Sex isn’t a natural function – at least not intimate sex. Intimate sex is a natural potential that requires development for its fulfillment.
David Schnarch PhD, author of the pioneering work, Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships, believes that intimate sex isn’t something that often happens in your 20s or 30s. Drawing from his extensive experience, intimate maturity takes time. “Sexual intimacy has to do with disclosing yourself through sex; people who can let themselves be known have more potential for profound sexual experiences.”
For people to let themselves be known, they must first know themselves fairly well and be comfortable sharing intimate details! This generally does take until we are well into our 30s, maybe even 40s, and grows clearer over time. His quantum model of sexual response offers a multilevel view of “…how all the complex aspects of human sexuality fit together. It considers many dimensions of sexual experience, including depth of involvement and profoundness of sex, intimacy, desire, and sexual style.”
Schnarch emphasizes that:
There is no beauty in sex, the beauty is in people. Sex becomes beautiful when we bring our personal beauty to it. The issue isn’t simply who your partner is, whether you’re in love or how good you can do it. It’s who YOU are.
Sex then revolves around how you relate, excite, and stimulate your partner. The Sensualogist feels that if you are self aware and use good judgement, even new encounters and relationships can have fabulous sensual results. For most couples, those encounters are embraced with general monogamy in mind. However, if intimate play, compliments, and banter have been a part of the seduction, even new lovers of experienced age can find amazing satisfaction and closeness.
Being there with your mind is something The Sensualologist expounds on. But Schnarch goes beyond that and explains the important concept of differentiating, and how this individual mindset is crucial for turning long-term sex into electric sex. “Differentiation is the ability to stay in connection without being consumed by the other person,” he explains. Not separating to the point of indifference nor towards emotional fusion, but balancing individuality and autonomy with emotional connection under one roof.
Schnarch clarifies further. “[Differentiation and mutuality] offer a solution to the central struggle of any long-term relationship: going forward with your own self-development while being concerned with your partner’s happiness and well-being.” Not being concerned to the point of self-sacrifice, and staying slightly selfish almost ruthless in your desires, is actually a service to you both. Hot sex happens when there is some challenge, some flame and curious fascination with each other’s mind and body.
There are many other tips and strategies for arriving at this important differentiation point. Schnarch’s work is “…more than a roadmap. It outlines a lifestyle, a way of living, a way of being in the world.” After helping the reader build a new framework for the relationship, he then proceeds to explains how sex and intimacy operate as a complex system in an LTR or marriage.
His amazingly insightful theories revolve around first feeling good about ourselves and sex. Then taking us into the next step of making love, and having hot sex, specifically together. Let the steamy times begin!
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