The Position (but not what you think)

When you say to someone, “I have your back,” then “the position” is the physicality of that.

“The position” is an attachment posture for problem-solving, planning or visioning, doing a 10/10 conversation, foreplay for love-making, watching TV, or simply resting. It provides a maximum amount of physical contact without the necessity or even the intention of sex. It is not about coercion; it is about support and affection. It is about dreaming of something better. It is about having someone’s back. It is not a face-to-face encounter.

I often recommend this posture for couples that have low intimacy or who seldom share sex. The position lines life up, merges intentions, welcomes the future.

Vertically we call it “the position” but horizontally it is called “spooning.” Both are postures for caring intimacy.

Everyone needs support sometimes; everyone needs someone who has their back. The position builds a couple’s “emotional bank account” when there have been too many withdrawals or when there is a threat of emotional bankruptcy. The back person strengthens the front person, as the front person rests into the support person.

The back person (man or woman who provides the support) has their arms surrounding the resting person (in the front). The support person’s arms and hands can be held or directed by the front partner to touch and hold in the way that they wish. Couples find this directed touch to be both soothing and erotic.

It is a good practice to switch between being the support person and being the supported one. Say 5 minutes and then switch.

Both are facing in the same way. Rather than being a face-to-face encounter, the position soothes rather than challenges. It allows for seeing in the same direction. It reduces the intensity of conflict or fighting. It builds trust.

I have found that men love to be in the supported position — it is not just a female thing. Both can support and both need support.

See the link on my idea of a “10/10” daily conversation. Combining the position and the 10/10 is about emotional sanity.

10/10 — A Sanity Prescription

Ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the evening. This is a sanity prescription. 10 minutes talking to yourself, journaling your thoughts, praying or pondering before you get on with the busyness of your day.

Works well in your marriage too. 10 minutes of face-to-face conversation at (say) 7 am and 10 pm. In the morning, sharing your emotional geography as you anticipate your day. And in the evening, catching up your partner on your thoughts and experiences for the hours in between. Researchers tell us that “great couples” have at least 20 minutes of conversational intimacy every day. And in a month, you have enjoyed 4200 minutes (7 hours) of intimacy. More than many couples have in 5 years.

By the way, doing 20/20 is usually way too much. Keep it brief and important.

Here is what you can do in your 10/10. Try an ancient Ignatian discernment practice: consolations and desolations.  If you want to dump the Catholic part, call it roses and thorns. Either way, look at the events that are opportunities (consolations) for growth and wisdom and those interruptions (desolations) that make your worry and ruminate.

This is sanity. It is about thinking rather than ruminating; planning rather than obsessing; creating intimacy rather than avoiding and hiding.