Keeping Healthy Sex and Intimacy Alive in Your Relationship [Episode #507]
Today’s solocast topic is: Keeping Healthy Sex and Intimacy Alive in Your Relationship
Sex, intimacy, touch, sensuality and your connection with your chosen partner is a very important part of wellness. If you are single, I still think this topic applies to you, because you could have this information in mind when thinking about getting into a relationship and just being aware. Being able to create this really nourishing, healthy part of your life. Sexual energy and intimacy is very, very powerful and potentially very healing.
There are many different ways to have a relationship. Whatever iteration it is for you, if you have chosen a long term relationship or marriage, or, even something shorter, this idea of sharing with your partner in a really deep way can really cement you together and bring you close together. It can bring about great growth. There is something very sexual and very secret about this energy and it’s something that we definitely want to honor and to keep alive.
There’s amazing research, however, I also want to go through it from our Four Cornerstone perspective of food, body, emotional wellbeing, and spiritual growth, because there are many different aspects to this, so we will go through all four.
Topics Covered In Keeping Healthy Sex and Intimacy Alive in Your Relationship
#1. Creating rituals and space for healthy sex and intimacy
#2. Keeping sex and intimacy alive for the long term
#3. Why intention is very powerful and key to creating healthy intimacy
#4. Ways to implement the Four Cornerstones into your sex life
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Hey Beauties. Welcome back to our Monday solo cast episode, where our topic today is Keeping Healthy Sex and Intimacy Alive in Your Relationship. Mm-mm. Hot topic today. I do think that sex and intimacy and touch and sensuality and your connection with your chosen partner is a very important, potentially important part of wellness, so it is something I wanted to cover, it is something I wanted to talk about. And if you are single, I still think this topic applies to you, because you could have this information in mind when thinking about getting into a relationship or just be aware of this and be aware of some of the… just highlight the importance of it as you go in and just be able to create this really nourishing, healthy part of your life. I think that sexual energy and intimacy is very, very powerful and potentially very healing.
And what’s wonderful, again, there are many different ways to have a relationship. There are poly-couples now they’re casual relationships. Whatever iteration it is for you, but if you have chosen a long term relationship or marriage, or again, even something shorter, this idea of sharing with your partner in a really deep way, this energy, it can really cement you together and bring you close together, bring about great growth. To me, there is a something very sexual, very sexual. It’s very, very secret about this energy and it’s something that we definitely want to honor and to keep alive.
There’s amazing research that we found for this topic. And also I want to go through it from our four cornerstone perspective, food, body, emotional wellbeing, and spiritual growth, because there are many different aspects to this. There’s a complexity a little bit. There’s also, again, a lot of energy to it. It’s tied to our vitality, I think, and also tied to the cornerstones, to our ability to really, on a purely physical practical level, feel good, feel desiring, and then also the emotional and spiritual component, so we will go through all four.
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Before we get deep into this topic, this hot topic, I want to give a quick shout out to our fan of the week and his or her name is egracee95. And he or she writes, “I followed Kimberly for years and I love that her views and attitude have always remained consistent. This podcast is a chance to better understand her wisdom. It’s a great place for people interested in health, wellness, and healing to find inspiration and a sense of community.”
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All right, all that being said, let us get into our topic today, healthy sex and intimacy, keeping it alive for long term, for the long haul, for this idea, which I think is entirely possible, to get closer and closer to someone and to grow spiritually. That is my intention for my marriage. And I talk about it with my husband and we… I definitely tried to create rituals and space for that.
Why intention is very powerful and key to creating healthy intimacy
And so I think first of all, as we get into this topic, just having the intention is key because I think that sometimes it’s like digestion and poop, which is another topic, a little bit of a taboo topic that I do talk about a lot with all kinds of people and I have in the past. Sex isn’t something that sometimes we want to talk about openly with our couple. Maybe it feels awkward. Maybe we don’t want to hurt their feelings. Maybe we just feel really shy about it. Maybe it’s just not something we’ve ever really brought up with our friends and our family. So it becomes one of those things that I think it’s a little bit vague and potentially undefined.
