When I think about the gifts of time-in having sex with my partner, what always comes to my mind is a phrase I coined: that fulfilling, adult loving is like an Adult Disneyland.
And the sensual difference between the experience I’m talking about and the one we usually measure ourselves against is this: an Adult Disneyland is populated by the slow, the lush, the unfolding and the tease.
Why, oh why, do we keep populating our thoughts, screen images, and pop-culture references with the thought that loving should be the way it is when we were dating? In marriage we can’t throw caution to the wind every week, skip out on work for three days, or take off down the coast on a random Wednesday because we feel like it to hook up or hang out with our lover. We’ve got big, important, and meaningful stuff we’re in charge of (not the least of which is our families.)
But that doesn’t mean we have to dissolve into television-watching doldrums in our sex life. What it does mean is that finding that Adult Disneyland is going to take some effort. It’s not going to happen ‘naturally,’ and we’re not going to fall into it.
An Adult Disneyland gets created in our sex life when we 1) have uninterrupted time set aside to explore, and 2) when we begin to pay attention to the drawing out of our partner’s desire.
You know what I’m talking about: you notice that it rocks his world when you’re naked and in high heels, and so you collect a few pair for indoors. Or, you notice that it makes her press her pelvis against you and want you when you roll her up in your throw blanket and make out with her on the floor for ten minutes.
Then, once you’re or in some kind of sex-play clothing, or naked, or half-way there, the tone goes for slow. A showing of each other to each other; a dance; a play of coming together and then standing apart. Play, in other words.
I can’t tell you what will raise your partner’s temperature—you have to find that out for yourself. But one thing I do know: sexual touching in marriage needs to draw out desire. It needs a slow, steady, drawing-out of movements which make our lover feel adored, paid attention to, and seen.
An Adult Disneyland approach to sex is about the lush, the languishing and the long-drawn-out tease. That’s a skill we can all learn in marriage—to draw out our lover’s ardor by simply slowing down, thinking of what might thrill, touching slowly and teasing.