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Relationships. The role of intimacy and sex
Relationships. The role of intimacy and sex
1.The condition or fact of being related; connection or association.
2.Connection by blood or marriage; kinship.
3.A particular type of connection existing between people related to or having dealings with each other: has a close relationship with his siblings.
4.A romantic or sexual involvement
There are many types of relationships:
Marriage and family
Social non sexual
How does intimacy and sex play in a relationship?
Below are some comments from others that should be helpful in our quest for a relationship that is meaningful
“Intimacy in a relationship cannot be a thing of the past. Healthy relationships continue through choice, implying a continual re-commitment to and renewal of the relationship, and a constant freshness. Intimacy is also something that must be re-created from moment to moment within the relationship.
Question: What five things represent intimacy for you?
Question: What five things represent intimacy for your partner?
Question: What was the most intimate aspect of your relationship in its earliest days?
Question: What's the most intimate aspect of your current relationship?
Question: In terms of intimacy in your relationship, what's changed, and why?
Question: What five activities can keep or re-introduce intimacy in your relationship?
"While the one eludes," wrote the poet Robert Browning, "must the other pursue." The novelist, John Fowles, described relationships as two pendulums swinging in the same plane. When they swing together there is a maximum of comfort and a minimum of passion. Passion results when they collide, swing apart, and collide once again, as long as the pendulums don't swing apart so violently that their connection breaks and they fly off in opposite directions. Browning and Fowles are describing a delicate "dance" between partners, a rhythm beneath the relationship.
Question: In what ways do you draw your partner close, and consciously try to attract your partner? Think of four things you do to draw your partner closer.
Question: What things do you do that push your partner away? Think of 4 things you do to move away from your partner.
Question: Do you move in harmony, or are you constantly moving in opposite directions -- when one of you is moving closer, is the other moving away?
Question: What are 3 things that your partner does to draw you in, and what 3 things keep you away?
"Life without love is like a coconut in which the milk is dried up." Henry David Thoreau
"Good sex....Improves our health and may even contribute to our longevity."
Scientific evidence is accumulating support what many of us have suspected all along: good sex not only adds great enjoyment to our lives, but it also actually improves our health and may even contribute to our longevity.
In a new book called Sexual Healing, Dr. Paul Pearsall, Director of Behavioral Medicine at Detroit's Beaumont Hospital, writes that the joys and pleasures of living life and loving may provide us with something called an "intimacy inoculation" that actually protects us from disease.
Dr. Pearsall, who cites numerous other researchers, concludes, "Growing numbers of physicians now recognize that the health of the human heart depends not only on such factors as genetics, diet, and exercise, but also --to a large extent-- on the social and emotional health of the individual."
Sexual healing is achieved primarily through the daily challenge of maintaining a close, intimate relationship which, when accomplished, leads to balance between our health and healing systems.
Can lack of sexual intimacy create a risk factor for certain diseases? Dr. Pearsall cites research and his own clinical experience ndicating that sexual dissatisfaction seems to be prevalent prior to a heart attack in a high percentage of persons. Conversely, sexual contentment appears related to less severe migraine headaches, fewer and less-severe symptoms of premenstrual syndrome for women, and a reduction in symptoms related to chronic arthritis for both genders.
Although the exact biological mechanisms are not yet identified, many researchers are investigating how our thoughts, feelings, brain, immune system and sexual/genital system interact, influence each other, and affect our health. There may be an actual biological drive toward closeness, intimacy, and being connected to other human beings.
When we experience intimate, mutually caring sexual intimacy, we may experience a measurable change in neurochemicals and hormones that pour through the body and help promote health and healing.
"Hormones that pour through the body help promote health and healing."
Does this mean that to live longer or be more healthy we just need to DO IT more often or better? Of course not! Sex is a much broader concept that genital connecting or having an orgasm. Psychologist and author Gina Ogden, Ph.D. notes in her book, "Women Who Love Sex", that sex has everything to do with openness, connection to and bonding with a partner, feelings about what is happening to us, and memories. For those who love it, sex permeates their lives and is not merely a specialized, time-intensive, physical activity that takes place under the covers--as quickly as possible.
As a result of interviewing many women, Dr. Ogden learned that sexual desire, or lust, was produced by much more than physical stimulation. For women, according to Dr.Ogden, it has more to do with feelings of connectedness in their relationships: "Heart to heart, soul to soul, even mind to mind."
"For women, it has to do with feelings of connectedness in their relationships."
When discussing sexual connecting, Dr. Ogden's interviewees spoke of a FLOWING CONTINUUM OF PLEASURE, ORGASM, AND ECSTASY, rather than a one-time experience. They also described peak sexual experiences as coming from stimulation all over their bodies--not just from their genitals--including fingers, toes, hips, lips, neck, and earlobes.
Obviously, arousal and satisfaction evolve not only from receiving sexual energy, but also from the joy of stimulating one's partner. Sex, then, is a commitment of give and take.
Finally, the women Dr. Ogden studied have their own concepts of safe sex, essential to experiencing sexual pleasure and ecstasy. This kind of safe sex does NOT relate to preventing STDs or pregnancy; it relates, instead, to emotional and spiritual safety. Such safety is CRUCIAL for sexual closeness. Most of the women insisted that warm, loving connections with themselves and with their partners were essential to and inseparable from the experience of sexual ecstasy.
When people feel deeply close while merely holding hands, they are having sex. When people display caring for each other through hugs, caresses, and kissing, they are also having sex. When connecting people in a crowded room wink at each other in their own secret way, they are communicating sex to each other; such non-contact sex can be excitedly arousing and emotionally fulfilling. And, of course, during sexual union when the sky seems to open so a lightning bolt can strike the couple--while fireworks ignite and the earth stops spinning-- this is sex, too.
But wait. Do men also need this almost spiritual connection to enjoy sex and achieve good health? Well, yes and no. Men need sex and men need emotional connection, but many men don't necessarily need to put the two together!
According to Dr. Bernie Zilbergelt, who wrote The New Male Sexuality, sex for women is intertwined with personal connection. For some men , sex is unto itself--an act to be engaged in with or without love, with or without commitment, with or without connection.
Presently, younger boys are being socialized in a more enlightened manner; consequently, male attitudes toward sexual union are changing. But,unfortunately, the socialization of many men born in or before the 60's provided very little information of value to the formation and maintenance of intimate relationships. These men were taught, as youths, that males showed love by doing, not by talking or "connecting" with girls.
"Fortunately, anyone can...restore closeness, intimacy, and sexual flow."
Older men were usually also socialized to be strong and self-reliant, which usually means one doesn't easily talk about or admit personal problems. Many such men do not acknowledge worries and fears to their partners; they simply try to handle everything on their own.
A consequence of such reticence is (1) lack of intimacy in the relationship, with the wife feeling "left out" of her husband's life; and (2) men often don't get what they need because they don't know how to ask for it, so they feel distanced and frustrated when they really want closeness and intimacy as much as their partner does.
Sex under these conditions creates distance in the relationship or creates sexual dysfunction which drives an even deeper wedge into the relationship. This is especially true if a man is married to a woman must be wanted by her husband to have her sexuality validated.
Consequently, sex routinely becomes mechanical, unfeeling, and unfulfilling. Fortunately, anyone can break this vicious cycle and restore closeness, intimacy, and sexual flow in the relationship. “
8/30/2005 10:20 am
Mizzkitka, Thanks. Words well spoken.|