intimacy between you and you partner, it is time to seek help and solve the problem or time to reevaluate your long-term plans for the relationship.

Sensual foot massage

Relax…Calling All Sensual Soles

This is by far one of the most relaxing treats you can give one another – the sensual foot massage. Because it’s so relaxing, you might want to wait and save it till the end of your day.

I just love this because after a long day at work, my feet really hurt. So guess what I ask my husband when I get home? “Honey I know you are tired, but please can you rub my feet?”

It feels so good, sometimes it is better than sex. I love my feet being caressed and touched and yes, it does relax me and lead to other things at times.

We used to relax in front of the TV and he would get involved in watching some show and just keep rubbing my feet. If he stopped, all I had to do was wiggle my foot and somehow he got the message to keep on rubbing. Lately, we have decided to rub our feet and stay in the present moment with no TV, a completely different experience.

So let me give you some tips how to create a sensual experience with your feet:

1.  You will need two buckets, or tubs of water. Foot massage or pedicure tubs work great, but they aren’t necessary. You can pick them up at departments stores and they aren’t that expensive.

2. Begin by washing your partner’s feet. If you have decided to take turns, have several towels on hand along with enough soap, lotion, oil or powder for both of you. You don’t want to be interrupted in the middle of it by running out of something.

3. Take the time to set a romantic atmosphere. You might like candles and music… When my husband and I started doing foot massages we watched TV. It felt good, but we were not really paying attention to what we were doing and it was more of an unconscious exercise. But by changing our pattern, we became more aware of the sensations and enjoyed the experience more and definitely felt more connected.

4. Fill two buckets with warm water, one for washing and one for rinsing. The water should be a few degrees above body temperature. Any hotter, it will be uncomfortable. You can also add a few drops of an organic water softener to create a soft sensual texture. Be aware if your partner prefers fragrance free, but I like relaxing lavender.

5. Next, sit in a chair facing each other with the bucket on the floor between you. Place his or her feet in the water for a few seconds. Lift one foot and then slowly and carefully wash it with soap. Keep it wet and slippery as you wash all the tiny crevasses. After you’ve washed one foot, place it back in the water and pick up the other one. Repeat the process. If you put a towel on your lap for your partner’s foot to rest on, you won’t have to stop and rinse your thighs before going onto the next step.

6. Once you’ve washed each foot, put a clean towel on your lap and lift the first foot out of the water. Lather it again, feeling the way the soap feels on your skin. Enjoy this moment. Before the soap gets sticky, put your partner’s foot into the rinsing bowl and then lift the other foot from the washing bowl. Repeat the process. When both feet are washed and rinsed, move the tub aside and take one foot out of the rinse water. Wrap it completely in a towel. Do the same to the other foot. Lift one foot onto your lap and dry it thoroughly, making sure you dry between the toes. Then take your time and lavish it with oil or lotion or powder. Repeat with other foot.

7. Then take one of your partner’s heels and put on your thigh. Hold it in your hands for a few moments to warm it and then begin rubbing. To relax the foot, start with lower leg and rub downward towards the feet. Then very gently in small circles, lightly caress from the heel to the bottom of the toes. Use your entire hand to caress the foot and massage between the toes. If your partner isn’t too ticklish , you can use light feathery strokes or use your fingernails to create wonderful sensations along the bottom of the feet. If you are too ticklish in the beginning, try returning to a very light touch after a few minutes and usually the sensitivity decreases.

8. When you have finished with one foot, repeat the same sequence on the other foot. Enjoy and really experience all the different sensations.

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Sexy Tips for Keeping Those Home Fires Burning

It is easy to let the passion and romance die out after several years of marriage, especially once you have children together. Your professional and personal responsibilities are so exhausting and time-consuming that sex starts to feel like it’s another tiresome obligation. If neither person is really that disappointed when intimacy is repeatedly postponed for several weeks in a row, then it is time to reignite those homes fires.

An intense sexual attraction was what initiated the relationship and it must continue to burn to keep the relationship alive. The powerful emotional connection and physical endorphin rush that two people share during sex are necessary to maintain a happy marriage.

Here are a few sexy tips for keeping those home fires burning:

1.      Look Sexy to Feel Sexy

There is nothing wrong with getting comfortable in a relationship. Most married people gain a few pounds, stop shaving as often, and relax a little on their pre-marriage beauty regimen. Just keep in mind that it is important to not let it all go and stop caring about your appearance completely. Your physical appearance still matters to your spouse and it should also matter to you. Looking and feeling sexy on the outside is a great way to relight those internal desires.

