Spicing up the Quarantine – a (mini) series: part 2

Y’all are here for the safe words, aren’t ‘cha? Keep reading, ya pervs. 

Last time, we talked about the importance of checking in with yourself and figuring out how you’re feeling so that you can help your partner understand their feelings. Then you can both hold hands and go skipping across a rainbow river to play with the chocolate flowers on the other side. 

Well, not really. We did talk about checking in with yourself, and the importance of listening to what your partner isn’t saying, versus what they are. Today we’re going to talk about a few ways you can get reacquainted with your partner. 

First of all, to be open to learning about your partner, you have to be open to learning about yourself, which is hard to do when you have no time alone. So my first suggestion is to:

Separate yourselves

Seriously. Spend time away from each other for god’s sake. You need to miss them again. Yes, I know you’re not going to miss them during that 20-minute grocery store run, but do you know what you can do during those 20 minutes? I’m about to tell you.

  • Breathe. Deep breaths. Suck that oxygen deep into your body and feel it inflate those tired cells. It’s like you’re giving your body little love notes every time you take a deep breath.
  • Eat something sweet without someone looking at you in judgment or with begging eyes. No, you don’t have to share that pint of ice cream. You worked hard for it!
  • Wash your face and brush your teeth. You can even drop your feet under the tub spigot* and wash them really quickly too. These three things go a long way to refreshing your body.
  • Shower and put on some clean clothes. Hell, let’s get crazy and brush our hair too! 
  • Do a face mask. Most only take 10-15 minutes so you can easily pop one on and lay on the couch for a mini power nap during that 20 minutes while your partner is gone.
  • Write in a journal. You need to get those feelings out somehow.
  • Call a friend.
  • Go for a walk. Suck in that sunshine!
  • Play or snuggle with a pet.

Now that you’ve had a few minutes to yourself, I know you’re ready to reconnect with your partner. So let’s do some simple grounding exercises.

Wait…no one said anything about exercising! 

That’s not what I meant. Come back here.

When you ground yourself, you’re reconnecting your physical and emotional body to the earth and putting them in balance again. When you ground yourself with your partner, you’re reconnecting emotionally and physically with them and letting them know they are important, and you see them. So how do you ground yourself with your partner? I thought you’d never ask.

Look deep into my eyes….

Okay, that sounds creepy, but it’s not. I promise(ish). Take your partner somewhere that you can both sit comfortably facing each other. I suggest the bed because you never know where this might lead, and you don’t want anyone walking in on you while you’re getting freaky on the couch. Well, unless you do and then, in that case, you do you, boo-boo.

Fully face each other and sit so that your knees are touching. This minor touching is important to help remind you of what you’re doing. While you’re in this position, you can do a couple of different things. The one I 100% recommend is sitting and staring into each other’s eyes for five minutes. This can be a problem for some people, though, because we’re not used to paying attention to something that looks back at us for that long. You’ll probably feel the need to giggle. You might feel silly. You may feel the skin on the back of your neck crawl. That’s because you realize someone is actually paying attention to you, and you’re cataloging all the flaws you think you have. Suck it up and let them look. They wouldn’t be with you if they didn’t want to be, and odds are, they already know what those flaws are and love you despite (or because of) them. 

Staring at someone is a deeply intimate connection and can be disconcerting. Be honest about how you feel. If you feel silly, laugh. If you feel uncomfortable, shift around a bit. If you feel sexy, bite your lips. Acknowledge how you’re feeling and ride the wave to your next emotion. Next thing you know, you’ll be hitting that five-minute mark and will feel even closer to your partner than before.

I’m aware that some people really cannot bear to have someone look at them for that long. It makes them painfully uncomfortable to view someone who is returning that look. If you fall into that category, then I want you to take turns with your partner and close your eyes. Start with one of you looking and the other with your eyes closed and then switch at the end of the time. If you do this, though, do it for only 3 minutes each. Time passes slower when your eyes are closed. 

Ta-ta-ta-ta-touch me

You want to feel dirty….I know. Once you’ve done the stare-down with your partner and connected with their soul, I want you to reconnect with their body. No, I’m not talking about sex (yet). Put those hormones back into the box, please. What I want you to do is some basic touching exercises so you can (re)learn the feel of your partner. This doesn’t mean a sensual massage (that’s for the advanced class). This is simply running your hands over their skin. Here’s how you do it.

Lay them down wherever they can be comfortable and where you can easily reach most of their body. Keep in mind, you’ll probably have to have them roll over at some point, since you can’t have access to the front and back unless they’re standing. If they’re comfortable with it, have them remove a piece of clothing. A male partner could take off his shirt. A female partner could take off her top but leave the bra on. If they’d rather take bottoms off, that’s fine, just keep on any underclothes. Naked is for later.

Once they are comfortable, I want you to take your fingertips and run them lightly from the bottoms of their feet (or the heel, if they’re ticklish) up the backs of their calves to their thighs (skipping the ticklish back of the knees if needed). Feel the texture of their skin under your fingertips. Does it feel dry or soft? Are there callouses? Do they have hair? Is it coarse? Catalog these feelings as you explore their lower body. Trace your fingers up and down along the sides of their legs and ask yourself the same questions. Can you feel their muscles tighten under your touch? Is their skin soft and malleable? Listen to them. Is their breath quickening? Are they letting off sighs?

Slowly move up their body with the same frame of mind. Using your fingertips, categorize what you feel, see, hear, and smell from them. Recognize that this is the body of your partner. Someone you have chosen to share your life with. Watch how your body reacts to theirs as you touch them. Once you’ve made the journey around their body, switch places with them, and now I want you to see how your body reacts to their touch.

This exercise is extremely intimate and you will probably feel a little raw and exposed afterward. Take a few days to process how it made you feel. Write those feelings down. Share them with your partner. We’ll talk about more things you can do next time. 

* This is a note for my editor who said that I couldn’t spell it SPICKET even though that’s the way I say it. I love you anyway but you might be fired.*

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