This week a client told me she was doing a Marie Kondo on her closet. She was getting rid of what no longer gave her joy. We went on to talk about her sex life with her partner and the nagging resistance she has to being touched. Somewhere along the line she formed a belief system about touch. She couldn’t identify a particular incident that informed that belief system. There was no trauma or abuse. She just knew that when she was touched (even by her loving partner) her body would recoil and she’d shut down.
If you’re in a relationship with another human, disagreements will happen. It’s a given. No matter how much we love someone, you can’t avoid differing opinions and heated discussions. The secret to a happy relationship is how you navigate these disagreements and move through them to a feeling of resolution. This doesn’t mean finding a solution, it means getting to the point where you both feel heard and empathized with. In the end we all need to feel respected, even in the midst of disagreements. Dr. Marshall Rosenberg developed a communication model called Non-Violent Communication.
When I first saw Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues in 1996, One of the monologues stood out to me. It was a woman’s account of being with a man named Bob. This is some of what she wrote. “…Turned out that Bob loved vaginas..."
The number one reason most people say they don’t speak their truth to their partner is because they don’t want to hurt their feelings. But I think it runs deeper than that. I think we don’t want to speak our truth because we’re not confident about having a conversation that will lead us to the deeper intimacy that can be found in truth telling.
When I watch my coaching couples move from disconnection and frustration to becoming reengaged and turned on, I see how everything they were looking for was already within them. They just needed a sex and intimacy coach to guide them on that journey and find their way back to Love Sex and Desire.
If you learned how to have hot sex by watching movies or porn, your sex education is lacking the wisdom of slowing down and guiding your lover’s body into an open, receptive, and pleasurable state. Slowing down with your lover is not just about reducing speed, it’s about gaining awareness.
Sex is probably one of the hardest things to talk about with a partner. It’s easy to take things personally because sex is deeply personal. Confessing our desires and asking for what we want takes courage and trust that your partner is going to hold your feelings with care. If sex is difficult for you to talk about the best thing to do is to start talking, but do it in a way that keeps you both feeling heard and understood.
I recently got hooked into a reality show on Netflix called Married at First Sight. It followed four couples who agreed to arranged marriages, meeting for the first time on the day of their wedding. Three relationship experts paired them from a large pool of applicants. The show follows these four couples for two months, from the honeymoon to sharing an apartment for six weeks while they work and live their day to day lives as a married couple.
The next time you hug your partner, or smile at them from across the dinner table, or take their hand when you’re walking together, speak your love out loud so they can hear it. Don’t assume they know you love them, or assume they don’t need to hear what’s obvious. Feel your love, find the words to express it and let them flow.
I love my couples. They reach out for sex coaching, wanting to create a fulfilling sexual and intimate life. The number one obstacle to achieving their goals is sometimes an unhealthy relationship dynamic. For most of us, opening ourselves to sexuality with our partners requires trust, connection and a sense of emotional safety. If our relationships are being impacted by unhealthy dynamics that leave us triggered and harboring conscience or unconscious resentment, sexuality will be impacted or at worst no longer exist.