Good morning! Before you read this I would like to mention that this is a text heavy post, but contains a very informative text. Implementing some or more of the below into your relationship will without a doubt spark new light into the relationship and/or maintain what's already there. Take your time, reflect, review your relationship and notice what you think and feel while reading. If I hit a nerve or two, it's time to make a change. - Be the Palm Tree
Most of you have experienced nature's greatest high in life; falling in love. Being so madly in love all you want to do is be with that person and all you can do is think about that person. You want to feel that person, know everything, learn and listen, breathe him in, taste her lips. Be close, make passionate love, kiss for hours at a time, never tired of having the one you're so deeply in love with as close as even possible. You talk for hours on the phone when you're apart and when you're together nothing else in the universe exists but the two of you.
If you've experienced this high, you probably know a few things about the low part of it all. Dying passion, decreased desire and the painful break up.
Why does good sex fade? Why does desire decrease? Why do you fall out of love? What is the connection between love and desire where both is dependent on each other to survive? How do love and desire connect and how do they conflict?
In love you want to have your loved one close and you want to know everything there is to know. You want to minimize the distance and be together all the time. You want to close any gap in-between. You want to neutralize any tension. You want to stay close.
In desire you tend to not always keep the interest in going back to places you've already been. Desire is like the excitement you feel of crossing a bridge not knowing what's on the other side of it. In desire you don't want to know everything, you want mystery. In desire you need space. You can look at desire like a burning flame. A flame needs air to live, just like desire needs space to live. So there's a paradox in love and desire. Love needs connection and closeness and desire needs separateness and space. Neither love or desire can live without the other so in order to maintain love and desire, you need to understand the complexity of this paradox and incorporate the coming knowledge into your relationship.
When do we feel most drawn to our partner?
1. Separateness and imagination
2. Self-sustainability and mystery
3: Novelty to spark freshness
4: Aggressiveness and openness
5: Predictable yet unpredictable
6: Closeness and freedom
1. Separateness and imagination
"Imagination and anticipation is the mortar to desire." - Esther Perel
What does that even mean? Imagination and anticipation holds desire together as mortar holds bricks together in a brick wall. In other words, it's necessary for desire not to collapse.
During a study of erotic intelligence, one of the questions people were asked was this: "When do you feel most drawn to you partner?"
Answer: "When my partner is away and when I reunite with my partner."
Conclusion; separateness is a major factor in desire.
Why is this so important? What happens when you're apart from your partner? You get to use your imagination! You get back in touch with your ability to imagine yourself with your partner when you're away. When your imagination comes back in the picture and you can root that imagination to longing for and missing your partner, you experience a major component of desire. Therefore, separateness to spark imagination is essential to keep the desire alive. Without separateness, you don't get the time and space to imagine anything, because you're always around each other.
Another important factor in separateness is seeing your partner as a separate union. Your man/woman is not you. You might feel like you're "one" and that your partner completes you, but here again - the paradox. In love it's an absolute necessity to feel as one, but in desire, you need to know and understand that the partner is an absolute separate unit from you. They're their own person and are actually always in a position to leave you if they want to. The discomfort of knowing this reality maintains a desire.
2: Self-sustainability and mystery
Seeing your partner radiate confidence is probably the biggest turn on across the board. Most of us are attracted to confident people. Combine great confidence with a humble and humoristic personality traits and you have a champ when it comes to seductive charm.
When do you look at your partner with desire?
"When I see my partner confident."
"When I see my partner passionate about something."
"When I see my partner in his or her element."
"When I see my partner being social."
"When I see my partner surrounded by people who are drawn to or attracted to him/her."
In the beginning of a relationship you will look at each other with desire all the time, no matter the distance, nose to nose or across the room. With time, that changes. After years together the desire in your eyes will fade. It's when you look at you partner from a comfortable distance, doing something as mentioned above you will look at their partner and know that this person, who is already so familiar, so known, is momentarily somewhat mysterious again. In that space, between familiarity and mystery lays the erotic élan. Élan meaning enthusiasm.
