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  • feedwordpress 00:32:40 on 2015/03/09 Permalink
    Tags: arousal, , , , ,   

    How to Put a Healthy Dose of Space & Mystery into Your Relationship 

    Isn’t space the opposite of what marriage is about?

    Eroticism occurs in the space between self and other.

    It isn’t always the lack of closeness that stifles desire, but too much closeness. And while love seeks closeness, desire needs space to thrive. That’s because love is about having, and desire is about wanting.

    Space invites otherness and differences. Between me and the other lies the erotic élan. In order to have wanting, we need the sense of mystery, a bridge to cross and someone to visit on the other side.

    How do you bring mystery to a relationship that’s quite established?
    When you ask people when they are drawn to a partner, they say, “when I see him or her from a distance… when he plays with he kids, when he surprises me, he is different.” “When she is on stage, doing something she’s passionate about, when we are at a party and I see her talk to hoer and hold court,” etc. In none of these situations are we caretakers, the perfect anti-aphrodisiac, and that person is momentarily less familiar and again mysterious. We make our partners into something knowable. The big illusion is that you actually need to know that person.

    But certainly, after spending day after day with someone, there aren’t too many surprises. You must know that built in to your mate is someone you don’t know. You hear your partner talking to someone else about new things…you find that there are things you don’t know about them.

    How do you take the steps to create mystery and space?
    Be more independent. Have your own friends, see the movie you want to see, cultivate your own interests. Reach out to your partner–the way you would to a friend. Listen to them as a separate person, separate from you. Be curious! Invite them to an evening at the museum instead of he usual movie. It shows that you’re still looking to please, impress, surprise – all erotic elements.

    What if, by attempting to create this space, your mate becomes threatened?
    Ask what they are worried about, reassure them. Indeed, space must be balanced with security. Discovery and exploration rely on a good dose of trust. Indeed some of us are afraid and so we ask our partners to forego their freedom to ensure our security, but does that ever make us really feel secure?

    Is there a risk to allowing someone too much space?
    Fusion is a fake notion of security – there is just as much risk when keeping someone too close. I find that those who leave a relationship are often suffocated. When you feel you have easy movement, and you show your partner you trust them, both parties stay willingly. Yes, there is a danger that some people abuse the freedom (no doubt) or that when they move away the other barely notices it. Too much closeness may be a problem, but too much distance is as well.

    The post How to Put a Healthy Dose of Space & Mystery into Your Relationship appeared first on Esther Perel.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:45:09 on 2015/03/05 Permalink
    Tags: arousal, , , , , , ,   

    How Infrequent Sex Can Still be Good 

    Does infrequent sex equal a failing relationship?

    No! Complainers sometimes want more, but they always want better. They want to reconnect with the poetics of sex. There is a real pressure to have sex in a measurable way. It used to be that you were ashamed because you had too much sex before marriage, now you are ashamed because you have too little, too much pressure. People will experience that desire ebbs and flows, but it’s important to focus on how to bring it back. How do you engage each other erotically? There are plenty of warm, affectionate relationships and if the sexlessness is mutually accepted, then there is no problem.

    So the quality is more important than the frequency?
    Yes, people want to feel alive. If there is a spark between you but it only happens every few weeks, that’s okay. The renewal, the connection, the playfulness is what most people are longing for.

    When do you know if you are in trouble?
    If it’s months, or when you say, “I’m living with my brother,” or, it’s like, “I’m married to my best friend who I’m not attracted to,” then the way you perceive your partner has become desexualized. When you feel this couple has become family and the desexualization is not about tiredness or stress. When the gaze is never on you. When you go for months and you never think of it except to hope your partner does not think of it either.

    Must both partners agree to the amount of sex?
    Yes – If both people are fine with the frequency of sex. What is the erotic connection between two people? If the passion is there, infrequency is only a problem when it becomes active avoidance. Desire discrepancy is often a problem, but it is not the difference between the partners as much as how it is deal with.

    The post How Infrequent Sex Can Still be Good appeared first on Esther Perel.

     
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