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

People come to us all the time feeling guilty about their needs in the bedroom. Instead of being really clear about what they want and seeing whether their partner is up for it or not, they don’t ask at all or only ask for a small percentage of what they need, feeling that everything in the bedroom needs to be tit for tat.

Our clients, let’s call them Sean and Carmen, were a perfect example of this. Carmen really enjoys receiving touch and needs plenty all-over body caressing, grabbing, and kissing in order to get to the height of her arousal, yet she felt really guilty about her desire to receive and her lack of interest in caressing Sean back. In separate sessions, she shared this while her partner Sean admitted somewhat shyly that what he loved more than anything was giving, and that he felt most turned on by previous partners who had acted like a queen the bedroom. He was a bit disappointed that Carmen was always trying to give back equally and continued trying to ask her for what she wanted, to no avail. Once we finally created a space for them to have an open conversation, they couldn’t believe they had spent 19 years of marriage never talking about their real desires. They happen to be a perfect match.

Of course, not every couple who comes with us fits as perfectly as Sean and Carmen. When going to the “negotiating table” with your partner over all things sex-related and otherwise, why not start by asking for 100% of what you want, encouraging them to do the same and then seeing what is possible in relationship to each of your desires and boundaries. Think about it, if you start by asking for 50% and then compromise, you will probably end up with 30% and 30% is not enough. If you ask for 100%, first of all, you just might get it. Secondly, you have a much greater chance of getting at least 70% or 80% which, for most of us, is plenty! Sometimes, the thought of asking for what you really want can bring up fear of judgement or insecurities, if you need help, we are here!

One final thought: when it comes to differing needs and capacities around sex, unlike in other areas of your life, if you are choosing monogamy, there is no option to outsource those needs. Stay tuned to our blog for an upcoming series on Commitment, Monogamy and Cheating to find out about how couples handle differing desires in both monogamous and non-monogamous agreements and what you can do if you are a couple experiencing differing needs and capacities around sex.

Reading this Nerve.com article on the Five Reasons We’re Having Better Sex Than Our Parents we got to thinking about this generation’s sex life compared to ours, our parents’ or even grandparents’.  We are hoping twenty-somethings haven’t faced the same kind of sexual double standards (which harm both men’s and women’s sexual self-expression) that most of us faced growing up and that they have a chance to explore more openly with less guilt and shame. To these five reasons, we would add that there is infinitely more information available out there online and in the book stores to help people learn more about who they are sexually. We also believe that people are now taking account of the importance of sexual communication and compatibility when making choices about who to date and marry. What would you add to the list?

These days, finding balance between work and partnership is the tip of the iceberg, there are also friends, family (kids if you have them), personal errand and responsibilities, etc. Being over-busy is the scourge of our time, and relationships, and especially relaxed, spacious time to savor intimacy, connection and sex seems to be the biggest loser across the board. We find that many people (especially with our protestant work ethic), think of pleasure as something extraneous that rarely makes the to-do list or the calendar.

We believe that, even if you love your work, taking downtime, and sharing intimacy and sex (and all the lovely hormones that are released when we do so), is essential to our overall health and well-being, as well as the health of our relationships. Much research is now showing that stress is the root of our body losing it’s ability to do the things it needs to in order to maintain our health and is thus the root cause of many of the illnesses we face. Relaxed connection, savoring, loving and sensual touch – all of these are the prevention and essential to the cure! We wish, instead of work ethic, we had an ethic of pleasure in this culture, where everyone was encouraged to create as much pleasure and joy in their lives and in the lives of others as possible. It would be a better world, full of healthier, happier people and relationships. Here’s a tip – put pleasure at the top of your to do list and set aside at least one hour a day for things that make you feel relaxed, happy and connected!

We saw this Elle article on sexless marriage and thought you might be interested. Plus, we wanted to put in our two cents! In our practice, we see sexless marriages or marriages in which one person has a much higher drive than the other quite often (and it’s not always men who have the higher drive). While it is true that there are small minority of couples out there who have found happiness in a sexless marriage, more often than not, either one of them or both are not happy with the arrangement. While the article talks about the causes and the question of contentment within a sexual marriage, it doesn’t talk about effective ways out if the couple isn’t happy with it. What we have found is that most couples don’t realize that keeping sex alive means being proactive, communicative and open to change and novelty.

We recently saw a couple in a sexless marriage who complained “we went to other sex therapists who gave us homework that we never did and then we just ended up quitting.” Just talking has very little effect on people’s sexual connection. To help this couple (and many others) find the spark again, we worked experientially, with everything from kissing practice to communicating about their deepest fantasies. Communicating, however, wasn’t enough. We then had them practice with touch, tone of voice, what each person wanted to hear and how to pump up intensity. If you want to make your sex life last a lifetime, you can’t just shoot for “good enough”, you have to shoot for the moon, and create an atmosphere where there can be ongoing playfulness, passion and creativity.