Sex ad­vice

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - ADVICE -

So... eyes open or eyes closed? Which is the best? We dis­agree, so have de­cided to turn to you for the fi­nal word on this mat­ter. We’ve been to­gether for six years, get along well on the whole and mostly en­joy our sex life.

Mrs S as ref­eree? I don’t think so! And who says there’s a best way to make love? En­dur­ing de­sire re­quires on­go­ing at­ten­tion to both eroti­cism and emo­tional con­nec­tion.

With eyes open you are cer­tainly aware of who you’re mak­ing love to, eye con­tact can be part of a close con­nec­tion dur­ing love­mak­ing and you have the po­ten­tial vis­ual cues for erotic stim­u­la­tion. So if those things turn you on and if your part­ner is some­one you find visu­ally pleas­ing, then eyes open will be your style. Disadvantages in­clude some Pi­casso-type views, close-ups of black­heads and up hairy noses, and the re­al­ity of “im­per­fect” part­ners – if, erot­i­cally, you’re a per­fec­tion­ist or have spe­cific body shape pref­er­ences.

With eyes closed you can fo­cus on the sensations of your lover’s skin against your hands, lips, body – which is great for peo­ple who are more ki­naes­thetic than vis­ual. You can in­tro­duce fan­tasy, ei­ther pri­vately in your own head or shared with your part­ner, to en­hance the erotic charge. You can also air­brush your image of your lover if there are some as­pects you find dis­pleas­ing. Disadvantages of this are that you may miss out on the in­ti­mate con­nec­tion by not be­ing fully present, al­though some peo­ple find the vis­ual as­pects lead to sen­sory over­load and they’re more present with­out them.

Clearly, the big­gest chal­lenge is when two lovers each fall into a dif­fer­ent camp, as you two do. In that case some­times the very ben­e­fits of an eyes-closed stance are ac­tu­ally of­fen­sive to the part­ner. It’s es­sen­tial – as with ev­ery as­pect of re­la­tion­ships – to ac­cept each other as unique in­di­vid­u­als and not ex­pect the other to be a clone of you, even though the ease of that neat fit may ap­peal greatly.

This doesn’t mean that change isn’t re­quired. You two need to lis­ten care­fully to the other ex­plain ex­actly what they pre­fer about their own style of love­mak­ing and gen­er­ously, whole­heart­edly, seek to join them at least half of the time in pro­vid­ing what they seek. Keep your re­la­tion­ship and mu­tual co-op­er­a­tion as your pri­or­i­ties.

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