Want more romance? Want your partner to be more romantic? Want to be more romantic and be able to express your love? Let’s start with thinking about what being romantic even means! Beyond the package deal scripts of Valentine’s Day style romance, what does it mean to be more romantic? How can we approach romance with a fresh lens that reveals the heart of romance that so many of us crave?
On this episode of Speaking of Sex with The Pleasure Mechanics, Chris and Charlotte Rose bring their irreverent wit and wisdom to the perennial topic of romance to try and understand: what is at the heart of romance, and how can we all learn to be way more romantic?
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More Speaking of Sex Episodes About Romance and Long Term Love
- Episode #074: How To Be Romantic
- Episode #168: Romantic Sex
- Episode #191: The Reromanticizing Exercise
Resources Mentioned On This Episode
- Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages
Transcript for Podcast Episode #365: How To Be More Romantic
Podcast transcripts are generated with love by humans, and thus may not be 100% accurate. Time stamps are included so you can cross reference or jump to any point in the podcast episode above. Thanks to our supporters on Patreon for helping to make podcast transcripts possible!
Chris Rose: 00:00 Welcome to Speaking of Sex with the Pleasure Mechanics. I’m Chris.
Charlotte Rose: 00:05 I am Charlotte.
Chris Rose: 00:06 We are the Pleasure Mechanics and on this podcast, we have honest, heartful, soulful, and explicit conversations about sex, love, relationships, pleasure and joy. Come on over to pleasuremechanics.com where you will find our complete podcast archive and visit us at pleasuremechanics.com/free to enroll in our free online course and find ways to dive deeper with us right away. That’s pleasuremechanics.com/free. We are a 100% community-supported erotic education. So if you love what we do, show us the love at pleasuremechanics.com/love.
Chris Rose: 00:52 All right, we’re going to show you the love on today’s episode. We’re talking about romance. Romance. We are approaching Valentine’s Day. The shops are full of red foil hearts and chocolates galore and red rose farms are going crazy snipping those roses that are ecologically disastrous. So, what do we do with romance? What role does romance play in our busy modern lives? In our lives burdened with eco grief and climate change? What about the romance? What role does romance play and what is romance?
Chris Rose: 01:32 Someone the other day referred to me as a highly romantic person and it took me aback for a second because I do not subscribe to the scripts of romance. I said hell no to the package deal of romance when I was a child. But when I looked at it, I was like, yes, I actually am very romantic. If you look at romance anew that’s what we would like to do today. And I think people have so much pressure around wanting and needing to be romantic, but how do we unpack that and make it simpler and doable and feel fun? I think romance now has this reality show hyper real version of it, the package deal of red roses and champagne and candle lit dinners and fancy clothes and this heteronormative cisgender couple eye gazing across the table. The bachelorette version of romance.
Chris Rose: 02:33 And that is supposed to speak to this huge part of the human soul and it does not. And so we feel this emptiness, this saccharin quality to romance, because it has been commodified, and packaged and normalized. And what we want to do in this conversation, is go to the heart of romance. What is romance? If we look at it anew and honor it for some force that we can play with in our lives every day of the year. So, not just for Valentine’s day, but we’re hoping that this episode we’re recording in the first week of February, hoping it catches you in time to make this holiday a little more meaningful for you, and give you the opportunity to put some of this conversation into practice for this holiday.
Chris Rose: 03:24 Whether or not you’re in a “romantic” relationship, whether or not you’re in a sexual partnership, you can play with the force of romance. So what is romance? So, romance to me is very much this process of creating a moment or an event for a beloved, for someone else on purpose to be savored, to be cherished, to be shared, just out of this gesture of love and adoration and wanting to give pleasure to another.
Charlotte Rose: 04:02 So, what I hear you saying is generating a moment or an experience of pleasure on purpose.
Chris Rose: 04:10 For another.
Charlotte Rose: 04:11 For another. Boy you could probably generate, can you generate a romantic moment for yourself?
Chris Rose: 04:15 Well, I think this is something to be explored because I think that’s a different force. I think there’s something about romance that is interpersonal. It can be communal, it could be outside of the dyad of what we traditionally think is romantic relationships. But the thrill of a romantic moment for me, is pleasure on purpose that comes out of this intention of serving and loving and cherishing you. So, it’s a thing that is received and generated and shared. I don’t know. I guess if we get esoteric, I think you could share a romantic moment with the universe as a whole. But I think through this conversation we should really think of it as something we do on purpose for each other.
