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

We were delighted to read the news this week that funding for abstinence only education has been cut drastically and that a large grant now exists for a more (and in some cases a much more) comprehensive sexuality education. These new research-supported programs strengthen young people in many aspects of their lives – including work, general education, and life skills.

While we are delighted that these programs are expanding their purview, we feel there is an even better way to approach sex education. This country already places plenty of emphasis on its work ethic – what we feel what is missing in our education as a country is an ethic of pleasure. We imagine a world in which every person feels entitled to having and giving pleasure. A world in which each person is also taught to take account of other’s pleasure and make sure we are sharing pleasure with others instead of taking it from them without regard for their needs or feelings. Sex education, without pleasure education, is empty and leads to huge, lifetime disappointments around sex in our culture. When it comes to young people, as a culture, we fear talking about pleasure because we fear that it might encourage young people to have sex. However, young people get messages about the pleasures of sex everywhere – except those from whom they really need it, namely parents and teachers. What people don’t realize is that an ethic of pleasure is also protective for young people. Research on young girls’ sexuality found that those who were told that they had a right to pleasure actually ended up making more conscious and communicative decisions around sex, were more likely to wait longer to have it, and were more likely to use protection when they did. We hope someday to live in a world that is based on an ethic of pleasure – having it, giving it, and receiving it – and we hope that sex education for people of all ages will have pleasure at its foundation.

It’s a brand new year in a brand new decade and those of us here in the U.S. are encouraged to make some New Year’s Resolutions. We only have one: to never make a New Year’s Resolution again. In January people sign up for the gym in record numbers, by April, those numbers have been cut in half. And it’s the same with diets and cooking classes and organizing your house. This year, we have a better idea, we invite you to have a New Year’s Revolution. 

What’s the difference? Glad you asked! A New Year’s Revolution is when we stop pushing ourselves and criticizing ourselves into change. Instead, we take a gentle, curious and loving approach to ourselves. This way, we find a deep place of peace and acceptance about our life choices, our bodies, our sexual desires and fantasies, and our failures and disappointments. It is amazing what happens when you stop pushing, you actually start living your life the way that you want to live it. A Resolution (boo!) is when you listen to the voices that you’ve taken on from the outside telling you what you what’s wrong with you and what you are supposed to do to fix it. A Revolution  (yea!) is when you reclaim your birthright, your connection to the inner voice that actually knows what you really want so that you can feel comfortable, safe, joyful and fulfilled.

It always amazes us how much information and transformation happens when we begin to coach experientially and hands-on with couples. While talking and learning to communicate face to face is very productive, when it comes to sex, much of the communication is non-verbal. Many people find it challenging to communicate their desires, to check on their partner if they are not sure that they are engaged in the sexual encounter, and to tell a partner when they are or aren’t enjoying themselves.

When we introduce hands on coaching to couples, some get nervous: “Do you want us to have sex in front of you?” As much as it might sound arousing to the reader, it can also be scary, and bring taboos and fears immediately to the surface – therefore we always stay within a couple’s comfort level. When a couple begins touching each other in the coaching room, a whole different aspect of their relating appears in the room. For example, when they explore a connecting breath, they might find out that they have strong connection on a heart level but nowhere else, they just aren’t feeling each other sexually. When they begin caressing each other, even when it comes to face and hand caresses, the real dynamics between them surface. When we see people interact at this level of intimacy, we can target our coaching much more quickly. For example, we might find that one partner is very dominant and that the other partner is terrified to move or touch with confidence. We might see that one is too focused on orgasm, and forgets to have fun (this is exactly when orgasms become stubborn and sneaky, and gets away from us without peaking). We love helping couples connect when they touch, caress, and make love. We love helping them ask for what they want and communicate their desires. We love watching them realize that YES – there is hope for their sexual relationship. We love watching them connect on a deeper, more fulfilling and more intimate level.

