Don't just expect that if you love someone, intimacy will grow. Intimacy is an art that grows through practice.

In my work, I talk about three stages of sexuality. First-stage sex is selfish sex. It's sex for your own personal pleasure, for your own emotional comfort, for your sense of security—whenever you're using sex to get something back.

We can grow beyond that into the second stage, which is about sharing. It's about mutual respect and a lot of clear communication. But in the second stage, people are so concerned about mutual respect, they tend to hold back their passion a bit.

My work is with third-stage sex, which is about allowing the divine—or true, deep love—to live through your body and your partner's body. I tell people, 'Feel the most amazing moments of love in your life, and realize that this can be practiced with your whole body and heart.'

No one becomes a great artist without practice. That's also true of spiritual sexual practice. The way to grow, no matter how busy you are, is to schedule a time—whatever you can afford—to practice being together. Gaze into your partner's eyes. Learn to breathe together. These are like playing scales on a musical instrument.

Don't just expect that if you love someone intimacy will grow. It does not. Intimacy is an art that grows through practice. So set aside practice times—and don't always expect that time to be great. It may be painful; you may flub up. But you're supposed to be exploring, and it's done with humor.

Learn to touch each other in ways that open your hearts. You can actually develop the capacity to feel when your partner's heart is opening or closing, guarding itself. That's the navigation of spiritual sex: How do I open my partner's heart through love, through touch, through breath?

—David Deida, author of The Way of the Superior Man (Sounds True, 2004)