Intimacy & Desire

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-05-01
  • Publisher: Beaufort Books
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Many couples begin marital counseling with Dr. David Schnarch with their sex lives in shambles, wondering what's wrong with them, considering divorce. One partner will complain that the other doesn't desire him, the other complains that she's married to a sex maniac. During his 30 years in practice as a marriage and family therapist, Dr. Schnarch has discovered that sexual desire problems are normal and even healthy, in committed relationships. In Intimacy and Desire: Awaken the Passion in Your Relationship, Dr. Schnarch explains why couples in long term relationships have sexual desire problems, regardless of how much they love each other or how well they communicate. Through case studies of couples he worked with, Dr. Schnarch shows why normal marital conflict can be the cause of desire problems and creates a roadmap for how couples can transform marital conflict into a stronger relationship and a font of new and powerful desire for each other. He takes it a step further, giving readers simple but effective exercises that will help them reconnect with each other.

Author Biography

David Schnarch is a licensed clinical psychologist, certified sex therapist, and author of numerous books and articles on intimacy, sexuality, and relationships. He is the Director of the Crucible Institute. His work attracts clients and students from across the globe.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xv
Why Normal People have Sexual Desire Problemsp. 1
There is Always a Low Desire Partner and the Low Desire Partner Always Controls Sexp. 3
Sex Is Not a ˘Natural Function÷p. 4
There Is Always a ˘Low Desire Partner÷ and a ˘High Desire Partner÷p. 9
The Low Desire Partner Always Controls Sexp. 11
How the Low Desire Partner Controls Sexp. 16
Where We're Headedp. 19
Since Your ˘Self÷ Showed Up, Sexual Desire Hasn't Been the Samep. 21
Three Drives of Sexual Desire and Lovep. 23
A Fourth Sexual Drive: Developing and Maintaining a Selfp. 25
Biology, Environment, Culture, and Mind in the Evolution of Desire and Lovep. 30
Co-Evolution: Mind, Brain, Body, and Relationship Are One Wholep. 32
The Crucible« Approach to Co-Evolution Through Love Relationshipsp. 34
The Low Desire Partner Usually Controls the High Desire Partner's Adequacyp. 40
It Starts at the Beginning: Being Normalp. 42
Borrowed Functioningp. 44
Developing a Solid Flexible Selfp. 46
Mapping Your Partner's Mindp. 50
People Who Can't Control Themselves Control the People Around Themp. 58
The Answer to the Age-Old Question: Does Marriage Kill Sex?p. 63
How We Co-Evolve Through Sexual desire Problemsp. 67
Holding On to Your Selfp. 69
The Four Points of Balance™p. 72
Emotional Gridlockp. 80
Differentiationp. 85
Four Points of Balance: Balancing Attachment and Autonomyp. 89
The Cure for Emotional Gridlockp. 94
Intimacy Shapes Your Sexual Desirep. 101
Other-Validated Intimacy and Self-Validated Intimacyp. 104
Intimacy Is a System, Just Like Sexual Desirep. 110
Dependence on Other-Validated Intimacy Creates Emotional Gridlockp. 113
Gridlock over Intimacy Creates Low Desirep. 115
Shifting to Self-Confrontation and Self-Validated Intimacyp. 118
Creating Intersubjective Experiencesp. 123
Adult Intimacy Harnesses the Best in Youp. 128
Changing Monogamy from Martyrdom to Freedomp. 131
Monogamy, Adultery, and Human Naturep. 133
Monogamy Is Not a Promise, It's a System!p. 139
Monogamy Creates Low Desire in Poorly Differentiated Couplesp. 144
Things Reach Critical Massp. 148
Going Through the Cruciblep. 149
Stronger Four Points of Balance Makes Monogamy Operate Differentlyp. 151
Desire Fades When You Stop Growingp. 157
Sexual Boredom Is Normalp. 161
When Your Partner Becomes Too Important to You, Desire Problems Surfacep. 166
Anxiety-Regulation Through Accommodationp. 171
(Lack of) Desire, Intimacy, Freedom, and Sexual Novelty Prompt You to Growp. 173
Sexual Desire Problems: How Your Personal Life Fits inp. 179
Wanting, Not Wanting to Want, and Two-Choice Dilemmasp. 181
Desire: A Capacity You Can Developp. 182
Choosing Your Partnerp. 186
Consciously Chosen, Freely Undertaken Desirep. 192
Desire Problems Involve Two-Choice Dilemmasp. 197
Do You Treat Your Partner Like a Friend?p. 199
Hold On to Your Self: Self-Confrontation and Self-Soothingp. 202
Normal Marital Sadism, the Devil's Pact, and Other Dark Stuffp. 208
Normal Marital Sadismp. 211
The Problem Isn't Your Lack of Relationship, It's the Relationship You Havep. 215
The Devil's Pact: Initiation Dealsp. 221
The Crucible of Marriagep. 228
What Does It Take to Really Change Things? Safely, Growth, and Critical Massp. 232
Safety and Security in Marriagep. 237
Balancing Comfort, Safety, and Growthp. 241
Critical Mass: The Point of Fundamental Changep. 247
Marriage's Grand Designp. 251
Using Your Body, Rewiring Your Brain, and Co-Evolving in Bedp. 261
A Collaborative Alliance Is More Important Than Perfect Techniquep. 263
Collaborative Alliancesp. 267
Some Families Never Have Collaborative Alliancesp. 271
Maintain a Resilient Collaborative Alliancep. 275
Methods for Building a Physical Collaborative Alliancep. 277
Put Your Collaborative Alliance to Good Usep. 290
Curing Ticklishness and Noxious Touchp. 292
What Is Ticklishness?p. 293
Curing Ticklishnessp. 295
Other Ways of Understanding Ticklishnessp. 299
Collaborative Alliance: The Key to Resolving Ticklishness in the Momentp. 303
Resolving Ticklishness for the Long Termp. 309
Impacts of Ticklishness on Sexual Desirep. 313
Doing the Seemingly Impossiblep. 316
Tender Loving Sexp. 319
New Application of Familiar Toolsp. 322
Desire, Sex, Brain, and Selfp. 327
Benefits of Tender Loving Sexp. 333
Exploring Your Sexual Potentialp. 335
Blow Your Mind!p. 344
People Don't Fuck with Their Support Systemp. 351
Oral Sex: Fabulous for Changing Your Brain with Your Body and Mindp. 355
Receiving Can Be a Special Form of Givingp. 362
How to Use Your Mind and Body When Giving or Receiving Headp. 368
Ignite Desire in Your Bedroomp. 372
Referral Informationp. 376
Overcoming Discomfort with Oral Sexp. 380
Referencesp. 384
End Notesp. 397
Indexp. 419
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