Now that you’ve had a chance to breathe yourself into your body, it is time to embark on the awe-inspiring journey of physically exploring your body. This is an opportunity to create amazing, sensual, romantic, loving and intimate dates with yourself in order to learn about what electrifies you emotionally and physically. We call this next step on the road to erotic embodiment Conscious Self-Exploration. We choose not to call this piece conscious masturbation because most people have a very strong association in their mind between the idea of masturbation and genital orgasm. While the release that comes from genital orgasm can be one possible and lovely outcome of self-exploration, it is not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is to initiate and deepen your relationship with your own body: to understand what kinds of stimulation arouse your desire and what sensory experiences give you the most pleasure and enjoyment. Many of us began our sexual self-explorations early in life and learned from many sources that it was something that we were not supposed to do or something that should be kept hidden so that, in addition to providing pleasure or release, self-pleasuring was also an anxious experience. One consequence of feeling anxious about pleasure is that we try to get it over with as fast as possible instead of allowing our excitement to build to its greatest heights or savoring the warm depths of our enjoyment. Unfortunately, this anxious masturbation was where we set the patterns for our adult sexual interactions. In the face of all of this anxiety and haste, it is no wonder that so many men have problems with timing ejaculation and so many women complain of desire and arousal disorders. If we never took the time to fully enjoy and arouse our bodies, then, as our bodies get older or our relationships move out of the honeymoon phase, we lack the knowledge we need to spark desire, maintain arousal or continue to experience heightened pleasure. Lack of desire, arousal or control can lead to frustration with ourselves and our bodies. In the face of this frustration, we sometimes give up on our bodies in subtle and overt ways or even set our sexual selves completely aside. Conscious self-exploration is about creating new patterns for ourselves and learning new ways to love and enjoy our bodies, it is a commitment to yourself to never give up on pleasure. Most of us masturbate the same way every time we touch ourselves so conscious self-exploration is a promise we make to ourselves to take the time do something different in order to gather more information about our desire, arousal and pleasure. This information not only helps you develop a deeper sense of connection with your own body, it can also be very useful when you are communicating with a partner about ways that he or she might arouse and satisfy you. Going deeper with yourself in and of itself is an amazing journey and it also lays the groundwork for erotic depth and longevity with a partner.

Step 1 – Making a Commitment to Yourself

What does it mean to make a commitment to yourself and why is it important? Just as we make commitments to our partner, which, when kept, deepen their trust in us and their ability to open up and connect, making and keeping a commitment to ourselves teaches us to trust in ourselves, our bodies and our feelings. Commitments to yourself are often the easiest to break, but you will find that making and keeping commitments to yourself can also strengthen your relationship with yourself. A strong, deep relationship to yourself is the foundation from which you can act in empowered ways in the world. When we don’t keep our commitments to ourselves, we lose our sense of trust and clarity about who we are and what we want. Making a commitment to fall in love with yourself and give yourself pleasure can also set the groundwork for keeping your commitment to live authentically in all areas of your life. When making a commitment to yourself about creating a deep, loving relationship with your body, make sure you only bite off as much as you can chew. If you usually spend 3-5 minutes masturbating, promise yourself two self-loving sessions a week that take 15 minutes each. If you usually spend 15 minutes, take a half an hour for yourself. Only make a commitment you can keep so that you learn to trust yourself again. Put this time in your schedule and treat it just as you would an important meeting you cannot miss (believe us, it is a meeting you won’t want to miss!).

Step 2 – Warming Up

Start your session with a few minutes of Eros Breathplay (see above) to fully enter into and relax your body. During your self-exploration, you can try varying the breath in any number of ways including how quickly you breathe, how deeply you breathe, whether you breathe through your mouth or your nose to see if these breaths increase your sensitivity to stimulation or help you with relaxation and sensation. As you start on your body exploration, keep breathing. Your breath will keep sensual energy circulating throughout your body as you practice touching yourself in new ways.