"Mystery is not about travelling to new places, it's about seeing with different eyes." - Esther Perel
When you see your partner on his or her own, doing something in which they are enveloped by something other than you and your daily surroundings, you momentarily get a shift in your way of viewing him or her and you once again open up to the mysteries in that person, a person who is actually living right next you.
Desire and neediness does not go well together. A confident self-sustaining partner who does not need anyone is a true turn on. I for sure do not know of anyone who gets turned on by someone needing him or her, financially or emotionally. Wanting them is another story, but needing them is nothing but a powerful anti-aphrodisiac. Women have known this since forever. How? Because neediness reminds them of caretaking, caretaking is associated with parenthood or motherhood. If a woman is in care-taking mode, in mothering mode, she will not be in lovemaking mode. Most times, if not always, it will decrease the erotic charge. You will not find desire as a ripple effect of neediness. You will find it where you see your partner independent and confident.
3: Novelty to spark freshness
Love needs familiarity, but desire hungers for novelty. Desire loves newness, difference and surprises. The brain is a mysterious place, but there's one thing we do know for sure. It's constantly hunting and searching for growth, new knowledge, new experiences and new impressions.
Novelty isn't so much about positioning things in a new way. It's not about reconstructing a pattern. It's more like adding more value and freshness to what's already valuable. Novelty is the undiscovered parts of you that you wish to discover and bring out. It might be a desire within you to do something you've been wanting to do or at least try to do. Surprise yourself as you surprise your partner. Do something for yourself or do something new together. This will bring freshness in the relationship and spark the desire. It might be as small as changing your hair or buying new clothes, to learning a new language, learning to play the piano or finding ways to laugh so hard you get cramps together. Use your creativity. Novelty doesn't always have to be about changing things in the bedroom, but I would like to mention that it could be a great start experimenting sexually. Tasting delicious new types of food or drinks, taking a walk in a new part of the city, riding a roller coaster or being daredevils on who wins a karaoke sing off even though you can't sing at all will provide the same effect.
So the great news is; we are told we must work to keep our relationship desirable and passionate, but look at it this way, with novelty you can play and have fun together to do exactly that. Don't grumble at changing certain relationship patters or incorporating one or more atypical experiences into your relationship. The result will satisfy you both as experiences like this release dopamine in your brain, which is your brain's reward system. You both will get a sense of self-expansion and bond more closely as the desire for each other burns with novelty habits.
4: Aggressiveness and openness
The more sexually open a woman is and the more open she is to talk about sex, her desires, wishes and needs, the safer a man feels. How does this make him feel safe? The "predatory" fear is one of the biggest fears in men, sexually. Meaning, he's scared his aggressiveness is hurtful or unpleasant, that his aggression is associated to predatory. That he's too dirty, too nasty, wants too much and that there's something wrong with his desires. A woman has got to be open with her man, and a man open with his woman about sexual needs. Why? Because both, but especially men are afraid they're preferences or performance is a disappointment to the woman. Let's take porn as an example. Men love porn. Men dream about having sex like they do in porn. Why? I will tell you. What does every woman convey to the man in porn movies? "I want it too. I like it. I love it. I will not reject you. Give me more. Take me. You're pleasing me. You're gonna make me come. Fuck me harder. Do whatever it is you want to do. Put it anywhere, I just want you inside of me!" You get my point. Porn portrays a mutual desire and everyone wants mutual desire as mutual desire sparks and awakens even more desire.
The three most important factors decreasing a man's sex-drive is
1. The fear of rejection.
2. The fear of performance incompetence.
3. The fear of whether she likes it or not.
A man can never be certain. Most men are often left with doubt after sex, if it was good enough even when you as a woman is as pleased as can be. A man can't hide it. He will get a boner and he will ejaculate. A woman on the other hand can fake it all, over and over and over. The more sexually open a woman is, the safer his predatory urges are. The safer his predatory urges are, the more desire he will feel for his woman. A man knowing he can please his woman is a game changer in the sexual realm of a dry relationship. Be a confident woman, tell him what you want and keep an open mind to what he wants to do and tell him how you want him to do it to make it pleasurable for you too. He will love it and he will obey like a puppy.
