Stop reading this article right now and think back to the days when you were making love with someone you were really into. Seriously. Close your eyes and let your imagination and memory take you to a specific day or night in time when you felt particularly aroused and excited to just spend time with the person. It could be 3 weeks ago, 9 months ago, or 20 years ago. She could be a long lost love, your current girlfriend, or long-time wife/partner. If your logical mind starts to rationalize, judge, distract or limit your imagination during this exercise, just be aware of it. That’s what it does. It is programmed to keep you “safe” or “in the know”. (And unless you’re operating heavy machinery, in which case you probably should’t be reading this anyhow, I promise you are safe.) Stick with the exercise. Now is a good time to practice giving yourself permission to be free - maybe even playful, to let your imagination override your thinking-mind.
Recall the way you felt as you prepared for a date with your lover. Remember the time you spent thinking about impressing her, or about kissing and touching her? What was it like being eager to share yourself and explore all you could about this gal? Was there a desire to know what made her laugh, or what her fears or quirks (or kinks) were? Were you a little more than curious to experience her mouth on yours? What might her passionate kisses be like? Remember the inquisition to discover what turned her on so much that she would melt (or writhe) with utter abandon and satisfaction in YOUR arms?
You can feel that energy, excitement and vitality, right?
Who would ever consciously give that up?
The thing is, we are not (often times) conscious when it comes to sex and relationships and our emotions. We think there’s a linear progression to things: Excited and enthused at first (reference above), then the “honeymoon phase” wears off. Then we are really familiar with one another so we don’t try/explore as much. Then we start managing the logistics of cohabitation. Then we know what she’ll say so why even ask. Then we spend our days taking care of business, kids, bills and our nights watching tv or some other unconscious activity. The routine sets in and we “disconnect”. The result of this pattern kills the romance and sexual attraction we are invigorated by in the beginning. At this point many of my male clients report “wanting to try something new”. I also hear, “I want to feel alive and desirable again” which occasionally means seeking sexual gratification outside the relationship, even paying for it as a means to fulfill a deep human deisre. The reality is, this creates more guilt and fear rather than satisfaction and connection. It doesn’t have to be this way.
What’s that you say? How is it possible to experience something new if we know everything about each other? Well that’s just it. If we “think we know” then we will always get exactly what we are thinking out of an experience (and sometimes this thinking stops us from even making an attempt). I’ll use lovemaking as an example.
If you see yourself in a version of the routine I described above with similar thoughts about lovemaking consider what it might be like to NOT know. Rewind to the visualization exercise we started with. All your thoughts about lovemaking happen in your mind anyway, right? Well instead of thinking you “know” what she’ll do if you kiss her neck or slide your hand down her backside, or what she’ll say if you express your desire for erotic sex, let yourself imagine you “don’t know”. Let it be an all new experience. Let yourself be curious. Invite her to be curious with you. Allow the energy of your first time together be present.
What if you had a conversation about curiosity and lovemaking in advance, in which you both agreed to “not know” how things would go? What if you gave your thinking-mind a break and allowed your feeling-body (or at the very least, your imagination) to take over? What if you both shed the cloak of “logical, practical, responsible”, took off the hat of “fear, disappointment, and the past”, or set down the suitcase filled with “regret, routine, and resentment”?
As Valentine’s Day approaches, consider taking the opportunity to forego junk-filled chocolates and stuffed pink bears with little hearts reciting some worn-out sentiment. Instead invite your lover into an exploration of each others sensual natures. Your bodies, your souls. Get out of your thinking-mind. Get out of your routine. Get out of your every-day roles. Be curious. Be imaginative. Be new and exciting for one another. Be sexual.
Have the conversation tonight (feel free to share this article with her). Make the preparations. Let the anticipation build (that’s just as exciting!). Finally, when the date arrives...PLAY! Have fun. And let me know how it goes.
Empowering Conversations About Sex....With Love and Honor,
Note: for the sake of brevity and based on my professional experience, I have used the feminine (she, her, wife, etc), as this article primarily addresses men in heterosexual relationships. I am curious, though. If you’re in a same sex relationship and would like to share your experience as it relates to this article -- email firstname.lastname@example.org.