Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Thrill of True Intimacy

I love to write stories that focus on intimacy. In fact, I try to find intimacy somewhere in any story, whether it be a scenario of a one-night-stand or a long-term relationship. Intimacy is all about emotion, about the connections that little to do with the sexual act itself, but can make that act so much more pleasing.

Creating intimacy in stories means creating a character that readers can relate to, someone who has fears and issues and needs that mirror our own. If you feel as though you are reading about a friend instead of a character created on a page, then you've just read a story that's loaded with intimacy. Creating that is sometimes very easy; other times, it's not so easy, because it means delving into my own psyche, my own relationships, and finding parts to share with the world. It's like a very intense, personal therapy session.

That deep introspection came into play when I wrote Something Old, Something New, one of my short stories featured on Tit-Elation. The story is about Karen and Heather, two women who have kids, mortgages, long-term marriages and years of friendship between them. When they walk into a thrift store to buy jeans for their kids, they stumble upon the basket of lingerie - and the wheels begin to turn.
Karen picked up a leopard print thong and a matching bra and announced, "These are mine!"

Heather was more for the black lingerie. Anything black - it was suddenly what she had to have. Why hadn't she done this in so long? She remembered shopping for things when she was dating Ken, spending hours in lingerie stores, when she had more money than she knew what to do with, before kids and responsibilities came along. She used to surprise him with new things. Pretty gowns, gorgeous babydoll outfits, even negligees with daring cutouts in all the right places. Where had that woman gone?
How long has it been since they dressed up for their husbands? In the midst of their busy lives, the dial on their sex lives has been turned way down, and they hadn't noticed it until now. The days of newlyweds are long gone – but could they possibly bring them back?

Even in the most solid relationship, even when you know someone better than you know yourself, there is still room for sensual surprise. When Karen brings home a drawerful of lingerie, she rekindles a passion in her husband that reminds her of the things that attracted her in the first place.

I wrote that story with an eye toward my own life. My sex life with my partner was good, but what could I do to make it better? What were the first things to fall to the wayside in the course of our busy lives? What was it that connected me to him in the very beginning, when our love was fresh and new? What could I do to find those things again?

It wasn't at all about the sexuality - it was about the things that made the sexuality richer. When I paid attention to the little details of romance, everything about our lives went from good to fantastic.

I left love notes in unexpected places. I made a point of wearing his favorite perfume. I cuddled with him in restaurants and held his hand in public. I sent him emails telling him what I loved about him. I called him at work and teased him with my words. I bought clothes that appealed to him - even those stiletto heeled boots I swore I would never wear! I wore them and they turned him on, not just because he loves a woman in stiletto heels, but because I had remembered that small fact and then made a point of acting upon it.

Most importantly, we talked. I told him about my fears, my dreams, my desires, and he told me such things in return. As I learned more about him, I learned about things that turned him on - even after I thought I knew everything that made him tick!

When we went to bed at night, the intimacy I had shown him outside of the bedroom translated to glorious sexual intimacy between the sheets.

That growing intimacy between us did wonders for my own emotional well-being. I was wearing those heels for him in the beginning, but soon I was wearing them for me - because they made me feel sexy. Writing a love note made me feel desirable, as I described all the things I loved about him and all the reasons I was attracted to him. I started to do things for myself that made me feel deliciously sensual, like getting a massage, having my nails done, or buying new lingerie.
The confidence that shone from my sensuality boosted his confidence, too. He felt like the stud I couldn't wait to get my hands on. I felt like the woman he desired above all else.

We kept the lines of communication open, made a conscientious effort to please each other outside of the bedroom, and kept our emotional connection strong. Now our time behind that bedroom door is a reflection of just how good the rest of our relationship really is.

One of the most important lessons I've learned over the years is this: Intimacy with yourself is just as important as intimacy with your partner. The two of them feed from one another, grow together, and leave you not only as a more satisfied person, but as half of a much happier couple.

© Gwen Masters

Gwen Masters is a redheaded southern belle who drives way too fast, plays the music way too loud, and writes some of my favorite erotica. You can find out more about her at her website, GwenMasters.Net, and her bog.

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