Most couples, especially those in long-term relationships, want to
improve intimacy. When a relationship is new and fresh, passion is more
fiery and everything is exciting. But as couples stay together longer,
the flame has a tendency to begin to lose its heat.
Although intimacy and passion certainly aren’t everything in a
committed relationship, it’s safe to say that most individuals value
these aspects when with a partner. This means you likely consider
intimacy fairly important in your own romance life.
You may find it surprising, then, that roughly half the population is unsatisfied in the marital bedroom!
This half also believes that their intimate lives aren’t exciting
enough and consider their bedroom activities mediocre. Two-thirds would
like to have intimacy more often. As such, according to this survey, the
need to improve intimacy is certainly present.
Luckily, new research has found ways that are scientifically proven
to help boost this passionate connection between partners. Here’s how
researchers explain how to improve the intimacy in your relationship.
1. HARMONIOUS SE#UAL PASSION VS OBSESSIVE SEXUAL PASSION
In order to better understand how intimacy works and what makes it
good, let’s take a look at science. Specifically, let’s talk about
the research done by Robert Vallerand, Frédérick Philippe, and their
These researchers conducted different types of studies that focused
on a dualistic model to understand intimacy. Essentially, they were able
to categorize the types of sexual passion into two different kinds.
Understanding these types could improve intimacy in your relationship,
so let’s dive in.
HARMONIOUS SEXUAL PASSION
The kind of sexual passion that is best for a relationship is known
as harmonious sexual passion. Simply put, this variety of passion is harmonious with all other aspects of the relationship. This allows that passion to integrate seamlessly into a couple’s lives, and it does not create conflict with other aspects of a relationship.
Supposedly, those who practice this form of sexual passion are able
to enjoy spontaneous and less inhibited intimacy with their partner or
partners. This also leads to lesser conflict overall and
can prevent intrusive passionate thoughts. These individuals also
improve their times of intimacy because they have positive control over
their typical intimacy drive.
OBSESSIVE SEXUAL PASSION
So, you now know about the good type of sexual passion. But what’s
the less favorable one? This is known as obsessive sexual passion.
Essentially, this stems from sexualities that are not easily integrated
with other aspects of self and the lives of those in relationships.
Those who experience obsessive sexual passion might consider intimacy
a prize or a goal to achieve. This is an unhealthy way to think of
intimacy and can cause less enjoyment when that goal is finally reached.
This type of sexual thought is linked to a number of problems,
- Extreme reactions to rejection
- Deterioration of long-term relationships
- An overt sexual interest in others, even when in a monogamous relationship
- Higher chance of infidelity
It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean you can’t have a high
intimacy drive, or that you can’t have many consenting sexual partners.
It means that your sexuality should be an integrated part of you, not a
ruling motivation or obsessive desire. Intimacy shouldn’t be considered a
reward so much as an activity to be enjoyed together!
2. OPENNESS AND HONESTY
Of course, the effort to improve intimacy is about more than just
what you do in the bedroom or how you think about intimacy. Often, the
state of a relationship’s intimate life has roots in the overall health
of the partnership.
Being open and honest is crucial for a good intimate life. If you
don’t feel comfortable talking to each other with an open heart and mind
outside of the bedroom, the connection you forge sexually will feel
artificial and closed off.
At the beginning of a relationship, it’s customary to get to know
each other. People practice self-disclosure to find out about the other
person. This helps those in a budding relationship feel closer.
Research has found that self-disclosure mixed with eye contact can
actually lead to an instant bond between two complete strangers. This
proves that self-disclosure is necessary to improve intimacy.
But as the relationship goes on, you may find fewer things to talk
about. You and your partner will know most things about each other. On
top of that, revealing brand new secrets can feel more risky when you’ve
been together for a long time.
A good, healthy relationship involves honesty and openness. This
includes feeling safe being vulnerable with each other. You should be
able to talk about serious or frightening issues. Some examples are:
- Financial management
- Parents and families-in-law
- Having and raising children
- Emotional baggage
- Controversial thoughts and opinions
- Wants and needs
- Sexual fantasies
- Finding compromise
Take the time to be vulnerable with your partner. Spend an evening
sipping wine and talking about deeper issues. It can be daunting, but
practice positive thinking! You’ll be surprised how refreshing this open
honesty can be. Sharing your feelings and being communicative can lead
to positive change in the bedroom.
3. COMMUNICATE ABOUT INTIMACY TO IMPROVE INTIMACY
Many couples make the mistake of assuming their partner should
inherently know how to please them in bed. These types of assumptions
are exactly what cause dissatisfaction in the bedroom.
There also seems to be the idea that giving instructions during
intimacy is inherently unsexy, but that is far from the case! Think
about it, and try not to blush: don’t you like hearing the words “right
there,” “so good,” and so on?
While you and your partner are in bed, don’t be afraid to
communicate. Take their hand and guide them, showing them how to touch
you. Give directions if needed. Your partner can’t please you if they
don’t know how. On the other hand, faking enjoyment will tell them that
you like all the things that don’t actually work for you.
On top of that, many women have also been raised to find their sexual
desire somewhat shameful. As a result, they neglect to experiment with
their bodies and get in touch with what they like. Of course, this can
happen with men too, though less commonly.
Regardless of your gender identity, if you’re someone who doesn’t
truly know what you want or need in the bedroom, it’s time to find out.
Ask your partner if you can discover that together. Or, if you prefer,
take some time to lavish love on yourself and find out what truly makes
In addition, don’t be afraid to bring up sexual fantasies with your
partner. Want to try out a new kink or fetish? Enjoy a specific type of
intimacy? Thinking of bringing toys into the bedroom? Discuss these
ideas! You might be shocked to find out that you and your partner are
into the same things.
4. SWITCH THINGS UP
There’s nothing wrong with intimate acts that are familiar and you
know you both enjoy. But only doing that and nothing new for years can
grow monotonous. When intimacy feels like nothing more than a routine
act, you’ll get bored and dissatisfaction will grow.
Even subtle changes to the bedroom can spice things up. For example, you can:
- Introduce a toy
- Try roleplay
- Indulge in fantasies
- Light some candles
- Sprinkle some rose petals
- Wear some sexy lingerie or an alluring outfit
- Give each other massages
- Play some sensual music
- Play a raunchy movie
- Go to a hotel room
You and your partner deserve better than lazy, boring intimacy. Put energy into making it fun and exciting for the both of you!
In addition, switching things up doesn’t just apply to the bedroom.
When was the last time you and your partner went on a real adventure?
Here are some examples of fun things you can both do that will get your
blood pumping and adrenaline rushing:
- Exploring a place you’ve never been
- Eating at a restaurant you’ve never tried
- Setting aside a weekend for a mini-vacation
- Rock climbing
- Buying new things for your home
- Playing games together
- Going dancing
On a personal level, you can also indulge in mini-adventures that change up your routine. This includes:
- Buying yourself something
- Going out with friends
- Singing or dancing to music you love
- Trying a new class
- Eating somewhere new
Trying new things boosts the release of dopamine, according to
this study. This neurotransmitter actually plays a big role in one’s
drive. As such, new bursts of dopamine can improve intimacy in your
relationship pretty drastically!
5. DIET AND EXERCISE
Your lifestyle and overall health always affect your intimate life.
If you and your partner spend a lot of time gorging on pizza and junk
food, or if you’ve both gotten out of shape, this could play a role in
That’s right, intimacy is about more than just positive thinking.
Your state of health can completely change your intimate drive and that
side of life. So if you need a reason to work out, this is a fairly
good one. Exercising together can make you closer and is an active
effort you can both make for positive change.