BECOME NAKED EMOTIONALLY
Why you need to get naked emotionally before you get naked physically
Jenny is 32 years old and single. She is an attractive brunette whose bright energy fills my computer screen as we Skype our session. Six months ago she ended a four-year relationship and is dating again. She starts our conversation with a very direct question: ‘Doctor Matthew, I know this might sound weird but I want to know when is it the right time to get naked with a new guy?’ We both laugh warmly at her blunt honesty and begin a discussion of a topic that is important to many single people of both sexes and all ages. When is it OK to get naked?
Our conversation took many turns and went to great depth. What follows is a composite of the most relevant points and some direct advice for all singles.
I did not give Jenny a specific time or number of dates. Instead I spoke to her about two different, yet deeply related, kinds of nakedness.
I suggested that the important thing was to take both into consideration and put them in the proper order and then she would know when it was right for her to ‘get naked’.
Physical nakedness is the kind most of us are aware of and are thinking about when we begin a new relationship. The common question is: When do we decide that it is OK to get naked and have a sexual encounter with this new person?
Emotional nakedness has to do with intimacy, the kind that is related to our heart. It is about getting to know our new partner in meaningful ways and opening up our inner selves with each other at deeper and deeper levels. It has to do with sharing and listening and being vulnerable and dropping the masks that we often hide behind.
Both kinds of nakedness are part of a loving relationship. The issue is in what order should they occur to give the new relationship the best chance of becoming something meaningful. Too often, we get physically naked before we get emotionally naked and that order often creates great confusion. Here is why.
Sex generates many feelings and it exposes us, literally and symbolically, to the other person without our defenses. Getting naked physically before we truly get to know our new partner can cause quite a bit of confusion. When we interact sexually we have deep emotions (yes, this is a fact for men as well as women). But those emotions have nowhere to go if we do not really know our partner. We are just a hot body connecting to another hot body and not yet real human beings to each other. An encounter designed to be a powerful part of a much greater life experience in which two hearts connect and go even deeper with intimate love making, becomes, at best a mutual masturbation event and falls far short of its incredible potential.
Why is this important? Can’t two people, meet, find each other attractive and share their bodies, consensually and that is all it needs to be? Why do we have to do this emotional naked thing? The issue here is not that we have to do anything. The issue is what we will miss if we neglect the emotional naked part before we get physically naked. Having sex before we become truly emotionally naked means that we will only connect at the surface. Our connection will be shallow and we will be unable to handle the feelings that always (yes, always) accompany physical intimacy. If we, however, take the time and make the effort to mutually open ourselves in a meaningful way, we create a connection that will take physical intimacy to an
Humans being are designed to combine sexual intimacy with emotional intimacy. There are two kinds of nakedness: physical nakedness and emotional nakedness.
entirely new depth of experience. Then our relationship can blossom beautifully and we can begin to explore what sex and love are truly all about.
Finally, many single people have told me that really getting to know a new person first can often stop the physical encounter completely, because they realize that the person they thought was so attractive really is not.
So you decide. When should you get naked? Do the emotional part first and you will make much happier and wiser decisions about sex. Enjoy!
We can create an emotional connection that will take the physical intimacy to an entirely new depth of experience.
Reverend Matthew Anderson has a Doctor of Ministry specialising in counselling and has extensive training and experience in Gestalt and Jungian Psychology. He has helped many couples and singles successfully navigate relationship issues. His best seller, The Resurrection of Romance is an example of the goals he plans to achieve and is also a result of his intensely romantic relationship with his partner Sunny. Matthew can be contacted through his website.