Sex Education

No matter who we choose to have sex with the experience will always be more powerful if there is a strong emotional connection between the two of you. This could be a deep connection with a long-term partner or an immediate connection with someone who you have just clicked with on a date. Either way, often the most intimate and memorable sexual experiences involve lots of eye contact. However, for some people eye contact during sex can be a rather controversial subject.

We can tell a lot from another’s gaze, for example whether they are in a positive or negative mood. It is also powerful stimulator of love and affection. According to the power of eye contact is routed in a simple chemical reaction in the brain. When you look someone directly in the eyes, the body produces a chemical called phenylethylamine that makes the person feel ‘in love’.

It’s in the eyes

As far as flirting is concerned, eye contact is key for showing interest. Engaging eye contact with another person and indicates the potential for a further intimacy. By acknowledging the gaze of a potential partner, you acknowledge that the person has something interesting to say and that you are interested in them. The reverse is also true by avoiding eye contact you can indicate (potentially without meaning too) a lack of interest and even shyness or discomfort. Avoiding eye contact with strangers is also common strategy to remain private and to avoid conflict, especially in close proximity situations. We all know the pain of awkwardly locking eyes with another passenger on the train.

A study by Dr Scott Haltzman, relationship counsellor and author shows that, “Biologically, men are less likely to maintain eye contact with other individuals. One reason is our old friend testosterone, the hormone that has been surging through you since 10 weeks of conception. This hormone actually conditions the brain to seek, and make, less eye contact than women. In fact, in many species males avoid direct eye contact because it increases levels of arousal and can be perceived as threatening. Eye contact can actually make men feel less, not more, comfortable.” So, the question is, should you continue eye contact as the connection moves into a physical relationship?

What language are your eyes speaking?

To entrust a partner with our true self can be scary, but to really gain fulfilment with a sexual partner you should try to slowly expose yourself to this level of intimacy. Sex Therapist, Vanessa Martin, explains how eye contact can make us feel vulnerable, “on a literal level, making eye contact means being seen by another person. So many of us have fears and insecurities that we would like to keep hidden from other people, and there’s something about eye contact that can feel like we’re totally exposed. Naked, even.”

Ellen Eatough, a sex and intimacy coach, knows how hard this can be, “yes, this type of intimacy can be a bit scary. For many people, prolonged eye contact at any time can feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. But allowing it, rather than avoiding it, can also be very bonding.” If you want to encourage a deeper connection in your relationship, start to slowly increase the level of eye contact during sex. Through mutual eye contact you’ll be able to see if your partner is enjoying the increased level of intimacy, as it isn’t for everyone.

Steps towards a more powerful connection

If we take this into consideration, whether you are currently using eye contact with your partner or not it is important to build up the eye contact to create powerful intimacy. These are some small steps which could start to build towards a more powerful connection.

  1. Try making eye contact with your partner when you are initiating sex. Notice how the energy can quickly shift.
  2. Practice short bursts of eye contact (around 2 seconds) at a time and slowly building up to longer looks. 2 seconds can feel like a long time when you are in the heat of the moment. 
  3. Practice taking slow deep breaths while you are doing this to help regulate any anxiety that this may create. Acknowledge any emotions you feel during this. 
  4. Experiment with these short spells of intimate eye contact in between short breaks in sexual activity.

Gradual change can lead to longer lasting change – don’t rush into anything that you or your partner may not be comfortable in. Slowly increasing the level of eye contact during sex will feel more natural and therefore will deepen your connection with your partner. Learn to trust your partners subtle signals and enjoy the rewards of a powerfully intimate look. You can thank us later...

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