2.     Listening for the Signs

There is nothing sexier than someone who really listens and understands your needs. Make sure to pay attention to the verbal and physical signs your spouse is giving you. They may be trying to initiate sex and you are unintentionally ignoring the signs. Too much rejection will make your partner feel like it is not worth the effort.

3.     Add Spice & Spontaneity

You can quickly reignite those home fires by breaking out of the normal sexual routine. Catch your spouse off guard with a playful squeeze or seductive rub in public. Pick up a special toy or a revealing outfit that will spice up your next sexual experience.

4.     Try Role-Playing

Many couples find it hard to maintain the same sexual excitement when they are making love to the same person in the same position time and time again. Costumes and fantasy role-playing will create the illusion that you are experiencing sex with someone new.

5.     Make Time for a Getaway

It is hard to truly feel sexy in a house full of kids. Plan at least one night away together once a year where you can focus solely on satisfying each other sexually. If you can’t afford to stay someplace other than your own home, you should at least arrange for sleepovers with their friends or grandparents.

Intimacy is an essential part of any marriage. A long marriage may decrease the passion and frequency of each encounter, but it shouldn’t put the sexual fires out completely. You can keep the home fires burning long after you have children by putting a little more effort into looking sexy, listening to each other, being spontaneous, role-playing together, and planning a yearly getaway. Your marriage and sex life are worth the effort.

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Top Ways to Make a Relationship Work

When you’re in a long-term relationship, there are going to be fights and issues you both have to face. Before you call it off, consider some of these tips for making a relationship work – even when things seem like they don’t.

Put Yourself in the Running
Too many individuals lose their individuality when they enter into long-term relationships. They put their partner first and stop working on themselves. This can lead to disastrous results – especially if you sit stagnant for too long. Instead of ignoring yourself, improve yourself. Consider taking up cooking lessons, reading or just learning a new language to keep yourself on the path for improvement.

Enjoy Quickies
Too many couples assume that spontaneous, quick love making sessions are for when you’re young and first dating. A fast sex session might not have the same bang or romance as a long one, but it helps trigger the chemicals in the brain that give you that “love” feeling. The more you engage these chemicals, the happier and more romantic you’ll be overall.

Never Go to Bed Angry
You have most likely heard this one before and it’s true. Couples should never go to bed angry with one another. Going to bed angry can make you not only have a bad night, but a bad day – only making that fight or problem linger on longer than it needs to.

Relax
If you never have time to relax, you’ll notice your relationship is strained. Couples that relax after work or unwind after a long day have less bickering and pointless fights than couples who don’t take a little time to calm down at the end of the day. Consider setting a “wind down” time each day where you both can relax with one another.

Split Up the Chores
More married women get stuck with the chores around the house than married men. This adds a lot of strain on the relationship when you’re constantly taking on additional chores and your partner isn’t. Considering splitting up the work to make things around the house more even. If your partner doesn’t like it, then cut back on the spending and hire a third party to do the cleaning for you.

Prenuptial Agreements are Back
You may be insulted if someone asks you to sign a prenuptial agreement, but studies show that this relieves a lot of tension in the marriage. When couples know that their partner isn’t with them for any assets or settlements, it ensures everyone is happy emotionally and secure financially.

Get Help
If you notice you and your partner are fighting a lot, consider couples therapy. It isn’t taboo to get a non-bias third party in the mix to help you both sort out your issues. A counselor can help identify any underlying problems that both of you are ignoring and help you get past them s that you can move on to a healthier, happier relationship.

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Are the Same Old Fights Impacting Your Relationship?

When you and your partner are at odds, do you notice the same old fights come up? You’re upset about the kids, he wants more free time, you feel he doesn’t share his load of the housework and it all boils down to the same old script – just a different day. If you and your spouse are constantly rehashing the same fights, you have one blaring issue: you’re not resolving the problems. Fight topics keep coming up when they aren’t resolved and this can impact your relationship a lot more than you might think. Sex and emotions are tied together as one. The more animosity you both have, the less likely intimacy is at the forefront of your relationship. The good news is you can get past your rehashing and move on to a more healthy and satisfying relationship.

Housework

One of the more common fights among couples is about housework. One may feel they’re doing more than enough while the other feels nothing is being shared. By creating a fair division of the housework you and your spouse can move past this. There is no formula or definition of what is “fair” – it is all about what you and your spouse find to be fair. For example, you want help with the laundry, but he is in charge of all of the yard work. Consider splitting up the task by him helping put laundry away and you start managing the weeding or gardening to help even out the workload.

