Celeste & Danielle Offer Sex and Relationship Coaching for a Passionate, Connected and Fulfilling Life

In case you didn’t know, there is something we should all be celebrating as soon as possible and that is the beautiful practice of self-pleasure. Yes- May is Masturbation Month (or Maysturbation month as one of our brilliant Facebook followers suggested) and we could not be more excited to revisit this essential act with you all (and with ourselves, of course). For most of us, maturbation was our first sexual experience but instead of giving our relationship with ourselves the time and attention this first love deserves, we often think of it as a functional quick-fix. Now there is nothing wrong with that, but why not see how much pleasure and fun could be had if we gave masturbation a little more love? We have a few ideas of how you can bring some of that spring fever energy back to yourself, which will likely inspire you to spread the love.

1. Take your time
When was the last time you actually set aside some time to do yourself proper? Make a date with yourself that involves a bit of lead up, some extra attention, and maybe a delicious nap afterwards. You may surprise yourself with your own potential for self-induced pleasure when you actually dedicate a solid window of time.

2. Mix it up
Most people have a go-to way that they masturbate. This might involve a trusty vibrator, a favorite porn, a certain position. Often these are habits of efficiency and, although tired and true, this month we challenge you to change them up a bit. It may take a little longer but it will be worth it, we promise.

3. Try it with a buddy
We are huge fans of mutual masturbation. Not only is it super hot to watch, or have specific tasks as a helper (nipple sucking is a solid go to) but watching your partner pleasure themselves can be very informative and can give you all sorts of great ideas for how to please your partner. Also, if you are into role-playing there are many fun ways to create scenarios where you are only “allowed” to touch yourselves.

4. A change of scenery?
Without risking arrest, think of a new location that might add a bit of variation to your routine. Maybe you usually touch yourself on that chair in front of your computer, in the shower, or in bed. Isn’t it time to try the couch, the secluded back porch, or in front of your partner on their work-at-home desk?

5. Buy a new toy
Treat yourself! Afterall, much-beloved sex toy supplier Good Vibrations is the original masterminds (get it, master?) behind Masturbation Month so why not show them, or any other fav local sex shop some love this month and get yourself the gift that keeps on giving. If it has been a while, you will be delighted to see how technology keeps advancing in the sexual pleasure field, from usb charging to remote vibe necklaces the future is at your fingertips, and in your pants.

Most of all, this month is a great time to remember that we all have the capacity to experience amazing amounts of pleasure on our own. We are whole sexual beings and we all deserve to dedicate some time to this part of our lives. It is so silly and shame-based that words about masturbation are used as insults. This Month, and every other one, let’s all commit to being proud wankers, jack-offs, baters, bean-flickers, or pearl-polishers.

Part of being in a relationship is taking the time to learn about what fills your partner’s stocking – what makes them feel all gooey and gluey with you and inspires them to stick with it through the rough times. This can be difficult if you each aren’t willing to share what you need clearly and specifically! After working with couples for all of these years, we have noticed that people don’t always know what helps their partner feel all filled up. When you don’t know what your partner needs you might be spending lots of time and energy trying to give them what they need without it landing at all.

Here’s the three reasons you might be missing out on giving their partner the gifts they need:

  1. You Give What You Want to Receive: Most people assume that people are similar to them so they make the loving gestures that they are hoping to receive. These often don’t land because people are so different. You might really need a good make out, while your partner would feel more delighted by breakfast in bed.
  2. People Change: Five years ago, your partner told you they really love back massages and you’ve been giving them a back massage every night before bed since then. If you haven’t updated the files in all these years, it’s very possible they are sick of back massages and ready for some different kind of care but just don’t have the heart to tell you.
  3. You Make Assumptions: Instead of just straight up asking your partner what fills their stocking, you try to piece it together from hints they’ve given you over the years. There’s no need to be a sleuth here, just check in.

If you want to get the most bang for your holiday buck – your time and energy – it is best to know what really hit’s the spot. This holiday, make a list (and check it twice!) of all of the things that you know really make you feel loved and desired and then exchange your lists. If you are single and hoping to be in a relationship at some point, definitely make this list as well! It’s like preparing a user’s manual for your future sweetheart. The more you know about yourself before going into a new partnership the better!