Step 3 – Approaching Yourself with Childlike Curiosity

When we are first learning about our bodies, we touched ourselves all over, we stared at our hands for hours, we sucked on our fingers and our toes. For those of you still lucky enough to be able to suck your toes, we’d suggest giving it another try. The point is that we have an entire body with which to play and touch and stimulate and we might find that we have some amazingly sensitive, totally ignored places on our bodies or that different kinds of breathing awaking different parts of our body to their full pleasure potential. While fantasy, erotic movies, or erotic fiction can be wonderful ways to arouse ourselves towards orgasm, for this session set aside these external brain stimulators because these self-pleasuring sessions are about deepening on your connection with your body. One way to approach yourself with childlike curiosity is to do your self-pleasuring in front of a mirror. You can start by standing up and looking at your body, if you have some sensual music playing, you can move your body in ways that feel arousing or arouse you visually. You can try on different kinds of clothes that make you feel sexy or sensual. You can switch to a make-up or shaving mirror when you are lying down in order to take a look at the parts of your body that you don’t always get a chance to see, your vulva or your anus. Tell yourself how beautiful and sexy you are, how wonderful it is to have a body and how much pleasure you want to give yourself.

Step 4 – Exploring Your Body in a Sensual, Sexy Space

It is very important to give a little bit of time and energy to creating your self-pleasuring space. Some people like to pleasure themselves in the bathtub, others their bed, some may do it front of the computer. For this exercise, we urge you to make whatever space in which you pleasure yourself a beautiful, sexy place to be. The best way to think about his is to pay attention to each of your senses and figure out what arouses them.

SIGHT: In thinking about arousing your visual sense, you may want to start by adding some sensual colors to your space, such as reds and oranges. Make sure the lighting in your space is warm and inviting. Dim the lights, light candles, or allow the light from a streetlamp outside your window to pour across your bed or to make your bath sparkle. Suggestions:

  • You may also want to try sight deprivation by putting blindfold on or closing your eyes and visualizing the colors of your arousal.
  • Look at the flame of a candle while you touch yourself and imagine the energy from the flame entering your body.

SMELL: Scented candles or fragrant flowers such as gardenias or stargazer lilies can fill the room with delicious fragrance. Or, you may want to use scented massage oil on your body. Suggestions:

  • The smell of scented massage oil, mixed with your own bodily scents and juices can be very arousing. Rub the oil on your pussy or cock and then smell your hands.
  • Rub flower petals across your body to scent your skin, lay a flower on your pillow or put petals in a bath.

SOUND: What kinds of sounds give you the most arousal and pleasure and keep you inside your body. You may want your favorite music or chanting or it may leave the room quiet so you can listen to your own, erotic voice. Suggestions:

  • Say arousing things to yourself that you’d want a lover to say to you.
  • Make noises when you breathe such as sighs or moans.

TASTE: You can also arouse your sense of taste while giving yourself pleasure. You can keep delicious foods or drinks nearby and taste them as part of your self-pleasuring. Suggestions:

  • Dip your fingers in melted chocolate and suck on them.
  • Remember what you favorite childhood food was and treat yourself to it before, during, or after your self-exploration.

TOUCH: Make sure that wherever you are, you can feel silkiness or softness against your skin. In a bed, this might mean investing in some soft, silky sheets, in the bath, it would mean adding some oils or bubbles. Keep some massage oil near your space to add silkiness to your own touch as well as lubrication. (Safety note: Always remember when playing with a partner that oil based lubricants such as massage oil can break down condoms). There are many other delicious tools to arouse your sense of touch such as clothes with different textures, feathers, ice, hot water, toys to stimulate your penis, clitoris or the inside of your vagina or your anus. Wearing gloves sometimes may allow you to feel as though someone else is touching you. Suggestions:

  • Approach your body by touching all of the extremities first – stroke your hair and run your fingers through it, rub your feet, tickle them with a feather, tickle the palm of one hand with your finger tips, touch your cheeks, your face, and your neck.
  • Try using feathers or different textures on the back of your neck and your back.
  • Use your fingernails or a back scratcher on your arms and the backs of your legs.
  • Tease the inside of your thighs with a silky cloth.
  • Rub an ice cube down your stomach and across your nipples or let icy water drip off of the ice cube onto your vulva or penis.
  • Stimulate the inside or outside of your anus with a toy or your fingers (Safety tip for women: make sure that nothing that goes on or in your anus, goes on or in your vagina afterwards).
  • Kiss your hands or arms.
  • Pull the hair on your head or on your genitals.
  • Try different kinds of touch including tickling, tapping, stroking, pinching, massaging, slapping and squeezing.

