Note: This is the first of a two-part series. Click here for part two
Dear Neil: My marriage of 33 years has lost its sexual vitality. We are having occasional sex, but it’s no longer magical, or even special. Could address the question of what a man can do if he wants to infuse his marriage with a renewed sense of passion?
Wanting More in Boulder, Colorado
Dear Wanting More The following is a list of sexual “secrets” every man should know:
First, connection is the aphrodisiac, not technique, or flowers or candlelight. Women long for emotionally intimate connection prior to intimate touch. They yearn for transcendence of their separateness through merging with another. These profound needs cannot be satisfied merely through sexual arousal and orgasm. Nothing short of deep emotional connection fully satisfies these longings.
Connecting intimately is about creating an emotional atmosphere—an openness of heart—that you must constantly nurture together. It requires deep heartful sharing from both of you, of your inner dreams, your longings and your vulnerabilities.
Second, affection—soft touches, warm hugs and sweet kisses—is a fabulous kind of foreplay. It soothes the body and buoys up the spirit. Women love men who are affectionate, who cuddle, who love to be physically close even if sex isn’t involved. Of course, being physically close with a woman is one of the things that make them want to have sex with you.
Third, offer your presence and your response: to her tears, to her words, to her touch; to her hopes, to her dreams, to her prayers.
Response is joining. It’s heartfelt participation. It’s a way of standing inside the pain and the joy and the hope and the fear of another person’s experience. “I’m sorry to hear that;” “That sounds awful;” “How wonderful;” “I’m so happy for you;” “You must be scared;” “I bet you’re excited;” “I can’t imagine how that must feel.” We allow our mate safety in being vulnerable around us when we heartfully respond with our presence, compassion and caring.
Fourth, some men feel emotionally “cold” during the sexual act, because they are afraid to truly emotionally surrender to their woman. But if you feel a bit dead toward your partner, of course you’re going to have a hard time feeling a lot of passion with her.
The solution? Treat your wife like a woman you want to seduce. Treat her like the woman you hope will spend the rest of her life with you. If you hold her this way in your heart, every thing you do with her will feel more romantic, more erotically charged.
One more thing. A large number of women in committed relationships want to be treated like the ripest fruit on the tree: taken, eaten, devoured—a testament to how irresistible they are, how deep the need their lover has for them. Don’t be too timid this way. Let her know that you absolutely need her, that you’ll choke to death without her.