In her book Mating in Captivity, Esther Perel, a therapist, describes a simple tool to help couples understand each other better in a sexual manner. We can live with each other and be married to each other for years and even decades making all kinds of assumptions that may or may not be true. This can especially be the case when it comes to talking about “bedroom” issues.
A few well-worded questions can unlock many discoveries of understanding. One of the things I love about Dr. Perel’s short exercise is that it starts out with a general topic that is less threatening and then moves on to the sexual questions that, for some people, may be more difficult to discuss.
First, separately, answer these questions, writing your answers down:
“When I think of love, I think of…”
“When I love I feel…”
“In love, I look for…”
Next, also separately, answer these questions:
“When I think of sex I think…”
“When I desire sex, I feel…”
“When I am desired, I feel…”
“In sex, I look for…”
“What would you like to experience most with me sexually, and what are you most afraid of?”
Now share your answers, starting with the love questions, which may feel a little “safer.” After that, share your responses to the sexual questions. Doing so may lead you to finally say some things about sex that you really want your spouse to know but maybe didn’t know how to say it or ask it.
We’d love to hear how this went if you’d share your comments below. You can always use a pseudonym, so no one needs to know who you are.
Also, for those of you who haven’t yet done so, please keep in mind that Debra Fileta and I would greatly appreciate it if you’d take just a few minutes (less than five) to fill out this seminar on physical intimacy in marriage. It will help us immensely as we work on our book together. Here’s the link: Survey
If you’re wondering what this book is all about, you can read last week’s blogpost here: What I’m Writing Next: A Book on Sex