COUPLES: The Slow Burn

It took a while for me to get my head and heart around the fact that I am in and invested in a slow burn relationship. After 12 years of ebb and flow, there is finally a term that summarises how everything between the two of us has played out whilst aptly referencing a flame. Slow burn relationships are under the radar – all too many of us yearn for the high high’s and phenomenal chemistry of attraction that attaches itself to what we define as compatibility but when fire burns brightly, it well…burns.

In slow burn relationships, there is a gradual building of attraction and connection, which can provide a solid foundation of intimacy but not always passion. There may be a part of us that knows that we want to stick it out together and a certain depth of love yet we don’t know why. As sex wasn’t what brought you together, it can leave a series of unanswered questions about what sex means to this particular relationship and if it can ever be hot. The good news is that it can and sex that gradually builds rather than explodes, has its own merits.

I’m wondering whether it is the relationship that everyone wants only we don’t know that we want it. There is a paucity of good examples and an abundance of bright spark unions that invariably end. Good satisfying sex can come later and it is refreshing putting in effort towards something that you are not reminiscing about and does not leave you pining for the past. When these pairings go from sound strength to quiet strength and are adaptable, there is deeper pleasure and authentic satisfaction, of this I am sure.

Who hasn’t felt a pang of benign jealousy when we hear of those that have been together for 40 years or more and are still deeply in love? They have had the usual bumps but are ultimately still devoted. It is these unions that inspire me to do what I can within my relationship because bailing in any respect would separate me further from a sense of really journeying with my other.

Then it started to occur to me that many things in life represented a slow burn; my business Sexosophy, my relationship with food that has slowly evolved to be right for my body and my mortgage (exemplary of slow burn’s dark side!). Digging a little deeper, it is also fair to say that expeditions with our sexuality are usually slow burners and that time and a better understanding of sex and aging is showing that those beyond 60 are having beautiful, slow sex that is deep and comforting. This brings me a sense of satiety as I look ever-forward to sex evolving as the skins of fast-minded youth shed. It is adaptable and will have peaks and troughs and it strangely comforting to be aware that these are lingering on the horizon.

When my experiences of sexual expression are below par for what I was seeking, I like to remind myself that the best thing about slow burning concepts and relationships, is that they need to be intention and goal free. They quietly guide you and just when the flame looks like it will subside, it unexpectedly flares up again. No one is perfect at sex and no one who is an erotic practitioner is where they are because of a lack of effort or perseverance.

Getting deeper into your body and your sexuality is an art that requires time and practice and each occasion adds a layer to our repertoire, whether it be an experience that is warmly welcomed or one that is unlikely to be repeated. There are few things that I would classify as backward steps or ‘lapses’ in sexuality as the tapestry gets richer. It is really only when we inhabit a style of fast sex that is self-defeating or hurtful that everything needs to be re-examined, as we experience a hangover effect that includes guilt, remorse and feelings of low self-worth.

As we age, we fine-tune our intuition, solidify our boundaries and mature our approach towards love and sex. There may even be occasions of a fast burn burst when everything is going particularly well in our slow burn relationship. Perhaps this is the balance so many of us are looking to strike.

Lauren xo