If you don’t like what you’re getting,
change what you’re giving.

8 Keys to Deeper Connection. Greater Intimacy. More Passion.


will undoubtedly spice up your relationship, and we’ll get to that. But intimacy starts with emotional connection and fulfillment.

Here’s the rub. Women want to feel an emotional connection to have sex. Men want to have sex to feel an emotional connection.

If you want to keep it hot, it is not about you, you must become other-centered. You have to get out of your own head and lean into the heart of your partner. You have to treat your partner the way THEY want to be treated. What does that look like?

Men, if you want her to open up to you, if you want her passion and feminine energy, you have to start with what turns her on emotionally. Seems easy enough, right? But if you’re honest, the things that make a woman feel emotionally connected don’t necessarily compute in the male brain.

Here are some examples:

Women want to feel an emotional connection to have sex. Men want to have sex to feel an emotional connection.

  1. Women want to feel understood.

This starts with being interested and listening with your whole self. Let her talk and vent if she needs to, but don’t try to fix her. Most of the time, she doesn’t need your incredible problem-solving skills. She wants you to feel it with her, not fix it for her.

The problem for many men is that men are hunters and wired to bag their prey. So when a woman simply needs to talk and not be fixed, men shift into problem-solving mode. Men tend to listen to identify a problem; once they see a direct line of sight to the solution, they interrupt with, “Here’s what you need to do?” This approach kills the connection.

When a woman doesn’t feel understood, she closes up, becomes cold and distant. If you fail to pick up on her emotional cues, she’ll psychologically and emotionally check-out, and slowly but surely, she will disconnect emotionally and… physically.

She wants you to feel it with her, not fix it for her. 

Men, learn to see through her words and beyond her actions and moods. Listen to understand, not solve, ask a lot of questions, probe to clarify, and validate her feelings. When she feels validated, she feels understood. When she feels understood, she’ll open up and relax into you. Do this well, and you put a weld on the bar of intimacy.

Learn to see through her words and beyond her actions and moods. Listen to understand, not solve.

2. Women want to be seen.

That means when you are there, be there, 100 % checked in. Don’t be somewhere else. Turn toward her and give her your undivided attention; look into her eyes; the eyes are the windows to the soul.

Whether it’s the television, phone, or tablet, how much screen time do you log every day? It’s an important question because when your nose is in the phone, she feels invisible. When you ignore her ideas and opinions, she feels dismissed. When you come up from the TV and want sex, she feels objectified.

Presence. It’s one of the greatest gifts you give your partner. Essentially, it’s saying, “If I’m here, I’m not anywhere else because you are my highest priority.”


If I’m here, I’m not anywhere else.

I could be many places, but I chose to be here and nowhere else.

I said “no” to everything and everyone else in the world

to be with you here, now,

because you are my highest priority.

Presence. It’s one of the powerful ways you say, “I love you.”

You are present when you notice the little things—the things that you usually fail to see. They might not be a big deal to you, but they are to her.

You are present when you get very specific about what you admire in her and tell her.

  • You are present when you tell her how great she looks in a particular dress or pair of jeans or when she looks at you that way. A woman can see 600 ads a day telling her what a beautiful figure should look like and why she’s not enough. Your genuine compliments about her appearance, behaviors, insights, and attitudes will counterbalance the toxic messaging she is bombarded with every day.
  • You are present when you say “thank you” for the little, taken-for-granted things she does for you and your family every day. And when you tell her how grateful you are for the big things that have enriched your life.
  • You are present when you make her feel cherished and desired. The way you touch her, the way you look at her, the way you hold her hand, put your hand on her thigh when you are driving, or lay your hand on the small of her back when introducing her to someone new; it all says, “You are desirable, you are cherished.”
  • Presence means noticing all these things and more. Notice how selflessly she cares for the family. Notice that she is the belle of the ball. Notice how respected she is by her colleagues. How grateful you are for how she manages her parts of the house. Notice how committed she is to her workouts and wellness. Notice what matters to her!

