Our physical & emotional bodies let us know what sparks sexual arousal within us
In her TED Talk on body language, social psychologist Amy Cuddy discusses her studies of non-verbal communication and how important it is to understand our own personal body language. Through her studies, she found that the more we are aware of our body language, the more control we have over getting what we desire from those around us.
Because sex is such a purely physical and instinctual act, we don’t often focus on how we “speak” our own profound sexual language. However, understanding what language we speak in terms of our love language can empower us to know what we seek from intimate moments with our partner.
The book The 5 Love Languages was published in the late 90s and written by Dr. Gary Chapman, whose studies of linguistics led him to develop the concept that every individual speaks a different “love language” in their relationships and in friendships. He came to discover, after studying couples for years, that many relationships in turmoil could benefit by understanding their partner’s specific love language. Once he helped his clients understand each other’s love languages, they were able to be more conscious and aware of each other’s needs on a day-to-day basis.
That said, each love language has its own “needs” that, if not perceived, can cause misunderstandings or resentment in a relationship. Identifying with your partner's love language can also make a huge impact on knowing what brings each other pleasure when it comes to sex and intimacy.
Discovering your love language:
Start by taking this quiz to identify your most spoken love language. The five languages include words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. We, of course, have a combination of all of these and some of these may resonate with us at different times in our life. However, once you determine your dominant love language, think about it in terms of what acts your partner may do that could be translated to what may spark intimacy. This study is truly fascinating and once you have discovered your and your partner’s dominant love languages, it’s amazing how much it helps you understand each other better.
Read on to see what each love language means for your sex life.
If your dominant love language is receiving gifts:
In this language, receiving gifts and gift giving is how someone with this dominant love language conveys love and feels loved. For a person with this love language, it can be as simple as their partner bringing them flowers or taking birthdays and Christmas gift giving seriously. However when it comes to sex, gift giving can be an offering to help awaken intimacy.
Maybe once a month you and your partner give gifts related to exploring types of intimacy—a massage oil, a new piece of lingerie, or an aphrodisiac herbal supplement like this one. Discuss with your partner how to incorporate gifting as a part of your sexual language together and have fun learning what really turns each other on with the use of giving.
If your dominant love language is words of affirmation:
Of course, we all enjoy when people say sweet things to us, but for some of us, this can make or break how loved we feel from those around us. If this is your or your partner’s love language, one of the main things this language requires is to feel heard and to hear how your partner is feeling. Essentially, communication is very important with this love language (though communication is, of course, important in every relationship).
When it comes to sex, words of affirmation can be extremely important in making your partner feel sexy, loved, and to create trust. Being present with your partner—without distractions—creates an environment that allows for sincere conversation. Create a space for intimacy and tell each other all of the things you love about each other, or the things the other person does that sparks sexual arousal (like sexual fantasies, for instance). Someone with this love language may also benefit from incorporating tantric sex or conscious sex in the bedroom, where there is space for words to be spoken.
If your dominant love language is quality time:
Every relationship needs quality time, but for someone with this dominant love language, making quality time a priority will truly dictate how loved they may feel. Quality time for someone with this love language means taking time to go on walks with one another, watching movies together, or turning off all distractions and just being together.
When it comes to sex, someone who speaks this language will need quality time in order to feel aroused at all. If their partner is distracted, or if their schedules have been conflicted and there has not been an emphasis on quality time with one another, chances are they will not feel that sexual spark. For people with this love language “Netflix and chill” can be satisfying and allow for enough comfort to bring about feelings of intimacy. Simply being with one another allows these people to feel cared for and allow them to relax enough to feel comfortable to initiate sex.
If your dominant love language is acts of service:
This language is similar to gift giving in that there is a lot of emphasis on spontaneous physical acts from a partner that translates into feeling emotionally loved and cared for. For someone with this love language, when their partner does chores around the house or runs an errand they didn’t have time for, it gives them a sense of trust and satisfaction.
Because this love language is somewhat more practical versus physical, the ways that it might translate into intimacy or sex may be making sure the house is tidy before going into the bedroom or that your partner’s to-do list is checked off. Someone with this love language may also favor receiving foreplay from their partner to help them ease into a more passionate state of arousal.
If your dominant love language is physical touch:
Last but not least, this language is probably the most directly connected to the “physical” act of having sex. But if physical touch is your love language, your partner going out of their way to hold hands, kiss, and touch your skin can make a huge impact in how loved you may feel. For those whose love language is physical touch, sex may be one of the most important ways love is exchanged in a relationship and, without it, people with this language may feel very unfulfilled.
This is another love language that experimenting with encourages tantric sex or creative ways of incorporating sex into a daily or weekly basis. It will help bring those with this love language closer to their partner. Using gentle touch and creative positions to help inspire deeper physical experience is important for a person with this language.
Discovering your and your partner’s love languages can expand your understanding of each other and allow for new ways of communicating. Enjoy finding creative ways to deepen intimacy with your partner by incorporating acts that speak love for each other.
Courtney Jay Higgins is the Associate Editor at The Good Trade. She is also a Yoga Instructor, vegetarian, wellness and fashion enthusiast. Originally from Colorado, her soul found California when she came to get her degree in Visual Communications at the Fashion Institute Of Design & Merchandising. She has a background in telling a story through writing, creative direction and content creation. Check out her blog and Instagram for her unique perspective on the mergence of fashion and spirituality.