‘Self expansion’ may not be a term you are familiar with, but it is well worth learning and practicing if you want a more fulfilling intimate life. A recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has found that taking part in new activities (or ‘self-expansive activities’) with your partner is a key way to keep sexual desire high. Doing so will not only spice things up in the bedroom but also increase your happiness within your relationship. Have you always wanted to skydive? Kayak to hidden caves? Take part in an adventure-packed safari? Don’t hesitate to do so, but make sure your object of desire is by your side!
What are Self-Expansive Activities?
Self-expansive activities are anything that feels different, exciting, or challenging. In the above-mentioned study (which was conducted in two parts), researchers spoke to over 200 couples who had been in a relationship for eight and five years, respectively. Every night, participants wrote down whether or not they had taken part in new activities with their partner during the day. They were then asked questions like “To what extent did you feel like you grew as a person as a result of being with your partner?”. Participants were also questioned about their mood, libido, and relationship satisfaction these days. The findings showed that on days in which participants took part in self-expanding activities, their sexual desire was heightened. Researchers also noted that when one partner felt a greater sense of self-expansion as a result of the day’s activity, the other partner felt more sexual desire. As a whole, the chances of having intimacy after a fun day out together rose by between 25% and 34%.
People are Attracted to Nouvelle Experiences and Fantasy
There is something about doing something out of the norm that has always appealed to human beings, for whom living out fantasies can be a true libido booster. Previous research undertaken at the University of Granada had shown that sexual fantasies are key when it comes to heightening desire. Thus, sex therapists often recommend that couples experiment with toys, role-playing, and other fantasy-based activities. Once they get over the fear and possible shame of opening up about what really turns them on, the result can be a higher level of satisfaction – which is logical once neither partner is repressing their desires. Sexual fantasies can be self-expansive in themselves. That is, nouvelle experiences do not have to be non-sexual to have their desired effect so experimentation in bed may also have its benefits when it comes to bonding.
Couples Need to be Aware of the Importance of Experimentation
Researchers have found that when couples are coached to take part in more self-expanding experiences, they tend to heed the advice and enjoy a better intimate life these days. The findings show that greater awareness about the importance of experiences together can, therefore, play an important role in increasing sexual satisfaction. Another study by researchers at the University of Toronto came to a similar conclusion: sharing experiences with a loved one is preferable to giving them material gifts. Experiences are more “emotionally evocative.” They are intense and memorable and foster a strong bond between giver and receiver. Therefore, couples wishing to enhance their intimate life should make fun (preferably new and exciting) experiences a priority.
Self-expansive experiences boost sexual desire because they enable people to feel like they are growing mentally and spiritually alongside a loved one. If you are keen on receiving these benefits, brainstorm activities you would like to try alongside your partner. Pick something a little risque, out of the ordinary. Choose something none of your friends have done. Continue the sensation of novelty in bed afterward, playing out fantasies and celebrating new possibilities on a sexual level.