What do you like to experience sexually and emotionally?

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Intimacy happens when we allow ourselves to be fully seen, and we truly see the person with whom we are intimate. We tend to think of intimacy as physical, but it's as much about emotions and thoughts. It's about letting ourselves be naked, metaphorically speaking. Intimacy asks us to be transparent in all of our vulnerability, and also in all of our resourcefulness and strengths.

Esther Perek poses an insightful question about sex. She asks 'what do you like to experience?'

She gives the following examples:

Tenderness, softness, closeness, intensity, aggression, transcendence, spiritual connection, rebelliousness, release, surrender, dominance, abandon, unboundedness, freedom, freedom from responsibility, ruthlessness, timelessness, giving, receiving, being taken, possessing…

It is a tremendously useful exercise to explore what you want from sex, both to be clear within yourself, and to talk to your lover about. Looking at it through this conceptual lense can give the dialogue more meaning than to focus on behaviours alone e.g. I want you to touch here or to not do that because it provides insight into what states you want to evoke.

It strikes me that many of the adjectives Esther suggests apply to our emotional lives as much as they do to sex. In relationship do you like to give, to receive, to be tender, connected, unbounded? Do you expect to be dominated, or to possess, or to be abandoned or free from responsibility?

Coming to know your own patterns and preferences sexually and emotionally is a path towards maturity. Being able to spot when we get triggered why it is we are reacting, and to articulate what we want and need, and to take care of our own needs when others can’t or won’t lends an emotional resilience. We will not always get what we want, but we can at least be clear what is happening for us and make choices about our responses from a grounded, informed perspective.

So, what do you like to experience? And who, as well as you, would benefit to know that?

Fe Robinson, Psychotherapist

Hi. I'm Fe, and I'm here to help you thrive, whatever life brings. I believe every client is unique, I work with you to help you explore, discover and grow in whatever ways are right for you. I work with a wide range of clients, both long and short term. I offer Psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and Couples Counselling to UK clients online and in Gainford, Co.Durham in North-East England. I am UKCP Accredited and an EMDR Europe Practitioner, and offer Clinical Supervision to counsellors and psychotherapists online and in person. Following a career in Organisation Development I became a therapist because it's my heart work. Before having my family and starting my private practice I worked in the NHS and mental health charities.