Originally published in PRIME Magazine (February 2016).
The image of love promoted during Valentine’s Day is a rather biased one, and unfortunately one that is hindering our relationships.
Since a young age we are led to believe that there is a specific kind of love that makes a relationship possible, successful and ever lasting. It is the love that sweeps you off your feet. When you feel in-love, all you can think of is your partner; you experience an uncontrollable desire to be together; you romanticise your partner’s flaws, and you are almost obsessed with the desire to be together. Nothing could surpass those ecstatic feelings.
This is an important form of love, and a relationship phase that serves an important purpose, however it will pass and most of all, it won’t make your relationship flourish forever. In fact, once the “honey moon” period is over, for many couples this marks the beginning of the end.
When the relationship becomes familiar, many experience a loss of sexual desire, a desire for more personal space, a sense of distance from their partner. They refrain from sharing their sexual needs with their partners and expect everything to happen naturally and spontaneously.
Would you expect your partner to always choose your food when ordering at the restaurant regardless of what you fancy? Not likely. So why should it be the same with sex?
At this point, many put effort into recreating the “honeymoon” conditions and only get more frustrated when they realise it is not working. We are not taught that the relationship must move into a new phase and that the feeling of being in-love is just one form of love.
Love comes in many forms and the ancient Greeks described at least four types: Eros, Agape, Philia and Storge.
Most forms of love are usually allowed and accepted, but not Eros; Eros is corrupting, contemptible and controversial, and we must stay away from publicly addressing it. As a consequence, we enter adulthood disconnected from our sexual essence, and unable to tell our partners what we enjoy.
We must learn about our sexuality and be connected to our sexual essence. Sexuality is an integral part of our identity and erotic love is an important part of a relationship; it needs to be cultivated for a balanced and healthy life.
Rekindling the erotic is about being present and loving oneself before anything else. When we are connected and congruent we are in a position to be and feel sexy; we are able to enjoy our sexuality and show up as a fuller human being in relationships.
There are many ways to rediscover one’s sexual essence. Here’s some suggestions for this Valentine’s.
1. Write an erotic fantasy
2. Share it with someone
3. Have fun!
Make an opportunity to be alone for 30 minutes. During this period, you are invited to write a sexual fantasy. Use the 30 minutes in full.
Create a fantasy that involves reality (your partner(s), life as you know it…) or even something far-fetched (aliens, other galaxies…). You can take the writing in whichever direction feels right at the moment; the most important thing is that you DO NOT censor yourself. Be free to express yourself, be as bold as you want to be.
Step 2 of the process is to share your fantasy with someone you feel comfortable with, a partner or a friend. Be clear with yourself and your listener that you are just sharing a fantasy. Welcome whatever you create and see it for what it is - just a fantasy. There is no expectation to act on it in any way. You can always skip this step and burn the writing away.
Finally, have fun while you do this! Sex that is always serious, burdened with heavy responsibilities and all in the head is not going to be enjoyable. Be free: Let yourself express your sexual self and develop a language with which you can do this comfortably with your partners and lovers.
Celebrate sexuality in its infinite forms. As you become more present to your sexual essence, you would be surprised to discover what may change. Happy Valentine’s!
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