It's not always easy to know how to bring your erotic wishes to the person you love, because you want love to comes with selflessness. But desire does come with a certain amount of selfishness, in the best sense of the word; the ability to stay connected to your true self in the presence of another.
Let's talk about aggression in sex.
A woman wants a man to love her, caress her, stroke her, kiss her and talk to her, ask her about her day. She wants him to dig deep into her mind and show interest in her. To always be curious about her. She wants him to embrace her, be proud of her and show her to the world. She wants him to be gentle and kind, cherish her and show appreciation. But a woman also wants him to ravish her. Kiss her hard. Take her. Want her. Dominate. Make her feel irresistible with persistence and aggression.
Woman often tend to think of men as aggressive lovers in a negative matter, but imagine sex without any aggression. Making soft sweet love after a long evening of affection, declarations of love, stroking and kissing is a frequently must, but aggression IS a turn on! Aggressiveness means confidence in erotic terms. It means he knows what he want, he's going after it and it is YOU he's going after. Aggression is the proof of a man or woman wanting their partner so bad he or she feels completely irresistible. That's a narcissistic affirmation. It does not mean you are narcissistic, it just means that the ego, which we all do have, is satisfied to the core when you feel irresistible. So when a woman gets turned on by her man grabbing her aggressively with force and dominance it has nothing to do with him being an aggressive man, it has everything to with a woman feeling so irresistible, the man's aggression, which in many cases aside sex is seen as a negative personality trait, is now the main factor to pleasing her ego and knowing that she is everything he wants. Talk about aphrodisiac!
The same goes for a man as I mentioned above. You know how little boys love comic books and superheroes? It all starts at a very young age. Men wants to feel powerful, they want to save the day and be appreciated and admired. Make him feel like he's your hero. A woman who persistently goes after her man with lust and hunger to have him and frequently show her man that he's the satisfaction she wants and needs, he'll feel like a king, superhero, winner, conqueror, champion and all the greatness he can imagine. His manhood and ego will be jumping up and down like a rabbit on speed. He'll feel alive. He'll feel more in tune with himself. He'll feel confident. He will feel like a true man! And in a man who feels like a true man, sex hormones will be blooming like a hormonal teenager and he'll know you're the reasons he feels this way, which results in more desire and lust for his woman.
On the other hand, if you want to shatter your partner's attraction to you; criticize them, belittle them, limit them, restrict them, judge them and make they feel like they're never living up to your expectations. It's a sure recipe for disaster and divorce or just an unhappy and unhealthy relationship. Be kind, be uplifting, let your partner win with you, make them feel amazing about themselves. This is where love and desire connect the most!
5: Be predictable yet unpredictable
Back to the paradox of love and desire. Give me predictability, but be unpredictable. Give me belonging, attachment and connection, but give me space, distance and separateness. Give me safety and comfort, but give me danger, surprises and mystery. Give me continuity and familiarity, but give me novelty and excitement. Give me certainty and security, but give me the unknown. Give me reliability, but give me the unexpected. Always hold me close, but let me fly. You see? I laugh when I think about the complexity of one single person. Try adding another to your own complexity. Don't tell me it's all a cakewalk and that you're always pleased as punch. Reconciling our needs for security and our needs for adventure into one relationship, filled with endless love and eternal desire demands attention and focus to this paradox and that's not easy child's play. The truth; you are, as everyone else, the paradox yourself.