Money

Let’s face it; money and relationships don’t always mix. Most relationships are based on opposites – you’re attracted to someone opposite of you. Therefore your money management skills and styles may differ. Perhaps you’re the spender, but your partner is the ultimate saver. Rather than try to conform or make your partner become more like you, sit down and look at each other’s point of view. Ask yourself why your partner saves money, but you don’t mind spending it. Perhaps your partner feels your money situation isn’t as secure as you do, but sitting down and discussing these feelings may help you both see eye-to-eye on household finances. Also, consider doing the bills together either bi-weekly or monthly. Make a budget that works for both of you, but doesn’t upset the other.

Intimacy

Sexuality between a couple can often just boil down to your desire versus your partner’s desire. Whether it is you that wants more or him, negative feelings can arise when one partner feels rejected or neglected by the other. Consider sitting down and discussing what you both need out of your relationship. Find out where you are mismatching and if there is a compromise you both can live with. By understanding what each person is feeling, you can work to a viable solution.

Whether your fights are about low sexual desire, money or who does what around the house, rehashing the same fights will get your relationship nowhere. Instead, look out for the common fights and ask yourself why they keep coming up. You might be surprised at how unresolved these simple issues are and how easy they are to solve.

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Enduring Intimacy

When you find that special someone, you feel as though the intimacy could last a lifetime. It is the perfect relationship. You are able to talk effortlessly, you can share your deepest, darkest secrets and you cannot get enough of one another. Once the long haul sets in, that deep connection stays strong, but you may not have the same closeness you did when you first started out.

As with anything in life, a relationship and the intimacy that comes with it takes a lot of work. You have to maintain it, perform annual maintenance and develop intimacy that lasts a lifetime.

Be There, when You are There

There are a lot of distractions in life – cellphones, iPads, computers, games, etc. When you are with your partner, how often are you actually with them? Do you sit and converse or are you multitasking your attention with other things around the house? Take some time out of your day and spend a little of it with your partner. It does not matter how busy you both are, a few minutes a day will make a difference.

Keep Eye Contact

When you stare into the eyes of your partner, you are being intimate. Eye contact is a way to socialize and connect with a person. Keep the eye contact alive during conversations and don not be afraid to make yourself a little vulnerable from time to time.

Show Affection, Physically

When you use physical affection toward one another, you will not only feel great, but you will notice your oxytocin levels increase. This is the feel-good hormone that gives you the “love” effect. It can help increase intimacy and, of course, boost your sex drive.

Listen

If you want to be more intimate with your partner, you need to actually listen and pay attention to what he or she is saying. While this sounds rather easy, a lot of couples seem to forget this over time. You need to block everything out – such as your laundry waiting for you in the dryer or the to-do’s you have at the office. Just tune out your own needs every once in a while and pay attention to your partner. Actively listen to what they’re saying and be attentive.

Be Available

If you are emotionally shut off from the rest of the world, you are holding out on your partner. Your partner needs to know the intimate details. By being available, you are reminding your partner what is special about you, what made him or her fall in love with you and appreciate you. Try to make it a priority to sit down and share the day-to-day activities of your lives together. Consider talking about what is going on at work, what you are hoping to do next weekend and even talk about your dreams and aspirations.

Be Unconditional

Too many couples have conditions to their love. If you expect your partner to change, you will be disappointed when they cannot. Love your partner for who they are – including any downfalls you have found. Your partner needs to know they are accepted for who they are – not what you wish they were.

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Intimacy in Relationships

The word intimacy, depending on who you are as well as your gender, could mean something totally different. The real question is “what does intimacy mean to you?”

Some people may answer that question with:

  • It’s holding hands and kisses for no reason.
  • It’s hanging out and doing stuff together.
  • It’s the look we give one another from across the room.
  • It’s the way we hold one another when we’re together.

Almost every person wants to feel deeply connected to another person on a deep level. They all want the amazing relationship that is built on trust, respect, mutual admiration for one another, and yes, intimacy.

Women, on many levels, have a more emotional connection to the person in their lives. It’s part of their makeup, their DNA. Women tend to love the soft caresses, the little kisses, and the late night conversations while lying on the couch or in bed. Most men, on the other hand, consider intimacy as the moments of playing together, planning a hiking trip together, and the occasional hug. Men and women alike can see intimacy differently. It is not as if the men and women who are not really intimate mean to be. It is just that their definition of what intimacy is may be different than yours.

