One of the questions we’re asked most often is; “How do the two of you keep the passion and excitement alive at such a high level after more than 20 years together?”
Well, there are REAL REASONS. A passionate love affair, which survives the test of time, doesn’t just happen on it’s own. It must be built moment by moment, day by day, year after year. And since June is Love Month here at Lifebook, we’ve decided to share some of the strategies we use to keep our relationship every bit as hot as it was in the very beginning.
This article is about love, lust, passion, romance and sex. In it, we’ll explore the subject of sensuality in the true sense of the word; the human senses. Sight, Sound, Smell, Touch and Taste. You’ll discover how sensuality, when deployed properly, has the power to infuse your days with heart-pounding excitement, make your date nights steaming hot, and deepen and intensify the passion and excitement in your love life.
The English word “senses” comes from the Latin “sentire”, which means, to FEEL. The senses are a shortcut to human emotions. They’re direct. They’re intense. They’re impossible to ignore. The senses speak the language of feelings, not words. And feelings are at the very core of intimacy, passion and love.
At the outset, it should be stated that these strategies are NOT a complete recipe for an extraordinary love relationship. No amount of lust and excitement could ever substitute for the fundamentals of a deep and fulfilling love life, such as honest communication, mutual admiration, deep respect, the ability to make your love feel visible, safe and understood…. Without these attributes, you don’t even get to sit down at the table and PRETEND to have an extraordinary love relationship.
But, if those fundamentals are already in place, these strategies can work magic and inject an already fulfilling love life with the large doses of sensuality it needs to stay passionate, year after year.
And, just a friendly WARNING: As Lifebook graduates, you know the drill; we’re sharing OUR STUFF here. When it comes to extraordinary love, there is no “one-size-fits-all”. You must define your ideal vision as a couple, just like we have. If you want your love life to be a certain way; more passionate, more fun, more comfortable, more exciting – you must nurture those things within it. It is completely within your power to create the love affair you desire, just like we’ve created ours…
This is a Jon and Missy party. These are our strategies. And this is our self-indulgent article. It’s personal. It’s intimate. And, just so you know, it’s not rated G. We certainly don’t want to offend anyone’s tender sensibilities, so if you’re not comfortable with a little heat, you may want to stay out of the kitchen on this one.
However, if you are inspired to use any or all of these strategies, please feel free to join the party…
The 5 Senses:
The meeting time has been set, allowing for plenty of time to prepare for the evening…
The fragrance of a hot, oiled filled bath perfumes the evening air, heavy and thick, overriding the ordinary smells of everyday life. Amber candles flicker and dance everywhere, reflecting glistening oil on the soft skin of a beautifully toned body. Half-eaten chocolate covered strawberries stain the white porcelain plate. A luxurious, fluffy towel stimulates every nerve ending it brushes past, then falls in a heap on to the carpet. It’s almost time now…
The environment is exquisitely beautiful. Sensual music throbs from the sound system, deep and hypnotic. The fireplace casts warm amber light in long shadows across the ceiling. All signs of the children have been removed from every line of sight. Everything is set up perfectly as the anticipation builds…
What will it be tonight? Lace? Leather? Nothing? Where will we meet? The daybed by the fire? The indulgent carpet of the guest room? The slick black leather ottoman in the master bedroom?
Two familiar sounds indicate that the moment has arrived… The evocative pop of the Champagne cork, and high heels clicking against the cold stone floor. This night, as so many that have gone before it, is going to be a night to remember…
It’s not as difficult as you might think to infuse sensuality onto your love life; visual beauty, alluring fragrance, tantalizing taste, stimulating texture and sensual sounds…. As a matter of fact, it’s downright exhilarating. And when all 5 senses are stimulated simultaneously, the results are unforgettable, allowing your love affair to soar to new heights of ecstasy and excitement.
So, let’s take a closer look…
Humans think in IMAGES, not words. Our sense of sight is a wonder. Our eyes absorb an incredible amount of information. As a matter of fact, the majority cerebral cortex is devoted to visual processing. So, our first Sensual Strategies entail leveraging your sense of sight to create unforgettable images that will shift your love affair into high gear.
Sensual Strategy #1: Dress to thrill
Most couples stop caring about how they look after they’ve been married a few years. They get comfortable with each other to the point of laziness. No need to go to any trouble… No need to expend any energy… He won’t mind… She won’t notice… And then they wonder why they can’t keep their wandering eyes focused on each other.