In this paradox in which you actually are, what seems to be so bewildering is that the very ingredients that nurture love are sometimes the very ingredients that suffocate desire. Because desire comes with a host of feelings that are not always such favorites of love, like jealousy, possessiveness, aggression, power, dominance, naughtiness and mischief. Most of us get turned on by night by the very same things that we will demonstrate against during the day. The erotic mind is not very political correct to say the least. You wouldn't want a partner during the day who wants to own you, is possessive, dominant, holds power over you, talks dirty and tease you. But you do in bed.. Don't you? Oh well, a lot of you do anyway.
A huge part of desire is found where you mix the serious with the fun. Being unpredictable in a fun way is pure magic to desire. When it's coupled with serious predictability, you've found a sure recipe for desire and mystery that will keep the heat in the bedroom. Desire does not long for boredom. Doing the same predictable things day in and day out is flat out boring and is by definition not interesting. In love, predictability has value in security, but will be a desire repellent when it's too much of it.
Predictability is within your comfort zone and you'll be tempted to stay there because it feels normal and safe. But as you're still reading this you obviously want to learn something and not end up in boredom with little to zero spark in your sexlife.
Flirting is always considered unexpected. When you're past the point of dating and the early stages of falling in love are settling for the routines and everyday life, you can easily keep the magic alive by never quitting the flirting. You can flirt with your eyes, your words, text messages, e-mails, send pictures, touch certain areas as you pass them (breats, butt, crotch etc).
You can also do other unpredictable things like taking your partner somewhere; do not tell where you're going or why you're going there until you get there. Be creative. Make it a surprise. Learn something new you know you're partner is interested in to start a conversation you know your partner will be passionate about and let him/her be surprised that you know so much about the topic. Or, learn to do something you know your partner loves to do and join next time. Suggest something new in bed or just do it as you're in action. I think you understand by now. Unpredictability. Something new. A surprise. Novelty!
Unpredictable behavior takes a little thought and creativity, but it will be all worth it. The danger of continuously being predictable is that you and/or your partner will start to lose interest without knowing exactly why. It's just a sense of boredom. Well, now you behold the knowledge to one reason why this might happen or might be happening right now. So as of right now you know a way to change it up, make it fun and burst the desire!
6: Closeness and freedom
Always hold me close, but let me fly. I wanted to make this paradox mentioned earlier a point in it's own. Freedom is extremely important. In other words, do not stand in your partner's way. Did you know that one of the biggest fear people have before committing to a relationship is to lose their freedom?
Limitations are also factors that stifle desire. Understand and always remember that your partner is as I mentioned, a separate unit, his or her own person. Your partner is an adult who has all the right in the world to freedom to make choices for themselves. The more you try to restrict your partner, the less they will feel open, free and empowered around you. We all need support and respect to pursue goals and dreams. You need to give your partner the freedom to be who they are. A confident partner, which I mentioned is a desirable trait, is also someone who recognizes that each person in the relationship needs to nourish their passions. And what did I write about seeing your partner doing something they're passionate about? It increases desire. It all goes hand in hand.
No one will ever be everything or enough for one person. Everyone needs more than just you. So do you. We need friends, family, social life, travel, boys night, girls night, hobbies, passions and space to connect with the "self".
"Put a animal in a cage with the door open, make it feel safe and free within those walls and it'll never escape. Close the door, try to captivate and own it and it will do everything in its power to escape. If it does, it will never come back." - Be the Palm Tree
People have a freedom caged animals do not have, because the door is always open. There's always a choice to leave when they feel trapped, and guess what, most do and they never come back. This is in our nature. No one is born to anything but freedom. In that freedom and in love we need to understand the importance of the paradox of connection and separateness.
Let me draw an image for you. A couple where one partner wants to travel and see the world, meet new people, experience, expand and explore.
Partner nr 1:
Partner nr 1, is the one who truly understands the human needs to go out in the world. The exploratory needs fueled by the hunger for freedom and mystery, the unknown, just as they understand the need for connection. That partner will say; "Oh honey, the world is beautiful place! I want you to see it. All of it. Go! Do it. You're gonna have so much fun!"
