Taking risks can enhance emotional intimacy in loving relationships.
(Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash)
By Dr T J Jordan
Relationships will lose their zest and luster unless we find ways to nurture and enhance sexual excitement. Humans have a remarkable capacity for adaptation. However, when it comes to sex, adaptation can work against us since it means that what is new is destined to become old and boring unless we do something to rejuvenate our sex lives.
During the early phases of a romantic relationship, we are involved with establishing trust and security. We don’t need to be concerned about fanning the erotic flames because passionate excitement is a natural consequence of a new connection.
Once we have explored initial steps toward intimacy, and have established the security of our love, we tend to become complacent. We yearn for security, yet we find chronic safety boring. Media tells us that this is the natural course of relationships, that we ought not to trouble ourselves over lessening desire.
This belief will lead us to uninteresting and even sexless relationships. However, we can avoid an end to hot sex and waning intimacy.
A Menu of Sexual Adventures
In her book, Mating in Captivity, * Esther Perez writes about creating distance in long-term relationships as a technique to enhance the erotic. She remarks that love rests on two pillars: surrender and autonomy. Eroticism flourishes in the subtle balance between our needs for profound connection and our needs for independence.
This distance is best understood as an emotional one, perhaps an emotional risk. When we are sufficiently secure in our love, we might explore the effects of some risk-taking. We continue to fear abandonment, yet we relish the excitement of living on the edge.
Sexual adventures typically evolve to mean erotic activities that involve people beyond our significant others. There is risk inherent in this kind of activity.
My partner believes he would be turned on by watching other couples make love and possibly by being watched while I make love to him. (Of course, I will engage in…