Sex. This is a topic that will surely get some attention. As social beings we both need and desire human connection. Despite what some may believe, we all have a draw toward relating with others in meaningful ways. Granted, how we connect may differ based on personalities and beliefs, but none the less, we all crave attention. This got me thinking about sex, what it represents to different people, and what it signifies in relationships. When we think about sex, I would venture to say that most people see it as an end game. The goal is pleasure or orgasm.
When couples seek therapy due to sexual issues in their relationship, much of it is focused on how they can complete the act of sex successfully, more often, or in ways they find most pleasurable. If we were to break this down, we may come to find that what most couples are lacking in their sexual encounters, is exactly the antidote for a healthy sex life. Selfless connection. I have seen countless men and women come in and out of therapy, depressed, anxious, feeling lonely and hopeless about their relationships. These men and women continue to engage in relationships they realize are not going anywhere, or they are in a marriage where the focus is on their unmet needs. In these situations, the couple lack connection. Therefore, the general response to the goal of sex in these relationships tends to be egocentric in nature.
Don’t get me wrong, this mentality is not atypical and quite frankly, we have all been there. However, the more I saw this as a practicing therapist, the more I thought, “what about connection and intimacy?” The kind of connection and intimacy that is only attained through love and respect for oneself and another person. I wonder what would happen, if we looked at the act of sex as a means by which to selflessly bond and connect within a relationship that was built on mutual respect and love. The real end game here is sex itself, which would be the result of deeper human connection.
Trust and commitment are the walls that support the Sound Relationship House theory. This theory is considered the foundation of Gottman Method Couples Therapy, and one which has been scientifically proven to help couples achieve greater understanding, connection, and intimacy in their relationships. The exercises that promote connection and intimacy within this method have much to do with deepening friendships, fondness, and admiration for one another. These are the keys to selfless love. So, the next time you think about what sex represents to you, ask yourself, “What’s the goal?”