A few weeks ago our dynamic and really interesting host at our MamaMeetUp event was Tracy Ziman Jacob, a relationship and intimacy coach at Totally Me Tracy. She spoke about the importance of intimacy in relationships (easier said than done, but she offers practical tips), and how looking after your own pleasure is very very important (ie don’t just think about your partner, think about yourself too).
Tracy’s business is about helping couples become more intimate, both with themselves and their partners. She uses therapy, together with some physical intimacy techniques to assist clients in achieving their goals (Note: she does not have sex with her clients, nor watch them getting physical – some people do ask this, which is why I’m writing this).
We often hear that intimacy is so important in a relationship, but why? According to Tracy, intimacy is connection. It is connection through sexual connection, through physical activities, through emotional vulnerability and ‘knowing’ each other, spiritual connection and intellectual connection. Sexual intimacy in a relationship is the glue that holds the couple together.
Without it, she says, the couple may function as business partners or close friends. The sexual intimacy is the very component that allows the couple to deal with the stressors of life better. It’s the knowing look across the room at a dinner party about what will happen when the couple get home that night.
When I ask her why sex is important in a relationship, even for busy and tired parents, she says that besides the health benefits of regular sex, such as lowering blood pressure, helping to keep your immune system humming, and the feel-good factor, sex in a relationship creates more connection and more sharing. If done consciously, and within a trusting and loving relationship, the couple experience a vulnerability which they reserve for that ‘significant other’ in their life.
So how can we improve?
“The biggest problems facing couples with children is that life is very busy and that the hours in the day are getting shorter,” says Tracy. “There seems to be a lot of added financial and social pressure and couples are battling to find time to connect without the interruptions from the kids, phones, television and work.
“I believe that parents should be setting firmer boundaries with their children around bedtime and sleeping space so that the couple are able to allocate more ‘adult’ time to spend together.
The top tips for parent today is outsource! If your budget allows it, get as much help as you can. Build bridges with each other at the end of each day and connect with them, even if it’s for only a little time.”
Practically though, once you have found the time, she says that says that foreplay is incredibly important and your whole body needs to relax. She also suggests that you forego the KY Jelly and use a silicon-based lubricant instead. This makes the whole process a lot easier with a lot less friction.
Tracy suggests that women start to get in the mood from early on in the day – read some erotica, wear beautiful lingerie and send your partner some naughty texts. “Have fun with your live-in lover!” she advises. That’s a cool sentiment. Don’t take what you have for granted, and just because there are kids in the next room, and that adulting is hard, you can still have fun.
When I asked Tracy what to do if a couple is very time-strapped and has no time for foreplay, candles and massages, she said a quickie can still be very pleasurable, and a little naughty too!
Tracy is a qualified social worker and intimacy coach and a qualified social worker. Her skills include individual and couples counselling, group therapy, family therapy, trauma counselling, divorce mediation and pre-marriage counselling.
Tracy is also a registered practitioner with Intimacy Coaching SA (ICSA). Her services include Individual and/or couple coaching, workshops for women, workshops for men, ‘No-book’ book-clubs, and gay/lesbian workshops. You can contact her here.