“Some of the best lovers I had were sensitive to how I (and my body) responded to what they were doing… They picked up on what gave me pleasure and what missed the mark.” ~Diane, 43 years old, describing her sex life
Relationship Help: Two Types of Sexual/Sensual Feedback
In the above quote, Diane is describing an important part of sexual and physical intimacy: Remaining open and attuned to your spouse’s/partner’s cues of sexual excitement and pleasure. This type of feedback occurs on two levels:
1) Verbal Feedback
Verbal Feedback involves the direct expression of your sexual needs, desires and fantasies, as well as directly giving your partner direction and guidance to what is working or not (“I love it when you talk to me like that, it’s a big turn on”; “Can you vary your touch a little, try it a little different from time to time?”).
Effective communication is essential in and out of the bedroom, but too often, couples do not make open communication a priority when it comes to sex. They erroneously assume that sexual chemistry should be an automatic or spontaneous phenomenon that requires little effort. Some couples have even told me, “If we have to work on our sex lives, then something must be wrong with our marriage!” This couldn’t be further from the truth for many couples who have simply found themselves in a sexual rut.
When was the last time you and your spouse/partner talked about your sexual needs with one another?
Do you assume that because you know your partner well, there is little you can learn about him/her sexually?
2) Nonverbal Feedback
Nonverbal feedback involves all the ways in which you and your partner react physically during the sexual experience. Here you are focusing on how the other’s body is responding or not responding to what you are doing. (Remember, touch that was initially pleasurable can become an irritant after some time, so you need to remain open to changes in your partner’s reactions).
Try to be attuned to even the softest cues of pleasure (a soft moan, a particular movement). Our bodies are continuously communicating during sex, even if we are unaware of these nonverbal messages. Sometimes these messages are obvious and undeniable; at other times they may seem like a whisper that can easily go unnoticed. It’s your job to notice!
People who are described as wonderful sexual partners/lovers often excel in this area—their secret? They “listen” carefully to what their partner’s reactions are communicating to them (the direct verbal and non-verbal communications) and they use this information to guide them.
So there really isn’t any “secret” to becoming a fabulous lover to your partner. It takes attention, sensitivity and the willingness to “listen” carefully to all the ways in which your spouse/partner is responding to you!
Sex and Passion Workbook
For a comprehensive guide to building a more fulfilling and intimate sexual relationship with your spouse/partner, check out my passion workbook.
Until next time
Dr. Rich Nicastro