We have offered a number of suggestions and even adding just one of them will begin you on your journey to deeper self-love and pleasure. We also strongly encourage you to come up with your own creative ideas (and, if something works really well, we’d love to hear about it!). Remember that this is an exploration without an end result in mind except to learn more secrets about your own beautiful body and commune with yourself. It is also an opportunity to laugh with yourself, dance with yourself, cry with yourself, and learning to love yourself in new ways. Some of the new touches, smells, or breathplay won’t be arousing at all. However, making a commitment to yourself, approaching yourself with childlike curiosity, and taking the risk of trying new ways of interacting with yourself may be the pathway to pleasures that you never even knew were possible.

Just as your journey into this world in your body begins with a breath, so too, does the journey back to erotic embodiment. Breathing is central in building an inner relationship with your erotic self and feeling good in your body. Ultimately, taking steps towards feeling good in your body is one of the most important acts of self-love that you can do and feeling comfortable in your body will positively affect every other aspect of your life. In playing with breath, you can regain the natural curiosity about yourself and your body that you had as a child.  Bringing your creativity, your passion for life, and your love for yourself to breathplay can make erotic breathing fun, delicious, exciting, and relaxing. Reward yourself with lusciousness every time you take time out to play with your body and breath. Try having some chocolate covered strawberries nearby or make yourself a soft, warm nest in which to play. While every step of the journey is about joy, it is important to note that delving into your erotic self and remembering your curious child may bring up trauma, past abuse or negative feelings about the self. Thus, it is important to be gentle with yourself and to remember that moving through these feelings can be done with a sense of power and accomplishment. With this in mind, we will start by joyfully stating that there is no right way to breathe. Simply remember that different breath increases different kinds of responses, perceptions, experiences, and/or sensations in your body and mind. The good news is that if you do nothing more than play with different kinds of breathing throughout your day, you will experience a greater sense of erotic embodiment!

The Steps to Eros Breath

To awaken the center of your eroticism, you must breathe deep into the parts of your body from which your most erotic energy is generated. The breath is an inner masseuse that connects us with our intelligence, voice, empathy, power, and passion, while at the same time bringing all of these important aspects of our selves together. There are many kinds of erotic breathing (some of which you have already practiced!). The first breath that we will teach you is a relaxing breath, because, to attain the greatest heights of arousal, you must first find comfort and relaxation in your body. We hold many memories in our bodies, of pleasure and trauma, stress and relaxation. You can breathe into all of these feelings and the breath will heal trauma and relax the stress, allowing you to feel more comfortable in your body and to begin to produce an erotic glow that others will sense. You can do erotic breathing in any position. When first beginning to explore erotic breathing, we have found it easiest to feel the deep movement of the breath lying on your back, however you can experiment with different positions (many people really love to do this breathplay in child’s pose).

1) For now, lie on your back with your knees bent, feet planted on the floor and simply bring consciousness to your breath, notice how deeply you breathe, what parts of your body move when you breathe, whether you hold your breath after the inhale or after the exhale. Moving the breath into different parts of your body, your chest, your stomach or your sides, for example, has the benefit of awakening that part of the body, massaging nearby organs, activating digestion and blood flow and creating connections between your body’s energy centers.

2) Place your hand in the center of you chest and take 10 slow, deep breaths directed into your chest. Do not force your breath but allow it to gently flow towards your hand. Feel the breath rise and fall in your upper body and visualize yourself opening to love. Open to the love you have for yourself, the love you have for others and the loving being that you are. We like to say, either aloud or to myself “I love, I am loved, I am love” to remind ourselves that love flows between ourselves and others and that we embody love.

