Not the way practitioners of synchronized swimming breathe through their vasoline smiles, but rather the patterns of four lungs finding a middle ground - conscious or unconscious lapsing of two schizmatic rhythms into one; inhales and exhales matched or in on the out stroke to fill the space made by diaphragms and ribcages in a yin-yang of flesh. Oxygen intake levels stabilize with heartbeats and a mutual pulse of comfort is attained, rocking each other gently.

Relax. If you're too excited efforts to regulate breathing to match will result in hyperventilation and panic, mental projection of your need for air into their lungs and if you're exceptionally clever, manipulation of your partner's tactile input to increase their arousal levels and need for air to a rate approaching that of your own. Outside the possible subsidiary rewards of such actions, the distraction from your own state can help you attain the relaxation you steal from them.

Due my my past athletism (tennis, martial arts, swimming) and rather larger frame, I breathe roughly half as fast as my wife under resting conditions.

This means that while snuggling close together, usually before sleep or after prolonged smoochies, our breathing adopts a hypnotic 2:1 rhythm. This is synchronized breathing at its deepest and most meaningful.

The connection our bodies make as we lie there touching as fully as possible calms and relaxes like nothing else I have ever tried.

In the end, however, it is futile. I can't mantain concentration while falling asleep and so the pattern is broken. I usually roll away to my side of the bed, she to hers, and drift away into bliss.

I love it while it lasts, though.

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