Sex Therapy and Relationship Coaching for a Passionate, Connected and Fulfilling Life

So, you are an older woman who likes to date young, hot, shy tech nerds. For years, everything was going along fine. They played their video games quietly in the privacy of their own homes while you were somewhere (anywhere) else. Then…suddenly, and without any warning, video games became an outdoor sport. If you are not ready to settle down with a nice guy born in the ‘60’s or ‘70’s who won’t even know what a Pikachu is, then it’s time for you to follow this important cougar’s survival guide to Pokemon Go.

#1 You can’t beat ‘em, so join ‘em

Since Pokemon go is a 24/7 pastime, if you really want to continue to have a youthful babe by your side, you will have to play the game. In addition to working on some fine motor skills as you perfect your curveball, you will be seen by your sweetheart and their friends as one of the coolest cougars around.

#2 Look on the bright side

For the first time, your sweetheart will go on a walk with you any time, day or night. They will be especially keen to go on hikes at 3 in the morning, when it’s much easier to hold a gym long enough to collect some coins! And, at least it’s social. You might even meet some of your baby’s friends who, up til now, you’ve only seen in their chat screens. What’s more, you will finally all have something to talk about. For example, you can figure out together how many pokemon to collect before using a lucky egg. You can even sit around and evolve together. This type of evolution must not be confused with actual personal growth – it’s about gathering enough candy to become the Rainer Vaporean you’ve always wanted to be!

#3 Manage your blood pressure.

If you have begun to play the game, then you are already familiar with the goal of the game – to enslave as many small, cute, disturbing and weirdly named cartoon creatures as you can so that you can use them to gain power, money and prestige and make them fight your enemies. Don’t feel bad, these kinds of human pursuits have been around since long before video games and at least no one dies permanently. Your Pokemon are revivable – revive them with a diamond or a spray from a 409 squirt bottle full of magic potion.

The hardest part of the whole thing is catching the squirrely little buggers without swearing, sweating and or raising your blood pressure. This is why we recommend using some yoga breathing techniques. The steps are as follows:

  • Gently tempt them with a raspberry
  • Throw the appropriately colored ball at them
  • When the ball shimmies for the 2nd and 3rd time, instead of holding your breath and feeling your heart rate spike every time the little f***ers bust out, breathe deeply – five counts in and five out
  • Practice a buddhist level of non-attachment to beating your sweetheart at the game. Young, male techies can change their sleep schedules on a dime and only need 2-3 hours a night – if you want to survive don’t compete!

#4 Use incense as your gateway to sex

Finally, and most importantly, if your sweetheart has tired himself out day after day from all the walking they’ve never done before, don’t despair – it is still possible to get sex. Just “borrow” their phone and “mistakenly” drop one of their incense in the house when they first wake up. This will keep them busy catching Pokemon at home so you can spend the next half hour getting into your sexiest outfit and setting up the playroom. As soon as the 30 minutes incense has burned out, attack him. Works like a charm!!!

For pride, Celeste decided to come out once more…as something a little different….

I want to speak on behalf of a group of folks who I think get a bad name – Unicorn Hunters – couples who are looking for a bisexual woman (or really, any woman, to whom they are attracted) who is willing to sleep with them. I have now been both the hunter and the prey – a unicorn and unicorn hunter. I can speak from a unique vantage point and say that I feel completely at peace with my cannibalistic nature. But it has taken me some time to get there.

A little history first. I came out as bisexual my freshman year in college. It was 1992 at UC Santa Cruz, a gay mecca if there ever were one and I was embraced with open arms – sort of. The queer community was amazing at UCSC and, because I was dating only women at the time, it was easy to be mistaken for a lesbian. I met so many wonderful, queer people who were exploring themselves and their sexuality and, occasionally, in groups of lesbians, I was privy to a slew of bi-phobic and derisive comments, “I’m never dating a bisexual again,” and, “I don’t think she’s even gay,” and, with a disgusted emphasis on the word man, “She left her for a man”. Believe me, I can understand wanting to minimize the chance of getting hurt in a relationship, the problem is, you can’t. Through my own relationship experience and as a Sex and Intimacy Coach I am acutely aware that part of being in a long-term relationship is dealing with the fact that people are different, and want different things. So, avoiding bisexuals or open-relationships or anything else you try to do to never get hurt, doesn’t work. You can try and control how you will be hurt, but it rarely works. But, I digress.

