Understanding the sex ‘tango’ could strengthen and save your relationship
Do opposites attract in bed? Understanding the ‘yin and yang’ of the bedroom is the key to a long-lasting relationship, writes Luisa Tam
When it comes to choosing a partner, are you naturally drawn to someone similar to you or the opposite? There is evidence to support both strategies.
Many of us pine for love that is extraordinary, exhilarating and even unpredictable at times. The theory of opposites attract seems to satisfy our hunger for a thrilling romance or even dangerous love. A seemingly impossible relationship can make us feel alive because we need to fight for it, and the journey to earning this kind of love is the ultimate romantic challenge.
Still, there are experts who vehemently dismiss the idea that opposites attract, claiming it is just a romantic myth. They insist that people are only drawn to those who hold similar views and have similar values to themselves, known as the “birds of a feather” theory. For many people, this comes down to convenience because change is difficult and often unlikely, so they prefer to settle down with partners who they feel are compatible.
While this may work for some, there are people who feel that these compatible relationships lack challenge. There are also relationship experts who will tell you that you should not settle for someone too compatible in terms of their personal traits and qualities.
Holistic love and sexuality coach Linda Moana, founder of Linda Moana Coaching, believes that sexual attraction is based on polarity, meaning two people who feel that inevitable magnetic pull and attraction have opposing sexual energies.
In other words, the more opposed the sexual energies of two people are, the stronger the attraction will be.
She says the “magnetic sexual attraction of opposites” can be described as yin and yang energy, otherwise referred to as masculine and feminine. Moana points out that yang energy represents motivation and being goal-oriented, assertive, external, and fiery.
Yin is a softer energy that can be likened to the state of “beingness”, acceptance and fluidity. Everyone has both energies in different degrees and they are constantly in flux – they ebb and flow – she observes.
“Sexual relationships begin with polarity and must have some degree of polarity to thrive. Each partner has both yin and yang energies which fluxes within the individual and also changes within the relationship. Partners need to cultivate polarity for realms of sexual intimacy to merge. It is a dance, an interplay of each partner’s expression at the moment,” she explains.
According to Moana’s thinking, if two people have a similar polarity (i.e. they both have a “masculine” energy), then the attraction between them will gradually diminish, but if there is a strong difference, the physical attraction will be boosted.
Without polarity, people in long-term relationships become more like good friends or roommates trying to get along. Even equal partnerships need polarity to keep the magnetic attraction, she says.
“Polarity brings a beautiful balance to the relationship. It is like a tango dance, where one leads, the other follows. And together, it is a co-creation of what each cannot do on its own. Unlike [in the] tango, in relationships either partner can be the leader. But from my point of view, if [both parties] want to be the leader, then it causes an imbalance that threatens a relationship’s dynamics,” she explains.
Interestingly, Moana says, in today’s society there is a huge challenge to maintaining polarity as we get stuck in our unconscious patterns of everyday life with its stress and responsibilities, especially when both partners work outside the home.
“Cities have a lot of yang energy and Hong Kong can be an extreme example of [that],” she says.
Moana says we know when we are running low on sexual polarity when there is little or no sexual attraction or intimacy in the relationship. “Over time, the feminine become more yang and, if stuck in this pattern unconsciously, then the sexual energy of the individual will develop a hardness, opposed to beauty, radiance and vivacity, and unable to give and receive love.
“As a result, she may be more controlling and when [she] increasingly takes the lead; it becomes a vicious cycle where she can’t trust her partner to lead. This can then bring an excess of yin energy in the masculine. He becomes more passive, feeling he lacks power in the relationship,” Moana says.
“Our culture, like the developed world, is predominantly achievement-oriented, which is something our children are taught at an early age. But in some schools, children are being taught meditation and mindfulness and that brings more yin energy and better balance,” she says.
We can cultivate our own natural energy, either yin or yang, to keep the passion in our relationship alive, and increase the intimacy and attraction, Moana says.
Cultivation of polarity begins with each partner being their true self. To communicate and form a proper connection, both need to be authentic with each other to feel safe enough to express their true feelings.
For the feminine, there are ways to eliminate excess yang and regain radiance and aliveness. They include breath work and meditation in order to feel and accept all kinds of sensations, emotions and thoughts.
Other practical tips to nurture yin include letting go and embracing complete playfulness and enjoying fun activities like dancing, and spontaneous forms of expression that enliven the senses. This is best done with kindred spirits, like a sisterhood, where they can reflect each other’s radiance and “beingness”, she adds.
As for the masculine, she points out, it is all about how to be more yang and what it takes to be masculine – which, she stresses, does not mean being egotistical, privileged, dominant, abusive and insensitive.
Cultivating yang energy also involves deep meditation, including breath work. As for practical ways to boost yang power, it can be achieved through conscious solitude, spending time in the presence of others with yang energy, or by taking on challenges.
Moana concludes: “Polarity is the basis of sexual attraction, which can foster better connections and facilitate better communication in our relationships. Furthermore, sex can be a source of healing and evolution – of each of the partners, as well as the relationship itself. This happens when we can love someone truly different from ourselves.”
Luisa Tam is a senior editor at the Post