There's a new book out written by a pair of clinical psychologists who met in grad school, fell in love studying sex and became certified sex therapists together. It's kind of romantic actually. The book is called "From the Living Room to the Bedroom" and it's all about creating sexual abundance, not by having sex like bunnies but by fostering a deeper emotional connection as the foundation for a truly healthy relationship and fulfilling sex life. It's basically a GPS guide for your relationships.
Why intimacy matters
"Intimacy is the heart and soul of any relationship," says Dr. Bill Bercaw, who co-authored the book with his wife Dr. Ginger Bercaw. "Because intimacy is essential for each partner’s overall relationship satisfaction, we offer some easy-to-use connection tools in our book that takes as little as five minutes to do but still packs a big intimacy punch."
The book introduces a new treatment model, developed by the sex therapists, called CoupleFlow, which can best be described as the relational flow of energy between romantic partners who make a very intentional commitment to prioritize their relationship. The idea behind CoupleFlow is to bring together two essential ingredients of a relationship: emotional intimacy (represented by the living room) and sexual intimacy (represented by the bedroom) under the notion that couples need to have a deep emotional connection to feel good about their sex life.
“Everyone is interested in a better sex life, but we need to be careful not to compartmentalize the bedroom," say the sex therapists. "Turning up the temperature in the living room can clear a nice warm path to the bedroom, helping your sexual experiences feel even more connected, and keeping you coming back for more."
What prevents intimacy
Never has it been more challenging to be in a relationship than it is today, given the fast-paced culture that has infiltrated society. As professionals, people are constantly being asked to do more with less thereby making it difficult to manage life's daily challenges along with the challenges of being in a relationship.
"Everyone is spread so thin to begin with, and your relationship is typically the easiest place to cut corners," state Drs. Bill and Ginger. "That corner cutting eventually takes a toll, what we call CoupleDrift. The way out of CoupleDrift is paved with intentionality, reversing the trend of deprioritizing your relationship by putting it first in some specific and powerful ways."
While CoupleFlow promotes sexual abundance in a relationship by encouraging people to be more intentional in their relationships, CoupleDrift does the complete opposite inhibiting sexual abundance by putting a relationship on autopilot and going with the flow. But as Drs. Bill and Ginger state in their book, "If you just go with the flow, it will eventually lead you away from each other."
How to be intimate
Sexual abundance is all about intimacy, but people often times associate intimacy with sex. Does this mean people need to have sex in order to be intimate? Most definitely not. There are other ways to be intimate with people outside the bounds of sexual experiences that amplify sexual intimacy when layered on top of emotional and spiritual intimacy.
One way to be intimate is through an exercise referred to in the book as "Daily Shares" which involves spending at least five minutes a day sharing something about your day, expressing an affirmation or sharing a thought or opinion that's on your radar from something you heard or read about in the news. Drs. Bercaw advise making it a habit to communicate with your partner at least once a day. "“Even if it’s brief, the daily communication keeps you in front of the person,” says Dr. Bill.
Another way to be intimate is to have a fun plan in place. “Every couple needs a fun plan,” says Dr. Ginger. “They need something to look forward together, whether it’s a date night or a weekend trip.” Having fun is a very important component to relationships. In fact, it's so important that it is a common underlying theme throughout the book. In other words, don't stop dating your partner just because you finally committed to each other. Spending quality time together doing something you both enjoy is an important aspect to building intimacy.
When it comes to better sex and more fulfilling sex, the formula for creating sexual abundance in your current or future relationships is combining erotic experiences with deep, emotional connections. It all starts in the living room. As Drs. Bercaw write in their book, "A warm connection in the Living Room makes for a very warm connection in the Bedroom (or whatever room you happen to enjoy your Bedroom activities!)."
Whether you've been together for 2 months, 2 years or 20 years, "From the Living Room to the Bedroom" is a must-read for couples at any stage in their relationship. To learn more about how intimacy in the living room can improve your love life in the bedroom, visit www.drsbercaw.com. Score a chance to win a copy of the book when you tweet @nikipayne by April 30th with the hashtag #FLRTB answering the question: What does intimacy mean to you?