My point here is not to say that everyone should date bisexuals if that makes them feel unsafe. Humans judge in order to survive and I have compassion for that. However, I am a member of two groups who receive an undue share of societal judgement, unicorns – bisexual woman who are willing to sleep with couples – and unicorn hunters- the (usually, opposite sex) couples seeking them out. The roots of these judgments rely on ideas that women are not actually sexual, or capable of acting on their desires. As someone who has found both sides of the unicorn equation highly pleasurable I want to dispel the idea that threesomes are just something men talk unsuspecting “naturally monogamous” women into.

After college, as the lesbians surrounding me feared, I did have LTRs with men. This was not a “going back” into the arms of patriarchy and hertosexual priviledge. This was just my very personal trajectory as a bisexual woman who tried to find the partners that meet my changing needs. Gender can be a shorthand for all sorts of stereotypes that do and don’t hold true. For me, the women I had long-term relationships with had much lower sex drives than I did and often shamed me for wanting a lot of sex. I found I was more aligned with the men I dated in this and some other important aspect of relationships.

For most of my life I have been in a relationship, however, during the times I was not, I still needed sex. When I needed sex, for me the most fun, exciting and safe way to do that, was to have sex with couples. It was fun because I got to have great experiences with both men and women and it was emotionally safe for me. I didn’t have to worry about the things women are brainwashed into worrying about when they are single and have sex with single men – I didn’t have to worry about feeling used and I didn’t feel the need to justify the sex I was having by trying to fall in love with everyone I fucked. They had each other and I was a free agent. I also felt safe having a woman there, I felt more confident in asking for what I wanted and I felt my boundaries were more likely to be respected. The beautiful, amazing and occasionally uninteresting couples I had sex with were always respectful, giving and extremely appreciative. I loved being a unicorn.

During my partnerships with men, I have, at times, still been interested in dating and having sex with women. I negotiated open relationships with my male partners so that I could still experience sex and, less often, love with other women. Sometimes I looked for those women to date and have sex with on my own and sometimes my partner and I looked for women to date and have sex with. Sometimes I dated women who occasionally had threesomes with me and my partner and sometimes my partner dated women who I joined for threesomes. Finding and having sex with unicorns has been tons of fun and a deeply bonding experience with my male partners. It has also been an opportunity to have wonderful sex and bad sex and loving relationships and painful relationships with many amazing women.

I can’t say I did it perfectly. The truth is that women are often scarier to me than men and sometimes having sex with them is easier than the vulnerability of falling in love. I feel less certain about whether or not women are attracted to me and I fear they can change their mind at any moment and I protect myself more in relation to women. Being a unicorn and a unicorn hunter has given me ways of connecting with women, and my own bisexual desires, that feel safer and more comfortable to me. In all of my relationships, no matter how casual, I do my best. I always attempt to repair if there have been challenges and to listen when there are hurts. Sometimes, feelings of jealousy and possessiveness in my partnerships got so intense, I did not do well at all. Like everything else, being a unicorn hunter has it’s challenges.

But still, I am a unicorn hunter. I am looking for women who want to have sex with my partner and I who are self-possessed and know what they want and will ask. I am looking for women who want to have sex with my partner so they can just see what it’s like. I am looking for women who want lots of attention from two sexy, appreciative people who want to help them learn about their sexuality, their body and their orgasm. I am looking for women who are straight, bi-curious, bi, lesbian, mono, swinger, poly, top, bottom, switch – women who choose to identify whatever way they want and want to explore. I am looking for women like myself – afraid, brave, sexual and human.

