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

Joy is contagious, unfortunately so are anxiety and insecurity. So many people start dates from one extreme or another instead of a place of grounded confidence where they are open to actually enjoying themselves. Romantics may be 20 steps ahead – already so in love with the idea of what could be, while self-described realists may already be bemoaning the fact that they are wasting their time when they could just have a surefire fun night with friends and a pint (of beer, ice-cream, or both). Many folks approach dating as if it is a job interview and are generally caught up on how they will perform. They worry about how the other candidate will measure up or they oscillate and between performance anxiety and competition. We are not saying dating is easy, but there are some ways that a change in approach can really impact the experience, even if the fit is not amazing. Dating with joy is an important skill for people who are in a relationship as well. Many couples have a date night but start to dial it in and make it as much like any other night as possible. This holiday season why don’t we all try these 5 ways to bring a little magic to this artform.

The Pre-Party: Getting ready for a date can be a great way to get grounded and start off with some joy of your own. Do something that is a bit indulgent – take a bubble bath, a longer shower, eat a little something that makes you feel your senses come alive. Listen to your anthem, the one that makes you feel like you can do anything. If you are coupled, think about getting ready on your own. It may feel contrived but it can allow you to look at your partner with fresh eyes if you didn’t just pass them the soap in your getting ready shower. Some people like to take their pre-party a little further, perhaps, all the way. For some a little self-love can be a great way to relieve nerves and get in touch with your desire. Others can get started but might enjoy a date more if they have held out on a big O. Only you can know you body. We encourage you to start dating yourself and remember how fun you are before you even meet up.

A Joyous Plan: Who doesn’t like dinner? For a foodie a surefire joyous plan may be a night at a new food truck park or a great new restaurant. But for those of us that have been on a lot of dates it can feel like a movie montage where the person across from you swaps out but your experience remains the same. As an alternative, try something a bit less stationary and more dynamic. This is a great season for it. Go ice-skating, caroling, go on a hunt for the best-decorated houses in your area. Do a car picnic and watch the sunset or go to indoor mini-golf. See a comedy show and just enjoy yourself (and have a window into their sense of humor without all the pressure). Make a plan that you are excited about.

Stories are Everything: If you are dating someone new take the time to really hear their stories and appreciate how unique they are. Also, when you are telling your own stories, try and be as honest about yourself as possible instead of editing. Be confident that you are fascinating because we all are when we share our unique perspectives. If you are in an LTR try asking your partner to tell you some stories you may not know. Perhaps about a childhood crush or an accomplishment they never got to brag about.

Having Fun Doesn’t Mean You’re Leading Anyone On: Some people feel like they need to be overly “realistic” and make the date an unpleasant one if they feel there will not be a follow-up. We want to give you permission to enjoy yourself without worrying about the future. You might end up surprising yourself, making a new friend, or just having a good story. You can always end by saying, “I had a great time with you, and am not totally feeling the chemistry, but I’m glad we met.”

Strong Finish: Now we don’t necessarily expect the date to end in a night of mind-blowing sex until the morning. If it does, great! You’re welcome ;). But there are many outcomes that can still feel great and leave you with a feeling of hope and joy. This season is a chance to be a little kinder, more open, and share your unique self with the world. Even if your after-party is solo, we are sure you can think of some ways to make it joyous! At the end of date night remember all of the wonderful things you enjoy – about yourself, your date, where you live, what you ate, etc. Gratitude is contagious as well.

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.

This is the season to connect with loved ones and that’s just what Celeste and Danielle’s client and her husband do their Sex Therapy session and in part 3 of our series featuring her candid writings.

Lesson: Tension and Touching

“The second appointment with our sex therapist was full of laughter and more “flow,” a major change from our first appointment full of tears and apprehension. We talked about how we were afraid this would be like other attempts; that this new found passion would sputter and die out as it has in the past. The sex therapist reassured us that this is a long road and there was a lot more we could do to ensure this was a long-lasting change. She talked about some essential elements to great sex. She talked about energy, and specifically tension, and she talked about touch.”

“To illuminate what she meant about tension, she talked about those Hollywood movies where you can see and feel the build-up (think Mr and Mrs Smith). She said all great sex starts with that, and tension starts before sex. She led us through some breathing exercises (together this time — yay, dual participation) and had us take a deep breath in, then tighten our muscles (my pussy, his cock) and then exhale fully while relaxing those muscles. She made sure we were breathing through our mouths for this, and said mouth breathing is very important during sex. She encouraged us to be as vocal as we’d like on the exhale, though I’ll admit we were both pretty quiet. I mean, this is strange, right?!? Then she talked about touch: good touch, bad touch, light touch, heavy touch. Not touching genitals or anything, just touching each other’s arms and face and shoulders and legs. It’s pretty powerful stuff moving from tension to touch. And yeah, none of this is secret stuff we don’t know about. It comes naturally in the heat of the moment. But it is really interesting to talk about, break down, and reconsider how the things that happen outside of the heat of the moment can lead up to something really amazing.”

Homework: Sexy Movie Night

“So, now we are currently working on breathing and touching, and we’re watching some Hollywood movies with great sexual tension. And it’s working. And it’s great. And it seems so different from what might have happened if I had gone to the therapist that my OBGYN suggested.”

