A Fresh Perspective on Enhancing Marital Connection
Getting close and personal is key to keeping that spark alive in any relationship. Those special, intimate times aren't just about feeling good, they're about forming a deep, spiritual bond that brings us closer to each other and to God. But let's be real, sometimes it's hard to let go and truly be in the moment, and that can leave us feeling a bit out of sync.
One common pitfall is "Spectatoring," a concept introduced by Masters and Johnson in 1970. It refers to an individual adopting a third-person perspective during intimacy, which includes evaluating their performance or their body rather than focusing on the sensations and their partner. This type of self-monitoring can induce unnecessary pressure and harm your overall performance.
Luckily, we have at our disposal a variety of tools and strategies to help deepen our connection and focus during these intimate moments.
Dual Control Method: A Breakthrough in Understanding Intimacy
In her book "Come as You Are," Emily Nagoski introduces the concept of the "Dual Control Method." This framework proposes two metaphorical mechanisms influencing our sexual experiences: the "brake" that inhibits sexual response, and the "accelerator" that stimulates sexual response.
Understanding and acknowledging these two systems can be invaluable in improving the quality of our intimate moments. By recognizing what triggers our brakes (stressors, distractions, and fears) and our accelerators (positive stimuli, comfort, and trust), we can learn to create an environment conducive to more fulfilling and stress-free intimacy.
The Power of Mindfulness
Mindfulness, or the practice of being fully present and immersed in the current moment, is another potent tool for enhancing our experiences of intimacy. Aiming for a "mindful" state, instead of a "mind full" state, is the key to truly enjoying the physical sensations of intimacy. Dr. Lori Brotto, a respected professor and author of "Better Sex Through Mindfulness," uses a simple raisin experiment to demonstrate mindfulness – a practice that can make a world of difference in our intimate connections.
Simple Techniques to Foster Mindful Intimacy
Integrating mindfulness into your intimate moments can be as easy as using your senses. Here are a few ideas:
-Light a scented candle to engage your sense of smell
-Savour your partner’s scent or taste
-Listen attentively to the sounds you both make
-Make deep and meaningful eye contact with your partner
-Use a mirror to add visual elements
-Trace your fingers over your face and body, or your partner’s
-Experiment with various textures and sensations like ice or feathers
Remember, it's okay to lower your expectations during certain stages or situations. Life can be busy and full of distractions. It's normal to find it challenging to maintain full mindfulness in such times. Open communication with your partner about your challenges can lead to mutual understanding and shared strategies for enhancing your connection.
Clearing the Mental Cobwebs
When we talk about intimate moments, it's important to remember that your thoughts matter. If you're struggling with old habits or wandering thoughts, it's okay to ask for a little divine help. As it says in Romans 12:2, ask the Lord to renew your mind and spirit. Pray for forgiveness for impure thoughts, and for the strength to have "the mind of Christ" (1 Cor 2:16). Trust us, you're not alone in this, and a little prayer can work wonders.
On your journey, consider seeking a mentor. These wise guides can share valuable experiences and provide spiritual guidance to help you improve your love life in ways that honour God.
Remember, being totally immersed in your love life might not always be easy, but it's definitely worth the effort. So go ahead, spice things up, and let the good times roll!