When the other partner leaves, they can go off into the world, into their imagination, takes off into a space of freedom, all the while knowing that there's somebody there when they come back. Wherever they go in the world partner nr 1 provides a space where the other can experience the whole paradox all in one. They know you're there and feel connected, while they're out in the world feeling separateness, all at once. This combination will let that partner be able to relax and truly enjoy their time completely. And they will come back.
Partner nr 2:
Partner nr 2 is the one that does not understand this human needs. That partner will say; "No. Why? Why do you want to leave? Don't you have everything you need here? You and I? Together? I don't want you to leave. It makes me worried and anxious just thinking about it. No. It's a no. I can't let you do that."
The other partner will most likely not leave, not at once anyway. Why? Because the human need for connection is greater than the human need for separateness and adventure. They will lose a part of themselves in order not to lose their partner. But they will be robbed of their freedom. And what happens to a caged animal where the door is closed? It will want to escape. If not instantly... Eventually.
If the partner does leave, they will leave burdened with worry, because there's absence from connection during separateness. They will look back at their partner worrying about; is he/she gonna be there when I come back? Will I be cursed at? Will he/she be angry with me? What will happen when I come home? When the partner is feeling trapped while travelling, they will be gone, but they're never really away in a space where the mind is relaxed. They will blame you from taking away the space to relax and truly enjoy their time completely. The worry during absence of connection while apart form each other won't let them know how to leave you in order to have fun, experience pleasure or to enter themselves all by themselves. They won't be able to let go and be their true self in their own minds because they spend time in the mind of the other and not in their own. Some will of course come back, but many won't. And if they do come back, I'm pretty sure the longing for their partner hasn't been that present, which hasn't created the space to miss their partner, to long for their partner, to imagine themselves with their partner again, which as I said, is the mortar to desire.
Now, it's not THAT likely that your partner wish to be gone for weeks or months at a time travelling the world alone, even though it does happen. That wasn't my point. This could be for an hour, a day, a weekend, several days or a week or two. If your partner wants to do something, go somewhere, hang out with someone other than you, see something, experience something, explore a place or just have a day for themselves, let them! It has nothing to do with your partner not wanting to be with you, it has everything to with other aspects of life and other relationships that are important to nourish and take care of. Be happy your partner has interests other than you and make sure you do too! Couples who understand the importance of the paradox of connection during separateness all at once, are couples who feel greater passion, desire, attraction, love and safety.
This destructive freedom-robbing pattern has a damaging ripple effect to desire and sex-drive. On one hand they want to be able to go, on the other hand they don't because they want to please your needs before their own. If they're robbed from their freedom, if they can't grow and expand and follow their needs and wishes, they for sure won't be able to let go in a sexual space. Men even might have great difficulties getting junior to lift the tent, only reaching a level of a half chub. A woman feeling this way will fake the orgasms because they won't be able to let go and get one. They won't get excited about sex because they think too much about the other partner and spend their time in the body and the head of the other and not in their own. They feel responsible for the connection between the two of you and again as I mentioned, responsibility and desire just butt heads. So in this dilemma about reconciling these two sets of fundamental needs, know that the solution to this dilemma is to always hold your partner close, but let them fly.
When desire dies, sex dies. When sex dies, affection dies. When affection dies, attention dies. When attention dies, self-esteem dies. When self-esteem dies, self-worth dies. When self-worth dies, self-love dies. When self-love dies, your identity will flicker and when that flickers, you'll long to feel alive again. Long to scape the deadness in you. That deadness is one of the prime reasons of affairs. An affair doesn't always mean the same as you wanting to leave your partner, it might be more so that you want to leave how you feel and leave who you've become in that dead relationship. It's not as much that you are looking for another person to share your life with, as it is that you're looking for another version of you, the one you used to be. You want to reconnect with sides and parts of you, which you miss. Affairs are usually someone who wants to reconnect with the quality of imagination, excitement, novelty, renewal, feeling alive and the playfulness that sex used to give them. - Be the Palm Tree