Apart from being a fun element of every successful marriage, sex is also a necessity, because it has the superpower to promote intimacy…

If you and your partner were Hollywood movie stars, things would perhaps be pretty uncomplicated. You would probably have had dozens of sex partners before you met each other and exclusivity might not even be that important. With every sexual experience, sex would have become cheaper and less important, until it was later reduced to a mere physical pastime with no emotional ties at all.

But as a reader of Intimacy 4 Us, you probably believe in the Christian definition of a marriage and acknowledge sex as a gift from God. Which complicates things quite a bit. Because sex is not just a physical act. It is much more than just a joyride for your body… Sex has physical, intellectual, emotional and social benefits and, in addition to being fulfilling and satisfying for each party, it can also strengthen a marital relationship and the bond between partners.

Did you know that sexual gratification is related to general quality of life? The more you have sex, the better you feel about your health and yourself. It keeps the spark alive and sustains desire for you partner in-between the harrow of the daily realities we deal with. It is that one element that makes your relationship with your partner unique.

Yes, there are probably many people who you love dearly, but only one with whom you share that super special intimate bond.

For men and women, the effect of sex is slightly different, although it ultimately comes down to the same thing. If there is intimacy between a husband and wife in a marriage, chances are good that they are happy, because intimacy within a marriage eliminates many problems. Many men see it as a barometer for their marriages. If there isn’t sex, there isn’t love, they believe. Well-known author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, John Gray, says: “Generally, if a man’s emotional and fervent need for love is not fulfilled, he gets bound by sex, while a woman tends to get trapped by romance.”

Unfortunately, many sexual activities occur with little or no intimacy. If there is no intimacy, a woman will experience a void in her heart, but if it is present, she will easily feel very affectionate towards her partner.

There is a strange connection between sex and intimacy. Sometimes we avoid sex because we desire intimacy. Or we want sex because we fear intimacy. Couples often think that by trying new techniques or buying sex toys, they can improve their sex life, but according to Zoë Kors on www.elephantjournal.com, focusing on the physical elements of sex can, in fact, drive a couple further away from true intimacy.

How do you bring intimacy into your sex life? According to Zoë, you can try the following:

  1. Don’t talk
    One tends to see intimacy as part of secrecy and it definitely is intimate to share your deepest thoughts and desires. But one also tends to hide behind words and use conversation as a way to avoid vulnerability. We tell people who we are, instead of showing them, Zoë points out. True intimacy with a lover happens in the quiet moments between words. Therefore, try to make time for silence in the bedroom, without saying a word.
  2. Don’t focus on the final destination
    Make time to have orgasm-free sex, because by focusing on the end goal, you sometimes miss the beautiful moments along the way. So, decide for once to take orgasm completely off the table. Thereby you will give each other the opportunity to be present and appreciate the connection every moment brings, without any distractions or obligations.
  3. Take your time
    A quickie is not the answer to intimacy. Yes, it is fun and sometimes all you have time for, but also make time for long, lingering sex where you can really focus on each other. It is difficult because we live in a fast-paced society where sex is just one of the many things that you have fit in the limited hours per day… but create an opportunity every now and then to really get lost in the moment and forget about time.
  4. Undress each other
    Take off each other’s clothes just like you would open a special gift. Because that is after all what your bodies are to each other, so think of a gift that is wrapped in special paper and ribbon for you. Take turns to remove one item at a time and kiss each other’s bodies as you go. Dim the lights, or go for a single flickering candle in the room so that you both feel comfortable. This is a good way to show your appreciation for your partner’s beautiful body which you have the privilege to enjoy.
  5. Look your partner in the eyes
    We often close our eyes during sex, because continuous eye contact exposes our vulnerability. Therefore, using your eyes as part of the intimate play can be very powerful! Look each other in the eyes during sex. Try not to break eye contact, even when it feels natural wanting to do so…

When sex is applied in the right way, it can strengthen the intimate bond between you and your partner, but it won’t happen by itself. Therefore, make an effort to connect on an emotional level while you have sex and your marriage will reap the benefits.

Additional sources: www.finehomesandliving.com; www.healthyplace.com; www.elephantjournal.com