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Since the HIV/AIDS epidemic hit in the 1980s, we've become more aware of protecting ourselves against STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases). Sadly, the act of love has been turned into a battleground on which our lover has become a possible enemy. However, with right attitude and right action, it doesn't have to remain that way.
There are many ways to enjoy intimacy with a partner without putting yourself (or your partner) at risk. Using condoms and dental dams are the obvious choice. But this doesn't always alleviate the sense of alienation and distance a couple can feel when using them.
The key is how you approach sex. In fact, having to be more careful means we also have to get more creative—find new ways to connect with our minds and bodies. If you think about it, the need to protect ourselves against STDs can actually be a blessing in disguise. By rethinking what sexual intimacy means, we can experience a more fulfilling love life.
Tonight, ask your lover to name three things besides intercourse (i.e. penetration) that most thrills him/her. Name three yourself. When you next make love, focus on these three things, if only by paying closer attention to them as they occur. Luxuriate on them a little longer than you normally would. This is a great step toward developing greater intimacy.