The 5 commandments of a passionate relationship
To stop the passion in a relationship wearing off, you should develop your erotic intelligence. Based in New York, relationship therapist Esther Perel gives us her 5 commandments to combine passion with the reassuring comfort of domesticity.
"Sexual desire doesn't have to wear off." That could very well be Esther Perel's doctrine. Where sex is concerned, we need to shake up certain beliefs to experience pleasure again.
To get back the all-consuming sex drive of your early days together, have a look at these 5 commandments and develop your Erotic Intelligence.
1. Thou shalt break through the need for security
According to the therapist Esther Perel, "It would seem that passion and security are basic and separate needs which push us in opposite directions." In simple terms, our instinct tells us both to build a nest and to go off and search out the world. As a result, the emotional wellbeing that we long for so much boosts our sexuality to begin with, and then it ends up by snuffing it out.
Solution: "The ideal thing would be to alternate periods in your life when you are bold and take risks with periods of great stability," suggests Esther Perel. Doing this is like building a bridge between your responsibilities and your wanton desires, and of course crossing it together. Create the right atmosphere: think about doing the washing-up in stockings and high heels to feed the fantasy machine. Or when you drop your boyfriend off at the station when he goes on a job transfer, make time for a "quickie" in the car.
2. Thou shalt distance thyself
The therapist's second basic premise: whatever contributes to a pleasant feeling of intimacy does not always lead to a satisfying love life. To put it plainly, getting emotionally closer can also go hand in hand with an easing off in sexual desire. Once again, our basic and conflicting needs are to blame: we want to be together and at the same time we need to be apart. So we spend time creating a bond by bringing ourselves closer together, merging into each other even, and then trying to break loose. There's nothing surprising about that. We need to feel free and spontaneous to be passionate, and when that's mortgaged off, we can quickly feel locked up by sexual inhibition.
Solution: If you want to carry on having a fulfilling sex life, you must try to put some distance between yourself and the "core" of the relationship. Esther Perel suggests stopping being so close to each other every once in a while (being thoughtful and affectionate towards each other) and refocusing on your own needs, becoming carefree, spontaneous and sexually active again. Like you were when you first met!
3. Thou shalt stop telling each other absolutely everything
"Telling each other everything implies having unlimited access to the private thoughts of the one you love," explains Esther Perel. Yet knowing everything about the other person is not a foolproof way to build a harmonious sexual relationship. All the more so as using language as the main means of communication puts men at a disadvantage and makes women sexually inhibited, as if they weren't able to express themselves with their bodies.
Solution: The therapist suggests that you don't tell each other everything anymore, but revert to that most basic language of all, body language, since our body is more capable than our head of feeling desire. After all, why lock our sex life away behind words and an often very limited alphabet... and why dictate to someone who actually finds it more difficult to communicate with words.
4. Thou shalt abandon the utopian idea that we are all equal
Undeniably, feminists have helped to improve every aspect of women's lives. Without them, no true freedom, sexual or otherwise, would be conceivable. However, without running down the good points, Esther Perel identifies the failings, "of an egalitarian and respectful sexuality, but one cleansed of all expression of power, aggression and defiance, which would fuel the erotic desires of both sexes." According to the psychotherapist, negotiation of power forms an integral part of human relationships, and therefore of the couple.
Solution: It can be quite exciting to bring sex into the dynamics of power and authority at work in an emotional relationship. Why not give in to the attraction of games like being tied up with feather handcuffs, covering your eyes with a satin blindfold, throwing a dice to decide what position to use and "submitting" to the other person's desire. All quite safely, of course!
5. Thou shalt play out thy fantasies
Nowadays, fantasies are considered to be a natural part of healthy adult sexuality. For Esther Perel, "Fantasies are a combination of both our remarkable personal history and the wider field of our collective imagination." They contain the depth and richness of our erotic imagination and also hold the keys to our sexual excitement.
Solution: Don't hold back your fantasies! It doesn't matter if your erotic thoughts focus on a cowboy on a ranch, or if he thinks of a maid or a nurse. Erotic thoughts usually run wild. Our fantasies often feature individuals who embody unbridled sexuality and let you reach a climax which isn't hampered by the complex emotions of intimacy in a couple. Your flights of imagination allow you to bridge the gap between what you can do and what you're allowed to do.
Copyright © 2009 Doctissimo
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