BIG missed opportunity.
We dress up for dinner every night. Doesn’t matter whether we go out to a restaurant or stay home alone. Each evening we each take our time choosing exactly the right outfit to delight each other and make a visual impression all night long.
Not only is this nighttime ritual playful, fun and exciting… It sends a very clear signal. “I CARE about you – and every moment I spend with you is important to me. I want to please you. I want to make you happy. I want you to be TURNED ON every time you look at me.”
You want to be attractive to your mate, right? Take conscious pride in being sexy and beautiful for your love! Get his blood pumping. Get her heart beating.
You know what your lover likes to see you wear. So, put it on. Then later, you can let them take it off…
Sensual Strategy #2: Get the lighting right
Our bedroom may be the sexiest room in the history of Western Civilization! It’s not much visually during the day, with it’s purple velvet walls and dark purple carpet. It’s dark and it tends to absorb light rather than reflect it.
But at night, when the sun goes down, it comes alive with dazzling purples, ambers and reds… The story of this room is the lighting. It creates an unforgettable atmosphere of sensuality and eroticism. If you can’t get it going on in this room, you simply got no game!
Nothing sets a visual mood better than lighting.
It’s difficult to create sensuality with lights blaring. The key to the “visual sexiness” of any nightclub, lounge or restaurant is a) LOW LIGHT and b) COLORED LIGHT. So why not use the same tricks at home?
First of all, tone your lighting down and soften it up… To get the lighting exactly right in the room, start in the dark and add light little by little until you get the balance right.
Secondly, color is important, so learn how to use it. Amber light makes skin tones beautiful, so direct amber anywhere you and your love are going to be, the sofa, the bed, the floor… Try to stay away from greens and blues on skin, though they can be beautiful background colors against amber skin. Red is always a good accent color for passion. A splash on the wall and you’ve created your own “red light district.”
NEWSFLASH: you don’t need a million dollars to get the lighting right… It’s super easy to do… Just replace the bulb in that lamp with a $6 amber bulb. See how beautiful you look now? Or when you’re away at a hotel and ready for lust and passion, throw a red dress or shirt over the hotel lamp to soften and color the light and set exactly the right visual mood…
The point is, BE AWARE OF LIGHTING and use it to your advantage.
Sensual Strategy #3: Set the room on Fire
Fire was the first controllable mood lighting. There’s something primal about it. It speaks to us at a non-verbal level, stirring something deep inside. Plus, it’s just plain beautiful.
No lighting is sexier than fireplace lighting. Not only is it the right color-tone for sensuality, it DANCES. It animates the space. It mesmerizes. Most of us can sit and stare into a fire for hours. It’s a highly sensual visual backdrop.
And use candles anywhere and everywhere at anytime you possibly can. Day or night, inside or outside, upstairs, downstairs, in the bathroom, in the bedroom, at home of in a hotel – WHEREVER, WHENEVER – candles are nothing but GOOD, GOOD, GOOD. Have a pantry full of them at all times. Scented, unscented, colored and plain. And use them liberally to make your sensual environment twinkle with passion.
Our dates are like an oasis in the middle of the week. We look forward to them for 6 straight days, then, as soon as they’re over, we immediately start looking forward to the next one.
Tonight we’ve got reservations at a sexy new restaurant in River North – the window table. People have been raving about the food… We can see the perfect lighting through the window as we make our approach… We step into the elegant lobby (dressed to kill) and the friendly hostess shows us into the dining room… This is going to be a great… Hold on a second! There’s something wrong with this beautiful picture… Please tell me they’re not playing Johnny Cash singing Ring of Fire in this restaurant. OMG – they ARE playing Johnny Cash singing Ring of Fire in this restaurant. Are you #!@%$!#! KIDDING me right now? I mean, there’s nothing wrong with Johnny Cash, but he’s clearly in the wrong place at the wrong time. Something must be done about this epic buzz kill.
I call over the waiter, hand him my iPod and ask him to hook me up. He looks a little concerned, but I assure him that I know what I’m doing and he should trust me… My steady gaze says unmistakably, “there’s a big tip in it for you.”
A few minutes later, the warm sensual beats of Thievery Corporation come wafting over the sound system and the entire atmosphere changes. Now we’re in a sexy restaurant. Few patrons notice what caused it, but EVERYONE notices that SOMETHING just got a whole lot better. Another date night made much more sexy by planning ahead! (true story )
Sensual Strategy #4: Create your playlists
There is NOTHING in the world that sets the mood more effectively than music. Nothing is more powerful for eliciting the emotions and feelings you want in those sensual moments.
