Is your love life getting boring? Psychologist and sex therapist Dr. Marianne Brandon on how to spice up things in the bedroom this Valentine’s Day
Well it’s that time of year again – whether your lover is delighting you or making you miserable, it’s time to acknowledge your love for him/her. Valentine’s Day is all about lovers. And just like sex itself, this holiday can bring with it a sort of “performance anxiety” – because if you don’t perform to expectations, your lover may not be so happy with you.
Not everyone softens to this kind of pressure. Some people become Valentine’s Day “scrooges” and refuse to participate. But I’d like to suggest that Valentine’s Day is actually a fabulous idea, and you can use it to your advantage – and your lover’s. With the right attitude, you can turn this into a win-win holiday.
For starters, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about chocolate hearts and roses again this year– that’s so 2011! Why not make Valentine’s Day a little more interesting and useful? If you are like most couples, your love life could probably benefit from an energy shot. For one thing, that’s because it’s so very easy for sex to become routine over time.
Is your sex life getting kind of boring?
Most couples find a certain pattern of foreplay and intercourse feels best, so they get into the habit of repeating what works. However, over time, this repetition becomes a recipe for boring love-making. And boring sex may be the single most common relationship concern, even though people don’t always admit to it. Why not use Valentine’s Day to rectify this dangerous but understandable mistake?
But it’s not just a boring love life that is meddling with intimacy these days. Another common problem that can sabotage is actually a natural outgrowth of living – closure. That is, life has the power to shut us down emotionally without our realizing it. Stress alone can do it – and who among us isn’t stressed these days? Stress causes us to tighten and withdraw. This is a natural self-protective mechanism that we do without realizing it. We cut ourselves off a bit from the world so that life feels a little less challenging. However, when we put this distance between our inner selves and the world, we unconsciously bring it into the bedroom. Our closure becomes reflected in our love life – in who we are as a lover. We become less accessible to our partners and even to our own sensations of pleasure! How would you rate yourself as a lover these days? If you aren’t making a regular effort to counteract the natural process of closure, it’s probably affecting your love life. Of course, this can create a negative feedback loop – the more you close, the more your partner closes in response, the more you close to them, etc, etc…
Enter Valentine’s Day – your perfect opportunity to stop these nasty trends dead in their tracks, and hit the sexual “reset” button. And in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’m going to suggest that you borrow some ideas from the ancient Eastern art of tantra to heat things back up a bit.
It may surprise you to know that one powerful way to intensify your love life is to make it more “heart-focused.” The ancient Eastern art of tantra can provide us with some suggestions. Tantric practitioners intensify love making by enhancing openness and vulnerability of body and heart, and bringing a sense of sacredness to their intimate moments. The more open and loving people feel, the more of their emotional selves are available for intimacy, and the more passionate the experience. Plus, revealing more of your emotional self can have the added advantage of increasing anxiety which also fuels passion – a moderate level of anxiety can actually increase excitement. Love-making like this takes us to our sexual edge, which fuels a passionate connection and keeps intimacy from getting boring. Have I convinced you?
Here are some exciting ways to revamp your bedroom behavior on Valentine’s Day like never before:
- Honor your lover by writing them a love letter, explaining all the reasons you love him or her. Write about what attracted you in the first place, and why you admire them. You can leave it on their toothbrush or the front seat of their car. This will open both of your hearts a little wider and set a loving tone for later.
- Before making love, spoon consciously. Cradle your partner and concentrate on matching your breath with theirs. Surrender control and let your body adapt to their rhythm. Imagine your body melting into theirs, as if your skin is dissolving and there is no barrier between you. Let your body be consumed by your lover’s body.
- During foreplay, be conscious of the way you are touching your lover’s body, and what this touch is communicating to them. The way you touch actually says more to them then the words you speak. Make love to their face, belly, hands, and back with just your finger tips.
- Open your eyes while you make love. If you are a woman, imagine letting your partner penetrate you with his (or her) eyes. Allow your partner to see into your soul. Or, if you are the one doing the penetrating, then use your gaze to enter your lover’s body through their eyes. Use your gaze to claim your lover.
- Make love as if it’s your last chance to be intimate with your partner. Sadly, this is the case for all lovers eventually. Making love with this truth in mind can help you not take your lover for granted. Use your body, eyes, touch, and moans to communicate how much you love and cherish him or her.
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