Over the next few weeks, we will be reading the book Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Dr. Sue Johnson, the developer of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy. Want to go back to the beginning of the series? Just click here.
This week, we’ll be discussing the sixth conversation Dr. Sue Johnson discusse – Bonding Through Sex and Touch. This chapter starts off with some things that may seem fairly obvious – many couples going through a difficult time in their relationship also have a less-than-satisfying sex life. Dr. Johnson is quick to remind readers that this is rarely the root cause of any relationship issues – it’s often just a canary in a coal mine, a symptom of relationship distress.
It’s not hard to understand why it works that way – when we feel less-than-secure in our relationships, it can be hard to be intimate, both emotionally and physically. Dr. Sue Johnson discusses the need for both in a healthy bedroom relationship.
Three main types of sex are described in this chapter. The first is sealed-off sex – all physical, no emotional. Think James Bond. The second is solace sex – sex initiated with the purpose of seeking reassurance from our partner. Often, the cuddling afterwards is more important than the actual sex. The third is synchrony sex – sex where emotional openness and physical experience come together. This is the kind all couples should strive for, but it can be difficult when there are other issues in the relationship.
Even when the issues are on their way to being resolved, it can be hard to get back on track. Dr. Sue Johnson describes a few conversation starters and questions for us to ask ourselves and discuss with our partners to help – things like “If you wrote out a brief guide for the Lover of _____ and inserted your name, what would you put in it?” We definitely recommend grabbing this book for more tips if this is something you’re struggling with in your relationship!
Next week, we’ll be digging into the seventh and final conversation Dr. Sue Johnson discusses: Hold Me Tight – Keeping Your Love Alive.