I believe that practicing sex is less about technique and equipment than it is about learning to be vulnerable, intimate, and tender with the one you love.
It’s paying attention to the little things, like taking the opportunity to give a nice long hug, or gently rubbing your loved one’s back, or giving a quiet touch as you walk by. These touches make us feel valued and loved.
It’s about taking the time and effort to be romantic: giving a gift unlooked for, making a special dinner, or planning an adventure to some place or event you’ve never been before.
It’s about savoring your lovemaking with long lingering kisses, passionate embraces, and lots of gentle touching or massage.
Maybe the hardest thing about practicing sex is talking about what you want, or what you’re afraid of, or what you don’t like. Something as simple as initiating sex, or refusing it, can make us feel extremely vulnerable.
You know it’s time to talk if you feel some resentment about your sex life. Where does the resentment come from? What is it you want that you’re not getting, or don’t want that you are? How can you express that to the one you love in a way that is respectful and not resentful?
These conversations are usually pretty difficult. I need to find a way to get some distance from my emotions. I may begin by writing a letter, and getting down on paper what I’m feeling. Obviously I’m already feeling some resentment, so I want that letter to sit for at least a day before I edit it. Then I’ll read it again and try to reword it in a way that is less resentful, more respectful, and uses language that I think my wife can hear.
What you don’t want to do is provoke the same resentment in your loved one that you’re already feeling yourself. That’s a recipe for an emotional conflagration, and maybe long term damage to your relationship.
Once I’m happy with the letter, I’ll give it to her and ask her if we can talk about it after she’s read it. When we begin to talk, I try to breathe through the conversation, be aware of our emotional pressure, and back off if it gets too high. But I keep trying to find a way to talk about it until we can come to a mutually satisfactory conclusion.