For some, nothing titillates like the taboo. Doing the impermissible can lend itself to some of the best sex ever. For couples who get hitched, however, “it feels so good to be so bad” is often replaced by the “Romeo & Juliet” syndrome. Instead of night after night of unbridled passion, sex that was once forbidden loses a great deal of its excitement.
With no obstacles to overcome, sexual desire and feelings wane, with many crashing hard after floating on Cloud 9 for so long. Yet does tying the knot have to be a passionless sex sentence? Lovebirds don’t have to be jailbirds in having sex to their hearts’ content.
Perspiration, stomach churning, dry mouth, breathlessness, weak knees, paleness, flushing, trembling, stammering, dizziness, increased heart rate, difficulty sleeping or eating... There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re simply madly in love.
“Passionate love,” “romantic love” or “erotic love” – no matter what you call it, this love is an obsessive, fierce longing for emotional and physical union with another. Often unstable, anxiety-provoking, and fleeting, this all-consuming, overwhelming lovesickness involves intense physical arousal, sexual desire and feelings of euphoria.
This sets the stage for the “Romeo & Juliet” syndrome in cases where lovers have been barred from seeing one another. They’ll do anything and everything to be in each other’s arms – and more. This syndrome can also occur when love or, rather sex, is somewhat taboo, having a naughty aspect to it.
Of course the taboo is snuffed out once marriage is introduced.
But prior to marriage, this desire is reinforced even more with a typical love affair’s “love is blind” factor kicking in, where a lover is oblivious to a beloved’s faults and reality. Research from University College in London has found that areas of the brain that control critical thinking, particularly the neural activity associated with critical social assessment and negative emotions, are suppressed by feelings of love.
Sexual attraction further eroticizes one’s physical and personality traits. At the same time, the desire for sex and sexual fidelity are actually regarded as less important than the need to be emotionally close to an adored one.
Whether more emotional or carnal, if you plan to be in a union for the long-haul, it’s in your best interest to cultivate the romantic, erotic in-love components in your sexual relationship. After following a sample of couples for more than 15 years, in their Boston Couples study, Letitia Anne Peplau, and Charles T. Hill found that those who experienced greater love at the study’s onset were more likely to actually get married and stay married than those less in love.
The good news is that passionate love is not only for young people or new relationships, as often thought.
Passion can be maintained by ...
Keeping up the ego-stroking. Part of what we love about passionate love is having someone in love with our self. The passionate love experience involves the discovery that we are likable and can be idealized, which is evidence of one’s self-worth. The payoffs of this are huge.
Letting your lover know that you still think he or she is the bomb on a regular basis helps to maintain this self-love, which fosters the in-love-with-you experience.
Showing appreciation for one another. Being in love is enviable. Let your lover know that you don’t take that, each other, or the relationship for granted. This can be as easily accomplished as leaving the occasional “want you” note, presenting a token of affection such as a flower, or planting an “I want to ravish you” kiss.
Considering ways you can grow together. Love researchers have concluded that romantic love stems from the basic motivation for self-expansion and lovers reciprocating the other in the inclusion of the self. Falling in love is your opportunity to expand the self, including your resources, perspectives, and characteristics.
Capitalize on this with shared experiences, like enjoying the Great Outdoors together. While such pursuits can involve hot sex attempts, it’s important to realize that activities that make for a stronger relationship should be the primary focus.
Seeking new ways to be sexually intimate. Variety is the spice of life, including in the bedroom. If you’re ridden with the “Romeo & Juliet” syndrome, think of creative ways to pretend you’re being met with a barrier, like spending 24 hours apart in a fantasy scenario. Balance this with common themes people have about romance, including, moonlit walks on the beach, quiet dinners at home, showing affection in public, and making love all weekend.
Embracing a more mature kind of passionate love. Conscious love involves a more realistic view of another. It’s a love where one is able to see both strengths and weaknesses and not rely on the other to fulfill one’s needs and what one lacks. It’s appealing in what it can do for your sex life.
With conscious love, sexual activity is seen as more rewarding in many ways. Erotic expressions are largely seen as ways of communicating love feelings, with giving being more fulfilling than the pleasures of receiving.
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Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."