Chris Rose: 05:03 Because seeking your own pleasure is one thing. Being handed a pleasure, like on a silver platter, here darling, I created this just for you. Whether that’s a gift, and we’ll get into talking about how romance can show up. But a gift, an experience, an event, a sensual experience, a word, like something that you receive from someone else to delight, thrill, surprise, and please you. I think that is worth exploring, and I am willing to call that romance. And as always we turn to the dictionary to look at what they say about romance. And it was actually less prescriptive. They didn’t have a picture of the bachelorette. What it talked about was the mystery and thrill of love. The mystery and thrill and suspense of love. So, how does that play in? So, let’s really operationalize romance so we can do it more.
Chris Rose: 06:03 Because I think what I’m hearing from people, is in our eco grief, in these moments of high stress, we’re craving something from one another, and it’s something we can generate for each other on purpose. So, this is a bit of a call to arms. Let’s all get more romantic with each other and see what happens if we start delighting, thrilling and surprising one another with pleasure on purpose.
Charlotte Rose: 06:29 Beautiful. Because also part of creating romantic moments or experiences is about creating time that is outside of our normal every day life. It’s about taking us out of the ordinary, and hopefully in our life there are many moments of caretaking and loving things that we do for our partners, that show we are in this together and we are caring for one another. But romance has a different element. It takes us beyond that. It is a special generated experience.
Chris Rose: 07:02 So, I think that’s really important. This baseline pleasure in your relationship, the baseline give and take of love and caretaking and nourishment that we hope you fold into all relationships. And then romance comes in to create peak moments within that, to create spikes, to create memorable moments of intensity, of thrill, of delight, of mystery. And in naming that we want to go for peak experiences. We don’t mean it has to be really big.
Chris Rose: 07:36 You don’t have to go for a sky riding event. You don’t have to hire a hot air balloon. It can be really simple. It can be cheap or free. It has to be personal. It has to be curated for the intended object of this romantic gesture. And that’s where the magic is. The more specific you get, the more you are generating this romantic act, gesture, gift out of your exquisite attention. Knowing what will bring your beloved pleasure on their terms. Lavishing, surprising and delighting has to be really specific or it doesn’t land.
Charlotte Rose: 08:22 So, we’re talking about personalization here. We’re talking about you paying attention to your lover over time, over the years, over the months, to really listen for and remember what they like, what they love, what delights them, and taking notes. Have a Google document, do what you need to do to register that and to prime yourself to pay attention for this information, because this is where the thoughtfulness comes in. When you’re able to specifically respond to their pleasures and delights. There’s something so meaningful about that. You may have experienced this in your life, where you’ve been given a gift that just feels so right, that you have been seen, you’ve been paid attention to, and someone notices who you are and what you are about in the world and honors you with a gift that is just right, and that feels so good.
Chris Rose: 09:18 So yeah, personalization matters a lot. And we’re about to talk about five love languages, and then how to get even more personal beyond that, how to get really unique with our romance. But there’s also something that has to be named here, where romance is really about pleasure, sensuality and it has to stay in that realm. You can’t buy someone a vacuum cleaner and expect it to be romantic because it’s not in that pleasurable sensual realm. It’s functional, it’s utilitarian. Perhaps there are some people that would romanticize a vacuum cleaner. But how do we think about this, of staying in that realm of the sensual, the pleasurable?
Charlotte Rose: 09:58 Yes, so many of the examples that are traditional tropes of romance, are about opening the senses, the flowers, the chocolate, the champagne. There is a sensory activation that invites us into the realm of pleasure and connection and presence and paying attention to one another. Because we’re slowing down enough to savour a sense, which then brings us into the present moment so we can be more available to one another.
Chris Rose: 10:28 And the luxury helps there. Luxury beckons us to slow down, which is why the box of truffles, each one is individually wrapped or the champagne you want to sip. So, luxury is one way to slow down and signal that this is meant to be savored. But we can also do that just intentionally, like bringing someone to a bench in your favorite park because the trees are in full bloom, and then you bring out a thermos of their favorite coffee that you have brewed just to their liking. That is not luxurious, but it can be deeply romantic, and we can slow down and savor these things on purpose. Yeah. I just keep wanting to bring us back from romance and creating something special means spending more money, because that is not always the ticket.