But just like anything, intention is really, really powerful. So from the outset, if you can share with your partner, him, her, or whatever version it looks like for you… again, there’s lots of different iterations of partnerships and couples, but with your partner sitting down and talking about your intentions and what you want to create together, and it might feel a little bit daunting. You don’t have to make it this big, scary thing. Maybe you’re already in the middle of another discussion and you can just sit down on the couch and say, “Hey, I just want us to feel really close. It’s really important to me. I really want to have a beautiful, sensual, sexual relationship and feel really intimate and close. And that’s really important to me.” Whatever it is. I think sharing your… first, getting clear with your intention and how you want your relationship to be, and then sharing that with your partner and hearing their take is a really important starting place.
Ways to implement the Four Cornerstones into your sex life
Now, let’s talk about the cornerstones and I’m going to start today with the emotional cornerstone. Sometimes I get into this pattern, I think, of talking about the cornerstones in the same way over and over again. I say food, body, emotional wellbeing, spiritual growth, which is the way I have laid them out, but it doesn’t mean that they’re hierarchical, funny word to say out loud. It doesn’t mean that one is more important. It doesn’t mean that they build on each other per se, but more that they are all important to their cornerstones, right? Especially because we’re having an embodied experience, we still need to take care of our bodies. Arguably I would say that the spiritual growth component is perhaps the most important cornerstone as we grow in this lifetime and to understanding our true self, our true beauty, our connection with the universe, with God, with the divine, whatever word we want to use. But we say, again, because we’re in this body, because we’re on our journey, all four are really important.
But today I want to talk about them in a little bit of a different order because the first one that comes to mind for me with this topic is emotional wellbeing and the emotional wellbeing of the couple and together. I do think that of course, couples have different frequencies in which they make love. It could be very different from your best friend or your neighbor or whatever it is, but whatever it is for you, if you go through really long extended periods where you start to feel disconnected, then we know that there’s a bit of an issue there. It’s not the actual frequency, I think, but what more, how does it feel for you in that couple and in that relationship? And if a couple starts to feel like drifting apart, sometimes sex can be a really poignant barometer for that, and it can just start to show that in many different ways, you’re not able to connect right now. A really great place to start to work is emotionally getting close again. And this is true for women and men.
According to a 2018 study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, emotional intimacy plays a particularly large role in maintaining sexual desire and partnered sexual activity in romantic relationships of longer duration. The findings suggested a correlation between higher levels of intimacy and higher levels of sexual activity and desire. I think that automatically we think, “Oh yeah, women need to talk about emotions. It’s really important for women.” But I think it’s this… I think men need it too. I think that, again, there’s different sorts of relationships and some are more casual, some are one night stand, some are just short term or however it looks. But I do think men love to feel close. They love to feel connected as women do as well.
Emotionally, being able to connect to talk about your feelings, to have space in your schedule and your activity and your lives to really share and to have times to be vulnerable. I think working on this over time and communication and just having the space for honest conversations is really important. And I try, sometimes my husband and I, we’ve gotten better with communication. We continue to grow closer together and sometimes we’re very different. He’s just very guy masculine, and I’m quite feminine and sensitive. And sometimes how we say things or what we say, we don’t realize we could hurt someone’s feelings or just trigger them in a way. Again, we’ve put an emphasis on really talking through how does it feel for you or what do you think about this? And we’ve just been able to really become very vulnerable with each other and talk about different things.
We’ve also done with this healer that I like to talk to sometimes, we’ve done some couples sessions and it’s really nice to talk together as a little group with someone that can mirror back. And I think that’s really healthy for couples to sometimes to have a third party and it can help you grow really close together. And even though we feel like oh, we’re doing and really connecting, you could still do a session like that and take it to another level. Or sometimes if you do a session, the healer or the leader or the teacher, whatever you want to call it, can lead you through some special exercises, like looking into each other’s eyes and holding space. I’m a big fan of working on communication and feeling heard and feeling emotionally connected to your partner, however that may look.
