Sex, Intimacy and Union Make For a Successful Relationship
Two voices, one message.
I went to lunch with my girlfriend Rachel the other day, and she was glowing and exuding a wonderful sense of calm and peace.
“Hey, what’s up with you? You seem so different than last time we met,” I asked her.
She looked at me, smiling, and proceeded to tell me how close she and her partner David were feeling. They had participated in a class on sexuality in long term relationships, using exercises from a book called Hot Monogamy, and were feeling much closer erotically than they had in quite a while.
This led us into a longer conversation about sex, intimacy and union and reminded me how important this issue is to new as well as long term relationships. Rachel told me that they were both feeling like everything was flowing more easily in their relationship and that they were much warmer and more supportive of each other since talking about sexual issues and working with these exercises.
There are many things that contribute to a successful relationship. One of the most important is a sense of being connected to your partner, of being intimate. When you actually experience union within your relationship, it makes most issues seem workable and it helps you to be open and undefended. Although sexuality is not the only means to the experience of union, it is a primal one. Once you have direct knowledge of union, you will be more apt to seek it in other ways in your relationship.
This sense of intimacy and connectedness naturally leads you to seek mutual solutions that will work for both of you. The understanding of being on the same side is strongly heightened and results in a peaceful, calm acceptance of each other and your differences.
Giving time and priority to activities that strengthen your sense of union is the key here. Whatever these may be for both of you, structuring your togetherness so that these experiences are developed and fostered should be your goal. If you have the intention to be intimate, and the belief that it is possible, you will find many ways to bring that into actuality in your shared life. Those who take time to be intimate are the partners that experience successful relationships.
Intimate, adj. Pertaining to the essential nature of a thing.
In my childhood, The News of the World was a salacious weekly newspaper that would coyly report that the vicar had intimate relations with a number of his parishioners. These days, such delicate euphemisms are less common, but the newspaper was correct in its assumption that sex and intimacy are – well – intimately related.
Sexual arousal is a feedback loop: one person gets turned on by their partner’s arousal, and vice versa. (If it were not this way, the odds of both people being turned on at the same time would be so reduced that sex would be relatively infrequent.) For this feedback to happen, each partner must both be aware of their partner’s state of arousal, and able to show their own. This sharing is pretty much the definition of intimacy. Note carefully that this knowing of the other is not sexual arousal itself; the two occur together.
Often however, people focus on sex and ignore intimacy. This may lead to great sex for either or both parties, but it is not a mutual experience. Neither is it mutual if one of the partners is only concerned with their performance. Instead, intimacy is about both parties sharing each other’s pleasure and experience.
Is the universe one or is it many? Are we all separate individuals or are we all connected? We are both, just as each page in a book is unique, yet part of a whole. But our individuality is so strong that it hides this dual nature. To experience it, we must let go of our ego, our sense of self, and open to a different experience. Intimacy is one gateway to the experience of union.
It is easy to ignore something when you don’t believe it exists, and union is one such experience. So sex enables intimacy which enables union. Believe it, look for it, experience it.