There’s a lot of relationship advice online.
We’ve all tried the the “10 Steps to Spice Up Your Sex Life” and “6 Tips to Reignite the Spark.” Perhaps they contained some decent advice or maybe they’ve heard it all before—over and over and over.
As a desire coach, I meet a lot of people who have already given all of the traditional relationship advice a fair shot, but they still don’t have the intimacy, connection and electricity they always hoped could be possible. They come to me because they’re ready to take risks in order to have an electric relationship.
They’ve begun to understand that a safe relationship also tends to be a lifeless one.
When it comes to love, the main principle I communicate to my clients is, “the greater the risk, the greater the reward.” It’s the moment where we’ve risked everything—even to let the relationship go—when we truly feel the electricity between each other come alive again. I always say, “If you want an electric love life, then you’re going to have to pump it full of electricity.” In other words, they’ve got to be wiling to electrocute it.
Here are the top five ways to electrify your relationship:
For the most part, when we talk about penetrating, we’re referring to the energetic and verbal sorts of penetration rather than physical penetration.
In relationships, we often talk about having walls up. These are the fortifications we put up to protect the tender things inside. But whenever anyone can get past our walls, we feel so much more connected. Many of us have had the experience of being with someone and feeling like we could “finally let your guard down.” We’ll often admit that we stopped bullshitting someone, dropped our walls and let them see us (and that we absolutely love when we find someone we can do that with).
What is it about a person that would make us drop our walls? More often than not, such a person knows how to penetrate.
Penetration is not about force or pressure, but rather the ability to open someone up with our attention and love. To penetrate is incredibly vulnerable because in order to do it, one must be wiling to reveal and be penetrated themselves. We can’t make someone feel safe to reveal their most guarded tender selves if we don’t first reveal our interest and care in knowing that part of them.
So how does one penetrate?
The first element is attention. Our precise, curious attention on them can help them reveal a lot. We have to drop any agenda we may have and be willing to just put our attention on them without expectations. Next, we can only open up those tender places with love. Without love, even if we use logic and attention to gain some insight into what’s going on behind the walls, they will snap shut again the moment after they open if they can’t feel the love. And finally, the more we can get vulnerable and give up our own game, the safer they’ll feel to do the same. Which leads us to #2.
2. Give up our games
In order to be penetrated, it helps to give up our games. I tell my clients to practice letting down their own walls and reveal themselves next time they want to get through someone else’s smokescreens. But even if our goal isn’t to open someone else up with our own vulnerability, vulnerability just plain feels good.
We’re all familiar with the feeling of hunkering down and putting up our defenses. We often find ourselves in a state of conflict with our partners where we fear giving up any ground, lest they use it against us.
The thing to remember there is that the one who gets vulnerable first always wins. In fact, when either of us gets vulnerable, we both win. If the goal is to move from disconnection to connection, it is in our best interest to find a way to get tender.
Giving up our game and revealing the parts of ourselves we’re afraid to show them will almost certainly do the trick. If we can do it with humility and from the desire to be connected, it makes those scary parts of us much easier to love. And that level of vulnerability feels so good it’ll have us seeing each other in a fresh new light and wanting nothing more than to be near each other.
3. Lean into jealousy
In order for two people to feel more free with each other than without each other, they’ll likely need to be willing to handle each other’s jealousy and to experience jealousy themselves. The truth is we all enter into relationships initially as single people. When we were single we could do whatever felt natural—whatever we desired. We could flirt with the waitstaff if we wanted to. We could have a whole evening out just with our friends whenever we wanted without ever having to consider our significant other.
However, when we get into relationships, we often drop off the very parts of our personality that make us most compelling: the flirt, the seductive one, the free spirit. We do this out of notions of what’s appropriate now that we’re in a relationship and we do it in order to avoid triggering the other person’s jealousy. But what we gain in comfort and security, we lose in spark, fire and electricity which leads to #4.
4. Be willing to have an effect on your partner
Relationships should not always be a place for comfort and bliss. Sometimes electricity is found in the least comfortable moments. Tiptoeing around all of our partners’ preferences may be a way to avoid allowing them to ever see the parts of us they’re uncomfortable with, but doing so sacrifices the chance for both of us to feel that dynamic tension that can make a relationship so hot.
Picture Bender and Claire from The Breakfast Club, or Baby and Johnny from Dirty Dancing. In the movies the hottest couples often have little to agree about. It’s the dynamic tension between their personalities and preferences that make their relationships electric. If any of those characters had tried to be more like their counterpart or attempted to hide the ways they were different from each other, there would be no friction to create sparks. So if our partner can’t stand something that we love, rather than pretending we don’t like it either, I say let’s flaunt our passion for it.
If we have a deep desire, let’s not let fear of affecting our partner stop us from pursuing it. My advice is that we revel in the chance to make our partner feel a little uncomfortable. Chances are it will only increase the magnet between the two of us.
5. Break our own rules
We all have rules. We construct them in order to avoid finding ourselves in vulnerable situations. We don’t want to be mistreated or be taken advantage of so we remind ourselves of the kind of treatment we expect and the kind of things we are allowed to desire. Our rules are there to keep us safe, but often they have the effect of creating rigidity in our actions and our responses to others. They keep us from relying on our intuition and going with the flow. We create rules to maintain a sense of power and control, but they actually have the opposite effect of making us beholden to them, even when they don’t serve us.
So what do we do when our rules don’t serve us? That’s right. We break them. Want some examples? I ask my clients to picture their “type.” Their type may have a certain hair color, height, income level, and social status. Then I have them recall a time when they noticed a person that didn’t have any of the qualities of their type but they could feel their body react and get turned on whenever this person is around. Maybe this person was even the sort of person they’d be absolutely embarrassed to be seen in public with.
And then I give them the advice they half hope I won’t give them but half (secretly) hope I will. I tell them “Yeah you might want to try dating that person. Or at least flirt with them to see what’s there.” Trust me, I’ve done it. Often, there is so much charge created by the combination of aversion and attraction, that the chemistry becomes totally electric.
But what if we’re already in a relationship with someone who meets all our criteria?
Well, couples usually have all sorts of rules within their relationships as well. I have my clients think about the unspoken agreements about what kinds of pillow talk are acceptable. I have them think about what kind of sex they consider to be allowed in their relationship.
Couples, especially those that love and respect each other, often have some very rigid rules about what’s acceptable in a loving relationship. Add in dynamics of good husband/wife or mother/father and our rules become even more exacting. With all those roles to abide by, it can feel very taboo to even consider revealing our desire to explore the naughtier, dirtier sides of sex together. But if we can bust through our own rules in this area, we can open the doorway to a relationship dynamic with much more electricity.
Simply put, surrender to what the deeper us desires even if it means breaking our own rules.
Originally published in elephant journal