3. Women want to be safe.

Women want to be with someone who makes them feel safe. Someone they can be themselves with. Someone with whom they don’t have to pose and self-protect. Someone they don’t have to walk on eggshells around—someone who loves them unconditionally.

Your woman wants you to man up without being autocratic, domineering, or over-controlling. When you are strong and decisive, she feels safe. When you are weak and wishy-washy, she feels anxious.

She wants to trust your strength, but be careful. This is not a power over kind of strength, it is a power to protect her, empower and enrich her. It is about using power for her well-being.

Life is messy and unpredictable. A woman always wonders, “Who will you be in a crisis?” When shit hits the fan, do you fall apart under pressure, or are you a rock in the storm? Trust is what hangs in the balance.

Who will you be in a crisis? When shit hits the fan, do you fall apart under pressure, or are you a rock in the storm?

Trust is what hangs in the balance.

Your woman wants to know that you have the strength to handle whatever she shows you—especially when she’s being vulnerable and uncensored. She wants to know that you will treat it with respect, not criticism.

Your woman feels safe when she knows she can count on you, when you do what you say you will do, and when you are consistent. Be reliable. Be her rock. Because when you do, she is much more likely to relax and wrap herself up in you physically.

4. Women want to be anticipated.

Do you know what’s exciting and captivating? Knowing that someone you care about has been thinking about you long before you show up. Who doesn’t want to be thought of fondly when they are away from the person they love?

Anticipation can be as simple as making your spouse a cup of coffee in the morning.

Anticipation is shopping, seeing something for your spouse, and picking it up for her, just to say, “I was thinking about you.”

Anticipation is when your woman calls you from the car on the way home, tells you that she’s had a rough day, and then, you have a bubble bath with candles and a glass of wine waiting for her.

Do you want to know how to turn your partner on? Anticipate her needs and then surprise her with small and sometimes big gestures. Make her feel like your priority.

To be noticed. To be loved. To be anticipated. To be fought for. To be chosen. These are the desires planted in every woman’s heart.

Okay, let’s switch gears and talk about 

what men want.

5.  Men want to be appreciated.

The question nagging every man throughout his life is, “Do I have what it takes?” First, he has to answer that question with God and himself, but you can participate.

Men may put up a façade, but they, too, are tender inside. They need reassurance about everything from career moves to their sexual efficacy. Your man needs to hear your approval and praise. He needs to know that you admire him. That you are attracted to his gifts and talents and accomplishments.

The question every man asks:

Do I have what it takes?

Men need the freedom to move. You can support this by giving him ownership and the freedom to care and take charge, not by micromanaging. By tapping his insights and showing him that you value what he brings to the table.

This is easier said than done because the female brain is wired for safety. You might think you are coaching your man when you tell him what to do and how to do it, but he doesn’t see it that way. When you try to control him (under the guise of “just trying to help”), what’s really going on? In many cases, you’re trying to quell your anxiety and meet your need for safety and certainty. You’re trying to control the outcome.

From your man’s perspective, he feels micromanaged. In a relationship, no one wants to be managed, let alone micromanaged. “Coaching” could be seen as criticism. He will feel inadequate, thinking you don’t believe in him or trust him if it is. This is one of the reasons men shut down or check out emotionally. It kills connection. It destroys intimacy and drives a wedge between you.

When you “just try to help” he may feel inadequate and micromanaged, thinking you don’t believe in him.

Now, please understand us. We believe authentic, honest conversation, tough love, and conflict are part of every healthy relationship. Men should be willing to engage in the kind of dialogue where their women can speak the truth in love and kindness.

Your praise and appreciation aren’t about falsely stroking his ego; it’s about showing him that he does have what it takes. So ladies, let’rip, your approval, and appreciation will help him feel loved.

6. Men want to be wild at heart.

Women often fall in love with men who are adventurous and dangerous. Dangerous in an attractive sense. After all, every adventure involves some kind of physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual danger, right? Otherwise, it wouldn’t be an adventure.