Intimacy is about building up the relationship and establishing a connection with one another. When looking to build up the intimacy in your relationship, consider the following:

  • Take time to do something simple, yet meaningful, such as drawing your partner a hot bath after a long day.
  • Take a walk together, holding hands and talking about each other’s day.
  • Give each other a massage after a long day.
  • Plan a weekend getaway.
  • Cook a romantic dinner for two.

In order to build an intimate relationship you need to remember that communication is the foundation. Being open with one another is important. It’s also about getting in a comfort zone to where you feel free enough to express your opinions and beliefs. There is something about feeling validated that brings you closer together.

Intimacy in a relationship doesn’t always happen right away. As with anything, it takes time and has to be nurtured. You also have to separate sex from intimacy. Having sex and being intimate are two totally separate things. Can intimacy be intertwined in sex? Yes, but it is still a separate thing from sex.

Too often people associate intimacy with sex and that is what it quickly becomes linked with. You have to know that there can be intimacy outside of the bedroom, and it’s that level of intimacy that keeps the home fires burning.

When you take the time to make even the smallest moments a chance to get closer to your partner, then you will see that the level of intimacy within the relationship will increase. After all, everyone wants to feel needed and wanted. We all want to feel desired. So, take the time to validate your partners’ wants and needs, and intimacy will be something that you naturally have within your relationship.

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Fostering A Healthy Relationship

In terms of Maintaining A Healthy Relationship, in this article we are going to discuss how to foster a great relationship with your partner.  Maintaining a healthy relationship takes time, energy, and work.  With these guidelines to lead as an example, relationships can not only maintain, but also blossom.

Have A Solid Friendship – Ask yourself what kind of friend you are being to your partner.  Apply the same openness that you have in your other friendships to the partnership.  Think about the “get what you give” philosophy – if you want a good friend in your partner, then be a good friend to them.   Provide encouragement and support to your mate to make them feel special and show them that they make a difference in your world.

Know Your Partner – Your partner possesses qualities that make them special to you, as well as a unique person in their own right.  Your partner likely has areas of sensitivities and vulnerability, in addition to their preferences, interests, and values.  Being aware of what makes them “tick” and engaging in behaviors that nurture and support those special qualities can enhance the intimacy and vibrancy of the relationship.  Remember what you honor and respect about your partner.

Strive For Emotional Intimacy – Emotional intimacy has been described as “unbridled mutual self-disclosure” – which implies a willingness to share from the heart.  It means getting in touch with and letting the other person know our feelings.  It is also being authentic; it is through emotional intimacy that relationships grow.

Make Time To Be Together – Cultivate passion and intimacy.  Make time for dates and romance while treating that time together as special and sacred.  Find strategies to create time together that work best for you as a couple.  Some couples devote the first 15 minutes of their morning or last 15 minutes of their evening “their time”; others have a standing date night.  A daily ritual that you both can look forward to being together, while being uninterrupted, will help intimacy and attachment grow.

Let Your Partner Influence You – Many issues in relationships have nothing to do with the “facts” and everything to do with the feelings about the issue.  We are emotional beings, emotions are bound to rise up, especially in our relationships.  It is important that you both understand each other’s positions.  Some issues have no solutions and oftentimes understanding and mutual respect are all that you really need.  Couples learn to simply contain the issues and not let them escalate through positive communication and empathy.

Solve The Solvable Issue – All couples will likely have a few issues that will never be resolved fully, due to difference of opinion and background.  What is important is to develop a dialog with your partner about this set of irreconcilable differences.  Treat them as you would if you were coping with a chronic bad back or trick knee – you don’t like them, you wish they were not there, but you learn to work around them by talking and learning how to live with them.  Having patience will be helpful in these situations, as well.

Create Shared Meaning – As a couple, having some concept of what you both think a relationship and a partnership are supposed to be would be useful.  Perhaps write down your definitions of a successful relationship and do your best to live up to those definitions.  Focus on the fundamental things that are going to make a difference in the long run.  Create specific goals as a couple, and also individually, on how you want to improve your relationship, and then follow through with them.

Maintaining a healthy relationship requires, well, maintenance.  Using these tips and tools will help keep your relationship in balance and maintained.

