Marriage help

Sexual Expression in Intimate Relationships

by Dr. Richard Jordan

Sexual intimacy is very often the first thing to go when a couple begins having relationship problems. This is because the sex act, if done with any level of eyes-open consciousness, is the most intimate time we share. So, if someone is feeling fear because the relationship is feeling a little too close, this fear is likely to show up in the bedroom. Because we are usually not fully conscious of this fear, rather than tell the truth about needing some space, we unconsciously sabotage by finding excuses to avoid sex. Common sabotage tactics include working too much, physical health problems (not tonight I have a headache), and magnifying minor flaws in our partner.

In these situations, sexual healing is not about improving sexual technique, Tantra, or the like. It is more about heightening our awareness of what’s stopping us from being closer with our partner more of the time. It is about a process of unraveling ever-deeper levels of truth about our fears, telling those truths to ourselves and our partners, and thus creating more clear space within which to share our loving expression. So, in a way, effective relationship therapy is really sex therapy.

For couples who are successful at creating clear space within which to share loving expression, sexual healing enters other dimensions. These dimensions involve a surrendering of many of the cultural/societal views, beliefs, and judgments surrounding sexual expression. This is where Tantric practices are quite valuable. As I discuss in my book, “Relationship School, A Path of Conscious Loving,” one might consider that a relationship exists on three levels: Eros, Amor, and Agape. Tantric practices date back quite far in time, and have less to do with Amor (or the myth of romance) than with Eros and Agape. See my book for more.

Another issue that often impedes the depth of one's connection and expression in relationship has to do with what our culture has taught us. Our culture has effectively given most of us a Sexual Agenda. Replacement of this Sexual Agenda is required to yield a free, expanded expression of loving. Read More.

If a couple is ready to devote their relationship to the conscious evolution of their souls, and greatly enhance their sexual pleasure, Tantra is a quite powerful path. In its true form, Tantra is less about sexual gratification and more about soul evolution. It is a vehicle, a catalyst that allows a couple to dedicate their “I and thou” relationship to the Divine. This is what it’s really about, although many are enticed to practice Tantra for purposes of orgasmic enhancement, male ejaculatory control, and female ejaculation. And, well, there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. In fact, it can make sex so much more fun and interesting, and can make it last longer than…shall we say 2 to 30 minutes? It’s simply more toward the Eros side of the equation than the Agape.

So, whether a couple is struggling through their fears, or well down the path of devotion to the Divine, the lessons of Relationship School often show up in the bedroom.

To arrange for counseling, workshops, or speaking engagements, you may contact Dr. Jordan at:


Counseling Office Locations:
San Diego County and Los Angeles County, California