Charlotte Rose: 11:21 Totally. I remember one moment where there was a gorgeous tree in bloom, and you said, “Come with me, I have to show you something.” And we went out of our door and we stood under a tree that its petals were all falling from the sky. And it was an exquisite and very romantic and epic sensual moment that definitely cost nothing, but was a beauty and a pleasure that you wanted to share, and created and generated an experience around. When we allow and intentionally use the senses and the sensual to invite us into a state that is not ordinary, we will allow ourselves to go deeper into enjoying and experiencing the moment together.
Chris Rose: 12:09 And this is when we talked about savoring as a practice. When we talk about installing the good as a practice, getting better at pleasure, learning how to experience pleasure, developing our capacity for pleasure, and also for emotional presence and our capacity for feeling, feeling emotions, and feeling physical states. We practice day to day for these peak moments. So, if you have that feast of a lifetime laid out before you, if your partner has gone to great lengths to create this experience for you, we have to then be able to show up for that joyfully. What helps to show up for it joyfully and not let these moments fall flat, are when these moments are curated specifically to our tastes.
Chris Rose: 13:00 So, we are not taking someone who is afraid of heights on a hot air balloon ride. It really is easier to show up for romantic gestures that are curated just for you. So I think it’s important to learn how to do that. And I want to give you a few examples using Gary Chapman’s, The Five Love Languages. We’ll have links in the show notes page if this is not familiar to you. And this is a useful framework to think about five different ways we can show up and love one another, but it’s not limiting. Let’s go beyond this. Let’s find all new love languages. Let’s make fusions. It’s all about figuring out how you can show up in this moment for the person you want to shine some love on, on purpose, and then doing it a little bit bigger and brighter.
Chris Rose: 13:52 And creating these extraordinary moments also then create this arc. We have talked about micro pleasures, so the 62nd pleasure points throughout your day. We also need to create these macro pleasures, peak erotic experiences, peak pleasure experiences, peak emotional experiences throughout our year. And we do this and other realms with holidays, birthdays, there are ways we create moments to celebrate, look forward to, remember and cherish the memories of, to anchor our lived experience into these peak moments. How do we do this in our sexual lives, our romantic lives? How do we create these things that it’s like, Oh, I remember how loved I felt in that moment.
Chris Rose: 14:42 So, how do we do this? We start paying more and more attention to one another. One of the ways we pay attention is to learn love languages. So this is Gary Chapman. He’s a Christian. God bless him. But he has this very lasting framework, of the five love languages, how people give and receive love best. So, the five love languages being gifts, that’s the obvious one. Buy something and stick a bow on it. Quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation and…
Charlotte Rose: 15:22 Touch.
Chris Rose: 15:23 How did I forget that? And touch and physical connection. So, thinking of those five categories, what are romantic gestures you could do once you know how your partner best receives it? Some people love getting gifts, and the perfectly curated gift that hits their pleasure point makes them feel incredibly loved. For other people that falls flat. So let’s get beyond gifts. What’s a romantic gesture in acts of service because the day to day love language of acts of service is, I picked up the dry cleaning without you having to ask. I replaced the milk. I’m bringing you a warm blanket on a cold day. All of those ways we show up and make someone else’s life easier by shouldering a little bit of the burden.
Chris Rose: 16:12 How do we amplify that? What is an act of service that feels romantic and thrilling? But in acts of service romantic gesture might be, let me take you out to dinner. Meanwhile, I have hired someone to come and do a deep clean of our house. And when you come home you are thrilled and surprised by that. Or we’re going away for the weekend and when we come home, my landscaping friend has planted whole new beds of flowers for this season, and I’m going to thrill you with that. It’s about going for that, ah, moment, like you did this for me? How do you get that? When someone wants acts of service.
Chris Rose: 16:54 Words of affirmation. We have to go beyond, love you baby, have a good day. And even, wow, you look really beautiful today. How do we go beyond that? Poetry, song, love letters. Taking ink to paper is one of the most romantic things you can do in the digital age. And if your lover’s love language is words of affirmation, and you are not a writer, go to the library there’s all sorts of books. Or fricking Google, like best love letters of all time. And steal classic love letters and say, when I saw this I thought of you. And then just copy it in your own handwriting, sign your name, and it will count like it’s the doing of the thing and we get better over time with this.
