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Five Ways to Connect With Your Partner Through Play

by Kathryn Kos
Home/Blog/Protect Your Mental Wellbeing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Valentine’s Day was yesterday, and it got me thinking: one thing that I’ve noticed as a culture is that we tend to value doing vs being in our relationships. When it comes to Valentine’s Day there is this underlying expectation for things like roses, chocolate, jewelry, and orgasm. Not sex, but orgasm. Our love lives becomes centered around outcome driven acts, based on cultural expectations surrounding relationships. “Doing” solely based on the need to be doing what is expected. 

This creates a major disconnect.

What’s more important than outcome driven sex with the need for an orgasm at the end? Just being together and connecting in more intimate ways, without that expectation to be doing! Couples having more fun with each other, playing in a more primal way, vs. this undercurrent of needing to perform and “do” in the bedroom. Just that tone of needing to “perform” puts pressure on both people, and can make the experience of intimacy and connection far less satisfying. When you take away the outcomes and expectations, deeper connections can be formed. True intimacy can happen. Magic.

Playing with your partner (either solely playing to be playful, or playing before sex), helps to establish a deeper more meaningful connection in ways much more satisfying than dark chocolate and a single orgasm ever will! Consider orgasm to be an extra dollop of frosting on an already frosted cake. The piping around the edges of the frosting. That’s all. Not necessary, but super sweet if you happen to get a piece with some on. Enjoy the process of playing together and being in the moment, rather than needing an outcome. This change in mindset, can create a much richer experience for the both of you!

Here are Five ways you can connect with your partner this Valentine’s Day, through primal play. All of these ideas involve making eye contact with your partner…which makes us vulnerable…which creates real connection. Boom!

1. Acro Yoga

Acro Yoga, as the name implies, combines yoga with acrobatics. One partner forms the base, the other partner flies! There are lots of fun YouTube videos teaching the basics on how to safely enjoy acro yoga together. There are also acro yoga classes you can take as a couple listed here. Acro yoga forces you to make eye contact with each other, be in vulnerable positions, communicate with each other, trust each other, be playful, get some movement together, and maybe a few laughs too!

2. Five Minute Staredown

Sit in a comfortable position facing each other. You can both sit with legs crossed, or the female energy can sit on the lap of the male energy, and wrap her legs around his waist, still facing each other (also known as the yab-yum position). Establish eye contact. Keep the eye contact going for 5 minutes, or until a deep connection is made. You can go anywhere from 5-15 minutes. This is actually one of the first steps in the tantric love making philosophy – it allows for us to be seen by our partner. Seeing beyond appearances. Feeling seen helps to break down the emotional barriers we create, and allows for greater connection.

3. Wrestling and Roughhousing

Wrestling or roughhousing together is a super fun and playful way to connect and can lead to some passionate intimacy as well. I’m not talking about a WWF, table-slamming, pile-driving hardcore wrestling match. Nobody needs to get hurt! It’s just a fun way to play around, and even tackle each other down and once again, make that amazing eye contact. Agree to sneak-attacks with your partner for added fun.

4. Meditate Together

Just like in the 5 minute staredown, face each other sitting in a comfortable position. Light some candles. Hold hands, and close your eyes. Breath together in silence for 5 minutes, thinking about what you are thankful for in your relationship. This is a great way to connect in ways other than through eye contact. It’s less vulnerable for those just starting out with deeper intimacy. Feeling each other’s touch, hearing the breathing, breathing in unison. End the session by thanking each other, opening your eyes, and making brief eye contact.

5. Tantric Foreplay

This is where things get a little spicy! In the tantric philosophy, after a deep spiritual connection has been established through eye contact, next comes gentle touch, with the goal of creating a deeper connection with your partner. Tantric sex is healing sex. It allows for the release of emotions, and past traumas which can actually block our ability to handle intimacy. It’s also definitely not what we’re used to in Western culture. The goal is not to bring your partner to orgasm, (although this may happen through heightened experience). The goal is relaxation, and connection. There are also fun/primal ways to play during this time, such as lightly stroking the skin of your partner, trying different touch techniques and textures, and watching your partner react to and experience the many different sensations. It’s slow and methodic, allowing for spiritual connection. It can be slow kissing, gentle caressing, and light touch all over. It can end with or without actual penetration, and still be an amazing experience. And maybe the best part, it can last for hours.

Shhhhhh. What may or may not happen next is between the two of you. Now, go connect with your partner!

Love Fingers photo licensed under the Creative Commons.


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Kathryn Kos

Kathryn Kos

Kathryn is a mama of two boys, and two fur babies. She is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, and a writer. Kathryn is the Community Manager for Enviromedica, and a nutrition blogger over at She has recently shifted her gears, into the realm of personal development, relationships, and sexuality in both her speaking and writing. […]