We said nothing was off the table, right? When we started this writing challenge we said we’d keep it real. We even said we’d talk about sex…
While I wouldn’t exactly qualify myself as a sexpert, I have been having sex with one person for a very long time. Thirteen years to be exact. There are a few things I do know. So let’s talk.
In the spirit of transparency I suppose I should tell you that the first time my husband and I had sex was on our wedding night. We were both virgins until then. Maybe you find that storyline to be antiquated or shocking or unbelievable. Maybe you don’t. Either way, it’s our real story so we may as well start at the beginning.
Of course it wasn’t even remotely easy but we did manage to wait, and there is really only one thing I want to say about that: It can be done, and it can be beautiful. We were able to freely give ourselves to each other without one bit of doubt, guilt, or hesitation. There was only passion and an unflagging joy between us that night. We belonged to each other in every way, and the fact that he is only for me is something I treasure still.
As you can imagine we spent the first portion of our marriage making up for lost time. There was no shortage of seduction on either side. We were finally here, and we were ready to party if you know what I mean. It was simple. It was good.
Cue video montage of life happening in fast forward. Moves. Jobs. Kids. Pets. Different jobs. More moves. If you’re not careful your regular life will take over your sex life and you’ll be less busy gettin’-busy, and more just busy in general. And, well, that just doesn’t sound like very much fun, does it?
Much like any other married couple, over the years we’ve had ups and downs and over time we’ve fallen into patterns. After all, we are creatures of habit, yes? After a certain amount of time, we became a foregone conclusion with each other. We know each other’s signals. We know what to expect from each other. We know each other’s bodies and how they work.
This can be a double edged sword.
On the one hand, it’s pretty convenient that I know what he likes and he knows he can do any two of five things to me and I will forget my own name. On the other hand, this can sometimes lead to less than imaginative, transactional kind of sex. After all, if you know what the other person wants, why not just cut to the chase and do it?
We know each other well, so technically speaking, the sex has only gotten better with time. Even the amount and frequency of sex is good. Intimacy, on the other hand, is something that we have to continually fight for. Sex and intimacy are not always one and the same. There is a certain level of safety, security, and familiarity we feel with each other when we operate within our usual patterns. But patterns don’t produce passion.
It takes a certain amount of courage to really seduce your spouse. It takes courage to step outside of the patterns formed over time and to be truly unguarded, both body and soul. It requires a genuine vulnerability to pursue your person openly, purely, and unapologetically- even within the framework of marriage. Especially within the framework of marriage. We can’t quit putting ourselves out there, switch into cruise control, and expect fireworks.
When we make each other feel wanted and pursued it creates intimacy. Intimacy makes room for courage. Courage makes room for seduction.
I’ve lost that courage a few times over the years. The desire is always there, it’s the bravery that sometimes isn’t. Life changes and bodies change, insecurities creep in and guards can go up when we don’t remember to preserve intimacy. Real intimacy doesn’t just maintain itself, after all. It doesn’t work that way.
The good news is that it doesn’t actually take much to get that courage back. Just a little bit of honesty and vulnerability go a long way. Just one unguarded moment can lead to unexpected passion. Just one lingering glance while getting dressed can turn into a romp in the closet.
Intimacy in marriage needs to be sought after and fought for and protected, and when it is, seduction won’t be lacking. Real intimacy requires give and take. It’s requires reciprocation. It requires being present. It requires honesty. It requires vulnerability. But mostly it requires courage.
* This is Day 9 of a 31 Day series on Keeping It Real. You can find all of the posts in this series here. I hope you follow along and join the conversation! *