Your brain is your biggest sex origin so there is no way to have a conversation about improving any part of your sex life that does not begin with how you think, how you feel and how you communicate your needs. There are almost an infinite number of ways to improve your sex life and today we will look at a couple.

Say what?

You can’t tell someone else what you like if you don’t know.  It is difficult to learn without experimentation.  A common misconception is that if you enjoy watching it and/or fantasizing about it, you’ll enjoy doing it.  While that may be a good place to start, it may not be true.  Often when we fantasize about something we underestimate the unknowns.  

It’s important to explore on your own.  Yes, I’m referring to masturbation.  While the experience will be different with a partner, it’s important to know what you like on your own in order to communicate it to a partner.

Finding a partner that will listen.  I don’t think I can emphasize this enough…  If you can’t tell the other person(s) what you want and/or they don’t listen, RUN- don’t walk away.  

Safe, Sane and Consensual

In her book, “Science of Sexual Happiness” (a title that I continue to find irksome because there is little to no science in it) the author K. Jesse does have one exercise that I really enjoyed.  In it, she has a couple take turns asking for things and telling each other ‘no’ for three minutes.  The idea is that both partners gets used to hearing and saying ‘no’ in safe way.

Emily Nagoski, author of “Come As you Are” and recently a workbook in support of that book (which I haven't had a chance to read just yet, uses the phrase, "safe, sane and consensual."

I'm hoping the 'safe' is self explanatory but just in case... She means it's a good idea to have safe sex and be thoughtful about your partner. It is important to choose a partner that will communicate what they like/want and will give you the same thing in kind.

'Sane' is referring largely to your personal context. What feels good, exciting, interesting to all of us is informed but a ton of factors. Some factors are emotional, some are cultural, lot of factors surrounding how you grew up come into play. Are you making an empowered choice or are you looking to use sex as a way to avoid something else?

'Consensual' should also be self explanatory but just in case.... It means you both choose to engage in the act. Either person can withdraw this consent at anytime for any reason and they should not be given a hard time about that. My favorite animated video about this is HERE, it's only 2 minutes and 50 seconds, you have time.

Who queefed?!

If that didn't make you smirk or giggle, we may not be able to be friends. Laughter can be really good medicine. There is a huge difference between laughing at vs. laughing with someone. Especially, when you are trying something new with a partner, why not laugh and play with each other? This is all supposed to fun! Let it be fun!!

As always, I’m here.  If you are ready to work on having the life you want, call me and let’s get started!

Late last year when I decided to look for a book club, I was thinking about fiction.  What I found was a book club for therapists and the first book for this year was “Science for Sexual Happiness.”  I thought it would be perfect to look at sex and intimacy in February.  

Whether you are single or in a relationship, your sexual health is important. 

  • Breathe! I lost count of how many times the author encouraged the reader to breathe.

(Every time I hear someone tell a woman to breathe, I can't help but think of the movie, "Obsessed" when Beyonce yells, "BREATHE BITCH!"

  • There are two sides of 'no.' The book contains 107 exercises (yes, I read them all- you're welcome). There was one exercise she suggested that I particularly appreciated. It involved having each partner set a timer for two minutes and ask for things they didn't really want to practice asking for what they want and hearing 'no.' The other partner practice saying 'no' had to practice saying 'no' which is really difficult for a lot of people. Then the exercise challenges the set to switch places. I love this because it is difficult to hear no and not feel rejected in this context.
  • The mind and the body are inextricable. Our culture has worked so hard at this idea that our minds and bodies are totally separate but that's just not the case. The idea that you can out think things like allergies or basic human needs for sleep, food and companionship are simply not sure. She doesn't address this until the very last chapter of the boo which I think is a mistake.
  • Fight, flight, appease, freeze, dissociate. I work with trauma a lot but I had never before heard anyone talk about appease and dissociate the way she did. Specifically she discussed how abuse and neglect shows up in appease and dissociate in sexual relationships. What she talked about sounded a little like freezing but I appreciated the subtle difference she was attempting to introduce.
  • You can work on your relationship skills alone. In my office, I often see people telling themselves stories about how they need to be in a romantic relationship to work on their relationship skills and that just isn't the case. You can practice most relationship skills with friends and family. And the sexual component can be practiced in a lot of ways on your own. Don't wait until your are in a romantic relationship and feeling vulnerable to think about your sexual health.

My biggest peeve with this book is there was next to no science. Why put science in the title if you are going to water down what little science you do plan to use? Overall, there are other books like "Come As You Are" that I would recommend over this book.

As always, I’m here.  If you are ready to work on having the life you want, call me and let’s get started!

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