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3 Mindful Steps to Intimacy

 

 

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Carl Thomas

Pastor | Live Free Founder | Lover of Jesus, Philly sports, fitness, tattoos, sarcasm, and craft beers.

February is known as the month for “romance.”

But what is romance? Is it something confined to the glossy depictions presented by greeting card companies, lingerie manufacturers, and dating sites? Or does it carry a deeper, more meaningful, and life-changing significance?

For those grappling with issues of porn use and unwanted sexual behaviors, these questions become even more complicated. Primarily because pornography has the potential to create unrealistic expectations for sex and distort one’s perception of what an intimate relationship really looks like.

Pornography communicates a narrative where:

  • sex is primarily a physical need.
  • sex must be hot and exciting to “count.”
  • sex should be expected in any relationship. 
  • sex should happen at the drop of a hat in any location.
  • sex is not exclusive.
  • sex should always lead to orgasm and heavenly rapture.

Even during the recovery process, these distorted images may persist, making it difficult to build meaningful relationships and obscuring one’s understanding of the true value and purpose of sex.

Acknowledging the impact of these influences is the initial step toward reevaluating your beliefs and attitudes towards sex and romance. This introspection is crucial for establishing healthier, more fulfilling intimate relationships built on mutual respect, understanding, and love.

That said, this process of redefining sex and intimacy takes effort and mindfulness.

Mindfulness is crucial for individuals in recovery as it helps alter perspectives on romantic relationships and sexual intimacy. Focusing on mindfulness enhances awareness of emotions, triggers, and behaviors related to past exposure to pornography. 

Furthermore, by fostering self-awareness, individuals can consciously reject the unrealistic standards promoted by pornography, initiating a journey of self-exploration and personal development.

Mindfulness operates as a guiding compass, steering individuals towards a redefined romance that aligns with core values and fosters genuine connections. This deliberate approach transcends societal norms, placing a premium on authenticity, vulnerability, and open communication.

To embark on this transformative journey one must…

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First, embrace emotional intimacy.

Rather than chasing the surface-level allure often emphasized in pornography, take the time to understand and openly express your and your partner’s emotions, fears, and desires. This cultivates an environment where vulnerability and authenticity are celebrated, creating a foundation for genuine connection. 

Prioritizing emotional intimacy allows you to build a relationship that transcends fleeting satisfaction, laying the groundwork for a truly profound and intimate experience.

Second, share experiences and activities.

Shift your focus from solely pursuing ‘hot sex’ to engaging in shared activities that extend beyond the physical realm. Engaging in common hobbies, exploring nature, or simply spending quality time in meaningful conversations fosters a sense of togetherness and shared growth. 

The ultimate goal is to build a meaningful bond through a shared life experience, placing emphasis on internal connection rather than external factors, thereby deepening the emotional bond you both share.

Third, prioritize quality time over quantity.

Instead of feeling pressured by society to showcase love in grand ways, find happiness in the small things. It’s about cherishing the small gestures, expressions of love, and the mundane yet beautiful aspects of daily life. Focusing on quality rather than quantity not only reduces the pressure felt by couples but also allows them to appreciate the details of their relationships, building a stronger and more meaningful connection.

Regardless of your situation or location on the recovery continuum, use this time of year as an opportunity to redefine romance through mindful connection.

By being self-aware, managing expectations, and embracing emotional intimacy, you can work towards cultivating genuine, satisfying relationships that remain unaffected by pornography.

Remember, the journey towards mindful connection is an ongoing and deliberate process. Each step taken brings individuals closer to relationships that are rooted in genuine love and understanding. And that is the true goal of romance. Not just getting someone in the sack.

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