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From the Eight Stages of Intimacy: Stage Seven

Stage Seven:Sexual Intimacy



Covering: Touching, Sexual Liberation, Physical Contact, Romance, Copulation & Procreation

 
Let's see those hands!  How many of you are guilty of doing Stages 1,2,3 and jumping to 7?  Us too.  You're not alone. Sexual intimacy is about touch (which can be non-sexual like with friends and children) and in the dating and mating game it's part of the courtship and consummation.  There is nothing wrong with doing the 1,2,3,7 dance, if a fast fling or an affair is all you are interested in.

Unfortunately, for many adults it becomes the only way they know how to date and a main reason so many relationships crash and burn, especially in the first six months.

Often confused as true intimacy, sexual intimacy is the natural attainment for a couple, which has successfully navigated the first six stages. Anyone can have sex; it takes something special go from physical activity to intimacy. Sexual intimacy involves the full range of sensual perception including touch, kiss, looks, expressions of endearment, (the exchanging of gifts and favors for events and just because), communication, comments and of course, intercourse and orgasm.  The key to sexual intimacy is sexual liberation, a state that takes time, patience and tremendous trust to reach.

Sexual liberation is the right to accept or decline advances without fear of ridicule, rape or coercion. If wife withholds sex regularly as a tool of manipulation, sexual liberation has not been achieved.  If a man withholds sex due to physical problems without making his partner aware of these, such as embarrassment over erectile dysfunction or a lack of desire due to stress, sexual intimacy has not been achieved, (this also would fall under emotional intimacy).  Likewise if a woman continually fakes orgasm and is afraid to talk with her partner about it and seek a solution together...you got it, she and her partner have not achieved sexual intimacy. With sexual liberation, even embarrassing subjects like the inability to orgasm, herpes, past rapes, not being a virgin or being a virgin, sexual fears or loss of function, though difficult to bring up, should never make you feel like you will lose your partner should these be disclosed.  If you feel that telling this issue may cause him/her to leave, you don't have trust.   Without trust, you do not have intimacy.  This is also why waiting to delve into sexual intimacy is recommended until after you've achieved a majority of elements in the preceding six.  Trust takes time, a lot of time, to develop.

You and your partner achieve sexual intimacy if you can answer Yes to all of these situations, (If not married, you do not have to go all the way to achieve sexual intimacy. This is why copulation is not included).

   1.       You've seen each other naked with the lights on and are comfortable being naked around each other.
   2.       Sexual activity includes kissing, hugging, touching and mutually pleasuring each other.
   3.       You share romantic gifts with each other just because.
   4.       Foreplay during copulation lasts more than 10 minutes most of the time, (quickies are okay given they are not the only MO)
   5.       You know several of your partner's fantasies, likes and dislikes as they pertain to sex.
   6.       You've discussed any past or current STD's with your partner that may effect their health.
   7.       You are not afraid to try new things, but your partner also respects a decline without repercussions, intimidation or ridicule.
   8.       You do not fear being raped, assaulted or maimed by your partner.

Questions of Relating to Sexual Intimacy
 (We recommend these questions be reserved until the 2nd or 3rd date).

   1.       Have you ever been to a masseuse? What did you like or not like about it?

      What Your Partner’s Answer Means:
      a) Tells you if he/she is comfortable enough with his/her body to allow a stranger to touch it
      b) Illustrates a healthy desire for self-pampering and care.

   2.       What is the most romantic thing someone has done for you?

      What Your Partner’s Answer Means: Let’s you know how well he/she has been treated by past relationships and what he/she considers romantic.

   3.       What is your favorite sensual/erotic movie? (Ex: Last Tango in Paris, Henry & June, Lolita…) What Your Partner’s Answer Means: Speaks to his/her attitudes about sexuality, specifically his/her curiosity and openness. 




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