Here’s an example of what one couple wrote up:

His list of things he wants:

  1. Compliments
  2. Sweet texts or chats when we are apart about how you feel about me
  3. Kisses that have some kind of romantic or passionate feel to them
  4. Eye contact where I feel like you are looking at me with love in your eyes
  5. Sex where it feels like you can’t keep your hands off me and you are really turned on by my body
  6. Enthusiasm or excitement when you see me, if you feel like you’ve missed me or are happy to see me again
  7. You initiating plans or romantic things for us to do together or getting creative about our sex life with new ideas, toys, etc.
  8. Hellos and goodbyes – making sure you greet me when we first meet and give me a kiss goodbye when you leave

Her list of things she wants:

  1. Give me a gift certificate for a spa day that I can go on by myself.
  2. Appreciations – noticing and saying something when you feel like I’ve done something you like or appreciate
  3. Quickies – sometimes having quick sex when there isn’t time for something more in-depth
  4. Time in the house by myself to work on my projects and read my books.
  5. Surprising me with a clean house

As you can see, these two have very different needs. If they were to give each other what they were hoping to get, they’d probably both end up pretty depleted and exasperated! When you take the time to let each other know what satisfies you, your relationship will be much more filled with the glue that keeps you together!

May your stockings be stuffed with all the love and sex you want this year.

Happy Holidays!

Celeste & Danielle

We are about to share with you some of our most advanced flirting techniques – flirting tools that will help you date, mate, and experience more overall success but first…

Imagine you are on your way to work…you look over and notice someone is looking at you with a sexy, penetrating gaze. You begin to feel goosebumps on your skin and heat is flushing through you. You are excited and a bit uncomfortable – “To look or not to look?” Then the person is gone and you’re walking through the next minutes or hours of your life full of energy and aliveness! You too can make people feel this way and receive and reciprocate it when it comes from someone you find intriguing or from the love of your life.

“I don’t know how to flirt.”

We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard people tell us that they have no idea how to flirt. Our conclusion? Most people don’t know what flirting really is! Men think they are supposed to have a set of pithy one-liners to keep women laughing, while women feel like they need to learn how to properly toss their hair and bat their eyelashes. In reality, flirting is so much more profound. Flirting is the way that you project your erotic, emotional depth and availability to a new person or to your partner.

“I don’t want to be creepy”
“I don’t want to make any promises I can’t keep”

We hear all sorts of reasons why people hold themselves back from experiencing one of the more delightful, life-affirming, inspirational, and energizing experiences they can have, and we want to reassure you. Sharing playful, fun exchanges with people doesn’t mean that you’ve promised them anything – you can be a flirt with fantastic boundaries! As we talked about in our our Biggest Flirting Mistakes Article, flirting isn’t what makes you creepy – trying to hide your desires and having them leak out all over the place (instead of learning how to embrace and share them) is how people come across as creepy.

Now that you’ve gotten past the roadblocks that hold you back from flirting and begun to give yourself permission, here are our secrets to being a successful flirt:

#1 Start from the Inside Out

Flirting is all about being in touch with your own erotic energy. It doesn’t matter what you say or do or how you dress, if you are not turned on in your own body, people will not be turned on by you. Sure, they might think, “S/he is really attractive”, and they might want a second date or even want to sleep with you, but they will be using their head to make the decision instead of feeling you with their body. Before you go out into the world to flirt/date, or before you meet up with your long-term partner, take some time to get in touch with your erotic energy. Whether this means slow, deep breaths all the way down with some PC squeezes or taking a nice, hot bath and caressing your own body, do something that will get you more embodied and aroused as a way to prepare for flirting.

#2 Create a Flirt Circuit

You got yourself all warmed up and now you are face-to-face with a flirtmate. Whether you are going to flirt for a few seconds with someone by catching their eye or spend hours in a flirt, in addition to feeling the erotic energy in your own body, tune into your flirtmate and begin to see what it is about them that you enjoy. It may be that tendril of hair curling across their forehead or the deepness of their voice or it may be something that you’ve adored about them for your entire relationship. Take your time and allow whatever it is you appreciate about them to gently stoke your already-glowing fire. When people feel your enjoyment of them, it often directs them to connect with their own erotic energy, their enjoyment of themselves, and you. This is what creates a flirting circuit between you.

#3 Build Anticipation

Just because you are warm, doesn’t mean you need to hurry. Flirting is so fun because it puts you in a state of playful anticipation, which is something that is often lost in long-term relationships. The energy between the two of you may lead to something right now or it may not. The uncertainty and build-up is a big part of what is so exciting about it. In order to create a sense of anticipation, you need to be in touch with your erotic energy and, very importantly, be in charge of your erotic energy. You may be talking about the most innocuous of topics, but take an extra moment to catch your flirtmate’s eye or breathe just a bit deeper. Savor the connection and intensity building in your body. You may not be touching at all, yet, in your mind, imagine what their lips taste like as you bite your own. Playing with the subtleties of energy, connection, and contact is what separates the novice from the master flirt.

