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Tapping the Sexual Potential of Intimacy

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Tapping the Sexual Potential of Intimacy


Good sex isn’t about just elevating your heart rate — it’s about elevating your heart.
-David Schnarch

The crossroads between our genitals and our neurology turns out to be a super highway. One of the most powerful transformers in the new science of brain re-wiring occurs during deep intimate connection. As some of the mystery of sexual intimacy is revealed through the emerging science of neurobiology, we begin to understand how we are shaped and re-shaped by the people we love and who love us back. The brain actually rewires itself as we open wide to physical love within a committed relationship.

Enjoying intimate connection in a committed partnership is an important distinction because the intimacy we share with someone who loves and is committed to us is qualitatively different from casual sexual encounters. I recently heard my 18-year-old son tell his brother, “Don’t bother with hook ups; it is way more chill to have a girlfriend who really cares about you.” I was gratified that he can already sense how committed relationships change your life compared with the easy hook-up.

In fact our personal relationships are the most gentle and profound mechanism of growth throughout our adult life. As we mature in our relationships we move toward the process of differentiation, wherein each partner develops more of themselves and stops looking to the relationship to validate them. Allowing ourselves to be different from our partners fosters passion and intimacy. By learning to effectively hold onto ourselves in our relationship, we circumvent the classic responses of men sacrificing the relationship to their sense of self and women sacrificing themselves to their relationship.

Building a relationship that has room for both people to be themselves is by definition flexible and resilient. It is also fertile soil for transformative intimacy. David Schnarch, best-selling author of Passionate Marriage and most recently Desire and Intimacy believes that doing the important work of becoming separate individuals actually allows you to enjoy some of the best sex of your life. By not needing to agree or get the approval of your partner, you are free to explore and express yourself deeply and authentically and, which is perhaps the biggest turn-on when it comes to tapping the sexual potential of the relationship.

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called "the essential guide for relationships."  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

24 comments

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5:40AM PDT on Oct 9, 2011

Disgusting porn. Yuk.

2:45PM PST on Jan 1, 2011

"Building a relationship that has room for both people to be themselves is by definition flexible and resilient. [..]doing the important work of becoming separate individuals actually allows you to enjoy some of the best sex of your life. By not needing to agree or get the approval of your partner, you are free to explore and express yourself deeply and authentically and, which is perhaps the biggest turn-on when it comes to tapping the sexual potential of the relatioship."
This...this was music to my ears. I've always believed in being yourslef in a relationship and accepting the other for who they are (or never start a relationship with them in the first place!) and that having a partner who doesn't need someone to agree on everything with them is crucial. I'm tired of seeing people in relationships around me who want their partner to agree on everything they say/do/believe in in order to feel "happy". So thanks for that.

2:08AM PDT on Oct 19, 2010

It's also the safety of knowing he won't be afraid waking up in the morning to your hair being unkempt and no make up.

4:53PM PDT on Oct 18, 2010

There is nothing more satisfiying that falling sleep on your partners arms after a wonderful session of love making...the feeling of complete safety and love is amazing! I hope everybody at one point or another gets to experience it

9:54PM PDT on Oct 17, 2010

Enlightening. Thanks Wendy :)

12:21PM PDT on Oct 17, 2010

I would have called this "Tapping the Intimacy Potential of Sex", rather than the reverse.

"Making love" just meaning having sex is a vulgarity. Making love is much more than sex. Love is the emotional side of compassion, which is about concern for another's welfare and happiness. "Making love" is about doing nice things for each other, as well as oneself, including through sex, to generate more love.

I also consider it vulgarity to show as much of bodies as possible, except for certain banned areas, often seen on TV and the web, usually making the scene rather unrealistic.

I certainly see the advantage of a "committed partnership", but I don't think it should be overly recommended as the only way. We should all feel some love for each other and express it in the most love-productive ways and degrees.

5:40PM PDT on Oct 16, 2010

I'll certainly try the hug until relaxed thing!

2:22PM PDT on Oct 16, 2010

WOW! Excellent article! It is clear and encourages me to re-think my experience. I'm sharing this with my friend!

11:18AM PDT on Oct 16, 2010

What an amzingly fantastic article!! WOW HOT

11:13AM PDT on Oct 16, 2010

Thank you, I really like the gist of the article.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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