We have spent literally thousands of hours on our playlists. We think of them as “the soundtrack of our life.” We have a playlist for every important occasion; romance, dinner-parties, long drives with the kids, cocktails, sex, exercise, dance parties – you name it, we have it.
When we travel, we have playlists for various regions of the world and even specific countries. These playlists have exotic names, such as French Kiss, Jamaican Breeze, Shangri-La, Shiva Beats, and Golden Triangle… Anyone who’s been on a Lifebook trip with us can tell you how much these playlists add to the experience. Driving through the streets of Cairo with “Arabian Nights” playing in the background is a TOTALLY different feeling than, say, Brittany Spears.
Sensual Strategy #5: Always have your music with you
It doesn’t matter whether we’re at a picnic, on the beach, in the car with the kids, in a hotel room in Barcelona, or hiking a mountain trail in Bhutan, we ALWAYS have our music with us. From the first notes of relaxing Japanese flute music in the morning, to the sensual beats of Ibiza Lounge as we’re dressing for dinner, our soundtrack is always present, setting just the right atmosphere for whatever it is we’re doing.
It’s absolutely delightful to pull out our little Jawbone Jambox, with it’s killer bass and 12-hour battery life, and get the sounds exactly right. In addition to the enhanced experience, the message is: “I value every moment I spend with you and I want it to be perfect.”
Click here for our favorite portable music device.
One night in Bangkok. Senses on overload… Chaotic traffic whirs by in a blur of brilliant colors. The sporadic sound of tuktuks like 1000 lawnmower engines mingle with the chattering, singsong sounds of the Thai language coming from every direction… Dazzling sights, exotic tastes, incredible textures… The sensual richness of it all is overwhelming, almost exhausting… But it’s the dark, ripe smells of the street market culture that are most intoxicating… Wave after wave of exotic scents wash over you… The hot smoke from burning coals, the steamy noodle shops, the unmistakable aroma of lemongrass and other exotic spices mingle with the exhaust from motorbikes, creating a unique sensation that stamps itself into your memory. You can almost taste the air, making this moment a moment you will never forget.
As a species, we create associations more deeply with smell than with any of the other senses. It’s directly tied to memory, instantly transporting us back to that intimate moment when we first experienced the smell. It is the direct link to our strongest, most emotional experiences. It’s so intense and personal that messing with it can intimidate people, because it can completely ruin the vibe if you screw it up… But when you get it right, it’s a total game-changer.
Sensual Strategy #6: FRAGRANCES FOR SEX
Smell is a HUGE opportunity to create intimacy, romance and passion – and we take it very seriously.
We have specific aromas for romance and sex. We’ve developed associations so deep with these fragrances, that just smelling them automatically puts us in the desired state of lust and passion. Our ritual of using aroma to get ready for our dates is like a magic spell we cast on each other and ourselves. It builds the anticipation, prolonging the moment and putting us in that “I can’t even WAIT to be with you” state.
The scent we use for our city dates is the VRAI line of bath products, shower gel, lotions, and perhaps most delightful, sugar scrub.
Click here for the Vrai product line.
Our romance scent at home is Judith Jackson exotic oils, to be applied directly to the skin like lotion after a hot bath or shower. Our favorite Judith Jackson scent is called Sensuality. Imagine that! J
Click here for the Judith Jackson product line.
Go out there and find the perfect scent for you. Take your love on a date to L’Occitane, or a big department store, and go “scent shopping.” Take your TIME. Choose the aroma you both love. Then, create an unforgettable association with it.
The key to making aroma work for your dates is very focused repetition. You’ve got to use the aroma over and over again, but ONLY for those romantic, sexy moments, or it will break the spell.
And it doesn’t always have to be the same scent. You can have 2 or 3. But the trick is to use them ONLY for those intimate moments to create the desired emotional trigger over time.
Anyone who has spent a few hours preparing a romantic candlelit meal and serving it with love knows the sensual power of food. From an elaborate anniversary dinner to the unexpected white-chocolate covered strawberries and Champagne after work, the act of preparing food for your love speaks louder than words… It says, “I care for you. I want you. I love you. You are worth the effort.”
