Passion, Sex and Intimacy: The Selfless Lover Exercise

The following exercise is adapted from my workbook, How to Spice Up Your Relationship. The goal of this exercise is to deepen your experience of pleasure and sexual fulfillment. Remember, a passionate marriage/relationship takes thoughtfulness and planning.

From Keep the Fires of Passion Burning…

Reflect on the following question for a moment:

Are you a selfish lover or a selfless lover?

A selfish lover makes his/her sexual needs a priority. A selfless lover places his/her partner’s needs first. While we’d all like to think of ourselves as selfless lovers, the reality is that most of us go back and forth on a continuum of selfishness and selflessness (we’re human, after all!).

Problems usually arise when one person stays at the selfish end of the continuum for extended periods of time.

In an informal survey I conducted with the couples I work with, almost half felt that their partners were frequently selfish lovers. This came as a total shock to those being described as selfish. From these findings came the selfless lover exercise.

The rules of this exercise are simple: you and your partner will take turns being a selfish and selfless lover. In the role of the selfless lover, your goal is to meet your partner’s needs—to give him/her what s/he wants.

Your chief concern is to give your partner pleasure and make her/him feel taken care of sensually and sexually. So the person in the selfish role must communicate his/her needs, wants and desires to the selfless lover. And the selfless lover must ask questions if something doesn’t feel clear.

Then the next time you and your spouse/partner make love, the roles are reversed. Another variation of this exercise is to switch roles in the same evening (e.g., for a particular amount of time, you take one role and your partner takes the other, then you reverse roles at some designated point).

Here’s to a life-time of rewarding passion and intimacy!

Dr. Rich Nicastro

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