Another installment in our guest blogging series, we are delighted to share Pam‘s blog. Pam is a Somatica Practitioner and the author of the deeply profound and personal blog Down to There.

What I Learned about my Relationship with a Third Set of Eyes

Here’s the thing. My husband notices certain traits about himself and how he is in our relationship, and I see another set of qualities in myself and how I am in our relationship. But when we started seeing a sex and relationship coach, a whole new set of observations suddenly entered into the equation… and that changed everything.

A few years ago, after nearly two decades of mismatched libidos, my husband and I sought help to save our relationship from what felt like a frustrating stalemate.

Right away, Danielle began to point out things that we were not seeing. For example, when I reached out to touch him, she noticed I was trying to figure out what he liked. Without her birds-eye view of the interaction, we would have stayed the course with him enjoying being touched, and me thinking I was happy because I was giving him what he needed. But she asked me to try something different. She asked me to touch him in a way that was pleasurable for me without any conscious concern of whether it was pleasurable for him. I was surprised how completely different and more intimate the experience became for both of us.

It’s funny how hard it is to see things objectively when we are so in it. You’d think that by being so close to a situation that you’d be the expert, the one who really understands the best what is going on. However, it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes we need a third set of eyes on the problem.

This played out again more recently when my husband was expressing that he’d like to take more control in our sexual interactions. Following my lead had been successful to supercharge my libido for some time, but he felt like he had lost control in his sex like and desired to take charge, at least some of the time.

As luck would have it, I was also interested in my husband taking more control. But whenever he tried to lead, it never ended well. Our actions and reactions kept triggering each other and the encounter always ended up falling apart with one of us being angry and the other being hurt.

So Danielle suggested trying something in her office. She had him stalk me and then pin me up against the wall to see where we were getting stuck. As usual, what initially felt to me like “Oh yeah, this is what I’m talking about!” quickly and strangely shifted into a weird space where he stopped bringing it and it stopped feeling good to me.

We both turned our heads towards Danielle and said “See?” And in the beautiful way that she does, she said “This is a problem of immersion.” What she noticed that we hadn’t was that both of us were in our heads, not our bodies. We were carefully watching each other for signs that it wasn’t going well, and in the process, became completely disconnected from the pleasure we could have been feeling. It’s a problem that has a lot of solutions and one that we are now having much more fun trying to solve.

My experience as a client is that adding in a third set of eyes when you feel stuck, misunderstood, or confused in your relationship can provide the “aha moment” that you both need to see things from a new perspective. I’ve become so enthralled with these “aha moments” that I took the Somatica® Core Professional Training last year. Since then, I’ve started my own practice helping individuals and couples explore what is possible emotionally and erotically in their relationship and am taking the training again this year to continue the journey.

We are beyond devastated by Prince’s passing. Not only were we major fans, but as Sex and Relationship coaches we appreciate that he did so much to confront the puritanism and hypocrisy of our culture’s relationship to sex. In particular, his emphasis on female pleasure and empowerment, and the way he made so many women feel every time he slithered on a stage or screen, made it clear that there is so many more sensual possibilities than what we are generally presented with in mainstream culture. In our mourning and celebration of his life and work, we have been listening to his music nonstop and noticing all of the profound lessons he shared in such a powerful medium. These are just a few of his songs that hit on some key elements we find in our practice. May his legacy live on in all of our (sex) lives.

  1. Head (1980) – The Importance of Reciprocation and A Broad Sexual Repertoire

This song is about head, which makes it important no matter what. This amazing story song recounts a chance meeting of “virgin on my way to be wed” and Prince. Soon after she gives him, well, head, on her way to her nuptials. After Prince gets her wedding dress a little sullied, she turns around and marries him instead. But at this point the chorus changes to “Now morning, noon, and night I give you head.” Singing a song where a woman is receiving oral pleasure morning, noon and night remains out of the norm, but in 1980, it was revolutionary. Aside from this, Head, and many of Prince’s other songs offer examples of a wide variety of sexual acts and variations, everything from taking a bath to getting on top, and we often see couples whose sex lives suffer because they are expecting intercourse to always please everyone, all the time. Prince lyrics are a great reminder of all of the ways erotic satisfaction can take place outside of a session of missionary.

