Recently a reader wrote in:
I very much enjoyed your article, 10 Things Sexually Connected Couples Do. My biggest question is around emotional intimacy in long term relationships. What role does emotion have in long-term sexual satisfaction? Can emotional closeness be a part of the seduction?— Seeking intimacy
Hi Seeking Intimacy,
I am happy you wrote in with this question. People do get confused about the role emotions play in long-term sexual satisfaction.
To unleash and expose our full erotic self, one must be willing and able to be present during intimacy. This requires us to be completely ourselves in the presence of our partners. Most people would consider this kind of “showing up” to be intimacy. Intimacy as a big catch-all word that describes different experiences. It carries various meanings. We each come with our own opinions, definitions and needs around intimacy.
In my article you wrote to me about, I do not address the emotional component. For these 10 steps to be helpful, your relationship must be functioning ‘well enough’.
In my article, the bits about: respecting each other, being able to share openly and the ability to be present, would be very difficult for couples who are struggling to stay connected emotionally.
Although, even if couples are working through issues unrelated to sex, it is possible to stay sexually connected.
In 7 Secrets to Mind Blowing Sex (bottom of the page), I encourage reflection on why one turns to sex. What want to feel? If you go to sex to feel close and connected you may be seeking emotional intimacy from sex. For instance, if you want to feel at one with your partner during sex, being emotionally connected would be a huge part of how you get turned on.
Other people may want to feel naughty, powerful, relaxed, penetrated, or anything really. People go to sex to get many different needs met — do you know what you are looking to get out of sex? The first step is learning what you want and need, and communicating that with your partner.
Thanks for your inquiry!