As surprising as it may sound, some of us put limits on how much pleasure, if any, we allow in our lives. Beliefs, possibly formed at an early age, that pleasure is something sinister, not to be trusted, unwholesome, or just plain gluttonous can stand in the way of intimate connecting in our love relationships.
But when you begin to recognize what your pleasure beliefs are and how those beliefs impact your relationship, you can choose to either retain or change them. The results can be a closer, deeper and more passionate relationship.
While growing up, Ric was taught to be hard-working and deny oneself comfort were all virtues. Pleasure was actually seen as selfish and lazy. Yes, Ric did enjoy comfort and love in his childhood, but his parents always emphasized that lingering in pleasing moments was somehow wrong.
As an adult in a love relationship with Sue, these pleasure beliefs have proved confusing and limiting. There seems to be some invisible line that Ric won’t allow himself to cross when it comes to opening up fully when it comes to intimacy.
What are your pleasure beliefs?
It’s pretty obvious to Ric that his pleasure beliefs are quite negative. Deep down he still associates pleasure with being irresponsible, lazy and in violation of some unknown code.
When he sits down and looks at how he really feels about pleasure, he is troubled. After all, he loves Sue and wants to move closer to her, not further away. He is aware of the way he tends to hold back emotionally and rush when they are sharing pleasurable moments and has also sensed the disappointment in Sue when he reacts in this way.
You may have different beliefs about pleasure. Perhaps you experienced sexual abuse or rape in your past and the very actions that are supposed to be pleasing and connecting, were used against you in violating and hurtful ways.
If so, you may associate pleasure with a sense of distrust and even shame. Becoming more aware of what your beliefs are about pleasure, is an important first step.
Do your pleasure beliefs serve you and your relationship?
Next, decide which pleasure beliefs you hold serve you and your relationship and which do not. You may be tempted to re-live memories or past experiences.
Try, instead, to focus on the beliefs themselves and determine whether each belief moves you closer or further away from your love and from a sense of joy within yourself.
Ric realizes that his rushing and emotionally holding back when they are intimate do not serve either of them. Ric decides to share with Sue what he is learning about himself.
Knowing that Ric is now more aware of his tendencies and that he wants to change them helps Sue feel more confident and prompts her to look at her pleasure beliefs as well.
What will you allow?
Because some of your beliefs may have been ingrained from a very early age, they may not change overnight. Ric and Sue decide to open up to pleasure as a couple a little at a time.
They actually begin in non-sexual ways. They prepare for one another a pleasure night where they promise to only engage in their favorite activities, eat their favorite foods, and drink their favorite drinks– and it’s not even a special occasion!
They agree to savor each moment and stay focused on the great sensations they are lavishing in.
You can also take small steps in shifting toward pleasure beliefs that will enhance you and bring you closer to the one you love. It’s easy to stay busy, be “productive” and contribute much to your family and community.
There’s nothing wrong with that. But, when you let go of the beliefs that condemn you for enjoying life’s pleasures and allow yourself the renewing freedom of enjoyment, you can open yourself to greater love and deeper connection.
These are just a few ideas you can try to create more passion in your love making. Learning new skills and opening up to new ways to be together will help you deepen your connection.