This past weekend I was honored to attend a fundraising event for Antioch University, Santa Barbara, featuring a performance of the A. R. Gurney play, “Love Letters.” It was originally a Broadway production in the 1980s, but the stars in the current show—Carol Burnett and Brian Dennehy—had also performed the play in 1993 in Telluride, Colorado! This was truly an iconic performance by two powerful actors.

In addition to being a terrific idea for a fundraiser, this was a timely show for preparing the body, mind, and spirit for Valentine’s Day. Andy and Melissa, the characters in “Love Letters,” had been childhood friends who’d maintained a lifelong correspondence through notes, cards, and letters, which were read back and forth between them onstage. Even though the two had been romantically involved way back when, their lives had gone in different directions with various partners. Nevertheless, over the years, they served as one another’s confidants and, so to speak, “life anchors.”

Through the correspondence, sometimes just informative, other times intimate, the audience learned about the deep bond between these individuals. We only realized the depth of the relationship when at the end, Andy wrote a letter to Melissa’s mother after hearing of her passing. One sees how spiritually connected the two were, although we never found out if they had actually been intimate.

This play is a reminder of the importance of passionate and sexy communication with someone you’ve known for your entire life, or even for just a short period of time. It’s also a reminder of the playfulness of letters, which can be initiated with present-day lovers. E-mail correspondence has taken over our lives, but it might be fun to consider writing an old-fashioned love letter to your beloved.

Writing passionate or sexy letters is one of the many ways a couple can be romantic with one another. Sometimes it’s easier to jot down our feelings without being distracted by looking at the object of our affection. Receiving a passionate love letter allows us to more easily enter into the drama and emotions that are part of an intimate relationship. Every love letter is different and expresses feelings that are unique to the bond between lovers.

The idea of passionate love letters has been around for centuries, but as a literary form, it probably began during the Renaissance period as a way to keep the embers hot even when lovers were not in close proximity to one another. Women in Victorian times often wrote love letters as a way of intimately expressing themselves to their suitors.

Like the characters portrayed by Burnett and Dennehy, some lovers may not even have the opportunity to become intimate, and find that their relationship revolves around letter writing. This was also the case with writer and prophet Kahlil Gibran, who had a 27-year love-letter affair with a schoolteacher.

Here are some tips for writing a sexy, passionate love letter:

  • Remember that the idea is to inform, amuse, explore feelings, and express love.
  • Imagine the person seated across from you. Think about what you’d like to say.
  • While writing, place a photograph of your beloved on your desk.
  • Be honest and sincere.
  • Write from your heart.
  • Make a list of what you love about the person and tell him or her what they are.
  • Be playful.
  • Use terms and scenarios special to just the two of you.
  • End the letter with a tease, or a seductive thought or fantasy.
  • Spray cologne or perfume on the envelope.
  • Seal your envelope with a kiss.

Like a good book, the first lines of letters should be captivating and draw your beloved in. Here are some sexy openings to famous love letters:

  • “I will cover you with love when I next see you, with caresses, with ecstasy.” (Gustave Flaubert to Louise Colet)
  • “You have me completely in your power. I know and feel that if I am to write anything fine and noble in the future I shall do so only by listening to the doors of your heart.” (James Joyce to his wife)
  • “Even when I am in bed my thoughts rush to you, my eternally beloved, now and then joyfully, then again sadly, waiting to know whether Fate will hear our prayer—To face life I must live altogether with you or never see you.” (Beethoven to the Immortal Beloved)
  • “You have been wonderful, my Juliette, all through these dark and violet days. If I needed love, you brought it to me, bless you!” (Victor Hugo to Juliette Drouet)
  • “Please, please don’t be so depressed—we’ll be married soon, and then these lonesome nights will be over forever—and until we are, I am loving, loving every tiny minute of the day and night.” (Zelda to F. Scott Fitzgerald)

Now, pick up your pen and paper and write a sexy love letter. You have a few weeks to perfect it before Valentine’s Day on February 14th!

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