3) Place your hand on your solar plexus, the upper part of your stomach right below your ribcage. Take 10 slow, deep breaths into your stomach, again being gentle with your body. Feel your body open to power. Connecting with your own sense of personal power (as opposed to power over others), your free will and your desires will have profound effects on your ability to be comfortable in your body. We like to say, „”I am, I desire, I create, I fulfill” to remind ourselves that we are the source of our own desire and fulfillment and that the dance of desire and fulfillment is in large part what ignites our creative energy.

Eros Breath

The final breath, the one that is rarely taught in other embodiment practices, but which is the basis of erotic embodiment, is what we call the Eros Breath (what our amazing teacher Chester Mainard calls the anal breath and which some teachers of woman’s sexual empowerment call the yoni). Breath that moves through your throat, chest and stomach into your erotic center connects your inner senses of voice, love, power, eroticism and security. The idea is to recreate a free-flowing energy between these centers. Connecting these centers, which have often been painfully disconnected through the process of socialization, trauma, and difficult relationships, is the first step towards erotic embodiment. For example, when your erotic center is connected to feelings of love, you will better know your desires. When it is connected to your sense of security, you will better know your boundaries. And, when your erotic center is connected with your sense of power you will feel empowered to use your voice to ask for what you want and to communicate about what you don’t want. This is why erotic breathing is part of every body-based session we do in our work and why both we and our clients engage in conscious breathing throughout these sessions. If Eros Breath seems difficult at first, it is because you are likely very used to breathing into your chest or stomach, and you do not realize how deeply you can move your breath. However, if you watch a new born baby sleep, you will see their pelvic floor moving with the breath, with some practice, you can regain this depth of connection. Most importantly, be gentle and do not judge yourself, the healing effects will come in time. Remember you deserve pleasure, playfulness, joy, and love in your life and breathplay is one way to give yourself these gifts.
1. Place your hand on your genitals so that your middle finger is touching your perineum (the place on the pelvic floor between your genitals and anus) and gently bring the breath all the way down to the pelvic floor (the tip of your middle finger). Notice what reflex, if any, happens around your pelvic floor when you breathe deeply directing your breath towards your perineum (where you have placed your middle finger).
2. Take a few deep breaths and notice. The basis of the Eros Breath is an active relaxation in the inhale and a passive relaxation on the exhale. Sometimes, simply directing our gentle attention on this part of our body will encourage a relaxation in the pelvic floor when we breathe in. It is possible to deepen this relaxation by VERY GENTLY bearing down during an in-breath in order to train you body to open and relax on the inhale. Eventually, you will not have to push at all. On the exhale the idea is to DO NOTHING, simply allowing your body to fully release the breath. This is much easier than it sounds for most people who often equate conscious breathing and sexuality in general with feelings of control. By letting go of this control, you can feel your body open to eroticism.
3. Allow your consciousness to move deeply into your pelvis and genitals. Imagine the base of your body from your pubic bone to your buttocks is getting warm and soft, imagine it beginning to glow with your energy and passion. We like to say “I give and receive pleasure, I am sensual, (or I am erotic), I am fulfilled.” As you engage fully in this breath, you may start to feel some tingling or awakening. Give yourself permission to enjoy this experience. You might actively tell yourself, “I deserve pleasure.” After 5 minutes (or more) of Eros Breathing, allow your breath to return to normal and check in with your body.

Check-In

Do you feel a difference anywhere in your body? Are you more warm and open? Is there a greater sense of relaxation and aliveness? Are you aware of tension you didn’t know you had? Did any resistance come up? If you keep a journal, try writing about feelings or sensations that came up during this breathplay. Or simply walk through the world with the greater sense of erotic centering you feel, you might be surprised at the magnetism that this breathplay generates as others become curious about and excited by your glow.