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Transforming Everyday Relationship Issues

Marriage is not pleasant all of the time, but certainly you will have more happier than sad times. It is natural to have those moments where you question if this is the right situation for you – your partner will do the same. There are, however, those situations that never make it work, like cheating or deal-breaking behaviors. But, believe it or not there are marriage problems that are considered “good” problems that will not mess up your relationship and should never be considered deal breakers.

Fantasizing about Others

A lot of couples who are looking for answers to what makes relationships work are concerned about their fantasies or their partner’s fantasies for someone other than their significant other. Believe it or not, these fantasies are nothing to worry about – in fact, they are healthy. Having an imagination allows you and your partner to open up more emotionally and physically with one another. Of course, you should not act on these fantasies.

Going Out with the Guys

Many women get defensive or feel their husband is leaving them out when they go out for guy time. Interests and maintaining friend relationships outside of the marriage are key in finding what makes relationships work. This break from the relationship allows each partner to miss one another, engage in activities and release any steam that could create tension down the road.

Arguing

You may have fights, but fights do not mean your relationship is over or even close to over. Fighting is a way for partners to share how they feel with one another – meaning you both trust one another enough to get it all out in the open. As long as you both do not attack one another, productive arguing can strengthen your marriage. Also, avoid recycling old arguments – meaning try not to bring up an argument that happened last week. Once it is over and resolved, it is done.

Being Too Tired for Sex

Intimacy is important in any relationship, but there are times one or the other may be too tired to engage in sex or other intimate activities. Today’s couple is often over-scheduled and it is not uncommon to have limited time for intimacy or anything else. Try scheduling a time for intimacy rather than waiting for that magical “spark” so that you have fun – it is something to look forward to and you get that testosterone and mojo moving again.

A healthy marriage can be full of “good” problems. Often couples assume these good problems are detrimental to the success of their relationship and they begin to pull away. As long as you are open, honest and willing to work through your issues, you and your partner will understand what makes relationships work faster than any other couple in the neighborhood.

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6 Secrets for Adding Spice to Your Sex Life after Parenthood

Getting married and having children will result in countless new responsibilities that can distract from the usual passion and sexual excitement of your kid-free days. Many new parents experience significant sexual dry spells, or they simply squeeze in 10 minutes of missionary sex once a month just so they can feel like they are not missing out completely.

It is not surprising that full-time jobs, household chores, and the constant caring of small children can easily spoil the mood. The trick is realizing that sex should not feel like another obligation or responsibility. It should be a desire to connect emotionally and physically with the person you love. Unfortunately, after you become parents, it will take a commitment to spicing up your sex life from both partners.

Here are six secrets for adding spice to your sex life after parenthood.

1. Go Sex Shopping Together

Some men may feel uncomfortable entering a sex shop, but it can be an incredibly erotic bonding experience. Try to openly discuss how you can use certain toys and pick out a special outfit. This shopping trip could also spark a passionate conversation about fantasies that could lead to an amazing sexual experience.

2. Watch a Sexy Movie Together

I know that some women are against pornography, but it really does serve a purpose. It can help set the mood and inspire new moves or positions. Try watching a naughty movie together before attempting to create your own.

3. Surround Yourself with Sweet and Sexy Smells

You may not be in the mood for sex if you have recently change a child`s diaper. Certain smells will interfere with your libido and make it difficult to get in the mood. Set yourself up for success by placing fresh flowers in the room or lighting sweet-smelling candles.

4. Find a Creative Spot to Make Love

The bed is not the only place where parents can be intimate. If your kids are napping upstairs in the bedroom (which is close to your own bedroom), then you can always try using the kitchen table or up against the washing machine in your laundry room.

5. Make Sure to Look Your Best at Night

Quite often married couples will come to bed with no makeup, unshaved face or legs, messy hair, and occasionally an unpleasant body odor if they don`t shower before bed. Someone may initiate sex despite how unappealing one or both partners might look and it is usually rejected. You can avoid this and spice up your sex life by putting some effort into your appearance. A quick shower, shaved legs, and some sexy lingerie can make a big difference.

6. Plan 30 Minutes to Spoil Each Other

It is hard to find any free time when you are married with children and even more difficult to find alone time together. Make sure to block off 30 minutes each week where you can be intimate with your spouse. This doesn’t need to involve physical sex and it may be more beneficial to your sex life if you use the time to kiss, cuddle, or give each other massages.

Always remember that anything you decide to do is acceptable as long as you are enjoying each other`s company without interruptions. Your sex life will eventually improve because it will reignite that powerful connection that you share with each other.