1. Illusion: Out of lust means out of love.
Fact: You can love someone in a romantic way even if lust wanes.
Humans have a drive to feel lust, and we also have a drive to feel companionate love. Although these feeling states can co-occur at the beginning of a romantic relationship, they are ultimately separate sensations. That means you can feel lust without love, or as a relationship ages, you can feel love without lust. If you are like most people, you want to feel both at the same time. This means that you have to consciously create lusty passionate experiences if that natural passion starts to wane.
What to do? Your best bet is to keep doing new things sexually – newness brings back the sensations of passion. So bring your creative, adventurous side into the bedroom! Try new positions, make love in new places, and wear different things to bed. Stretch your sexual boundaries on occasion so that you don’t get stuck in bedroom ruts. And don’t be stingy – the more you give, the more you’ll get back for yourself in return.
2. Illusion: What you put in your grocery cart does not impact your sex life.
Fact: A healthy body is an important part of a satisfying sex life.
Eating healthy requires a conscious effort today. We are bombarded with “food” options that are filled with unhealthy fats, carbs, toxins, and empty calories. It is very possible that most of the stuff you put in your grocery cart really wouldn’t quality as food, in the purest sense of the word. And this can have numerous negative effects on your sexual health. For example, obesity correlates with low libido and erectile dysfunction, not to mention poor body image and decreased athletic capacity. Nutritional deficiencies cause low energy and a diminished ability for the body to respond sexually.
What to do? When you are making your food selections, remember that what is unhelpful for your body is also unhelpful for your sex life – and vice-versa. So look at those fruits and veggies in a new, exciting light! Juicy, succulent, ripe, foods support a juicy, succulent, ripe sex life!
Fact: Passion can be enhanced by understanding our more primal sexual instincts.
It is true that most couples experience a decrease in sexual chemistry as a relationship ages. But there are things you can do to enhance and resurrect those intoxicating feelings of sexual longing and desire. In heterosexual relationships, highlighting the differences between male and female sexuality can intensity your experience between the sheets. Traditionally, masculine sexuality brings a dominant, confident, tenderness to the bedroom, while feminine sexuality is more emotional and vulnerable.
What to do? Gentlemen, offer your partner a strong but loving presence in the bedroom. Take charge and make her feel wanted and cherished. Ladies, gift your partner with the soft, open-hearted receptivity that women can innately bring to a sexual connection. Engaging these innate sexual responses can trigger an instinctual desire in your partner. So take sex out of your head and into the deep, and passionate realm of your ancient, mysterious sexual body.
4. Illusion: If your love is strong, you won’t be sexually attracted to other people.
Fact: Even people in loving, committed relationships are occasionally attracted to others.
Just because you are in love doesn’t mean you are immune to attractions to others. It is natural for men and women to fantasize about other people – even while making love with their partner! Most of the time these feelings don’t become a problem if people don’t act on them.
What to do? See if you can use these thoughts and feelings to fuel the passion in your intimate relationship. Can you channel the excitement they generate toward your partner? If you are thinking about other people too much, and it’s getting in the way of your feelings for your partner, then it would be a good idea to talk to someone about it – a friend, therapist, or your partner. It could mean that something is going on in your relationship that needs to be addressed.
5. Illusion: The safer you feel in your relationship, the better your sex will be.
Fact: Some mystery and uncertainly in a romantic relationship can fuel desire.
It seems like safety and passion should go hand in hand – the more you have of one, the more you’ll enjoy of the other. But that’s actually not the case. For most people, a little safety allows enough trust for passion to flow. But too much safety can create an atmosphere that is boring and uninteresting – a place where passion can be hard to come by.
What to do? Try to keep a little mystery and even a little distance in your relationship. Giving yourself and your partner a little space can make for a bit of tension, but this tension can translate into passionate longing in a way that too much safety never can.
More from Dr. Marianne Brandon:
- 6 Reasons Why Men More Inclined to Pay for Sex, by Dr. Marianne Brandon
- 4 Lessons I’ve Learned as a Sex Therapist
- Dr. Marianne Brandon: Connecting Without Sex (SLIDESHOW)
- Sex and the First Year Postpartum, By Marianne Brandon, PhD
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