I haven’t loved a movie as much as I did Hope Springs in quite a while. It was the sometimes painfully realistic portrayal of what happens in a marriage or any relationship when the people involved stop saying the hard things that need to be said. More painful still are the myriad of ways that people stop touching each other, both in the early stages of discomfort with their own sexuality and in the latter stages of anger and resentment for not being wanted sexually. Meryl Streep plays the beautiful, wounded wife to the angry and unreachable Tommy Lee Jones.
Good Clean Love was requested to provide samples for the opening night of this film and I am grateful that our message was shared for this story of tapping into the healing power of intimacy. Unlike many Hollywood versions that reduce sex to the lowest common denominator of passionate animal lust, Hope Springs depicts the painful locks we put on our need to touch and be held: the trembling hand as we move forward, in fear of what our sexual needs and desires say about us.
Like this couple, too many of us give into the exhaustion that this high level work of becoming an adult in your significant intimate relationships demands. We give up on our sexuality or on the sexual potential of our partnership because it takes so much courage and wholeheartedness to claim it. The distancing that comes from holding someone so far from your heart is what evolves into the myriad of resentment connections that take over silently in what was once our most vulnerable heart.
Telling a true story about the sexual life you want starts as we see in Hope Springs with the courage to reveal your sexual self to yourself and to your partner. It demands authentic conversations and a willingness to explore both pleasure and our discomfort with moving towards pleasure. If your sex life needs more juice, start with searching for your own inner juices and then be willing to share them with the person you love.
Having a great sex life that matures and grows in passion is a direct result of building intimacy into all the everyday aspects of life.