Keeping sex and intimacy alive for the long term
In 2016, a study was conducted by Psychologists at Chapman University, in couples with a satisfying longterm sex life. This is one of the largest studies to date that scientifically examined this topic. And the findings found that foreplay, setting the mood, mixing it up and expressing love are all factors in satisfied couples, so they do regularly. This idea of really… I just think that the space of love and the expression of love and intention and putting thought into the mood and setting things up, you can tell there’s just to a level of putting importance on it and honoring it. And it’s showing that someone else’s feelings are important and having that empathy to really connect, I think saying to your partner, “I’m going to make time and space for this because emotionally I feel connected to you and this feels good to me. And it’s important for us to connect this way.” So really just holding that space and being intentional about it is really important longterm.
And I do think it’s really possible for a couple to grow together and to continue to have great sex and great intimacy, even it’s with the same person, because you deepen together and you grow and you grow together and you open up and I think things can keep deepening and becoming even more and more amazing.
Our next cornerstone is spiritual growth. I define spirituality as the path to connecting with yourself more and more, understanding yourself more and more. And when you connect and spiritually go inward, you start to understand this concept of oneness and connection with all others and your special connection with your partner. And the love that you feel in your partner, for your partner is lighting up the love in you. You’re not trying to get anything from other people, but you’re really feeling the potential, you’re feeling the energy and flow and all this potent Shakti, this force that’s inside of you.
Spiritually, I will say that couples that… they don’t have to have the same religion. Obviously, you don’t have to believe in exactly the same things. You may not have the same exact practice, but I do think it’s important, first of all, to be respectful of each other’s spirituality. And then, I think it does help to be on the same page as much as possible. Even though my husband doesn’t always meditate with me, he will chant, he will do mantras, he will do some of the practice. He’s open to reading, he’s open to learning and he will do some sometimes. It’s a little bit of an ebb and flow, but he loves it and he’s respectful and we have the same basic values. And we believe in the same fundamental principles. We do believe in love. We do believe in God. We do believe in divine intelligence and connection.
I think it would be really not impossible per se, if you’re listening to this and you’re in this situation, I think it would be difficult for me to be with an atheist, because I am very spiritual and I see things through a spiritual lens, but I think with good communication, as long as there’s respect, then anyone could potentially be with anyone.
But I think for this cornerstone, what I would say is that really feeling connected and maybe establishing some practices together, maybe they’re around mindfulness gratitude practices, saying what you’re grateful for, saying what you’re grateful for about the other person, whatever it is, there’s a way to connect spiritually. For me, again, with Hubby, we talk about it all the time. We pray. I talk to him a lot about my practices and he’s always respectful and we do see life through a similar lens, so that also helps me feel, back to the last cornerstone, emotionally close with him, and I trust him and I feel safe.
And I think so much of healthy sex and intimacy longterm are these big things, trust and safety and connection. We want to feel safe for this person. We want to feel safe to share feelings with them, to feel love for them, to be playful in the bedroom with them, whatever all these things are. Safety and trust are so important and we get that emotionally, so we want to be sure to talk, to be vulnerable, to have space. And maybe if you feel like your lives have just gotten so far apart in that way, maybe it is something that you could try to schedule in and talk to your partner and say, “Hey, even if it’s just 10 minutes bed, I love it when we get a chance to talk,” or “Hey, can we have… go on a one-on-one walk here and there, whatever it is, Wednesdays at 5:00. After the workday or Saturdays, and just have a chance to talk and catch up.” You may want to actually try to put it in, if that is your intention to grow together.
Hubby and I share our intentions. My intention is to grow spiritually with Hubby, that we grow together in this journey, in this life, on our path together. And so, because we share that intention, we definitely work on it. It becomes part of our life. It becomes something that we do keep alive, because there’s a lot of clarity around that one.
Okay. Next let’s go to the body cornerstone. And body and sex, of course, we’re having an embodied experience. We’re having a physically sexual experience, sexual touch, intimacy. I think touch is really key and one of the best ways to touch each other and to keep that sensuality going is massage. And so you don’t have to be the strongest best masseuse in the world, of course, but if your intention is there and you’re putting love into it, just touching your partner’s skin is going to be really revitalizing. It’s going to be really healing already. I think that I’m committing to that is really, really wonderful.
