“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act.” Dr. Suess
Who could argue with the above quote from Dr. Suess? Life is a great balancing act. We have to balance how we spend our time, how we spend our money, and since sex is part of married life, we also have to balance it into our lives as well. Not only that, but there’s a balance to the sexual act itself as well. With this in mind, let’s look at various things to keep in mind as we balance our sex life.
1. Familiarity/Variety – There is a certain comfort about being able to slip into your spouses arms and know just where to caress, kiss and fondle to make them melt. It can also be said there is a certain excitement about finding a new position, tickle or stroke that you never would have guessed would bring about such elation. Both are necessary components in a healthy sex life. If the entire focus is given to variety, then performance (and the anxiety that goes with it) and technique become the goal. If the familiar is the sole focus, monotony and routine may be found to replace passion and excitement. Finding the balance between that which is familiar and that which provides variety will enhance and improve your sex life.
2. Give/Take – Last week we wrote about how sex is both about giving and about receiving. These are very foundational truths which you must know in order to understand sex. If you haven’t read those, please take a moment to do so. In order to become a selfless lover you need to understand the reality that sex is not just about you. Your gratification and pleasure are part of the experience but they are not the only part. Learning to give of your energy, your time and your body are an important part of the process. There also comes a time when the best way to give to your spouse is to actually ask for what you want. To ask them to touch you here, rather than there. To encourage them to lighten their touch or deepen their thrust. It is not selfish to ask for what you want and what feels good. Barring that you do not demand, criticize or condemn your spouse for not knowing what you want, this form of communication opens great doors of pleasure and satisfaction for you both. Learning to live in the balance of give and take will require practice and open communication, but for increased pleasure, it’s totally worth it.
3. Fantasy/Reality – There are three ways to approach the subject of fantasy. First, those who are terrified of the word and believe every sexual fantasy and thought is sinful. Secondly, those who believe that all sexual fantasy is welcome and acceptable because what goes on in our minds doesn’t affect our reality or those around us. Thirdly, those who balance fantasy and reality. Unlike the previous two balancing acts we have mentioned, fantasy is, for many people, the most difficult and tricky point to learn to balance. Understanding that fantasy is simply forming mental images and imagination is important to understanding that everyone fantasizes. If you have ever had fond memories or exciting thoughts of a sexual experience (past or future) then you have fantasized. The caution surrounding sexual fantasy however, is quite crucial. Fantasy is meant to enhance sexual anticipation, desire and creativity with your spouse. When fantasy is used to escape or avoid sexual reality with your spouse, it becomes very dangerous. We encourage everyone to think sexually about their spouse but our stronger encouragement comes to make reality even better than your fantasy!
Sex is balance. A healthy relationship contains the balance of the familiar and variety, it includes lots of give and take. Strong marriages with flourishing sex lives balance healthy fantasy with passionate reality. We are sure you can add to this list with other things in which your specific marriage and sex life need balance. Communicate and discuss the areas of balance you believe to be most important in your marriage.
We understand that this post was inadequate to discuss the serious issue of sexual fantasy. For that reason we are including links to a few articles and books that uncover the topic at a much deeper level. For further reading on sexual fantasy:
To Love Honor and Vacuum (Shelia Gregoire): book review for The Fantasy Fallacy; also her book The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex is a wonderful resource that discusses all things sexual, including fantasy.
Linking with: To Love Honor and Vacuum