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Want To Really Bond With Your Partner Sexually? Try This Trick From A Sex Expert

Kelly Gonsalves
Contributing Sex & Relationships Editor
By Kelly Gonsalves
Contributing Sex & Relationships Editor
Kelly Gonsalves is a sex educator, relationship coach, and journalist. She received her journalism degree from Northwestern University, and her writings on sex, relationships, identity, and wellness have appeared at The Cut, Vice, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and elsewhere.
Image by VegterFoto / Stocksy
February 15, 2021

It can be easy to get into a sort of "performance" mindset when it comes to sex: You might find yourself thinking about making sure the experience feels sexy, getting your partner off, or making sure your body is looking flattering at all angles. Or you might be concerned about how long it takes you to reach orgasm and get swept up in the focus on hitting some climax.

All of these concerns, though common, can actually make it harder to focus on the physical sensations you're experiencing—and on fostering an actual connection with your partner during sex.

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In a recent interview with mbg, holistic sex educator Taylor Sparks suggested one intriguing way to get out of your brain and back into the room with your partner: relinquish all control over to them.

The practice of relinquishing control.

That means exactly what it sounds like: giving up total control of what happens during a sexual session and allowing your partner to make all the decisions. "Let them take you in the direction that they believe will bring you the most joy," Sparks explains.

There's a lot of trust involved in this type of sexual play. You're allowing your partner to decide everything about the sexual encounter: how you'll move your body, what positions you'll be in, when or whether you'll orgasm, and even what the energy should be like between you. On your end, your only goal is to completely let go of any desire to control the outcome of the sexual session—don't worry about pleasuring your partner, getting yourself off, being "good in bed," or anything else—and just allow yourself to be totally present in the experience your partner is creating for you.

"When you give up your control and put trust in your partner, you are able to release your energy to them. This strengthens your connection," Sparks explains.

In other words, the benefits are twofold: getting out of your head, paying more attention to the sensations in your body, and connecting more fully with your partner because you aren't thinking about what you should be doing or trying to achieve any outcomes.

"So many of us love being 'in control,' and the thought of releasing that control can be challenging," Sparks adds. "These practices require communication."

How to try it.

This is definitely something you should discuss before actually trying it, just to make sure you're both on the same page about what's going to happen and to make sure both people are on board for the experience. Bring up the idea of playing with control the next time you're having sex, and suggest the idea of one of you relinquishing it completely.

Sparks adds that it can be pleasurable to also bring other forms of power play into the mix if you're interested, such as sensory deprivation (think blindfolds), edging, orgasm denial, or bondage (simple handcuffs can really add to the mood of relinquishing control).

Make sure to establish boundaries and potentially a safe word beforehand, and regroup afterward with a little aftercare to see how the experience went. This type of play isn't necessarily the type of thing you need to do every time you have sex, but it can be something to add into the mix every now and then if you find you enjoy it.

Relinquishing control can be a really powerful way to really bond and connect with your partner during sex, instead of being consumed with trying to do everything "right." As Sparks explains, "This practice will allow you and your partner to reach new heights of sexual ecstasy that brings you closer together."

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Kelly Gonsalves
Kelly Gonsalves
Contributing Sex & Relationships Editor

Kelly Gonsalves is a multi-certified sex educator and relationship coach helping people figure out how to create dating and sex lives that actually feel good — more open, more optimistic, and more pleasurable. In addition to working with individuals in her private practice, Kelly serves as the Sex & Relationships Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and she’s been trained and certified by leading sex and relationship institutions such as The Gottman Institute and Everyone Deserves Sex Ed, among others. Her work has been featured at The Cut, Vice, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and elsewhere.

With her warm, playful approach to coaching and facilitation, Kelly creates refreshingly candid spaces for processing and healing challenges around dating, sexuality, identity, body image, and relationships. She’s particularly enthusiastic about helping softhearted women get re-energized around the dating experience and find joy in the process of connecting with others. She believes relationships should be easy—and that, with room for self-reflection and the right toolkit, they can be.

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