Communication is very important in our intimate relationships AND so is physical closeness – affection, intimacy and sexual interaction. Often, communicating our physical needs bring some of the greatest challenge in our relationships.One partner might want more affection without it leading to sex. Another partner might feel that there is not enough sex.
In my relationship there is a lot of affection and sexual contact. There is a foundational agreement of not leaving each other feeling hungry or in need, making sure that we are both full and satiated in our relationship.
When people feel hungry or dissatisfied with the level of connection in their relationships it leads to breakdowns in communication and connection, sometime this leads to other people starting to look more attractive.
I find that many people are afraid of feeling vulnerable, afraid of asking for too much, of being too much for their partners, of being up front about their needs, or frightened of rejection, and so the communication does not happen. It’s worth acknowledging that most people have felt rejected for their sexual or affection needs at some point. either by a current or past partner. In acknowledging that, we bring to the surface that everyone feels somewhat vulnerable in this area.
I feel it too, my partner is extremely loving and supportive, but there is still a part inside of me at times that holds back my expression, and feels afraid of asking for what I want and need. Though, when I do ask, he is happy to hear my needs. It provides him with direct information about what is important to me. And even if I am asking him for something that I have asked for in the past, I ask with the same energy and tone that I would have used the first time.
Why? Because we are all human. We all forget things. Men’s single focused nature makes them a little more likely to forget than women. If a woman can accept that, then she is less likely to carry resentment and charge.
Also, if you give him great feedback, he will be motivated to remember. That is, “ooooohhhh, wow, that feels so good, thank you, just what I needed” is much more inspiring than.. “I can’t believe I had to ask you again.”
If you want to know more of what your partner would love from you – in terms of type of sexual experiences, frequency of sex, how much affection, what type of affection feels good, and what might be missing in physical contact, set up a date for talking about physical needs.
I have included some questions to get you started below. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself and each other in the sharing. If you start to react to each other, take a deep breath and ask whether that serves your relationship?
– What forms of affection and touch do you like?
– How often would you like to experience those?
– How do you feel when you are touched in those ways regularly?
– What would you like to experience more of in foreplay?
– What would you like to explore in our sexual experiences – types of energy? positions? frequency of sex?
Let the conversation be open ended and acknowledge that you don’t have to work it all out today. You might feel new responses arise in the following days. DO make one commitment each to meeting the other person’s needs.
It might be for more cuddles in bed before falling asleep. It might be to make space for sex once or twice a week, without clock watching.
My experience is that most men and women are not having the quality of intimate connection they desire in their relationships because they are not prioritising physical contact.
So remember these points:
1. Make space to talk.
2. Share your needs and desires.
3. Allow space for your vulnerability and your partner’s vulnerability.
4. Keep resentment and the past out of the conversation.
5. Give heaps of appreciation for what you enjoy.
6. Honour each other’s needs.
7. Don’t keep score – give generously and you will find that love coming back to you!