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Bonding through sex and touch, and keeping your love alive

Published 24.02.2022 - Produced by Väestöliitto the Family Federation of Finland in collaboration with the Finnish Association of Couple Therapy , psychologist Lotta Heiskanen , Family Federation of Finland
In this episode, we will look at bonding through sex and touch and how to keep your love alive.

Safety and being emotionally close with your partner is often a prerequisite for satisfying sexual intimacy. If you feel fear and sexual desire side by side, the fear will beat the desire. Good sex often begins outside the bed; with a gentle touch and emotional closeness. In a safe relationship, it is possible to get support and understanding from your partner also when making love doesn’t always go the way you would both like, for one reason or another. A person who feels safe is free to be playful and to explore the possibilities their sexual identity offers. In a safe relationship it feels comfortable to surrender to erotic experiences.

Exercises

Strengthening the emotional bond through closeness, sex and

In the exercise, couples can share their wishes and experiences about closeness, sex and touch with each other.
  • What is the best part of sex with your partner? What is most important to you in making love? Please take turns sharing these things with each other. If you find it difficult to talk about sex or a particular topic in this context, you don’t have to. Instead, tell your partner about your difficulty with talking about it. With your partner’s support, try to explore what worries you about the idea of talking about sex in your relationship.
  • When do you feel most insecure or uncomfortable having sex with your partner these days? Please share this with your partner.
  • If you had to write “A Short Guide for __________’s (your name) Lover”, what would be the two most important pieces of advice you would give your lover? Please share this with your partner.
  • There’s no such thing as a “perfect” lover. With this in mind, what kind of a lover would you like to be? How would you like to see yourself as a lover? Please share this with your partner.
  • How can you both come to terms with the inevitable fact that there will be times when you want sexual intimacy, but your partner isn’t in the mood or is “too tired” or doesn’t feel the sexual drive? What do you want to say? This is a very sensitive situation for most people. Many people teeter on the edge of rejection and being hurtful. What needs to happen in this very delicate situation to make you feel loved and to make you feel you have a safe bond with your partner?

The role of the past for sexual identity and intimacy in my relationship

If you are experiencing difficulties with your sexuality, it may be helpful to stop and reflect on the significance of the past. Here are some questions to help you reflect:

  • How did your childhood family show closeness and affection?
  • What was the attitude like toward sex in your childhood and youth? Was it positive or a negative?
  • What image do you have of yourself as a sexual woman/man/person?
  • Have you had any difficult or unpleasant experiences related to sexuality?
  • What are the good memories of your sexuality in your relationship like?
Exercises

Keeping your love alive

The purpose of this exercise is to think about how to keep your love alive in your everyday lives.
  • Plan a daily ritual that will show your partner how important they are to you. Share your plan with your partner.
  • Plan a ritual together for your relationship.
  • When you think about the history of your relationship, can you think of a moment that made you feel particularly close to each other; a moment you remember fondly and that gives you a sense of safe belonging? Please tell your partner about this moment.
  • Write an outline of the story of your long-lasting, durable relationship. Write down the main events of how you got your relationship back on track – how did you two resolve a difficult issue in your relationship and how did you strengthen the safety of your relationship?
  • What are you currently grateful for in your relationship?
  • Create your future love story describing what you would like your relationship to look like in 5 or 10 years.

How to keep your love alive?

  • By learning to avoid typical relationship pitfalls.
  • By cherishing memories of good moments.
  • By remembering the everyday rituals of intimacy.
  • By talking openly about fears and needs.
  • By offering emotional presence, safety, and comfort.
  • By creating a shared narrative of what has helped you two to overcome difficulties.
  • By dreaming together.

Further help with relationship tangles can be obtained through couple therapy.

Thank you for taking part in the course!

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Strengthening the emotional bond through closeness, sex and

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