“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”
~ Henry Miller
It’s a commonplace that “the eyes are the windows to the soul.” It turns out that the eyes are also the windows to our nervous system. The center of the nervous system, the brain, loves novelty, so it’s no surprise that when we make close eye contact with a lover, we “see” them as if we’re seeing them for the first time. Equally interesting, twelve inches is the optimum attachment distance between a mother and the infant she’s cradling. Their eye contact at this precise distance creates a novel experience in the brain, stimulating all manners of function and structure through their shared gaze. It is thought that mothers “fall in love” with their babies and, like lovers, the mother and infant dyad basks in the glory of their felt love for one another, cooing, smiling, and touching. So both the attachment and sexual pathways are the same in the brain, but nature saves the activation of the sexual pathway for the adolescent period.
If you recall your first love, you probably gazed into each other’s eyes as you giggled and swooned. Adult relationships require that you risk moving emotionally–not just visually–closer in order to create the novelty the brain needs for sexual stimulation. Your close attention on your partner’s eyes is a way to re-stimulate mutual attraction. Your challenge is to be willing to “see” him or her, and be “seen” by him or her, in new and different ways.
Daily Healthy Sex Acts:
In a comfortable setting, like on your bed or sofa, sit face-to-face with your partner so that you have approximately twelve inches between you. Begin by softly gazing into one another’s eyes. Notice your attention. Do you drift away? Is it easy or difficult to hold the gaze? Does it come and go? What do you “see” when you’re looking?
Spend some time talking to each other after you’ve done this exercise.