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Fluff up your communication and intimacy with this critical end-of-day practice.
In a painfully unscientific study on how my previous significant others have behaved before bed, let’s just say the setting has been far from communication-friendly: I’ve survived instant body twitching, waiting for hour-long primping, involuntary flatulence, immediate freight-train snoring or the pungent whiff of heavy intoxication.
My current squeeze and I, though, have made a promise to toast the mystery-laden universe of sleepyland with pillow talk – known as quiet talking before bed, after sex, or both – a practice, say experts, that can bring lovebirds together and make a difference in how a day’s debriefing shapes your shut-eye.
Among those experts is Dr. Scott Conkright, who has been providing psychotherapy services for more than 15 years and has served as president of Atlanta Group Psychotherapy Society. He says couples that have trouble dedicating time to communication at any time, let alone just before bed, should focus their communication on each other.
“How do you find time for each other that’s dedicated to the task of intimacy? Pillow talk is a great way to do that.” He says. “It’s about saying to each other, ‘The time now is not about watching TV; not about whether we should get the roof redone; or any of those sorts of things. I want to know what’s going on with you, what you’re feeling, what your week’s been like.’ You want to know let each other know what you’ve been thinking about.”
Conkright says men in particular – of all persuasions, gay or straight – tend to shy away from naming their feelings.
That very well may be changing, though, particularly if you look at where we’ve come in the past few generations. If we are in a shift in the way we discuss and dissect feelings and relationships (with the launch of same-sex wedding magazine EquallyWed evidence of evolving attitudes) just look at the way “Pillow Talk,” the feature film starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day, was promoted as “the most sparkling sexcapade that ever winked at convention,” and, “it’s what goes on when the lights go off.”
You'll need a scorecard for that one. If our society has moved leaps and bounds beyond “winking at convention” – which seems so “Little House on the Prairie” – our interpersonal customs, including pillow talk, should catch up. Conkright says all couples of all stripes should make best efforts to exclude distractions.
“Turn the damn Blackberry and TV off,” he says. “From say 8:00 to 10:00 p.m., there needs to be no electronic gear on – no iPhones or getting online.”
That’s certainly a tall order in my household, but one to which we can all aspire. A casual kiss, a TV shut-off, a pull of the shades, a sleeping-position adjustment, and… a debriefing from the day. Try out some of these practices and discover the softer side of communication.
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