Many loving couples have sex that has become routinely expressed by rigid transactions, propelled by anxieties that reflect the dynamics of their relationship.
For example, if one partner typically withdraws to cope with emotional distress, they will exhibit those similar withdrawing behaviors in regard to sexual intimacy. Most partners are not accurately aware of why these behaviors are present, so they are just left feeling sexually frustrated, unseen and unheard. This pattern often continues, with one partner feeling a sense of emotional or physical disconnection, thereby disrupting the sexual intimacy.
In his book Passionate Marriage, David Schnarch describes a powerful method for increasing sexual intimacy, without requiring nudity or sexual contact called “Hugging ‘till Relaxed”. This method often takes practicing- a few times a week, for some months. You and your partner can begin to improve your sexual intimacy tonight by “Hugging “till Relaxed” with these steps:
1. Stand facing your partner, a few feet away, and get a well-balanced stance.
2. Each of you close your eyes, take a breath, then relax. Repeat as needed.
3. Open your eyes, move your feet towards each other without losing your relaxed, well- balanced stance. Get close enough where one foot is between your partner’s feet. Get close enough to easily put your arms around your partner where each of you feel relaxed and comfortable.
4. Allow yourselves to relax into the hug and continue to breathe.
5. Take note of your resistances- but don’t give into them.
6. Talk about the experience afterwards with your partner.
If you find your sexual intimacy does not improve, or find difficulty in expressing your thoughts and feelings with each other after “Hugging ‘till Relaxed,” I recommend reaching out to one of our mental health professionals.
Written by: Porsha Jones