“I would like to say to people, open your eyes and find beauty where you normally don’t expect it.—Jean Paul Gaultier

eyes wide open

Sexual intimacy is about more than just intercourse. In fact, nonverbal behaviors, such as keeping your eyes open during sex, can help cultivate feelings of closeness and connection.

Although it may seem awkward at first, keeping your eyes wide open during sex has several benefits. It can deepen both your sexual and emotional intimacy.

Eye contact during sex can change throughout your marriage, but if you haven’t talked about this recently (or ever) with your spouse, today is your opportunity to start the conversation.

Having sex with your eyes wide open is an interesting concept for three reasons.

First, media rarely portrays people keeping their eyes open during sexual encounters.

Whether it’s in a movie, show, or book, most references to sexual intimacy often include people with their eyes shut. So if you’ve never talked about this subject with your spouse, you may rely on how media describes sex instead of what truly builds intimacy for you two.

Second, you may not know what your face—or your spouse’s, for that matter—looks like during sex. You may hesitate to open your eyes because you’d prefer both of you to keep your eyes closed.

Third, looking into someone’s eyes requires vulnerability.

As the phrase goes, eyes are the window to the soul. Eye contact brings the two of you into each other’s world while having sex. It can lead to a deeper and more meaningful interaction, but that can also feel overwhelming.

Within the ONE Family, 85% of you say that, at times, you make eye contact during your sexual intimacy.

It is okay if you’re not in that group. You can use this information to jumpstart a conversation with your spouse about what it would look like to incorporate eye contact into your sexual intimacy.

There are aspects to keeping your eyes wide open during sex that can be both easy and hard.

For example, eye contact might be easy because it’s a way to communicate that you are enjoying each other and the experience. Eye contact can make you feel increased trust or love. You may enjoy it simply because it makes the encounter feel more passionate or sexy.

On the other hand, eye contact during sex can also feel awkward or unnatural. You might worry about what your face looks like to your spouse if you can see their reaction. It may feel too vulnerable. Or you might fear it will take away from the experience.

Let’s clear the air about the awkwardness of eye contact during sex.

Yes, it may seem awkward at first. However, it’s possible sexual intercourse once felt awkward for the two of you as well.

When you continue to practice keeping your eyes wide open during sex, you become more comfortable. As a result, you can reap the benefits of increased closeness and connection (in other words, intimacy).

To help encourage you to have this conversation with your spouse, the ONE Family provided insight on what they wish their spouse knew about making eye contact during sex.

The answers reflect a range of opinions and emotions.

For example, some shared that eye contact makes them feel loved, seen, connected, and desired. It can make the sexual encounter seem hot and powerful.

For others, eye contact during sex feels scary, or they’re uncertain they can do it.

Some people are excited to increase their eye contact and want to try new positions that make it possible. Others are concerned it might not be for them.

You and your spouse might fall anywhere along this spectrum. But you’ll never know until you have the conversation.

Ask questions to determine what you and your spouse enjoy and what could increase intensity. For example, “How would you feel if I looked you in the eyes during sex?”

This conversation can build your emotional intimacy while discussing an action that can benefit your sexual intimacy.

Now, you won’t figure everything out in one conversation. In fact, it’s important to discuss new strategies, try things out, and then reassess frequently. In addition, your level of eye contact during sex will probably change from time to time.

Ultimately, though, keeping your eyes wide open during sex can be a tool in your toolbox to strengthen your connection and deepen your 6 Pillars of Intimacy®.


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