Here’s an interesting phenomenon. A woman falls in love with a man who is confident and wild at heart. Then, she becomes threatened by his wild side and tries to tame him after they’ve committed to spending their lives together. It makes sense. He draws her out into uncharted waters and stormy seas where she feels uncomfortable, especially in lieu of settling down, buying a house, having kids, and then being responsible for real obligations. Without even being conscious of it, she begins to “manage” his wild at heart spirit to exert control and find her way back into a safe harbor.

You wake up years later, and you’ve successfully managed your man into a “really nice guy” who is responsible, sensitive, disciplined, faithful, diligent, and dutiful. Who could argue with these qualities? Except for the fact that men are hardwired with three deep-seated desires:

  • a noble, worthy battle to fight,
  • an adventure to live, and
  • a beautiful woman to rescue and protect.

Ever since the beginning of time, these three things have been at the core of every epic story, every fairytale, and every box office hit. Why? Because they touch something deep in the soul of a man.

But if a man becomes too tamed and domesticated, he will become restless, like a caged lion. That edginess will often surface in unbecoming ways: anger, rage, addictions, or the more silent versions, resignation and indifference. He will resent feeling controlled and look for ways to rediscover his former self. And, the woman he’s married to will eventually wonder, “What happened to the strong, confident guy I fell in love with? What happened to our marriage?”

His wild heart enables him to fight for and defend you, to step up to what marriage and family will ask of him, and to take ownership of his life.

Men are wild at heart. Stop tolerating and taming his spirit; you will win his heart by encouraging him to get out and do the things that test his mettle, that feed his masculinity. That show him he has what it takes. And here’s the thing, he can do this with you, with other men, and with you and other couples. It doesn’t have to be exclusive.

Women, keep in mind, it is his wild heart that enables him to fight for and defend you, to step up to what marriage and family will ask of him, and to take ownership of his life. If you love him and accept him for who he is—wild at heart—his heart will be yours.

7. Men want to be heroes.

Nothing makes a man want to be heroic more than the woman he loves. He wants to be the one who can give you all the things you need. He doesn’t want you to have to look elsewhere to find the meaning, significance, fulfillment, and love he wants to give you.

Being heroic. It might be more powerful for men than money, sex, or power. We’re not talking about heroic as macho, or Superman saves all. We’re talking about heroic in terms of making a difference in the world—especially your world.

Being heroic.

It might be more powerful for men than money, sex, or power.

Think about what it means to be a hero. A hero serves. A hero fights against the world’s inhumanities and does not cave under pressure. A hero loves and, in love, acts on the belief that someone’s life is more important than their own life.

Heroes wrestle hope out of despair and show us what we are capable of by accomplishments that go far beyond what circumstances allow. Heroes show us the greatness of which the human spirit is capable and the heights to which we can rise.

Heroes are remembered not for what they got

in life–honor, wealth, fame, or power–but rather for what they gave.

Heroes sacrifice without hesitation. They are remembered not for what they got in life—honor, wealth, fame, or power—but rather for what they gave.

Defined this way, is it any wonder that your man wants to be a hero in your eyes? Your man wants to know that he is needed, that you need him. Not in an ego-driven, dysfunctional, or co-dependent kind of way, but in a way that says, “You stretch me. You make me stronger. You show me what we are capable of together.” Make him feel heroic, and you will win his attention, loyalty, love, and commitment.

In a world where women becoming increasingly more self-sufficient and more independent, women may find this need dated or irrelevant. But there’s a fine line between building your self-confidence without undermining his, between being independent and inadvertently communicating that you don’t need his help. It requires a balance. Healthy relationships are the result of two interdependent people, two people who complement, strengthen and complete one another.

That said, so much is satisfied in men when they feel like heroes. If you praise your man when he steps up for you or your family, you will make him feel heroic—bigger than life. Nothing makes a man come more alive than a woman who says, “You are indispensable, you are MY hero.”

There’s a fine line between building your self-confidence without undermining his. Healthy relationships are the result of two interdependent people.

