Intentional Love-Making: How to Enjoy Sex

Making Love

“Intention is the core of all conscious life. Conscious intention colors and moves everything.”
~Master Hsing Yun

What does it mean to be intentional? And how can intentional love-making help you achieve a better sex life?

In a world of competing priorities, never-ending “to do” lists, and rapid-fire gratifications, it’s easy to mindlessly skim through life without plumbing the depths of experience.

It can feel like our commitments have become burdens that force us to be and act in ways we resent. And for too many couples, sex has become “something we should do – after all, we’re more than just friends, we’re husband and wife (or romantic partners), and sex is one of the defining features that distinguishes our relationship from others.”

The commitment to making sex a regular part of your relationship isn’t a bad thing. In fact, scheduling sex is something I suggest to my clients who struggle with a lack of intimacy. But if you stop there, if sex is approached merely and always as an obligation, as an item on your “to do” list in a day with thirty other things to accomplish, then sex will remain a burden.

Making Love: The Power of Intentional Love-Making

To be intentional is to be deliberate and fully conscious. Your mental attitude is what’s important here. When you set an intention, you are clear about why you’re doing something – your purpose is defined and there is clarity about the impact that your actions will have. There isn’t just a vague sense of “we should do this because I read it’s good for our relationship…”

Rather, intentional love-making is an integral part of an intentional relationship. Your intention holds the vision of the relationship you and your partner want to create; it holds the vision for the kind of partner you want to be; and it makes the awareness about why you are doing something and the impact your behavior is having on another central.

Such an intentional stance may not be something we can always hold, but it is something we can return to again and again when it is lost.

5 Features of Intentional Love-Making

1) The Blurring of Sex and Love

Sex is experienced as an extension of the love you and your partner share.

The erotic energies of couples vary widely, and sex can take on many different meanings for people (and it can mean different things for the same person at different times): sex-as-pleasure, sex-as-abandon, sex-as-excitement, sex-as-play, and sex-as-release, to name a few.

In intentional love-making, there is a shared awareness of what sex brings to each of you. And whatever the erotic shape your sex lives take, the backdrop is always one of sex-as-an-expression-of-love. Make this deliberate. Set the conscious intention that you are expressing your love through the act of sex.

2) Sex Is Intimacy

The cultivation of intimacy, the nurturing of a deep closeness that extends beyond the sexual act, is inherent to intentional love-making. For this to occur, there must be a heightened awareness of who the other person is, a recognition and celebration of each other’s unique individualities.

The purpose is to see and experience each other’s essence through the language of your sexuality. Each sexual expression is a statement of “this is who I am.” Loving acceptance is vital for this process to unfold.

3) Sex Is Communication

At its core, intentional love-making is communication. It’s a shared expression through the medium of erotica.

And like any form of communication, something is being expressed (spoken through the language of the erotic) and something must be heard or taken in (a message received). Without this mutual expression and reception, the intention of one partner subsumes the intention of another. One is folded into the needs/intention of the other. If this erotic-intentional asymmetry works for each of you (and it is intentionally negotiated), then nothing is lost.

But if this dynamic is experienced as a breakdown of communication by one of you, then mutual intentionality has given way to a sexual demand that one has to do for the other.

4) Surrendering to the Moment

When intentionality is part of making love, mutual openness takes center stage. You are emotionally present and attuned to the moment-to-moment experiences of the now. There is a simultaneous awareness of your own and your partner’s emotional and sexual needs.

In this state of presence, the sexual act (or sexual technique) is secondary to the intentional act of experiencing your partner as fully as possible. This level of openness isn’t always easy to accomplish. It requires a level of surrender to the experiences that are unfolding, a letting go of control. Here the intention is openness to the unknown—receptivity to possibility—not a controlled scripting of what happens next.

5) Respect Is Never Lost

Intentional love-making is respectful and patient.

There is an awareness of each other’s boundaries; an understanding of the hang-ups that arise for so many of us when our sexuality is on display. The level of vulnerability you each risk when sharing yourselves sexually is recognized and honored. When needed, this is part of the sexual communication process.

There is also a recognition that your sexual appetite may be different from your partner’s. Respecting these differences and negotiating a middle ground when possible should be part of a couple’s shared intentionality.

The sexual differences that may exist can be highly frustrating. Too many couples try to deny these frustrations or they allow them to mount into anger. The tension these frustrations bring is a natural part of being different people.

The goal is never to bend the will of the other in order to placate your needs. Rather, the goal is to set the intention of mutual understanding. For example, you might ask yourself what it feels like to be your partner when s/he is frustrated about “X” or “Y.”


Married sex (or sex in a long-term committed relationship) is not without its challenges. But the potential for a better, more fulfilling sex life is something you and your partner can work on through the process of shared intentionality.

Talk about what your love-making intentions are. Use the above list as a starting point. If it feels too overwhelming, just take one item from the list and see if it is helpful in creating a more enjoyable sex life. And remember, at its core, the goal of intentionality is to integrate the expression of love through sex into the larger fabric of your relationship.

Whether it’s a “quickie” or a long sexual epic, the intention is the same: the expression of love; the deepening of intimacy; and a shared erotic communication that allows you each to be fully seen, present and accepted.

Wishing you loving passion,

Dr. Rich Nicastro

(Featured [top] image Couples” by Tivery Lucky/