THE BLOG
06/06/2013 01:31 pm ET Updated Aug 06, 2013

How Couples Benefit From Sexual Fantasy

Sex is an act of the imagination, and in committed romantic relationships imagination often is the first thing to wear out. Romance requires novelty and fantasy. The process of falling in love is the invention of the person we're getting to know. There is always a bit of projection in romance. We take a few positive details and spin the rest in our minds. If we're smart we never stop doing this. Here's some tips to help re-cultivate the fantasy and re-circulate passion.

Pretend your partner is perfect. Strange as it may seem, it works. You actually shape your partner by the way you see them. Idealize their qualities, exaggerate their assets. People often grow into the way they are seen by others, especially loved ones. Besides, our brains are incapable of not distorting what we perceive and, more often than not, the distortion is negative. So we might as well skew the image of our partner in a positive way that benefits the relationship. Deluding ourselves to think our partner is better than they are is actually one of the secrets of happy couples, according to at least one study in The Journal of Marriage and the Family.

Fantasize about your partner

Focus on their strong points and put your imagination to work. This generates heat, a form of energy that can be used to bring you closer. Put your inventiveness into your relationship, instead of aiming it elsewhere. Cast your partner as the leading role in a sexual escapade. To ensure your fantasy is enhancing your relationship rather than draining it, do this simple test. Set the timer for one minute. Now using some of the above suggestions, fantasize about your partner. See, hear and feel them doing the things you like. When the minute is up, ask yourself, do you feel larger, more expansive, warm? If so, the fantasy is fueling your connection.

Dress up

This is your opportunity to be creative and playful. We all fall into the pajama/ sweatpants rut. Women, keep in mind that men react to visual cues because of evolutionary biology. For a hundred thousand years men were hunters and keen eyesight was crucial to survival. If you want his attention, entice him visually. Men, women also like you to dress up, but not exactly for the same reason. For women it's about the care that grooming demonstrates.

Tell stories to each other

Share your sexual daydreams with your partner. It's like discovering exotic cuisines together. Make the stories ongoing, episodic, with surprising twists and turns, or keep it simple. All it takes is a couple of words. Evoking illicit scenarios is a great way to keep the dopamine levels fresh and exciting. It's even more fun to enact them. "Ultimately, erotic role-playing is a way to celebrate two of our most divine gifts: imagination and sexuality," writes sex therapist, Dr. Marty Klein. The most important thing to remember is that there is no wrong fantasy, and each one is not an actual wish.

72-Hour Sex

Don't worry, it's not about record-breaking endurance. What we're talking about is an agreed upon time for a rendezvous three days in advance. Once the decision is made, the sizzling starts, and slowly builds to an unstoppable force of deep connection.

It's a way of extending consciousness of your sexuality and generating energy between the two of you. Tantra is a practice of sexual mindfulness, and recommends that you wait 72 hours from the moment you decide to have intercourse. It's not even accurate to call this delayed gratification since the anticipation itself can be a wonderfully intense shared experience. Fantasizing about each other for 72 hours is worth every minute. We have to admit that sometimes we don't hold out for the entire time. Oh, well. Then there's the thrill of breaking rules.

So give it a try, put your imagination to work on re-awakening your connection. After all, Freud once wrote that "the meagre satisfaction [we] get from reality leaves [us] starving."

For more on conscious relationships, click here.

For more by Thea and Duane Harvey, click here.

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