8. Men want to be affectionate.

Generally, it’s harder for men to express their feelings and emotional needs, so sometimes their partners don’t fully understand them. The result is their needs aren’t often acknowledged or addressed. It’s a common misperception that women crave affection—closeness, connection, emotional intimacy—more than men. Not true. Men want to feel connected and loved just as much as women. The research shows that men are more satisfied in relationships where their partners are affectionate.

Like women, men love to be touched, but it doesn’t have to be sexual. It could be a simple touch when you walk past him, a shoulder brush, a pat on the butt, or a hand squeeze that reaffirms your physical and emotional connection.

It’s a common misperception that women crave affection—closeness, connection, emotional intimacy—more than men.

Not true.

If you come up from behind your man and wrap your arms around him, if you run your fingers through his hair while watching television, if you touch him under the table, if you massage his neck and back, if you kiss his neck, you are delighting him. None of these acts are necessarily sexual, but they send a powerful message, “I love you. I care about making you happy.”

There is a difference between a sense of sexual connection and sex.

Men want to have sex more than women. Well Yes! Tell us something we don’t already know. Okay, here it is. There is a difference between a sense of sexual connection and sex (if you define sex by intercourse). Men want both, but a man will often initiate sex to ensure you are sexually interested in him. That is, if your man touches you romantically, in the kitchen or in bed, your willingness to engage—with a touch, a stroke, a six-second kiss—could be enough to make him feel loved simply because you are available and responsive. Simply behaving in a way that says, “I’m here, I’m interested, I’m all yours,” might be precisely the kind of affection he desires.

Let’s go back to keeping it HOT!

Outside the bedroom matters. Keeping it hot is more than five minutes of foreplay. It’s about showing affection and growing connection long before intercourse.

We’ve just scratched the surface in unpacking women’s and men’s needs. But when you make a woman feel understood, safe, seen, and anticipated, you make some huge deposits in her emotional bank account. She can relax and melt into you. When she is relaxed, she can open up to you in all the ways that matter for an incredibly sensual encounter.

If you make a woman feel understood, safe, seen, and anticipated, she can open up to you in all the ways that matter for an incredibly sensual encounter.

When a man feels appreciated, accepted for being wild at heart, heroic, and affectionate, you tee up his masculine core. You allow him to bring to you (physically and emotionally) the full weight of everything you find sensual about him.

If you are firing on all cylinders in these deep-seated needs, try taking your flirtatiousness to a new level. No matter how long you’ve been together, flirting with your partner builds up desire and creates anticipation. If you are affectionate throughout the day, you won’t hit the bedroom cold. You’re already warmed up for excitement, playfulness, and intensity.

Flirting is powerful foreplay. A world-class athlete warms up; they wouldn’t think about going into an event cold, and you shouldn’t either. Teasing your partner throughout the day with an affectionate call or text is another way to inspire desire. You have to figure out what works (more or less x-rated) for you, but here are ten primers:

  • Excited to be with you later,
  • Thinking about you and want you to know I’m all in,
  • The thing I love most about you is…,
  • I want you to know how much I admire you for…,
  • The thing about you I’m most grateful for is…,
  • Wishing I could hold your hand right now… or more,
  • I’m imagining what would happen if you were here right now,
  • Hopping in the shower. Will you join me?
  • I love it when you wear that…,
  • Can’t wait to wrap my arms around you.

The ideas in this post are certainly not exhaustive….

But if you’re both willing to turn up the heat on meeting each other’s needs, you will feel more connected, desire will grow and you’ll be fanning your relationship flames.

And here’s the thing. When you are willing to change what you give, you’ll change what you get. Knowing what pleases and draws your partner in is key to keeping it hot. Maybe it’s the oxytocin. Perhaps it’s the euphoria of becoming one. Maybe it’s the feeling of being loved so intimately. Whatever it is, when your passion for your partner rises to the level of hot and sensual, it is so much more meaningful and far more fulfilling.