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Connection: The Second Component of Great Sex

by Dr. Barb DePree MD

We’ve talked about how crucial mindfulness--being mentally and emotionally present in the moment--is to enjoying great sex, sex that is “better than good,” as reported in a study recently published in The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality.

I like to think of “connection,“ the study’s second ingredient of optimal sex, as “mindfulness times two.” Connection is what happens when both partners are present together: in bed, in the moment, in each other. As one study participant describes it: “Inside my body I’m the other person’s body and we’re just all one together at that moment.”

This sense of merging, of “two becoming one,” was regularly cited as part of the experience of great sex, which has to involve “at least one moment,” as one woman said, “where I can’t tell where I stop and they start.”

I believe that this kind of intense sexual alignment is something that becomes more accessible to us as we get older. Part of our maturity is greater acceptance of self and others, which leaves us more open to making a deep physical and spiritual connection with another person. To experience the joy of merging, of temporarily letting go of the sense of any boundary between the self and the other, a person has to know herself well--and feel safe and respected by her partner.

Which brings me to two great impediments to sexual connection: unsafe relationships and sexual trauma. If you have reasons for not feeling completely safe with a particular partner, or if you have a history that leads you to feel unsafe whenever you are in a sexual situation, you’ll need to address these issues before you can experience intense connections in intimate relationships. There are resources that can help.

But for two self-aware people who respect and desire each other and who are capable of being completely present with each other in the moment, a deeply satisfying sexual connection can happen even without penetration or orgasm. The study’s authors report that great sex is often more about the level of energy between partners than about the actual physical act itself. (Check out our website’s alternatives to intercourse for imaginative techniques for increasing sexual energy and connection.)

Have you experienced these moments of sexual oneness? What were the circumstances? We’d love to hear your stories!


  • I have definately experienced this oneness. I remember feeling like I wanted us to “melt” into each other. It is absolutely amazing!! The emotional intimacy doesn’t feel threatening to your independency at all.

    Joy on

  • Although I haven’t yet experienced the “oneness” described here, I appreciate the potential behind it. You’ve given me something to work towards. Thanks for sharing!

    flatoutfree on

  • I must meditate on this. My partner is safe & loving — but I have a great need to be independent, an individual in my own right. It makes it hard to want to become “one” with anybody else. I’m not sure I’ve found that in the context of sex.

    Reka on

  • Hi Dr. Barb,
    I have been hearing about the computer game “Bliss” for lovers. Have you heard / seen anything about this game? I would love to hear back from you or your subscribers about this game. I am thinking about purchasing the game for a Christmas gift for my partner.


    Sandy on

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