Friday, October 29, 2004

Meaningful sexual intimacy

Meaningful sexual intimacy

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Thursday, October 28, 2004 11:40 PM

There are few moments between a man and a woman that are more profound than meaningful sexual intimacy. I do not refer here to just sexual activity and sexual intercourse, but meaningful sexual intimacy.

So many couples are dissatisfied with their sex life. This is because intercourse is only one aspect of sexual intimacy. For some couples, however, intercourse is pretty much their only expression of sexual intimacy. It is so sad that some unfortunate couples experience intercourse only as the goal of sexual intimacy.

In truth, there are many more dimensions to meaningful sexual intimacy than just intercourse. Intercourse without intimacy can become exploitive, manipulating and controlling. Without the dimensions of intimacy, sexual intercourse can become quite ugly. It degenerates into using one or each other and treating the partner as a sex object. Much like the experience with a prostitute when two persons exploit each other. One for gain, the other to satisfy lustful cravings.

Meaningful sexual intimacy means more than that. It is a time for true sharing, of giving and receiving more than sexual pleasure. As a marriage counselor, I have had countless cases of women who complain that sexual intercourse has become a meaningless burden, an obligation to fulfill. There is a sense of being used, not loved. There is the belief that the man is exploiting them, using them for his pleasure without any real concern for their well-being and satisfaction. These miserable women see intercourse as something to be avoided when possible. When that isn’t possible, then they bear it as best they can. Sometimes they pretend to be satisfied. When, however, the relationship is dying, they don’t even fake it anymore. Instead, they either make their disgust known or they refuse to participate altogether in the charade.

Sexual intimacy without true love isn’t true. It isn’t authentic, but more of a biological act used to relieve one’s sexual cravings. It objectifies the partner, and objectification has nothing to do with true love.

I remember a decent man telling me that he no longer felt like touching his wife because his love for her was dying and the act of love was, for him, no longer an expression of love. Instead, he felt that he was into cold, hard exploitation when he had sex with her. And he wanted it stopped because he had a conscience and it bothered him.

For sexual intimacy to be meaningful and true, it must be sealed with love. It must be a vehicle to increase the intensity of love in the relationship. The sexual activity must not be taken out of the context of love. The sexual pleasures are more meaningful as love grows deeper.

Sexual intimacy is more meaningful if it becomes a venue for real sharing of thoughts and feelings. It should “feel good” emotionally and intellectually as well as physically.

This does not happen in extreme, opposite cases. Take the sex addict, for example. He does not care about intimacy. In fact, he fears it because he fears commitment, and real intimacy leads to commitment and the deepening of a commitment. He wants to enjoy the pleasures without having to get into the business of true love which for him is scary.

Lovemaking should be all about making love stronger and more profound. It is about a whole lot more than just having sex.


If you have problems about drugs, alcohol and behavior/attitude call my office at 820-6107 or 825-1771 or, e-mail me at or write me at P.O. Box 2099 MCPO, Makati City


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