The Art of Intimacy: Perhaps…Being Playful and Flirting with your Partner!



As we approach the Holidays, so many of my clients are “busy”, going to parties, working, and finding no time for each other let alone intimacy with their partners! I can completely understand and find myself feeling the same way with my husband.

Ester Perel, a leading therapist, author and expert on intimacy, sex and marriage writes the following regarding how to reconnect during this busy time of the year!

“Everyone remembers the moment when you were standing in a crowded party and you made eye contact with someone standing across the room. The electricity. The frisson. The delicious possibility of circling this attractive stranger the entire evening. You looked up, then looked away. And so it began.

The word “flirt” comes from the French word “fleuret” — in English translation means “foil” — one of the three swords used in fencing. When using a foil, points can only be won using the tip of the weapon. To flirt is to play with the tip of the sword. To tease. To gently touch. To tantalize. It’s about playing with possibility, not going in for the kill.”

You want to see flirting in action? Watch this.

Ester goes on to say,
“This dance piece of human’s imitating animal mating rituals shows us the active game of give and take that is flirtation. It’s called pacing in the animal kingdom. Humans do it too. We advance and withdraw. We circle. This is an essential, playful ingredient of seduction and excitement. It is about possibility. Anticipation. Fantasy.”

For people in long-term partnerships, it can feel as if the dance is over. But people can bring back a sense of excitement and anticipation with the intentionality that lurked behind their first glance.”

Here are a few other pieces of advice she  encourages people to try:

* Think of the whole evening as a canvas for seduction , even though you may know the outcome, there are so many ways to be playful with each other through the course of the night.

* Make a playful pact not to talk or touch for part of the party, only to make eye contact.

* Send a suggestive text during the course of the evening. It’s all about talking about sex, without talking about sex. Hint, allow the anticipation to mount, and stoke curiosity — refrain from throwing the idea of sex onto the other person’s face.

* In lieu of departing for a night out from your home together, drop a note that says, ”I saw you in the elevator, has anyone told you how bright and piercing your eyes are? If you are available this evening, I will meet you at 8pm in front of [Fill in the blank of the address of your event].” And meet there.

*Introduce yourself to your partner at the party, as if you are meeting them for the first time. Remember, you cannot be self-conscious and play, so really go for it – give your best acting 101 performance.

* Break your own rules
* We experience freedom when we break rules.  Any small incursion into the illicit and the transgressions with your partner can be really enlivening.

* Let go of guilt and don’t follow the typical schedule for the day or the evening ahead. Leave the party early and get a drink together on the way home.

* Skip the event altogether, and go for a walk instead.

Breaking from the typical cycle that partners find themselves in so easily, may bring a freshness to this Holiday season that couples  are begging each other for to break up the monotony that a long term relationship may seem to bring.

Remembering that initial spark, curiosity, anticipation and excitement that you found in each other in the beginning of your relationship is still there! You just have to create the space and time to find it in each other.  Ester has written a fascinating book called, MATING IN CAPTITIVITY, which discusses sex, intimacy and romance in monogamous relationships that discusses further how we can find and maintain that space for intimacy, erotic sex and love, and deep connection in long term, monogamous relationship.  I have written about this topic in an earlier blog but think it is very important and find it coming up with many of my clients.  Here is the book on and the link is below if you are interested.


Consider this Holiday season, the mystery  and wonder of the season. In addition, think perhaps of the  partner that you chose to spend your life with and THINK about the first time you met him or her, and how excited you were, the romance, the specialness you felt, and just see if you can add a small piece of that into your day or a special function that you may have planned.

Let me know if something changes, just a moment, or perhaps a shift in your thoughts or heart! I believe and so does Ester, that erotic love and connection is found when we realize that there is always a mystery to be found in the ones closest and most loved by each one of us; we just have to remember that there is always that spark, underneath the  everyday that we might be missing!


Have a wonderful Holiday Season.


Collaborate Counseling

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