Charlotte Rose: 17:47 And quality time is of course about spending time together, that that is what is most important. Having experiences together hopefully with as little distraction as possible. That creates the most meaningful feeling of being loved.
Chris Rose: 18:04 And so how do you amplify that? If you’re a couple that spends a lot of time together. It’s going beyond the ordinary and perhaps this is where anchoring it into a shared experience, an event where you are having to learn a new skill together. Something like a cooking class, would be really good here because it forces you to not only spend that time together but deeply engage during that time. And quality time people love that stuff. And then touch. If touch is your love language and you cuddle every night. How do you amplify that? How do you make that thrilling? Well, we have a lot to say about that realm. But this is where something like an erotic massage, where you are carving out an entire hour or two to pamper someone with an entire erotic experience start to finish. So it goes beyond the cuddles and it’s like, I am inviting you into this experience. Come with me baby. I want to pamper you soulfully.
Chris Rose: 19:06 So, how do we amplify all of this? And then how do we get beyond these constructs of the five love languages, and just deeply pay attention to our partner at this moment in their life, and at least once a day, ask yourself, how can I generate pleasure for my beloved? How could I make their life a little more thrilling, joyful, pleasurable, erotic, sexy, whatever realm you want to take it in. What do they need right now? That goes beyond the day to day love and caretaking that is the lifeblood of a relationship. All of that is super important. How do we create moments of peak pleasures? How do we elevate it and amplify it for one another? And when I say peak, peak can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, I’m talking about amplifying it. And just like it’s important to know how to personalize. So, what the pleasure is, what the gesture is, what the amplifier is, is also important. Is that intensity, is that surprise, is that thrill, is that novelty.
Charlotte Rose: 20:13 Is that drama. There is this other element that we’re adding in that creates the non-ordinary state and a not ordinary experience. And it is a little extra, that adds to the epicness, adds to the interest and intrigue. And different people will be most excited about different elements here. Some will really love surprise or mystery. Others will really go for thrill and drama. Depends on your relationship and your propensities, but it’s something to think about. That it’s one element that really makes something different than regular life. So play with that element and see what you are longing for, and what your partner may be longing for, and use this knowledge to choose how to amplify the experience together.
Chris Rose: 21:01 Right. You can create peak experiences through duration, intensity, surprise, novelty. There’s all sorts of ways to create peak experiences. So, in the personalization, there’s these factors of, what you’re offering, what is the romantic gesture, and how do you amplify it in a way that will land and be received? So, this is all about really creating a very specific gift that you are offering. And that’s what makes it romantic because it is for you. Birthday parties are not romantic because they are group celebration that’s for everyone. So, even if one person is the center of attention, that entire experience is not just for you. There is something about romance that puts your desires, your pleasures, your thrill, your enjoyment at the center. And then says, let me savor this with you.
Chris Rose: 22:00 It’s delicious. And I think that we could all use more of it in our lives. It doesn’t just have to be within a sexual, romantic relationship. You can be more passionate and romantic with your friends and find ways to amplify pleasure with and for each other. That is a romantic vision I can get behind. All right. We will see you next week, on Valentine’s day, for another episode of Speaking of Sex. If you are looking for ways to amplify your ability to show up with touch, with your hands, with the erotic experience, we invite you into our mastery courses.
Chris Rose: 22:41 You can find them all at pleasuremechanics.com. Use the code, Speaking of Sex for 20% off the online course of your choice. Come on over to pleasuremechanics.com we love hearing from you. We will be featuring our first voice memo from a listener on an upcoming episode. If you have something you want to say about Pleasure Mechanics, how our ideas have touched your life, a question you want us to wrestle with on a future episode, record us a voice memo on the device of your choice. They all have voice memo apps now, and email that over to us at chris at pleasuremechanics.com or charlotte @ pleasuremechanics.com. Share your beautiful voices with us. Let us know how this work is touching you. What’s going on for you? We love to hear from you. I’m Chris.
Charlotte Rose: 23:33 I’m Charlotte.
Chris Rose: 23:34 We are the Pleasure Mechanics.
Charlotte Rose: 23:36 Wishing you a lifetime of pleasure.
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