With the stress of daily life, intimacy often takes a back seat.
We’re tired. We’re busy. We’re bored. We’ve stopped communicating. And therein lies the problem.
“Too often, we’re too busy or too nervous to talk to our romantic partners, of all people, about sex,” says intimacy and relationship coach Tracy Ziman Jacobs, “but talking is the pillar of a good relationship, both in and out of the bedroom.”
Here, Tracy offers advice to help you get back on track.
Put yourself first
We go into relationships wanting to please our partner – he may buy you flowers, you may invite him over for a home-cooked meal – and this mentality often extends into the bedroom.
We’re so quick to want to please others, to be selfless in everything we do, that we never actually stop to think about our own needs. For an intimate relationship to be gratifying for both partners, each needs to know what pleases them.
Getting to know your own body isn’t shameful; if you don’t know what makes you feel good, how do you expect your partner to know? The problem is, we’re not nurturing our own sexuality. So, how can we get in touch with it again? Start by reading erotica, advises Tracy.
The 50 Shades of Grey series catapulted erotica into the mainstream and, as a result, there are now more options than ever for women to explore it. Immerse yourself in the pages and let your imagination run wild!
Certain TV series can also put us in a great frame of mind for fantasising – Sex and the City, Masters of Sex, The Affair and Outlander all contain heart-pounding sex scenes woven into a great storyline, making them more relatable.
Exercise is another great way to get in touch with your body, specifically Kundalini Yoga, says Tracy, which stimulates the root chakra. Located at the base of the spine, this chakra controls the energy for kinesthetic feeling and movement, and is the foundation of physical, sexual and spiritual energy for the body, she adds.
The power of touch
“Contrary to what you may think, you can live in a marriage and not experience ‘touch’; you can have sex with your partner and not experience ‘touch’,” says Tracy.
“Without the right intention, touching can be empty. Even in our lovemaking, we get into what I call patterning and re-patterning. We do things we don’t even realise we’re doing repeatedly and without intention; almost on autopilot. Once this is unpacked in therapy, many couples realise they’ve become stuck in patterns in their sexual relationship that don’t serve them.”
The way to get back to touching with intention, says Tracy, is through ‘conscious cuddling’, where you ask permission from your partner, and you allow the recipient to say yes or no. “It may sound odd, but it’s very satisfying, soothing, and successful for growing an awareness of meaningful touch, which is the bedrock of connected intimacy in the bedroom.”
Make a date
Making time for two is all-important, but date night takes a lot of planning and both parties need to be invested. It’s all too easy to go to a restaurant, not say a word to one another and end up eavesdropping on other peoples’ conversations to fill the silence. Instead, organise date night at home, says Tracy.
If you have children, make sure they’re being taken care of elsewhere that night, so it’s just the two of you alone in the house, even if it’s only for a couple of hours. Try to think outside the box; it needn’t cost you an arm and a leg – you could give each other a full body massage with beautiful smelling oils, or enjoy a bubble bath together with candles.
Even making a delicious home-cooked meal together will up the intimacy levels, especially when sharing the fruits of your labour over an indulgent bottle of wine you’ve saved up for, perhaps. Or something a little more racy, perhaps…
- Article by Julia Mafcher
We’re giving away an intimacy coaching session with intimacy and relationship coach Tracy Ziman Jacobs valued at R800. To stand a chance of winning, simply fill in the form below. Please note that Tracy is Joburg-based, but if you live elsewhere, the session will be done via Skype.
The competition closes on 30 September.