We all lose the spark in our relationships now and then. Maybe work concerns us, we are busy with kids or have financial issues. Maybe we feel fat, think our partner is fat, or we are just fighting a cold. Perhaps we have no partner and we feel lonely. There are a million reasons not to feel romantic.
But I believe there are a million and one reasons to feel that spark, to get the juices flowing, to connect. We just have to get our heads in the right place.
Studies show “Men respond more positively towards sexual stimuli and thoughts, and they accept them more easily. The male population has an attitude that, together with sexual fantasies, heightens sexual drive…women also share the imagination at play. The more sexual fantasies they have, the more sexual desire they experience.”
Not only do women benefit from using their imaginations, but research indicates that their fantasies can be very complex. “Emotional and mental factors play a huge part in bringing women to orgasm. Women’s fantasies don’t tend to be as straightforward as many men’s but involve layers of storytelling and context.”
If it is all in our heads?
If you think about it, as a romance writer I am trying to fuel romantic thoughts, using nothing but my words and your imagination. That is the reason I love romance books far more than romantic movies – although, don’t get me wrong, I like films too.
Being able to picture yourself in the role of a romantic, sexy character, or to imagine those washboard abs on a hero requires the use of our brain. We all have that thing that gets us, holds our interest, turns us on.
In her article for The Awl, “Romance Novels, The Last Great Bastion Of Underground Writing,” author Maria Bustillos says: “I have often wondered whether romance novels mightn’t generally serve the same purpose for women that pornography does for so many men. I do not mean as an aid to autoeroticism, though, so much as the imaginary fulfillment of a profound imperative that is never too far from your mind.”
With that in mind…
It’s tax season, always a downer. People are frustrated by politics, no matter which side they’re on. It’s been raining here in Chicago all week, too. So I thought I would pick out a few uplifting ways to put a spark back in your life – a little lightening, so to speak.
I am bypassing the obvious, like sexy lingerie, candlelight and a great bottle of cabernet, and focusing on things that fuel the imagination.
1/ Truth or Dare. Do you remember the game? This is the sexy version. I recommend you play it like strip poker, prolong the results, building slowly to some satisfying sex. Strip poker is a nice alternative. Dares should be baby steps toward the sex, so you can build up that tension.
2/ Read out loud to each other. Select a favorite romance, or perhaps you prefer Victorian porn (have you read Cleland’s “Fanny Hill” for example? It’s very spicy). If you doubt the efficacy of reading romance together, you must have missed “The Jane Austen Book Club”.
3/ Try something new (and maybe scary) together. Have you ever noticed that the Bachelor on “The Bachelor” always selects the woman with whom he bungee jumped, scaled the building or tried zero-gravity? Yeah, these men are pretty consistent about it, too. Try something scary together, rely on each other to get through it. When all that adrenaline has worn off, you will have this wonderful shared experience.
4/ Get out of town or at least away. I work as a back-up to the innkeepers at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast in my neighborhood. A few weeks ago I was sitting at the innkeeper’s desk talking to a young couple. “Where are you from?” I asked them. To my astonishment they replied, “Down the street.” Turns out they were celebrating the young man’s birthday by getting away from their day to day responsibilities. What a great idea for some romance. These two shared a couples massage, an elegant dinner and the most romantic room in the entire B&B. Try it to heat things up.
5/ Reach out to someone new. Not you married folks, this one is for the singles. Go on a dating service, sign up for a vacation full of singles, go to a church or synagogue singles group. Join the volleyball team in your apartment complex. Pick something you like to do anyway so that you can have a good time whether you meet someone or not. Nice single people are everywhere and one of them is looking for you.
6/ Love yourself. Sure, I could mean that in the physical sense. If you want to do that, go for it. Have a good time. But in this case I mean: be kind to yourself, take care of yourself. Feeling fat? I struggle with this one. but if I fix my hair and makeup, and put on a great pair of heels, I find I feel sexy anyway. Taking care of yourself can help put you in the mood. See if it works for you.
What’s Your Great idea?
This is an incomplete list to be sure. What did I miss? What works for you that you can share with the rest of us? Add your comments and let’s create our own version of global warming.
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For more on the articles referenced here check out:
- “Great Sex is all in the Mind” by Psychologies
- “A study confirms the importance of sexual fantasies…” in EurekAlert
- “How To Enhance Your Sex Life Using Your Imagination” by YourTango.com
- “Romance Novels: The Last Great Bast
ion of Underground Writing” The Awl