Asking For A Friend is the series where we answer the questions you don’t want to ask.
Picture this: you’re having steamy, passionate sex with your partner, but every time you try to gaze into their eyes, they’re closed.
If this is something that happens every time you make love with your partner, it’s understandable that you might feel a little uncomfortable.
We place a lot of importance on eye contact, particularly when it comes to dating and relationships — and it makes sense.
Research has shown that holding eye contact leads to increased ‘feelings of passionate love, dispositional love, and liking’ for their partner.
Without it, Gigi Engle ACS, a certified sex educator and lead intimacy expert at 3Fun tells Metro.co.uk, some people may be left feeling insecure or disconnected from their partner.
‘Many people find eye contact during intimacy to build closeness, and when someone’s eyes are closed, you may lose this,’ she says.
That said, there is nothing inherently wrong with closing your eyes during sex. It may help some people feel more connected to their body, less anxious and able to focus.
It could even be that, as Gigi explains, your partner may be conditioned to close their eyes during intercourse.
‘They may have closed their eyes during their first sexual experiences and now do it automatically,’ she says.
The actual problem isn’t that your partner keeps their eyes closed, it’s that it makes you feel a type of way (which is also completely valid, fyi).
‘It’s OK to feel discomfort around it, but ask yourself why you feel this discomfort,’ says Gigi.
‘What is coming up for you? What is this triggering in you?
‘Exploring why something is making us have a negative reaction can help us take ownership of our own feelings — and be able to articulate how we’re feeling to our partner.
‘Because it isn’t that they are doing anything wrong, they are doing something that is impacting you and your emotions.’
How to navigate this with your partner
So what’s the solution? As always, a healthy dose of communication is likely to do the trick.
Explain to your partner how it makes you feel when they close their eyes during sex, and try to unpack where that’s coming from without putting any blame on them — and find out why your partner likes to close their eyes in the first place.
‘Usually, if you can explain to a partner why you prefer a certain thing during sex, you can make a lot more sense of it,’ says Gigi.
The next stage is compromise: maybe your partner can open their eyes sometimes, and close them only when they need to focus, or maybe, as Gigi suggests, you can find other ways to feel connected to each other during sex, like using dirty talk.
Finally, remember that we often project our insecurities and beliefs onto people, especially our partners.
Try not to make the fact that they close their eyes all the time about you, and find a way to enjoy sex with your partner regardless of your differences. It would be boring if we all did it the same way, anyway!
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