If you listen to what the world tells you about physical intimacy in marriage, you will end up believing that it’s all about you getting your own needs met. The actual truth is, when you allow yourself to focus solely on your own needs during physical intimacy, you are missing out on the very best that physical intimacy has to offer you — you are sacrificing a deep relational connection on the altar of personal gratification. This is the point where it starts to get very interesting because when you seek personal gratification, that’s all you get. But when you seek a deep emotional connection with your spouse, you get that and so much more, plus you get mutual gratification thrown in like the icing on top of your favorite cake.
"When you seek personal gratification through sex, that’s all you get. But when you seek deep emotional connection with your spouse, you get that and so much more, plus you get mutual gratification thrown in like the icing on top of your favorite cake."
What is the best way to seek deep emotional connection during physical intimacy?
For starters, let go of demands and preconceived ideas about physical intimacy. Start with a blank slate that says only one thing, "I want to get to know my spouse on a deeper level and I will use all five of my senses to do so." You want all of your senses engaged for at least five minutes for maximum enjoyment. This is your foreplay. But don’t set a clock to time yourself, just be sure to slow down and take it all in. Are you ready? Remember that these five senses we are talking about are sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch.
Let's start with sight.
When you see your lover, what attracts you? What are the parts of their anatomy you love to dwell on as if you had a snapshot in your mind that nobody else could ever see or take away? You need to be respectful of your lover at every step along the way — do not picture him/her in any untruthful, inaccurate, or degrading way. Your lover should know about the picture you have of them and should wholeheartedly approve of it. Dwell on that image some more. Add to the imagery by looking at who is right in front of you and fill in some additional details. What is grabbing your attention? Is it the way her hair flows off her neck and onto her shoulders? Is it the way his hands look strong and masculine, as if nobody could ever harm you when he is holding you with those hands? Savor this image that you are building in your mind the way you would savor a fine wine or the best steak you have ever had. Don't rush this moment; just savor it.
Let's layer on some smells.
Why don't you light a candle or two to set the mood and add some amazing scents to the room? Now, tenderly come up from behind your lover and allow your nose to waft in the scent of her hair or the scent of his cologne. Just take it in. Be aware of your breathing and slow it down so that you can take in this moment. How does that scent enhance your time together right now, at this moment? What if you were to smell a shoulder or an arm? Attach that scent to your lover in your mind and protect it forever.
What about sounds?
Listen to your own breathing as it starts to increase its pace. Try to slow the pace of your breathing again. Slower and deeper. Listen to your lover's breathing as well. Is it getting louder? Deeper maybe? Is the rhythm of your breathing changing? Say something adoring to your spouse and listen intently for their reply. Is his/her reply spoken with words, or is the reply more nuanced like an intentional and approving look or something else? Focus on your lover's breathing again. Every inhale and each exhale. Notice how his/her breathing changes as they see, smell and listen. Are you doing anything that is changing the rate of your lover's breathing? What about your own? Again, slow down and take it all in.
Add some tastes to your senses.
If you were to kiss your lover's lips gently, what would their lips taste like? Can you identify the taste, or is the taste unique to this moment. Please take it in. Log that taste into your memory bank. As you explore other areas to taste, don't forget your manners to be a polite and caring lover – learn to ask about what you are tasting. Say, “Is it ok me to taste here or there?” and wait for an answer. A "yes" means that your lover will anticipate what happens next. A "no" means you haven't pushed too far in a direction that your lover is not ready for. After all, this might hinder the mood. As you learn to be more in tune with your senses and those of your lover, you will also learn to welcome their yes/no directions. When someone feels safe enough to tell you yes or no, you are both in a very good place. Take another breath. Look your lover in the eyes for a moment. Listen to your lover's breathing again. Is everything ok so far? Take it in.
Touch can be the most powerful, so we have saved it for last.
The truth is, you have already been touching your lover to get this far. What does her skin feel like? What do his arms feel like? Memorize a part of your lover's anatomy using only your hands. Slowly and gently stroke your hand along this part to complete your mental image. Now, play your memory back, slowly in your mind.
By this time, you should be having so much fun delighting in both of your senses that you have forgotten all about "performing." And that is the point. Lovemaking should never be a performance, instead, it should be a mini-vacation when a maxi-vacation won't fit into your current budget. It should be a way to connect deeply and profoundly with that one human who is completely yours. Using all five of your senses will only get better for both of you with practice. How about the next time the two of you have dinner alone, you enjoy reminiscing about your time together. Ask what your partner liked the best or the least, then incorporate that feedback into your next round of experiments and adventures together. Take it in!
In the past, have you struggled with only wanting your own needs met? If so, confess this to your spouse.
Name the five senses that God allows you to use to enjoy connecting with your spouse?
Why is learning to slow down so important?
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By Brad & Tami Miller. Copyright © 2021