People often misunderstand a woman when she says that she feels her partner is no longer intimate with her; people assume that the word “intimacy” refers to sexual relations between two people. In fact, “intimacy” is defined as “close familiarity or friendship” and can include times when men and women express their emotions. What follows is an explanation of the issue of men and intimacy with reference to Kara Oh’s book, Men Made Easy: Guide to Greater Love (Avambre Press, 1999).
What Intimacy Means to a Man
It is a common belief that men have to initiate a romance and be an expert at seduction techniques. Indeed, he has society’s “permission” to be the more aggressive and sexual partner. Yet, a man also needs to feel close to others; he too craves that emotional connection with another human being. As such, a man fulfills his need for intimacy in the only way that society allows him to – sexually.
As Margaret Kent, author of How to Marry the Man of Your Choice (Grand Central Publishing) puts it, “the mature male views his sexual activity as the greatest gift he has to offer to the female. Any rejection on your part sends a man’s inner mind into battle against you, forcing him to seek a woman who appreciates and needs him.”
Conversely, society does not “allow” women to be as sexual as a man. Even if a woman wanted to be more open and expressive sexually, Kara Oh suggests that she is hindered by “those old negative lessons from childhood [that] are hard to reverse.” As such, many women are open emotionally, but shut down sexually.
Developing a Strategy for Intimacy
How, then, does a woman develop a strategy to ensure that her partner becomes more intimate with her? First keep in mind that a woman does not have to have a perfect body because, as Kara Oh says,”‘men absolutely go crazy for a woman who is comfortable with her body.”
Also, for many men, the word “love” is one of the most difficult ones to utter. When a man does acknowledge that he loves a woman, she is well-advised to understand that he has exposed his heart to her and is at his most vulnerable. Treasure the moment and do not trivialise it.
In addition, for most men, while sex is good, it is exceptional when they know that their partner is enjoying herself as well. Thereafter, follow some of the suggestions made below:
- As mentioned before, intimacy does not always have to involve sex. Sharing slow kisses, gazing into each other’s eyes, making each greeting last for at least ten seconds and holding each other’s hands are some things both partners can do.
- Once a week, a couple should make an effort to do something romantic together. For instance, read aloud to each other, go out to dinner, take a walk in the park or give each other massages.
- Let go of the idea that an orgasm is the ultimate goal of any sexual encounter.
- Every so often, go away together for a weekend or holiday. The aim is to get away from all the pressures of “normal” life and re-connect with each other.
A word of caution: the intimacy that is shared between partners is sacred and should never be used by either party to reward or punish the partner. Doing this will destroy all the effort and hard work put in thus far to create that intimacy.
The suggestions made above help to ignite that intimacy and passion that might have been dormant between partners. In time, both partners will become loving towards each other and the relationship will acquire that element of magic that was lacking before.