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To Do or Die

As humans, we’re not always motivated by the same things when it comes to relationships (or sex). We jump into relationships because we feel lonely, are infatuated with someone, for sex, companionship, for love and much more.

Our need for intimacy is paramount to our sense of self-worth, safety and security. The biggest error we make is confusing sex and intimacy as one and the same thing. It’s not. They are two very different elements of a relationship.

Intimacy is the bond or connection we have with our partner. It is the way we treat each other, how we communicate with each other, the language we use (tone of voice and words), they way we show affection (physical touch), how we validate and acknowledge each other, how we spend quality time together and how we manage conflict.

Sex is the actual deed that occurs between a couple linked to our reproductive drivers and as a result of the intimacy in the relationship.

If there is no intimacy in a relationship, chances are the relationship won’t survive the test of time and there will be very little lovemaking taking place.

All couples experience issues when they are disconnected and not on the same page with each other. This is usually as a result of a breakdown in communication over time, resulting in a lack of effort, energy and intention.

Many of us get caught up in the day to day routine of life that often carries over into our relationships and the bedroom. Before we know it, months have gone by and we have not shared many intimate moments connecting with our partner let alone in the bedroom.

Couples who have healthy relationships and sexual interactions have learnt what it takes to maintain their relationships on all levels.

They’ve learnt that with time the passion fades and it takes work on both sides to maintain the romance in the relationship. It’s the small things like looking and smelling good for each other. Spending quality time with each other outside of the bedroom and appreciating each other despite the rough patches you experience.

They are honest about their sexual needs and desires and can express themselves openly. They understand that there are no hard and fast rules as to how many times a week they do the deed but rather that they are having regular sex as this reinforces and deepens closeness. Making time to have quality sex is important but there are there times when quickies are appropriate. And they know how to have fun together.

Making an effort at bringing romantic gestures into the mix of things helps to spice things up. Whether it's booking a B&B, sexy new pyjamas, lingerie or new cologne. This sends a crucial message to your partner that you still care, and that they and your relationship is important to you.

Just as there are ways to bring the romance back, so too are there showstoppers of note. Things like wearing too many clothes to bed, sharing your bathroom business, not giving each other bathroom space and privacy, asking your partner whether they would like to make love (it’s a bit like asking for a slice of pizza) and paying too much attention to the TV, your phone, computer or Facebook.

Important is the realisation and acceptance that affection does not necessarily mean sex but rather that a kiss, a cuddle or a back rub is a sign of caring for one another deeply. By connecting in small ways throughout the day you build the closeness between you which can lead to satisfaction later. And you'll still feel close on those days when you're tired, stressed or just not on the same page with each other.

Equally important is not withholding nooky as a means of punishment. This will definitely doom your sex life as it turns what should be a loving and caring act into a service. Once sex becomes part of the power struggle, resentment builds and soon neither of you wants to participate. So next time you have something on your chest, don’t find excuses or avoid dealing with the issue, speak up and clear the air without using sex as a weapon. Communication is the winning formula to successful relationships.

Intimacy defines the bond and success of a couple. It has to be developed, maintained and cultivated on a relational level. And it is each person’s individual responsibility to create and nourish the intimacy in their relationship. The more connection there is in a relationship, the stronger and healthier the relationship will be and the more nooky you will be having!

Paula Quinsee is a Life and Relationship Coach in Johannesburg. She provides people with knowledge, tools and skills to create quality relationships in both their personal and professional lives. Attend one of her regular monthly workshops for great empowering tools. For more information go to

Author - Paula Quinsee

Published - 2015-09-18