The libido is often discussed as the body’s internal fire, it’s heat. In different ancient health and sexual traditions, four different “fires” are identified, each associated with a different need, a specific human desire and requirement for human connection. Love requires communication and connection on several levels, which can be broken down into these four categories as well! Think of this as your guide to connecting with your lover in order to light all of her fires. Getting turned on isn’t just about igniting the passions in the loins…
This is the first step to any interaction – in order to be able to communicate effectively with anyone, you need to be assured that your lover is paying attention to you, and vice versa. Look your lover in the eyes when she walks into the room. Listen to what she has to say and respond accordingly.
This is your “lizard brain” fire, the flames of your instinct and the coals that keep the home-fires burning. Without paying attention to each other, none of the other flames can be sustained. Talking to each other and sharing your love for one another requires focus and intent. Find it and use it.
After you have caught your lover’s attention, or she has caught yours, you have the opportunity to share affection. The simple, casual touch, the hugs and kisses, the easy phrases like “I love you, honey” allows you to express your love through physical means. The fires of affection are your digestive fires and cooking or serving your lover an incredible meal is a great way to begin expressing your affections.
These fires are also your hottest sexual flames, what we normally recognize as the burning heat of the libido. They require tending to reach maximum potential, which means paying attention to your health, your sexual desires, and nurturing the sexual affection between you and your lover! Touch each other regularly throughout each day, both sexually and casually, to foster increased intimacy and love.
The fire of appreciation is the heart need associated with the voice, with the lightening of the body and our ability to make connections with each other on a mental and emotional level that reaches beyond the mere physical experience. This need burns in the heart and bubbles up from the throat every time you make sounds of pleasure during lovemaking, sighs of contentment in your lover’s arms, or words of comfort and connection when you feel lonely or need to feel close to your partner.
Appreciation is about letting your lover know not only that you are listening and that you are physically connected as with the first two fires, but that you feel her input is worthy, her experience is important, her words and actions are vital to your existence. She needs to know that she is not only wanted, but needed. Your words can be incredibly important at this step, but even if you struggle to express yourself as eloquently as you may like, a few acts of gratitude can go a long way. What kind of reciprocation allows her to feel appreciated – buying her flowers, drawing her a bubble bath, taking her out on the town, writing her a love letter, slow dancing in the living room, a home-cooked meal, a night off from family duty? Whatever it is that allows her to feel like her life and her work at home is valued, give it to her and spark that lightening between you.
The final of the four fires and the four needs of the heart is acceptance. Your lover wants to know that she is accepted as she is, loved for who she is and how she looks and what she does, unconditionally. Showing unconditional love can be difficult because, to be perfectly honest, our love is often conditional. It isn’t that we stop loving someone when the conditions are unfavorable, but it can become increasingly more difficult to express love as we face the challenges in our relationship.
The first thing to go is often acceptance – we begin to feel isolated and alone. She may feel that you don’t understand her at all, and through lack of understanding have rejected her in some way. Perceived rejection leads to feelings of being under appreciated. When we have these feelings of fear or doubt in our relationships, affection is the first thing to drop off and often attention lets up without us evening noticing. The next time things get rough in your relationship, ask yourself…
- When was the last time you told your wife how much you love her, no matter what?
- How long has it been since you did something special for her, just for being her?
- How often do you touch each other each day?
- When was the last time you looked at your partner in the eyes?
If you have a hard time answering any of these questions, it’s time to take a good hard look at your relationship and rededicate yourself to connecting with your wife on every level in order to recommit to love and intimacy.
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