Want a Great Sex Life? This One Thing Is More Important Than You Think

Written by on June 27, 2019 in Conscious Living, Relationships & Sex with 2 Comments

Emotionally connected couple-compressed

By Daniel Dowling | The Good Men Report

What is the one thing we want and need most in relationships?

If you said sex … you’re wrong.

According to Ph.D. Sue Johnson, inventor of Emotionally Focused therapy, secure couples only attribute 15-20% of their happiness to pleasing sex. So for happy relationships, sex is a small but important part of a tasty and satisfying pie. But for those in unhappy relationships, a full 50-70% of their misery is attributed to sexual dissatisfaction. Where is the disconnect?

Since sex is important to feeling close, unsatisfied partners come to the faulty assumption that sex is the culprit. If they had more or better sex, then the relationship would also be better, they reason. But what comes first—the relationship, or sex?

Related Article: 21 Amazing Reasons Why You Should Make Love Every Day

Recent studies have shown that people who have the highest sexual satisfaction and the most sex are married couples. This statistic defeats the commonly held notion that intimacy for couples must decrease with time, and that novel sexual encounters are the most satisfying.

The importance of emotional connection

In the context of a committed relationship, it is not a novelty that determines satisfaction, but emotional connection.

The deeper you are able to connect with your partner emotionally, the more dynamic your sexual experience will be. The greater your emotional connection is with your partner, the more in tune you will be with their physical and sexual needs as well.  Emotional connection requires the most sensitive of any of our needs, so it is the most important connection to practice.

Emotional connection often fades in couples because it requires so much attention, and our lifestyles leave little room for it. Through our hectic work schedules and lives, we barely have enough time for our thoughts, let alone the feelings of our partners.

When we lose sensitivity to the emotional needs of our partners and ourselves, we tend to shut down physically—and sexually. Since emotions are the least known connection and the hardest to observe, we tend to place too much importance on sexuality and physicality in our problems.

For many people, decreased emotional connection is the root cause of their sexual problems.

Sexual dissatisfaction is the canary in the coal mine, so to speak, and never a cause of relationship problems itself.

If you want to experience a deeper and richer sex life, try to re-establish a meaningful emotional connection with your partner.

What are emotions?

Because male culture has been so quick to dismiss feelings, many of us have entered into relationships with an emotional handicap that prevents deeper intimacy. 

Because of an emotional disconnect, many women lose hope in themselves and their partners when all they need is an emotional breakthrough. 

Males have come to take pride in how unaffected they are, and how they can overcome their emotions. Not crying has been viewed as a masculine trait, and not speaking about feelings has become standard for guys. But we all have emotions, even the toughest and hardest among us, and the more we repress them, the less able we are to connect with our partners and ourselves.

Related Article: 5 New Ways to Please Your Woman (and 5 Outdated Approaches You Should Drop)

Emotion stems from the Latin root emovere, which means to move through or out. Emotions are what move you. Repressing emotions inhibit the flow of connection through you and out to other people.

If you are in tune with your feelings, you can choose the direction you are moved for a positive effect. If you have lost touch with your feelings, you can fall into negative patterns of ignoring your needs and reacting harshly.

Ignoring emotions and responding negatively

Take this example for instance. A man’s wife turns away from him as he attempts to kiss her before heading to work. Without sensitivity to his needs and feelings, he may experience anger and attack his partner or shut down completely to protect himself from hurt. That would be a negative response to feeling hurt or scared that he would lose connection with his spouse.

Needing to be connected to your loved one is what drives the majority of feelings in a relationship, so it’s important to observe our feelings and see what needs they lead to. Rarely if ever is that need to attack someone or make them feel bad for what they do.

Connecting to emotions and responding positively

A man who is in touch with his emotions is a man who realizes their importance. Without sharing our emotions vulnerably in a relationship, there can be no meaningful connection. Each time you reveal your emotions and the needs behind them, you invite your partner to connect and to grow with you.

So for the man in our example, the emotionally attuned response would look something more like this:

“Honey, I feel hurt when you turn away from my kiss because I need to feel connected to you.”


“Babe, I feel hopeless when you turn away from my kiss because your kisses help me feel close to you. What are your needs right now?”

Instead of perceiving him as a pushy and aggressive guy, the wife will see his soft emotions and his desire to connect with her.

There are any numbers of positive emotional responses, but they all share commonalities. Positive emotional connections are centered around feelings, needs, and requests. They let your partner know what is going inside of you and why, and it also gives insight into what they can do to increase connection with you.

The importance of empathy and vulnerability 

It’s easier to respond positively to your emotions when you empathize with your partner. Empathizing is looking for the interests, needs, and feelings behind your partner’s actions to understand them better.

For a man who looks to his wife with empathy, he will not automatically assume she is a bad guy for not going along with his bid for affection. A man who practices empathy will look deeper into the needs and feelings of his partner to see her as a human with needs.

