If you were zip-lining through the forest, but weren't sure your harness was properly attached, would you be feeling as much freedom and exhilaration as if you knew you were securely fastened? According to renowned couples therapist Susan Johnson, bestselling author of Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, good sex operates in the same way: partners need to feel safe in order to fully enjoy sex.
"In a loving relationship, we use a feeling of safety to go out into the world and explore, and that includes sex," Susan says. "Sex is a safe adventure."
In this video, Susan explains how fostering strong emotional connections---or a "secure base"---allows partners to enjoy sex openly, honestly, and without judgment. What's more, Susan adds, waning sexual desire between partners usually isn't due to overfamiliarity, but emotional disengagement.
"In today's world, we're surrounded by impersonal sex," says Susan. "We're regularly told that sex in long-term relationships is almost always 'vanilla,' bland. But hundreds of attachment studies show that thrilling sex is about being secure enough to surrender to the moment---to let go and see what happens."