From my column in Body+Soul
Question: I’ve been seeing my new boyfriend for six months. We’re really well suited, in and out of the bedroom, but there’s something troubling me. He doesn’t climax when I go down on him. I’m 32 and haven’t encountered this before. He says he loves what I do, but I’m starting to get a bit of a complex about it. What do you think?
Answer: We’re a little too focused on our sexual KPIs (key performance indicators) in this society. Sex has to ‘achieve’ something, it’s goal-focused, and that goal is orgasm. And not just any orgasm, a very specific peak orgasm. If you don’t achieve that, you haven’t performed up to standard. You’ve failed.
But wait up a moment, that performance approach might be appropriate in the workplace, where there are quotas and deadlines and outcomes to be met – but in the bedroom? Do we need to take that performance focus into our sex lives, with all the pressure and expectation that accompanies it? Where’s the enjoyment in that?
I say a big no to the performance model of sex! Of the countless clients I see with sexual ‘dysfunctions’, the bulk of them are actually perfectly fine,... read more
The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!
To have great sex you need to be able to switch off and focus at the same time: switch off from the rest of the world and focus on what's happening right here and right now. You need to be able to lose yourself into the experience.
One of the main reasons I hear that people have trouble getting in to sex or getting around to sex is that they can't switch off and become present to the connection, so clearly this is a skill that modern people are in need of. Even if you are having decent sex, improving your ability to let go and be present in the experience will make the sex better and better.
So how to learn that skill? Learn to meditate! The better you get at meditating, the easier it is for you to sink in to sex.
It’s that ability to ‘sink in’ to yourself, that deep, calm feeling that’s so good for sex. This is especially so for long-term partners, where the 'va-va-voom let’s-go-for-it-baby' approach, that you might have had in the early days, has waned. Well, let’s face it, when you’ve been... read more
From my column in Body+Soul
Question: My husband of 10 years and I have recently started seeing a marriage counsellor, and I feel like she’s on his side, and our sex life is ruined because of it. Why? Because my husband doesn’t like to kiss deeply, and the counsellor says he doesn’t have to if he doesn’t want to. Kissing has always been a point of contention in our relationship, because I love a good, deep kiss and it seems to me like a cornerstone in sexual intimacy. But now he’s flat-out refusing, and is very smug about it. We started seeing a counsellor because we had drifted apart. Is this the final straw to make me end our marriage completely?
Answer: This is why you should always see a couples therapist who is trained in sexuality as well as relationships. This situation is far more complex than ‘he doesn’t have to if he doesn’t want to’. Can you imagine going to a dietitian because your health was bad, in part because you don’t eat vegetables and being told by the dietitian that you don’t have to eat vegetables if you don’t want to? That would be absurd! We know that vegetables are an essential part of a good diet and... read more
This is a great word that I like to use when talking to couples about how to relate to each other and get in the mood for love-making.
That word is “communing”.
The dictionary defines the verb “commune” as:
- To share one's intimate thoughts or feelings with someone or something;
- To feel in close spiritual contact with someone or something.
It can be a cup of tea and a chat after the kids are in bed. It can be walking to the park together pushing the pram. It can be snuggling up on the couch laughing and watching your favorite TV show. It can be doing a jigsaw puzzle together. It can be taking dessert up to the bedroom and feeding each other while giggling on the bed.
It doesn’t have to involve a lot of verbal communication; it certainly doesn’t have to involve deep and meaningful conversation (although it can lead to that naturally). It... read more
From my column in Body+Soul
Question: I’ve been with my girlfriend for 3 years and we are really happy. Our sex life is fun and experimental, but up until this point monogamous. We’ve shared fantasies about bringing a man (and woman) into bed with us during sex. That’s great, but I think the real thing could be even better. She’s keen but worried about getting jealous. What are some ground rules for a good threesome so that everyone’s happy?
Answer: The thought of a threesome can be very titillating. The prospect of turning that fantasy into a reality though, can be fraught, so you need to be prepared. It’s like any activity that is potentially both thrilling and dangerous – like sky-diving for instance – preparation is key to enjoyment.
For a start, I want to clarify that you don’t need to turn a fantasy into a reality. It can do its job turning you on quite nicely safely in the confines of your mind. Or take it one step further and spice up your sex life by sharing the idea with your partner; telling each other fantasies can be erotically charged without needing to act them out. This is especially true when the fantasy is potentially as dangerous... read more
At my last Couples Retreat in Bali I made the comment to some participants that I don't feel like a woman, I feel like a human in a female body. The shocked reaction came back: "But you're so womanly, you're gorgeous, the epitome of being female, a veritable goddess!"