In the first example, the man turns away from his own needs and feelings in order to protect himself. He has judged her as someone who hurts him. But in doing that, he is ignoring the needs of his partner as well and preventing a meaningful emotional connection; he is invulnerable.

When your partner is showing invulnerability, know that they are hurting and needing to be close with you.

Paradoxically, invulnerability is what hurts us the most, but it is always an attempt to protect our needs. So when your partner is showing invulnerability, know that they are hurting and needing to be close with you.

The man in the second example looks to his wife with empathy while being vulnerable about his feelings and needs. In doing so, he opens the door for greater connection and intimacy with his wife. His emotions “move through” him and towards his wife for a deep connection.

Maybe she was preoccupied with thoughts of her sick mother. Maybe she hadn’t healed from an emotional wound he didn’t even know had occurred. If you don’t stop to express your feelings and needs, you’ll never understand more about your partner’s.

The invulnerable man’s response will lead to more distance and lowered expectations for connection, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Think about how hard it would be to make a warm sexual connection when a relationship is defined by cycles of disconnect.

The vulnerable man displays emotional attentiveness and a desire to grow and understand. Not surprisingly, that man will be the one to get his needs met and to understand the feelings and needs behind his partner's actions. Would it surprise you if the second couple went on the have a deeply passionate lovemaking session not long after their connection? Or for their love-making to grow in meaning and satisfaction with each emotional connection?

Having sex is making love when you are fully connected emotionally with your partner. That connection provides security and another dimension in which to explore and appreciate each other freely and creatively.

When couples make a habit of being sensitive to their emotional needs, they develop an appreciation and respect for each other than can only occur through growing together; through work.

Imagine the security you can have with a partner when you can ride emotional waves together and have faith in each other’s ability to be more connected after the ride is over. It’s exhilarating and happy, and it’s a far cry from the emotional repression that keeps us from giving our deepest selves in sexual encounters.

The difference lies in the work couples put towards connecting.

Thomas Alva Edison is quoted as saying, “It’s good hard work that does it,” and that applies to relationships too. Connecting emotionally is work in that it requires effort, but it can be the most rewarding work of your life if you make it a practice. Since an emotional connection is the most important part of a relationship, it is worth working for.

Back to Sex

In a secure relationship, excitement comes not from trying to resurrect the novel moments of infatuated passion, but from the risk involved in staying open in the moment-to-moment, here-and-now experience of physical and emotional connection. With this openness comes the sense that lovemaking is always a new adventure.  —Sue Johnson

Sex is a living and breathing thing that you create with your partner, and it requires good food to perform well and serve its purpose. The emotional connections and exchanges you make with your partner end up being the food for this sexy beast.

The inputs required for the sexy beast are a vulnerability, emotional exchanges, and connection with your spouse, security, confidence, playfulness, and hope. If you can create those inputs in your day-to-day life with your spouse, you’ll have done all you need to experience the highest levels of sexual satisfaction imaginable.

But after you’ve done the work to create sexual fuel, you’ll realize that the connection you make in the process is infinitely more important than the act of sex itself. With that revelation comes a new sense of sexual freedom because the pressure that once defined sex is now gone. 

Related Article: 9 Sex Positions That Practically Guarantee An Orgasm

If you want to experience mind-blowing sex and intimate connection with your spouse, here are five things you can practice:

1. Empathize with your partner

Seeing your wife as a vulnerable person who is responding from emotions created by needs, she will be warm to your eyes no matter what words or tone of voices she uses. If you can see that she only wants to connect with you, as you do with her, then you create an even foundation for an emotional connection. 

2. Express your feelings and needs, then request what you need.

If you don’t take the time to examine the feelings behind your reactions, you can’t possibly know what your needs are. And if you don’t know what your needs are, you will never get what you want. So connect with your emotions and see the needs that create them.

Once you know how you feel and what you need, you can guide your partner closer to you through vulnerability. When we don’t know our feelings and needs, we become scared and that is when we attack. When that happens, we create cycles that diminish connection and interrupt our sex lives.

So express yourself in ways that draw attention to your feelings and needs without criticizing or attacking your partner. Invite the connection through your emotions. 

“I feel ____ when this happens because I need ____ with you. Can you talk about how you are feeling?” Attacking someone is a superficial way to show our feelings that exacerbate the tension we feel. 

3. Practice forgiveness

Becoming acquainted with your feelings and needs will give you the opportunity to see how your partner has hurt you and how you have hurt them. Because our primary need in a relationship is to be connected, the biggest wounds we harbor are those where we have felt abandoned, cut-off, and unimportant to our partners.


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  1. 1068014283240965@facebook.com' Jake Drago says:

    Kristina Sp

  2. 1521964518112783@facebook.com' Vaten Vaten says:

    Having a partner.

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