The most common client I get for my healing practice is a woman in her 40’s or 50’s. She has been in a relationship for 10-20 years, and her children are already grown up. The passion in the couple’s relationship is long gone, and with it, so is sexuality. Often the woman has done at least some work on herself, maybe even therapy, and may blame herself for not being able to be intimate with her partner. She would like to get back in touch with her sexuality and enjoy her partner on this level as well.
What is the role of men in this? This may be specific to our Nordic culture, but the men of this generation do not seem to be interested in introspection or getting in touch with their true self. Many men are indeed very sensitive and even emotional, but perhaps lack the tools to communicate and express that in an effective way. It could be difficult, if not impossible, to ask these guys to join a couples’ retreat.
The big question here is: How do you start working on the relationship in this situation?
If the woman is too pushy and tries to get their man to do something, it may bring up strong defenses. Totally understandable. So what to do?
Here are some gentle and simple steps that you as a couple could use to build up connection and spark deeper intimacy.
Take heed of your time
This point could be found in any productivity or time management article, but the same principle applies here as well.
You should be resting and recovering one third of your day, and perhaps you’re working another third. How do you use the remaining hours? How much do you watch television? How long you aimlessly scroll down your Facebook feed? Playing games, maybe?
You could track your activities for a few days to see where your time goes. You can do it either on paper, or by getting a time tracking app for your phone. You only need to do this for a couple of days until you see patterns in your time use. All those moments on social media can add up to hours in your day and week.
What is more important? Your real world life partner or your digital world?
Once you see the patterns of your use of time, you can prioritize a bit. Could you dedicate some of this time to your partner? Just an hour a week to start with? You can agree on a specific time in a week that you dedicate to your relationship. Set this time, mark it in your calendar and stick to it. You will appreciate it later.
When you find this time, you may wonder what to do… Read on!
Connect with your partner
Take some time to connect with your partner, every day. It does not need to be that long. Take, for example, a few moments when you go to sleep, or when you wake up. You could name three things that you are grateful for just now, in this moment. Or ask your partner some Big Talk questions.
A Big Talk question is a question like “How do you show your love” or “What makes you feel most alive”. You can see more examples and ideas on the Make Big Talk website. I love these questions, and we often use them as ice-breakers at our events. It works wonders!
Touch and physical connection is crucial for our well being, but it can be tainted with goals. You can simply be present to your partner, you do not need to achieve anything or prepare for a sex act. Just learn to appreciate the moment of gentle touch and caress. You don’t even need to do a massage, just stay present with your hands. Gently stroke your partner, give them time to relax. You can melt into each other’s lap. Or you can do a gentle tantric massage at home. See Fanny’s tips for that in this post.
Touching increases the level of the hormone oxytocin, the love hormone. It creates deeper bonding, increases empathy and builds trust. All the essential qualities for a more fulfilling relationship.
You can also learn about different ways to appreciate your partner. The Five Love Languages is a popular book by Gary Chapman, and here on this chart you can see his idea of five different styles of giving and receiving love. Which type do you resonate with?
Forget about goal oriented sex
This is a big one. Everyone has heard that men are like fire, that they’re quickly ready for sex and penetration, and that women are like water, that it takes time for them to warm up and open. Men, do take this seriously! Make sure you give your woman enough time to relax and get aroused. Enjoy the moment, learn to enjoy giving, learn to enjoy the way you give. Communicate with your partner, ask them what they want. Slow down. Slow down even more!
For men, it can be difficult to let go of their urge to ejaculate, but you can start to practice to prolong your love-making with some tantric tips that I wrote about in an earlier post. For me, this has been the most important insight in conscious sexuality. Until I started to practice ejaculation control, I felt like there was something missing in sexuality, something deeper was lacking.
It’s also often the case that once the man ejaculates, they just drop down and fall asleep. If you do not ejaculate, this does not happen, and you can stay present to your partner.
If you as a man start to ejaculate less, you will notice that your libido will increase as well, which in turn will affect your partner. And thus a nice positive upward spiral has begun!
Stay present with your partner, have eye contact. Breathe together. You can have your genitals touching each other, or you can even be in penetration, but stay still. You will see that less can be more, and your sensitivity can increase a lot when you stimulate each other less.
What else is there’s to do?
I know these ideas may sound like a simplistic solution if you have been disconnected for a long time. And so it may be necessary to give yourself a push. Perhaps join a tantric workshop, with your partner, or alone. You can search courses near you from our directory.
If you really want to dive deep and spark up your relationship, here’s a great online tantra course by Sofia Sundari.
Take your time, take baby steps. Be patient. There’s no miracle pill for this, but I believe that the connection can be found, and the spark rekindled!
If you would name just one way to receive appreciation from your partner, what would that be? Leave your comment below!
Ps. Do you know someone who could benefit from these tips? Share or send it to them!