Just an act?
Just a bodily response?
Like eating an ice-cream, or enjoying a glass of red wine, this is what it feels like sex in our culture has been reduced to.
But it’s so much more than a physical transaction.
Sex is valuable.
For so long, the mainstream conversation about sex has been centred around the physical act, at the detriment to our emotional wellbeing. It’s forgotten a central truth: sex is valuable. And the reason? It’s valuable because you’re valuable. It’s valuable because you’re giving yourself to another person as an expression of your love. Sex is valuable because you’re sharing your body, your soul, your spirit, yourself with another person.
And what happens when we regard something as valuable? We protect it, we cherish it, we care for it and we protect it. Just as we value and protect an expensive item of jewellery or a brand new car, how much more should we value and protect our sexual intimacy?
Sex is the most intimate thing you can do with someone. It not only joins two people together physically, but bonds a couple on a brain level through a cocktail of powerful chemicals.
Chemicals like oxytocin (the bonding hormone, making you feel connected, bonded and content), vasopressin (induces feelings of trust), and dopamine (the feel-good hormone).
These are powerful chemicals our bodies experience that, in the context of a loving relationship, can bring healing, joy, security, closeness and attachment.
Sex is incredibly valuable.
Because its value lies in your inherent worth, a non-negotiable of sex is
making each other feel valued. Communicating value towards your spouse builds intimacy, and outworks the truth that the gift of lovemaking is more than ‘the act’.
It’s about the person you’re being intimate with.
So what things can undermine a sense of value during sex?
● Viewing pornography during sex, or a partner viewing it alone. This can
cause someone to not feel 'enough' for their partner. When a person is seeking satisfaction in other ways aside from their partner, their partner can feel 'unwanted or undesired.'
● One partner wants to try something new, and the other isn’t
comfortable. If a spouse’s hesitation to try something new isn’t instantly
listened to and respected (i.e. it stops immediately), the uncomfortable
partner experiences 'pressure'; to do it anyway to keep their partner
happy and satisfied.
● Negative comments made about your body or your 'performance' in bed by your partner. Comparing your partner or expecting your partner to
act in a certain way can make them feel inadequate, affecting their self-
esteem and confidence.
These things can bring hurt, disappointment, rejection, and abandonment to your relationship. To value your sexual intimacy together, it needs to be free from manipulation, force, and control.
So what can make your partner feel valued?
● Being heard. When you’re both able to voice your preferences and the
things you’re uncomfortable with, you each feel valued. Active listening
is hearing what your partner is sharing without assuming what they’re
going to say, or waiting to speak yourself.
● Giving consent. You are happy, willing, and comfortable with what you
are doing together sexually.
● Prioritising each other. Your partner's needs matter more to you than
your own, and your needs matter more to your partner than their own.
● Loving your partner the way they want to be loved. We often love others the way we want to be loved, rather than learning how our partner
wants to be loved. It takes curiosity, time and effort to learn your
partner’s desires, but the end result is the way it makes your partner
● Giving and receiving compliments, encouragement, and appreciation
from each other.
Your sexual relationship is precious, and should be treated with care and
attention. Whatever you do together sexually, make sure it’s building your closeness, connection, and intimacy.
Actively pursue a culture of value in your sex life, and watch the intimacy
Use these questions as prompts to discover more about what your
Q. What makes you feel valued during our intimacy?
Q. What is it about our relationship that you value?
Q: What values have you formed growing up about sex?
Q. In our relationship, how do we make each other feel valued?
Q. Is what we do sexually together bringing us closer together? What things can we do differently?