Whenever I ask a couple about the problems in their relationship, invariably, the answer is “communication”. Why would every couple say this? Effective communication is one of the required ingredients for intimacy. Without it, so many other aspects of the relationship suffer. Therefore, my Valentines Day gift to you is an excerpt from my latest book, The Recipe for Ecstasy The Couples’ Guide to Intimacy and Pleasure. The following exercise addresses effective communication. It’s just one of the essential ingredients to the recipe for ecstasy.
Effective communication is an essential ingredient in your recipe.
The sharing of thoughts, feelings, and experiences that accompanies the growth of intimacy in order to learn about each other requires spending time together without the ordinary barriers with which people protect their privacy. Thus, one of the key steps in developing an intimate relationship is self-disclosure, the willingness to tell another person what you’re thinking and feeling (Masters, Johnson, Kolodny, 1986).
When you talk to someone directly, you benefit from, both, verbal and non-verbal cues. However, it is not always easy. Choose the path of least resistance. You or your partner may not be ready for this form of intimacy. Check in with each other to gauge if you need to start with baby steps (written communication) or if you are ready to talk openly in person. There will be plenty of time to develop the skill of face-to-face communication. The most important thing is to get started. Therefore, share in a manner that is comfortable for you.
Listen as this woman clearly articulates how the level of communication facilitates the process of arousal and intimacy.
“We lay awhile, just stroking and talking. We ended up having a long, intimate conversation about sex. We shared personal histories, laughed, and reassured each other that what we were doing now was fine. We kept stroking and asking each other, ‘Do you like this?’ ‘How does this feel?’ Pretty soon I was telling him that it felt really good — we were looking into each other’s eyes — ‘How’s this?’ Soon he was exploring my labia, clitoris, and entrance to my vagina — still looking and still asking. Each advance, we went slowly and checked in, always feeling and talking with our eyes and faces. I began to feel incredibly aroused. When his penis came in me, we went slowly, still checking, although part of me wanted to go wild. We ended up making love for a long time, still checking with each other every time we tried something new.”
Here is a woman who knows how to ask for what she wants, and — fortunately — she has a partner who cares enough to give it to her. They were both seeking and giving information. It sounds so basic, yet many people fail to do it. Communication is a pathway to intimacy. Start by sharing your history.
Sometimes we don’t even need words to convey how we feel. This person incorporates newness, intimacy, non-verbal communication, and positive self-regard in a lovely recipe for ecstasy.
“It was the first time I’d gazed into my partner’s eyes while making love, knowing that he cared how I felt and wouldn’t go anywhere unless it felt good to me. That wordless communication marked the rest of our sexual life together. I felt reaffirmed, desirable, and respected and liked just for myself. I loved the communication.”
Remember this is your recipe; choose intentionally. A shared journal, blog, phone conversation or email may assist in relieving anxiety or fears about sharing. You could also leave little notes in special places. This may be a prelude to foreplay or a playful way to initiate sex.
Share Your Secret Ingredients
Independent Study. Use the space provided to decide what to share about your history and how to share it.
Sous Chef’s Notes