Again, the frequency may vary per couple, but just touch and it doesn’t have to be super long, just keeping touch alive in your relationship. Maybe more hugs. If you’re not a really touchy person, maybe just having these touch points in the morning, before dinner, after dinner, before bed, just to remind yourself, hey, maybe just a little touch on the arm, not to feel forced, but maybe sometimes you’re someone that needs to be reminded a little bit. It’s nice to give a hug. It’s nice to stroke someone’s hair. Whatever feels healthy and good to you, keeping touch alive, massages.
And then also taking care of your own body. A study published in the journal of sexual medicine found that regular yoga practice involves several aspects of sexual function in women, which includes increasing desire, arousal, orgasm, and overall satisfaction. what I think is great about yoga is you’re opening up blocks of energy, you’re stretching, you’re doing backbends, you’re connecting more with your body and you’re spending time with your body on a yoga mat. You’re not staring at a screen. Sometimes it’s easy to just really look around. If you’re running around outside, you’re in the gym, sometimes you look at other people.
But I find when I’m doing yoga, especially myself, practice, you’re really breathing. You’re really aware of your body. And you can notice when your hamstrings feels tight or you’re breathing into your kidneys. And I think that connection with your body helps you connect more with someone else’s body, which is important in intimacy. You want to be really, really present, which of course is I forgot to say in the spiritual cornerstone meditation, anything you can do, they feel present and breathe into your body and breathe into that moment is going to help you be in that really present space with someone else when you’re being intimate with them. And that could include, of course, intimate conversation and really listening and connecting and feeling their feelings and being empathetic. And that’s really beautiful to do. It’s much more than just the physical act of sex.
But body-wise, I think just connecting with your body and abhyanga self-massage is really powerful. In Radical Beauty, Deepak and I talk about that whole practice. You can check that out if you’re interested. Anything that’s promoting this feeling in your body is wonderful. Taking care of yourself, take care of your body.
Scent, I think, falls into this cornerstone. It’s really powerful. There’s some wonderful scents that can… kind of warming scents and cinnamon and certain spices that can also just help you feel sexy. That’s something that I think can also be part of this as well.
Now, and just exercising, I think exercising makes you feel really good in your body. Keep those walks up. I know it’s been a little bit tough with COVID, being home all the time and maybe your gym and your yoga studio is closed, but there’s lots of things you can do at home, including, of course, your home yoga practice and just going on walks and hikes in your neighborhood and being sure to get outside.
Now, let’s talk about food. Food is really important, because food will open up your energy and help you feel sexy and help you feel the flow of vitality, which is really important for your sexual organs. It’s important for you to feel getting in that mood, right? We have whole blogs about aphrodisiacs. We’ve done podcasts on this as well, and just energy foods. And I think anything that’s going to make you feel bloated, anything that’s going to make you feel heavy is not, of course, sexy time at all.
There was a study and from Harvard that focused on a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, whole grains lessened likelihood of erectile dysfunction in males and this diet also emphasized cutting out red meat, processed foods and refined sugars. Erectile dysfunction, circulation, there’s research about this for men, but I also think it applies to women. If we are feeling really heavy and bloated and gross, we don’t really want to have sex. We don’t really want to feel intimate. We don’t really feel comfortable in our bodies, so therefore we don’t feel comfortable sharing our bodies with someone else, of course. Food-wise, your diet can really much, very much affect your longterm intimacy with your partner. That’s another big reason to want to eat healthy, to want to eat lots of veggies and fruit and grains and all these wonderful foods, because you’re going to feel so much better.
I think sometimes it’s funny when there’s these different diets like keto and paleo, Atkins, all these carnivore diet… things that are very geared towards helping you lean down, and that may be true, but again, what does it do to your overall energy? And so I know if I eat just a ton of… if I were to eat a ton of dairy ton of meat, I would just feel heavy and I wouldn’t feel my energy coming through. I do feel that way when I eat sprouted grains, I know some people are carb phobic.