Which I have to say was definitely very flattering, if a little excessive!
But actually I believe the reason I come across as so "womanly" is that I have balanced my yin and yang, my masculine and feminine, within myself. I simply feel 'human' and then I inhabit a female body. And I have to say I love having a female body! But you know, if I had a male body, I'm not sure I'd feel that different, and I'm sure I'd love having a male body. Because being human and having a body is a pretty cool thing when you think about it. Miraculous actually.
From my column in Body+Soul
Question: I was wondering if you could help me reconnect with my husband as we’re both super stressed from this bushfire season. We live on the South Coast of NSW and our house has been extremely close to the bushfires – over the summer we’ve been evacuated a few times. We’ve been in a state of high stress for a couple of months now, and it’s taken a big toll on our relationship. It feels like my husband has switched to survival mode and can’t or won’t switch back, so there’s no room for emotional or physical intimacy. Is this normal? What can I do?
Answer: I’m sorry to hear the bushfires have had such a big impact on you. Being on high alert for so long, and so repeatedly is terribly stressful. In times of crisis our emotional, mental and physical resources automatically go into survival mode. We are totally switched on and focused, we are fully up-regulated with our sympathetic nervous system pumping. Adrenaline floods our body, our heart rate goes up, our air passages expand, our whole being is primed for fight, flight or freeze.
At times like these, when all our resources are directed towards survival, it is... read more
The neurotransmitter dopamine makes us feel good and positive and upbeat. When we have healthy levels of dopamine we have a positive outlook on life and have energy and motivation - and a better sex drive!
When dopamine levels are low we feel sluggish and down, the world is grey and everything is an effort - including sex.
To increase your sexual desire you need to do things that increase your dopamine levels.
It’s not just big goals though, any small achievement, especially if you take the time to notice it and reinforce the positive feeling will keep your dopamine levels up. In fact, it’s good to keep this in balance so that you don’t have wild fluctuations. So notice all the good positive things in life, take a moment to really appreciate them and keep the positive feelings going.
Exercise is great too. It doesn’t have to be intense, just get up off your butt and go for a walk! Walk to a... read more
... read more
From my column in Body+Soul
Question: "I’ve recently discovered my husband is having an affair. But I’m not upset about it – I’m glad. Glad because I haven’t fancied my husband for years, and this affair means the pressure to have sex has ended. Our love life was good at the start. Three children later though, and the chemistry just isn’t there.
Why don’t I leave him? I like our life together. He makes me laugh, he’s kind, and brilliant with our kids. We live in a nice house and have a buzzing social life. I don’t see why I need to end a perfectly good marriage just because I don’t find him sexually attractive. And I’m not prepared to wreck all our lives for the sake of his bit on the side.
I do feel uneasy though. I’m worried that he might admit his affair (and I’d have no idea how to react), or even worse, fall in love and want to leave the marriage himself. So, what’s my best move here – do I keep looking the other way? Or do I talk to him and work out a new ‘arrangement’ that keeps our marriage solid but our sex lives separate?"
Good sex is like good food. If you want a good meal, you've got two choices.
1) Plan in advance: set a date, go through the recipe books, do the shopping, set time aside for the cooking, start work in a clean kitchen, enjoy the process of cooking, lay a beautiful table, plate the food up well - then you have an amazing meal.
Or, if you want a more ‘spontaneous’ good meal:
2) Have a well-stocked kitchen: plenty of good ingredients in the larder and all the right implements in the cupboards, plus have plenty of practice at throwing things together - then you grab all the right elements to put an amazing meal together at short notice.
It’s the same with sex. If you want a really good encounter you can:
But, if you want a more ‘spontaneous’ good sexual encounter:
2) Have a well stocked ‘love larder’: so that you’ve... read more
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- #310: Cuddle plus – an essential phase of the affection-sex continuum
- #309: Moment-by-Moment Consent
- #308: How To Give (and Receive) An Erotic Spanking
- #307: Three Types of Sexual Communication: Chit-chat, In the Moment & The Debrief
- #306: What I Desire
- #305: Lazy Sex
- #304: It's Not "Needy" to Connect, It's Human
- #303: The Art of the Thrust
- #302: Transformational Erotica
- #301: Sex as Embodied Mindfulness Practice
- #300: So Many Ways to Eat, So Many Ways to…
- #299: Date Night or Date Day?
- #298: Teenage Love-Making
- #297: Turning Sex Lives Upside-Down - It’s My Life’s Work!
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