Monday, February 23, 2009

Where Love Throbs

I just finished a long discussion with a Stiletto U student of mine who's feeling in a bit of a quandary. She's been married for nearly five years and is extremely satisfied with her SEX life but is growing increasingly frustrated with her LOVE life. Without revealing any confidences, here's Jesse's (not her real name) issue in a nutshell.

She and her husband are very much in love and in sync in so many areas of their life together, particularly in the bedroom. Lucky girl, she proudly brags of a sex life that is off the chain. She and her man have great chemistry and a soulful connection that expresses itself through lots (and she stresses lots) of creative, loving, satisfying sex. From foreplay to sex play to cuddling together to bask in the after glow, their love is expressed through sex on the regular.

But apparently, that's where the loving gestures stops.

"I know he loves me. He is a good man and a good husband in every way," Jesse expressed, "but where's the romance? It's like the sex is so good that in his mind, it's enough. I hate to complain but I need more."

By more, Jesse means that she still feels the need for romantic expressions outside the bedroom. But emotionally, her husband does little to make her feel appreciated or thought about or admired and valued beyond sex. Cards, gifts, etc. are only part of a scheduled celebration--her birthday, Valentine's Day or their anniversary--and even though she's grateful, they feel kind of trite and predictable.

"I want him to flirt with me other than times he wants to have sex. Everything he says or does that's sweet or complimentary is a prelude to sex."

Jesse confided in me because she doesn't know what to say to him. She's afraid that by complaining she will upset him and their great sex life and despite dissatisfaction in other areas, she does not want to upset that apple cart.

Here's what I told her. First, understand that while love throbs in the chest of most women and spreads south, for most men it is the exact opposite. Men tend to express their love largely through sex. They bond through being physically connected with their woman, and satisfying love making is how a man knows that you love him. Reaching his orgasm is how and when your man feels most connected to you and that's the feeling he longs for and can't get enough of.

(Knowing this fact about men is helpful because it explains a lot about why they crave energy, consistency, passion and frequency when it comes to sex. This is why using sex as a tool of manipulation is counterproductive will never have a good outcome.)

On the other hand, I told Jesse that she has every right to express her need for more
BALANCE in their relationship. And she should approach the subject like any grown woman who OWNS her desire should, by respectfully and honestly letting her man know that she's more than willing to meet his needs as long as he's willing to meet hers.

Here's a sample script I offered her:

"I love knowing that you desire me so much. And I don't want that to change. I want and need the wonderful, luscious, crazy, amazing, loving sex we have but I also need you to make me feel appreciated and special and sometimes, that means doing and giving 'stuff' not necessarily expensive stuff, but tokens of affection that say you love and appreciate, think of me and adore me in and out of bed. It's the little things that make people feel valued. I am not asking for big flourishes, just small and steady shows of affection. I am sure that we can work together to find a happy medium that is meaningful for both of us."

Yes, we girls know that this is basically Girls 101 material, but men can be surprisingly dimwitted (and I mean that in only the nicest way) when it comes to romance, especially when they are already feeling satisfied and filled with love.

But we also can be dimwitted when it come to asking for what we want, and instead of expressing our needs, swallowing them unsaid and letting them fester into anger and resentment.

Let your man know that effort is sexy! If handled gracefully and without confrontation, he'll appreciate your honesty, especially if you let him know that his being nice to you outside the bedroom will only make things better inside!

What do you think?

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