I will say, I’m someone… I love the blue zones, discoveries about all these healthy, lean, happy people across the world, not only eating carbs every day, but pretty much every meal. I feel great doing that, and I affirm that to myself. I take my SBO Probiotics. I avoid gluten largely, but I feel… I do eat sourdough bread. I do eat some gluten, but largely brown rice and sweet potatoes and all sorts of things like that. I eat a lot of greens. I eat a lot of vegetables. I eat a lot of spreads. I eat ton of fruit and I feel really alive in my body. And I do feel a lot of flow. I feel great. And I think that’s true for a lot of people.
And when you feel great, when you feel light, you also feel more sexual, I find. Now, it is true, some of the yogis will teach that if you do eat a lot of red meat, you have animalistic tendencies, and you may just feel sexual, but to me it feels like a little bit, unsustainable sexuality. It feels a little bit more animalistic, maybe more like you’re porn or just ejaculating really fast or something like that. Whereas to me, the sexiness I feel is more sustainable. And I feel that throughout the day with Jon, with my partner and it just feels like I have more energy to tap into. It doesn’t feel erratic or big ebbs and flows. Maintaining your VDD toxal in a diet is definitely going to give you a big boost in this regard, and again, for the longterm.
The healthier your body is the more connected you are, your mind, your body, your whole energy is connected and firing on all cylinders. That definitely includes being able to be fired up sexually, and to feel that into directed towards your partner longterm, who is it, that source of energy for you, not just sexually but deeper, but emotionally and the closeness and the spiritual growth you experience together as you go through life and you communicate, and you learn more about yourself through your partner. I think that’s what’s possible. That’s what I want. That’s what I am creating. I think you can create that too, whether you’re in a relationship now or you’re single. With that intention, you can go into it with that, and you can grow in so many ways. And the sexual becomes that natural extension, that experience, that another level because of your emotional and your spiritual connection.
If you’re listening to this and you’re feeling like well, I don’t really have that strong of a connection right now, spiritually and emotionally with my partner, I would say that focus on it, work on it, give it your best shot, try different practices, try setting things up, try really being vulnerable with your partner. See if you can go to a couples’ therapist maybe. It’s really important to reawaken that and to bring it into your life. The sex will be a natural expression of that afterwards, but that’s the route that usually needs to be fixed and to make sure it’s healthy and to work on it, even if it’s healthy now. Keep it alive, keep those practices going, keep the fire going.
I think it’s a really… it’s not necessary for everyone to experience that in this lifetime. But I know from myself, it’s a really a wonderful energy. I feel really close. I feel alive in my body. I feel just wonderful with my hubby. I want everyone to have that. For anybody that is a sexual being and that once that experience, I think it’s really important. I think it all works together. That’s why, of course, we like to take this Four Cornerstone approach and look at it through that lens, because that’s how we get the best results.
Let me know what you think. Let me know how you’re doing. Lots of different ways to get in touch with me, of course. Over on Instagram, my handle’s @_KimberlySnyder. We also have a Solluna one with all the recipes. That’s where we’re posting the recipes now and the cornerstone philosophy and ideas. And that’s over @sollunabyks. I’ll also mention that we have a new Beauty Inside Out course launching now on Commune. If you check out the show notes, you’ll see some information on it, and it’s a really powerful course. I think you’ll like it a lot. It’s all video based, but there’s some materials as well for you and recipes and different aspects, different meditations and practices. Jam packed course. Beauty Inside Out, check it out.
And as always, I just want to thank you so much for being part of our community and connecting with me. I love you so much. And it is such an honor to walk together and to be together. Some of us have been together for many years. Some of us are new friends, but no matter what I am so honored and filled, my heart is filled with love and gratitude. I will see you back here Thursday for our next community show.
If you have any questions to ask me guys, go over to mysolluna.com/askkimberly, you’ll see the podcast tab, leave your questions there. And hopefully I will answer your question on an upcoming show. I will see you back here soon. So much love. Take great care of yourself. Connect with your partner more. Connect with yourself more. Lots of love. Bye for now.