Now that you know the secrets, it’s time to practice! Join us on October 1st for our playful day-long workshop, Flirting Your Way to Success. Learn how to flirt with us, with each other, and with life. We’d love to see you there!

Flirting is a very vulnerable endeavor – to flirt is to open up your desirous, erotic parts to connect with another’s. Opening up and allowing your erotic energy to flow is a big part of what makes it so energizing and exciting. At the same time, no one wants to experience the feelings of rejection that can result from a rebuffed flirt attempt. Whether you are flirting with a new acquaintance or a long-time partner, give yourself tons of gentleness and loving support knowing you are willing to take a risk in order to live your life to the fullest.

Because we want your flirting attempts to be as successful as possible, we want to share what we’ve learned about flirting as sex and relationship coaches and flirts in the world. In our next article, we will reveal our top three secrets to successful flirting. But first, here are a few of the worst flirting mistakes to avoid on your way to becoming a masterful flirt.

#1 Avoiding Flirting Altogether or Relying Too Heavily on Tech Flirting

Because flirting is so vulnerable, and for fear of being slut-shamed or creep-shamed (more about this later), some people avoid flirting altogether. Others avoid the fear of face-to-face flirting by relying on technology as their only flirting medium. They may be great at flirting over Tinder or text, but once you meet them face-to-face, they nervously ask you question after question, without ever pausing long enough in the conversation to catch your eye or take you in. Flirting is scary and not everyone will be available to connect with what you are putting out, but no one can connect if there is no energy at all.

Once, when Celeste asked a date why he didn’t bring any flirtatious energy on a first date, he said, “I think of this as date zero, I don’t want the women I date to be scared away by my sexual energy.” Date zero was an apt name, as there was zero chemistry building and nowhere to go from there. This is not a judgement; many heterosexual men are especially afraid to bring their erotic energy on a first date. Yet, in order to want to go on, women definitely need to feel desired without feeling overwhelmed. This means that flirting is required.

In long-term relationships, people often become very complacent, and treat their sweetheart more like a business partner or co-parent than a lover. Even if you flirted when you first got together, you might feel like it’s silly or stupid to flirt now that you know each other so well so you or your partner may avoid it. This is a huge mistake and probably one of the reasons so many couples have sexless marriages or separate. In order to keep that spark alive and to make all the challenges of long-term relating worth it, you need to play with the desire and anticipation that come from having an ongoing flirting relationship with your sweetie.

#2 Trying to be Someone You’re Not

Some people feel like, in order to flirt, they need to first develop a different personality. If you bypass your authentic style and push yourself to flirt in a non-youish way, then you are likely to miss potential connections completely. In order to create a flirt circuit (which we will teach you how to do in our next article), you must be present in the interaction. Many shy people or people who get nervous think that they have to completely overcome their shyness or nervousness to be an amazing flirt – we strongly disagree. Whether you are a woman or a man, shy flirting can be very sexy! There is something infinitely brave about letting yourself connect while still allowing your shyness and nervousness to be there. A shaky lip, averted glance, or nervous laugh shows your vulnerability to your flirtmate and allows them into your tender parts – it is both endearing and arousing.

#3 Falling into the “Creepy” or “Desperate” Category

While you might think that avoiding flirting altogether is the worst flirting mistake you can make, there is one mistake that is even more dreadful – falling into the creepy or desperate category. The way to avoid being labeled creepy or desperate is to learn how to masterfully share your erotic energy without spilling it all over your flirtmate. If you give too many compliments, laugh way too loud at every joke or seep the other person in double entendres, they will likely label you as desperate or a creep. We have so much compassion for men; some women will put you in the creepy category even if you are an amazing flirt, just because they have decided they are not, and never will be, attracted to you. For women, feeling desperate often comes from not knowing how wonderful you are and learning how to be a subtle flirt can really help. In any case, make sure to treat yourself gently when you feel rejected – and remember how amazing you are for bravely trying!

Now that you know what mistakes to avoid in flirting, stay tuned for our next article on what flirting really is (and isn’t) plus our top 3 secrets of being a successful flirt.

Now that you know what not to do, want to learn the secrets of how to flirt well?! Join us for our Flirting Your Way To Success workshop in Berkeley on October 1st. Find out more and sign up HERE!

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.

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.