  1. Cream (1991) – Relationships that are willing to break the rules are the best

Relationships that are the most successful are constantly open to negotiation and change and they are willing to break societal rules if it means the relationship will flourish. Or as Prince puts it “Make the rules…Then break them all ’cause you are the best.” In this vein we encourage our clients to make a relationship contract, and we also encourage them to always feel like they change that contract if it no longer serves them. When couples come to the table openly and honestly and express their needs, they often find ways to get what they want that may break certain social taboos. We also want to add that this song is just dirty good. Cream – what a dirty and wonderful way to celebrate all of the messy, sticky, awesomeness of sex.

  1. Kiss (1986) – Give (or make) the extra time and don’t forget the Kiss

Oh the sweet, simple, and often forgotten sensual act that is so important at the beginning of a relationship and often neglected later on. Kisses can be so many things from sweet to seductive to teasing to ridiculously dirty. We have seen so many couples that are desperate to reconnect and have forgotten how even one erotically charged kiss can change everything. We see many clients who are doing such elaborate things to make their partners happy, often sacrificing more than they can sustain, when they could just be truly giving their “extra time” and their “Kiss.”

  1. If I Was Your Girlfriend (1987) – Don’t Let Social Scripts Get in the Way of Intimacy

Oh how we love this song. It has so many erotic layers and twists and turns. Prince begs and pleads to be let into his female partners world in ways that are usually reserved for platonic friendships between women. This song illustrates the ways that we often keep our intimate partners at a distance that is supposed to keep some mystery alive, but can result in creating walls and distance. When Prince asks, “Would U let me dress U” it is somehow equally hot as undressing. And when he clarifies, “I mean, help U pick out your clothes/Before we go out” he is extending an offer to be in a partnership that defies societal rules about gender and how women are supposed to vanish and transform themselves for going out. But he stresses that he is not being domineering, “Not that you’re helpless/But sometimes, sometimes/Those are the things that bein’ in love’s about.” Being in lasting love is often more about these little daily moments, the time spent getting ready, than the actual going out, Prince shows how excitement and sensual energy can be woven through even the most mundane of interactions.

  1. Darling Nikki (1984)  – Fantasize and Experiment

As teenager who listened to pop songs in the 80’s, we were amongst many whose fantasies were stoked by the thought of “So many devices, anything that money could buy.” He also put forth the culturally impossible thought that a woman could use a man for sex and want him only for that.

  1. 1999 (1982)  – Seize The Day

If there is any one lesson that can be taken from Prince’s life and untimely death, it is that life is too short to remain unhappy and unfulfilled. Or as he puts it, Yeah, everybody’s got a bomb/We could all die any day/But before I’ll let that happen,/I’ll dance my life away.

This list could go on and on. Feel free to add all of the ones we didn’t include as comments.

This week, we are delighted to feature a blog from Elena, a Somatica Graduate and full-time Practitioner.

In Search of My Movie…

In Somatica we talk about HSM, or Hottest Sexual Movie. It’s the words, energy, touch, and experiences that make you feel exactly what you long to feel when you have sex. As I’ve begun to explore my own HSM, it’s been tricky to figure it out, and to accept myself and my turn ons as they are.

Over the past few years I have been an archaeologist of my own soul, my sexual, erotic, vital self. When I first took the Somatica training I was completely disconnected from my sexuality. I was so stuck and had no idea where to even begin getting unstuck. Thankfully, I was in the right place! With the experiential tools and skills, and emotional support I received in the training I was able to begin my ongoing journey of self-discovery. With more consciousness has come more choice, intention, awareness and fulfillment.

Exploring my hottest movie has been one part of this journey – digging into my fantasies and experiences to identify what turns me on: What do I fantasize about? What kind of porn do I like to watch? What sexual encounters and relationships have been the most arousing? Why? What did I feel in those moments? What am I wanting to feel?

