There is something magnificent about the back of a woman’s neck or the gentle sloping curve of her hip – or his. There’s a certain kind of splendor to silk slipping sensuously off a shoulder and yet, even these delectable delights are not the makings of real intimacy or love. Although these sensations can usher us into a temporary state of ecstasy, seldom are they able to maintain the excitement over the long haul. It’s not fun making love with someone you don’t respect or trust. Mind-blowing sex that is transformational and moves through to the soul, in a sustained way, starts in the heart and works it’s way down to other body parts. Even the most sexually liberated of men will admit they too long for a deeper connection, and have difficulty finding it, which drives their urge for multiple partners.
Bed death occurs slowly. This terminal process starts long before we get to bed. As couples we connect on four levels: intellectual, spiritual, emotional and physical. Bed death begins insidiously the moment we start to disconnect on any of these levels. It begins when we stop talking about what we need and want or how we really feel in a relationship. It starts when we are no longer connected spiritually or share a mutual purpose and path. It can begin when we stop being affectionate with each other or when we start to lose respect for our partner. Bed death is a symptom, not the disease.
Being in a conscious relationship requires a certain amount of courage. Looking at real problems can be scary. It can also be liberating and connecting. Every couple in my practice who begins to reconnect through meaningful communication and problem solving, reports a renewed sense of sensuality and sexuality in their relationships. Oddly enough, they start having fun in bed again.
Some of the main factors that contribute to bed death are:
1. A lack of courage in dealing with unresolved issues.
2. An unwillingness to express one’s truth or real feelings
3. Denial about the impact of having a non-sexual relationship
4. Acting out through emotional or sexual affairs
5. Holding secrets that evoke guilt or shame
6. A lack of true commitment to conscious relationship
Bed death is seldom really about body image, body type or physical issues. Even the most Rubenesque of bodies can and do have outrageous sexual lives.
Do you want an insurance policy against bed death? OK. First you have to know that in real relationships where there is real intimacy – there is no experience of bed death. And, you have to realize real relationships are not for sissies. That means you have to be willing to do the work to keep the love and sexuality alive. Here ’s how.
Make sure that your partner stays a best friend. Do what you need to do in the form of communication, time alone and soulful exploration to deepen the connection between you.
Make sure that you are not getting distracted outside the relationship because you are afraid of intimacy inside of it. Intimacy means profoundly interior or “most within.” There may be times when you are getting so close, perhaps closer than you have ever been to any other human being, and so you sabotage the process by disconnecting physically. People who are afraid to go farther out into the ocean of intimacy will often disconnect physically first.
Make sure that kindness is the overriding quality of your exchange with your partner. Criticism, belittling, demeaning are features of a relationship that is seething with unresolved anger. Unresolved anger makes it impossible for people to feel safe in bed. They’ll pass.
The minute you start thinking you know what your partner wants and needs in bed – start being curious about what you don’t know! Taking it for granted that there is some level of knowing about each other that we reach in relationships that then stays static, completely misses the point that we are ever changing human beings who are growing and discovering new aspects of ourselves daily. What your partner liked yesterday he or she might hate today. Ask. Don’t tell.
Finally, get the “O” out of Oh My God, Too much emphasis on orgasm can take all the fun out of passion and stifle the desire. Sexy maneuvers, tricks and techniques take the passion out of lovemaking and move it directly into becoming mechanical. When you are making love to your partner as a gift of simple pleasure, the orgasm becomes secondary to the sensual intimacy and joy of connection. The fastest way to get the performance anxiety out of lovemaking is to stop the performance and get into the loving. If you need a gentle, safe way to reconnect, you can get an exercise designed to help you simply by emailing me at DinaEvanPhD@gmail.com.
© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013
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