We all dream of finding that perfect someone to live happily ever after with. And many of us do find that someone. Everything feels right- from how you fit together holding hands, to how you make love. There is the excitement of the engagement, planning a wedding, honeymoon and finding a new home together. The sexual fire between a couple usually begins to simmer down once life has finally settled into the “happily ever after” part. Why is that? It’s hard to wrap our head around this, but feeling love or closeness with someone does not always mean sexual desire.
I highly recommend reading The Erotic Mind: Unlocking the Inner Sources of Sexual Passion and Fulfillment” By Jack Morin, Ph.D (Harper and Collins). Central to Dr. Morin’s understanding of how sexual passion works, is what he calls “The Erotic Equation,” which is:
Attraction + Obstacles =Excitement.
So happily ever after does not always mean sexual fire. In fact, it usually means embracing “warm sex” in long-term relationships. But you can change that if you understand The Erotic Equation.
He says that although most couples seek to have a harmonious romantic life, sexual arousal is fueled by conflict and “the dark side of lust.” Romantic desire and hot sex want lots of obstacles. Think Romeo and Juliet. Romantic novels are filled with The Erotic Equation!
According to Morin, “The Four Cornerstones of Eroticism” — or the recipe for hot sex is — longing and anticipation, violating prohibitions, searching for power and overcoming ambivalence. Longing or yearning is the foundation of romantic love and desire. Simply put, we want what is not present. Anticipation is a turn on and if you add in what is forbidden or not allowed you can have a very potent aphrodisiac cocktail.
Understand your couple blueprint. According to Morin, there are three foundations or reasons why couples come together.
1. Passionate couples are in it for the erotic and emotional intensity. These couples are fragile and often break up as soon as the sexual passion cools.
2. Compassionate couples often are best friends or soulmates. While these folks are highly romantic, they aren’t very sexual over time.
3. Pragmatic couples come together for practical reasons like money, prestige or social acceptance. You will often not find a lot of passion in the lives of these couples. Their marriage is a partnership or business deal.
Couples that are able to stay together happily for the long haul know this secret:
It’s all about the paradox of intimacy and passion. Intimacy is “engendered by the desire to know every detail” about the other. Passion comes as we “appreciate him or her as an individual who can never be fully known.” In other words, there is a big difference between “secrecy,” which Morin says hurts intimate relationships, and “privacy,” which is honoring agreed upon private realms in our personal and erotic lives.
I believe that all of these couples can heat up their sex life. It’s all about creating and maintaining an erotic playground.
Tips For Creating an Erotic Playground:
1. Do something forbidden together. Sexual play in even the smallest ways in public can feel very dangerous and very sexy. Putting your hand intentionally on your partner’s genitals in a dark movie theater is one idea and just let it rest there … see what happens. Learn and play with sexy games. Go on a retreat or a daring erotic vacation together. There are plenty of them.
2. Establish relationship agreements and give each other space. Embrace this idea of “Privacy vs Secrecy.”
3. Explore yourself erotically. What is your “core erotic theme”? How can you bring that into your relationship? Read memoirs or novels about sexual adventures. Is there anything there that excites you? Could you do it too?
4. Go to sexuality workshops. They exist in almost every city. Just going to a workshop on sex can light up your fire. There could be all the elements of The Erotic Equation just by signing up. Get on a plane if necessary and turn up the flame!
Learning how to have an erotically healthy life is just as important as learning what foods to eat. Understanding the paradoxical relationship between love, closeness, sex and passion is crucial. Without some kind of tension, it is hard to find erotic excitement.
We can learn to source healthy erotic tension.
Once we understand the ingredients needed for a healthy erotic life, we can begin to cook.