In my first year of the Somatica training, I was in a group with two men, both of whom seemed to me to be way more in touch with their HSM than I was (I’m a pro at negative comparison!) I shared with them a scene from a movie, and a story written by Anaïs Nin. The movie was Risky Business and the scene is Love on a Real Train. I haven’t found the story again and I don’t know if I even remember it right but what remains in my imagination is a woman in a skirt being taken from behind in a populated, public space by a stranger.

What about these two “scenes” get me and why? As we explored and one of my co-students reframed my fantasy I was able to get more detail about what turned me on in the stories and what didn’t. For example, when he framed the the scene on the train as just me and a gentleman, I immediate corrected him – no, he’s not a gentleman. When my colleague added that no one was around, that was wrong too (even though that is the scene in Risky Business). It wasn’t about people being around and watching, it was about people being around and not knowing. In the Anaïs Nin story, the sex is public and also secret. This led me to memories of my first boyfriend and I having sex in my room at my parents house, in the middle of the day. Everyone was home but they had no idea what was going on in my bedroom. It was hot.

From this first layer excavation my takeaway was that secrecy, risk, and illicit sex are veins of rich ore in the mines of my desire. As I follow them more deeply other insights come to light. For instance, I’m not necessarily turned on by illicit as in dishonest – although the tension created by an affair definitely has its appeal. I get even more aroused by engaging in non-traditional sex and relationships. It turns out what arouses me is the risk involved in being vulnerable in my intimate relationships, and the super hot, shared secret of how sex can be, and how relationships can be, when engaged in authentically, erotically, naughtily, and openly.

My Hottest Sexual Movie is a work in progress. It is exhilarating to continue refining, learning, and practicing my movie! Exploring it in a group setting, being supported by community and supporting others is amazing. This year I have the opportunity to lead a group in the training and I am looking forward to helping others explore, find their HSM, embrace it and feel empowered to share with their partners freely and without shame.

When we work with couples, we always encourage them to have a Hottest Sexual Movie conversation, but not until we have given them the proper tools and understandings so they can truly share their deepest desires. In this series we have taken you through The Hottest Sexual Movie 101, and shared some details to help you decide if your movie fits into the common genres of Romantic, Passionate or Dominant and Submissive. Now we want to help you in creating a space, outside of our sex therapy office, where you can share and learn each other’s movies.

These conversations have some very specific rules to follow if you want to make space for connection and intimacy. Before talking about the rules, we want to make an important distinction between Hottest Sexual Movies and fantasies.

Your Hottest Sexual Movie consists of the experiences you actually want to have. In addition to this, you may have a set of fantasies that you use to increase your arousal during sex or masturbation but that you don’t actually want to fully enact in the world. For example, you might fantasize about group sex but have no interest in actually experiencing it. These may exist totally outside of your sexual relationship together or you might want to be able to express these fantasies to your partner in a way that brings them into your movie. For example, if you are playing with dominant/submissive dynamics you may want your partner to punish you for having this fantasy. Conversely, you may just want to use it for yourself and never share it in an erotically charged space. We encourage you to share both your movies and your fantasies as part of the conversation and be specific.

Sharing your hottest sexual movie will take self-awareness, conscious communication and non-judgmental acceptance. It will also require the ability to know and share your boundaries, the willingness to learn instead of feeling like you already need to know, and a whole lot of creativity. One word of caution, When it comes to sharing past experiences with other lovers, be aware that this could trigger hurt. Be especially careful not to compare your partner to someone else with whom you’ve had amazing sex. Trust us, they will never forget this.

When you describe your movies, picture the character(s), the action, the setting, and what you feel. While it is a beautiful gift to really dive into the role of guest star in your partner’s movie, you also have a right to decide which parts you are ready to try now, which parts you might want to add later, and which parts you may never do at all. You might have more than one movie or might want to begin in one and move into another one. For example you might find a romantic seduction scenario is what gets you started but when it comes to actually getting you off a more passionate, animalistic sex fits the bill. Sometimes the process of articulating these desires can open up new avenues of play and seduction.

