Most of us recognize that there is something better about vacation sex -- perhaps because it may be more frequent or more fun. Some would say it is because we are away from home in an exotic (or just different) location. Do you remember those promises made to each other to remember all the good feelings you had on vacation? And then slowly you settle back into the old identities and routines. Sex at home returns to just one more task to check off your list of chores (women tend to view it that way) or a way to relax before sleep (common among men), rather than the kind of sex that recharges you and reconnects partners.
Although some of what makes vacation sex great is the getaway, if that's all it is then we're sunk. But let's look at the ways in which vacation sex is possible to have at home. First, you need to think of "vacation" as a state of mind. Psychologically, it is where we leave the cares of the everyday world behind so we can relax and have fun. And please remember that all the following suggestions need to be a co-creative endeavor.
1) On vacation you bring back the element of play--that child self who knows how to enjoy pleasure. Ask yourself who shows up on vacation? Who are you when you no longer worry about or are distracted by __________ (you name it)? On vacation, we reconnect to that fun person we love in ourselves. Now imagine how you can access that person at home and bring this fun self into the relationship with your partner (who will be doing the same).
Create new images of yourselves at home--the playful relaxed people that show up on vacation are still in there. As an adjunct to showing up as a fun person, you must expunge the inner image of sex as performance -- that is, the model of sex equaling intercourse with the main goal as orgasm. Now replace that image with the focus on pure pleasure, which means enjoying the feelings without expectations spoiling a perfectly good time. Take the pressure off. Agree to release specific performance based outcomes. Otherwise sex will feel false--a friction of genitals that may lead to feelings of sadness, abandonment or even anger at the conclusion. We've all seen those scenes in films where two people turn away from each other after sex with disappointed expressions.
2) On vacation we trust that our partner is going to be available and we look forward to that time together. We are more likely to turn towards each other for attention. Ask yourselves, how do I bring myself into the relationship on vacation? And I mean really IN the relationship, which requires showing up as the real you and being fully present and connected. This includes sharing meaningful information about your growth, which is very different than the "how was your day" conversations that most of us have at home.
So start by paying full attention to your partner. Let all else fall away, knowing that this is your Beloved. Finding ways to connect to your partner as your Beloved may take some practice. When your critical voice shows up, reminding you of all your partner's flaws, consciously shift your attention away from these petty details and allow yourself to remember that beautiful soul you love. Focus on the loving details and bask in the feelings that engenders. I've posted a simple exercise called Touching Hearts on my second blog entitled Spiritual Sex: Begin the Practice That May Be Helpful.
3) On vacation partners are more likely to share hopes and dreams and come up with creative ideas together about making changes in their lives. That is because we are letting go and allowing creative energy to move through without limitations. On vacation you tend to focus on the present moment. Certainly, without intrusions it is easier to take in the warmth of the sun, the motion of the water, and the interesting landscape. In this same way, at home, you can become curious about your partner's inner landscape and offer him or her some deeper parts of yourself, discovering more of your own landscape in the process.
You can practice being in the present moment by sharing something you are aware of right now because of this wonderful connection you are having with your Beloved. It could be a sensation, an image, or a particular aspect of your partner which has just come into focus. Keep in mind you are sharing what is emerging in the now which is not a thought you've had for some time or talked about before. When you share part of yourself, move into a new story -- not the old stuff that isn't really current. Share the parts that are surfacing, the ones that feel new. Value yourself and what can show up when you are who you truly are.
4) On vacation, you have time to relax. Research on what makes affairs so sexy revealed that aside from the new partner, things like turning off all communication media, scheduling time with no interruptions and not choosing times just before sleep made great sex more likely. The same is true for vacation sex. Now, many of you may be saying--wait! This month's series is about recharging for a short period of time--how can I do this at home with all my responsibilities? Well, reserve time together on the weekend or a weeknight free of TV or family obligations. Then let go of the 'chore' list and unwind into the senses. Risk being honest about what you need that will help you shift into intimacy.
Here are some suggestions that will help you relax into sensuality.
1) Create a transition, a way to cue your senses that you are moving into sacred space together such as bathing, eye gazing, candles and music.
2) Use all the senses--sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound to move into sensuality.
3) Chose other locations than your own bed--out of doors, a tent, another room, fireplace, shower and hot tub.
4) Begin with authentic connection--use laughter, playfulness and vulnerability to access positive feelings.
I hope you will take a mind-body vacation and enjoy each other.