Ever since Marc Antony first fed Cleopatra grapes, sensual foods have been intertwined with romance. And fortunately for all of us, when it comes to cooking with sensuality, there’s an instructional resource we can access that is simply in a class by itself.
Sensual Strategy #7: Aphrodisiac Cooking
Intercourses; An Aphrodisiac Cookbook, brings more than 100 heart melting dishes to the table, the bedroom, or wherever you might be entertaining. In addition to some of the most beautiful recipes you’ve ever experienced, each chapter delves into the history of aphrodisiacs, along with useful hints to help love-hungry couples integrate sensual foods into their lives.
Since we first bought this book over 15 years ago, we have cooked every single recipe it contains, resulting in hundreds of hours of intimacy, sensuality and pleasure. It’s not as much about the actual ingredients in the dishes (wonderfully delightful), or the erotic photography (deliciously beautiful) or even the suggestions for serving techniques that makes cooking the Intercourses dishes such an extraordinary experience… It’s the very act of consciously cooking a beautiful meal for the person you love most… To delight… To impress… To give pleasure to your lover… And the act of eating a beautiful meal cooked BY your love…
Well, what could be more delicious than that?
Sensual Strategy #8: Make Yourself Sweet
Here’s a 2-word Sensual Strategy: Sugar Scrub. Check it out. Rub it on. Wash it off. Become delicious.
The skin is the largest human organ. Packed with sensitive nerve endings (especially in the fingertips and lips), it’s one of the major pleasure-centers of the body. It flushes when you’re turned on, tingles when touched and easily aroused with the right thought or visual image. Skin-to-skin contact stimulates the production of hormones and releases endorphins, which enhance feelings of passion and boosts your lust for each other.
Sensual Strategy #9: Thrilling Textures
The sense of TOUCH is a huge opportunity to create desire and romance in your love affair… So, make your bed inviting, your floor welcoming, your sofa sensual. And the key is thrilling texture. Leather… Cashmere… Lambskin… Chenille… The mission is to ensure that your intimate space is set up for any eventuality.
The rugs in our guest rooms are FAVORITES among our guests. Delightfully soft and decadent, they invite you to roll off the bed and fall into them without missing a beat… And, truth be told, we sometimes sneak into the guests rooms to indulge too…
Sensual Strategy #10: Have a great body
Sometimes you just don’t feel like working out. Sometimes you want to eat 2 pieces of pie instead of 1. Everyone falls off the wagon from time to time… But we have an extra incentive that helps us stay in great shape – a strategy that has made a bigger positive difference over the years than anything else. We stay in fabulous shape, not only for OURSELVES, but for each other. We do it for our love affair. Because it’s part of the way we see our life together.
Take care of your body inside and out, so you can be beautiful for your love. Keep it toned and fit. Make your skin beautiful, touchable and kissable too. Delight each other. Touch. And be touched back.
We LOVE being in LOVE with each other. As a matter of fact, we’re not only in love with each other, we’re in love with our relationship. And we take great delight in expressing that love anywhere, everywhere in every way we possibly can.
You may have noticed a common theme throughout this article, which was present in most of the Sensual Strategies we explored; “I care about you. The candles are a small detail, but I lit them FOR YOU. I took the time to choose the right music for this moment, because YOU’RE WORTH IT. I placed that strawberry in your Champagne glass because I want to delight you. I’m wearing this because I want to turn you on. I can’t stop thinking about you. You are the most important thing in the world to me. I need you. I want you. I love you.”
LOVE REQUIRES ACTION. And make no mistake about it, so does passion, desire and romance. If you want your relationship to soar to the heights of ecstasy, it’s simply not enough to experience these feelings internally… They must be constantly EXPRESSED in deeds both large and small. Desire should be SEEN. Passion needs an outlet. Romance should be expressed in action.
So how far are you willing to go? How badly do you want it? How much are you willing to pour into your love affair?
Give everything you’ve got to each other. Let your lover see you, feel you, hear you, touch you, taste you and experience every bit of burning passion you have inside. Each moment you spend together is another opportunity to express your love, lust and passion for each other – and your immense gratefulness for the beauty that you’re building together. Your love affair is a work of art that you have the delight and privilege to create and enjoy every day.
Here’s to your extraordinary love!
- Jon and Missy
PS: We’d love to hear from you… Please SHARE YOUR SENSUAL STRATEGIES WITH US!!!! And feel free to ask us questions!