Always remember that none of this is set in stone. This is an ongoing conversation that you and your partner can always revisit and amend. In our book, Making Love Real, we go into greater depth as to how the process of discovering, sharing and finally acting out your hottest sexual movie can change your relationship in lasting and amazing ways.

With the phenomenon of Fifty Shades of Grey, Rihanna’s S&M and other popular representations, Dominant/Submissive fantasies are coming out of the darkness and into the mainstream imagination. However, these iterations often gloss over the core needs such fantasies satisfy. After seeing hundreds of clients, we can confirm that many people’s core sexual needs are about power in some way or another. As we help you to identify your “Hottest Sexual Movie” it is important to consider what side of the power dynamic excites you. You may want to feel like you have complete power, feel powerless or play around on both sides.

If you are submissive, you may want to feel restrained or contained in some way that makes you feel safe. You may want to feel like you don’t have to take any responsibility, as if it is all just happening to you. You also may want to feel punished or coerced. If you are dominant, you may want to feel powerful and in command. You may like the feeling of coercing your partner to do something and then having them realize they like it. You may want to be judgmental, scolding, or punishing. You may find that at times you like to be dominant and at other times you like to be submissive. This is commonly referred to as being a “switch” and the act as “switching.”

Dominance and submission can hit some sensitive areas (slight pun intended) and, as such, they require finesse. Some people who want to be dominated can be ambivalent about these desires, and whenever you are playing with power differences, it is important to be aware that this kind of play can provoke strong emotions. Not everyone is ready to play with dominance, and some need to feel a romantic or passionate connection before they are willing to explore it. Some people like light dominance but nothing heavy, and some never want to play this way.

Many women who are deeply invested in women’s equality have internalized this to mean that they should not want to be submissive in the bedroom or that this power dynamic might end up leaking into other parts of their relationship. The truth is there are power differences in relationships, and dominance and submission can be one way to openly explore these differences. This is why we also recommend switching roles and seeing what it feels like for each of you to be on the other side of the equation.

There are also socialized and expected gender roles for heterosexuals that make dominant women and submissive men less common in our society. This can cause challenges for some submissive men and dominant women, as they may feel ashamed of being in the minority or judgmental of their partner for falling outside gender norms. When two dominants or two submissives get together, it can be challenging. You might end up in power struggles, or with no one doing anything. This is why it is so important to bring a non-judgmental attitude to your Hottest Sexual Movie conversations. There is nothing either of you can do to change your partner’s desires. You can, however, accept them without feeling responsible for fulfilling them.

Even if your desires align, it is very rare to get the dominant/submissive movie right the first time you try it. Both you and your partner need to be prepared to have a number of “takes” in order to find out what words and actions turn the two of you on the most. With regard to words, remember that tone and attitude are important, not just the words themselves. If your partner tells you something turns them on (for example, “I really like it when you tell me to get on my knees and then you grab my hair”), ask what turns them on about it. When you begin to get some insight into why particular actions are a turn-on, you can add others that are similar thematically.
They may say, for example, “I like it because I feel like you’re in control of the experience and I have to do exactly what you say.” On the other hand, they might say, “I like it because it feels like you’re using me for your pleasure.” These are two very different themes that would lead to different kinds of sexual experiences. The first could include pleasing you both, while the second would mean that, as the dominant, you would focus more on taking your own pleasure; if you focus too much on your partner’s pleasure, they might get turned off.

Once you’ve found some words, gestures, and experiences that turn you on, continue to communicate your needs and desires and give feedback. This will add variety and keep your explorations fresh and interesting. After all, there are only so many times your “professor” can give you a failing grade that you have to work to change, or your “house servant” can fail in their duties and need to be punished, before you may need to change the story and your roles. In our recent book “Making Love Real” we give you specific advice on how to bring Dominant/Submissive role play into your relationship in a way that is safe, exciting, and dynamic.