couple of feet in bed

3 Activities for Couples to Improve Passion & Confidence in their Sex Lives

Using games to promote intimacy between couples is a fantastic idea, regardless of the amount of pre-existing closeness in that relationship. Keep in mind, however, that intimacy comes in various forms.

Finding a game that expands the ways in which you connect can be both healing and enlivening.

Here are 3 ideas:

1. The Staring Game

This is a simple game, but also a powerful one. Sit down facing one another and stare into each other’s eyes. For 4 to 5 minutes, try to maintain your gaze without speaking or communicating in any other way. This can be incredibly evocative in terms of thoughts and emotions, so be sure to notice what arises and use this as a point of discussion following this exercise.

Eye contact is an incredibly important part of attachment and interpersonal relations, starting right from the bond between an infant and their caregiver. It’s no surprise then, that research has demonstrated how powerful eye contact can be when it comes to fostering an emotional bond between adults as well as infants. Ultimately, this exercise promotes trust and allows for empathy to be conveyed. It also facilitates a mutual sense of attraction and can strengthen the intimacy between you.

2. Improve Sexual Confidence with Sensate Focus

Sensate focus is a collaborative technique which couples use under the guidance of a trained professional to overcome sexual dysfunctions. However, the exercises themselves are performed by the couple at home, in between therapy sessions. The good news is that the methods described below can be employed to improve sexual confidence even if you don’t suffer from a defined sexual dysfunction.

The catch, however, is that during this period sexual intercourse is not permitted. Sensate focus is all about using the senses – namely, touch – to enjoy and rediscover the power of physical intimacy.

You’ll be asked to simply caress one another’s bodies. The idea here is to broaden your sexual horizons and experience intimacy without needing to even think about genital stimulation. Gradually, you’ll then be instructed to include stimulation to the sex organs without trying to induce orgasm. The final stage of therapy involves you maximizing sexual pleasure without having sex. Through all of this, you’ll be encouraged to communicate and guide one another as to what feels good.

Since the development of this revolutionary technique during the 1960s, sensate focus has been adopted by sex therapists around the world with great success. Why is this technique so popular and effective? For starters, it provides a safe space in which you can gradually increase your level of physical closeness. This can go a long way toward improving communication, intimacy, sexual satisfaction, and confidence.

Furthermore, sensate focus is an effective way of reducing performance anxiety and associated feelings of shame, guilt, and awkwardness in the bedroom. For example, men often find themselves spending much of their sexual encounters worrying about their penis and performance. Sensate focus, by contrast, takes the pressure off by allowing you to enjoy other aspects of the sexual encounter.

For this reason, sensate focus is effective in treating erectile dysfunction and other sexual disorders that are linked to performance anxiety. Are you a man (or couple) who wants to learn more about the causes and treatment options for psychological erectile dysfunction? If so, take a look at this extensive article that I published on the topic.

3. Release Pressure by Opening the Flood-Gates

This game involves giving each partner an opportunity to vent about absolutely anything that they wish for a given period of time. Start with 3 minutes; and set a timer to keep on track. During this time, one of you will speak about whatever comes to mind.

There are no limits to what can be discussed. The role of the listener is to pay attention without responding verbally. Non-verbal responses (such as smiling or giving a small nod) are acceptable. Afterwards, swap over so that the ‘listener’ also has an opportunity to vent.

This is another simple but powerful exercise, given the extent to which busy schedules and non-stop technology use can come between couples. Simply creating this brief opportunity in which each of you can have the experience of venting and being heard can go a long way toward improving intimacy.

The Importance of Play

Playfulness is an incredibly important drive which is literally hardwired into the networking of our brains. This is one of our most primal instincts. It’s through play that we can access our creativity, passion, autonomy and connectedness. However, just as play is vital for the wellbeing of individuals, it is also a fundamental part of any healthy relationship. Use the games that we have discussed here to re-introduce a sense of desire, spontaneity, and confidence in your own love life. Good luck!

Daniel Sher

Daniel Sher

Daniel Sher is a registered clinical psychologist, practicing in Cape Town South Africa. He serves as a professional consultant for the Between Us Clinic, which provides sex-therapy online programs. A component of his training and practice involves working in the context of sexual and sex-related issues. Practice aside, Daniel is... Read More

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