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S is for Intimacy

For so many people these days, sex has become synonymous with intimacy, just as drinking and taking drugs have become inextricably linked with partying. In addition to sex being a potential form of intimate connection, I want to offer three other words beginning with the letter “s” that can foster splendid satisfaction for couples: sensuality, surprise, and spirituality.

Shared sensual experiences by themselves, as foreplay, or as part of a sex act certainly represent a means to express and heighten intimacy. Here are some diverse examples of sensual activities that you may find nurturing or arousing. I invite you and your partner to extrapolate from this list and to add other items that you find especially sensual.

  • Listen, and perhaps dance, to musicCouple feeding each other
  • Engage in couple’s yoga poses
  • Cuddle or spoon
  • Massage or simply rub lotion/oil over each other’s skin
  • Create a scented setting with flowers, essential oils, incense, and/or aromatic candles
  • Feed each other delectable, colorful foods and beverages
  • Don evocative clothing
  • Illuminate a room with candlelight or subtle lighting
  • Arrange visual or artistic displays
  • Blindfold each other to intensify your sensual and/or sexual experience

Couple surpriseThroughout our marriage, my wife Ruth and I have loved taking turns surprising each other. Sometimes we spontaneously arrange a surprise activity/event or give the other a gift. At times we have also agreed to alternate months of scheduling a special surprise. Some of our surprises have been as simple as going out to dinner and reading poetry at the table or buying concert or theater tickets. We have delighted one another through arranging surprise parties. My favorite surprise was Ruth blindfolding and dressing me, then driving sixty miles to a costume party at an airplane hangar. Dressed as a sultan, I playfully picked up a harem of women during the evening.

Consider some ways that you can surprise your beloved without being elaborate or spending an excessive amount of money. Conversely, what would be an outlandish, perhaps once in a lifetime kind of surprise that would clearly thrill you both?

Couple meditatingFinding various forms to share spirituality with each other may significantly enrich your relationship. Some ways to engage spiritually involve worship, meditation and other practices, inspirational reading, being in nature, and discussion. My favorite definition of spirituality is that it’s “everything, period!” When both of you embrace your inner and outer life–making it your oyster–you continually expand your horizons. In the process of doing so, you lovingly open to one another and touch others in meaningful, sometimes profound ways.

Your relationship coach,
Jim Sharon

Jim SharonJim Sharon, Ed.D., a licensed psychologist in private practice, has served as a counselor for over 40 years. He attained his life coach certification in 2001 and has received additional training in spiritual direction. Since 2014, he and his wife, Ruth, have specialized in coaching committed, devoted couples to significantly enhance their relationship. Jim and Ruth were voted best relationship coaches in Colorado in 2015 and 2016. Jim has previously served as a business and agency consultant, presented at state and national psychological conferences and has appeared on many radio and TV shows. He is the author of two books and many professional articles.

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