We’re giving you an intimate glimpse into one woman’s quest to increase her libido, featuring excerpts from emails she wrote to close female friends as she worked with Celeste and Danielle in their Sex Therapy and Relationship Coaching practice.

In this second of five posts, we’ll look at what really helps women deal with their low sexual desire as she describes the transformation she and her husband went through. Our client writes:

“I knew logically that when we have great sex, so many other things are better – he is nicer to me and I am nicer to him, we have more fulfilling conversations, we play more joyfully with our son. I mean, who doesn’t want these things?!? So why were we sitting here nearly 2 decades into our relationship with my husband feeling like I wasn’t attracted to him and didn’t desire sex in the way that he wanted? And was it going to be the thing that eventually destroyed our relationship?”

So she went to her OBGYN who told her that there really aren’t medications to solve this problem and the OBGYN recommended she contact a therapist, but they either weren’t available or not a good fit for her. Our client writes:

“My husband did what he does best and did some research online. And he found Celeste & Danielle, some fairly non-traditional Sex therapists. Most therapists focus on LOTS of talking and hopefully a moderately positive outcome. This one (Celeste & Danielle) focused on the transformative power of pleasure via exposing our vulnerabilities alongside a heavy dose of sex education.”

Lesson #1. Breathing… all the way down.

“Our first visit with the Sex therapist, we both shared our side of the story (VERY hard, LOTS of tears). She listened, connected with us, asked questions and even shed a tear herself. She comforted me and told me that as a female race, we’ve been taught OUR ENTIRE LIVES to keep it in our pants. She pointed out that that kind of brainwashing certainly makes it difficult to reconnect our mind with our pussy. Whether it’s that the initial infatuation period has worn off, or that work is stressful, or that the kids need attention, or that the dinner has to be made – it is SO EASY for us to focus on absolutely everything else other than our sexual needs and desires. She told me that most women have “low libido” which is just another way to say that we are disconnected from our sexuality. Try something right now. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out. Do you feel it down to your pussy? If you are like me a month ago, the answer is that you don’t. You take a deep breath in and out, and the sensation stops right in the middle of your torso. So take a moment, and try again. Take a REALLY deep breath in and out and connect it all the way down to your pussy. If you are like me a month ago, that was a really strange sensation. But it felt nice.”

Homework #1

“So what did our sex therapist ask us to do after that first appointment? Well, I had the brunt of the homework, or so my husband thought. I was to do little things – like when I walked outside and the air felt fresh and cool, or I liked the way the sky looked, or it was unusually warm, I was supposed to take a deep breath, all the way down to – you guessed it – my pussy. And yes, you say that word often enough and it heightens your awareness of your sexuality. I was also supposed to dress more slowly, to feel the sensation of the materials on my skin. As a couple, we were supposed to be more affectionate and playful. To greet each other more enthusiastically at the end of the day, to cuddle together, to have pillow fights. Finally, we were supposed to expand our sexuality outside of sex. To watch a Hollywood (not porn) movie together, to read erotica together. No connection to the act of sex itself, just to expand our awareness and enjoyment of each other’s sexuality.”

The bad and the good.

“I’ll be honest, there were days that didn’t go great. There were days I got upset about something at work, or how my husband handled something at home, or getting my period. But overall, the deep breaths and getting dressed slowly awakened something inside me that made it quite frankly, much easier to feel turned on in a way that I’ve never been able to do before. I’m not saying I automatically am thinking about sex a hundred times a day, it’s much more subtle than that. But I did start to find that these small moments throughout the day helped me realize I might not only want sex for my husband’s sake, or for logical reasons like connecting us more deeply, but I might want it for my own pleasure as well. I actually giggled one day riding home on the bike to realize that it must feel pretty damn good to be a guy and think like this all the time.”

A realization.

“On a long run between our first and second appointments with our sex therapist, I asked my husband how he thought it was going. He mentioned that he thought it was going well from a results standpoint, but he felt he wasn’t really contributing. He felt it was all because of what I was doing on my own. I told him that I felt like we were trying to climb a mountain and that yes, part of establishing base camp was me connecting within myself, but that I really felt an equally important part was feeling wanted (not just for sex, but really truly loved and cared for) and we talked about how important I felt it was for him to show me this in a super exaggerated way. For instance, when he gets home at night, to dazzle me with a deep kiss and to hold me in his arms for more than a quick second. Not because he wanted sex that night, but just because he loves me. Or to skip his normal routine of heading to the office upon arriving home, and to instead sit with me while I prepared dinner and to talk to me about his day or my day or anything else. He tried hard to do these things since, and it’s been as essential as some of the other more overtly sexual homework.”

We love that our client is letting us share her journey with you because so many women want a more robust sex drive. And the next installment will be about sexual tension, which everyone wants more of!

One of our clients sent over this series of emails she wrote to her close female friends about working with us to address her low libido. We are so delighted that she is willing to open up about her journey, and we’ll be sharing it with you as a series of blog posts.

The Problem

In this first post, we will share with her absolutely on point description of what most couples experience when the woman in the relationship has lower desire and how they try to solve it. Our client writes:

“Over the course of the 19 years that I have been with my wonderful husband, we have had the great fortune to grow together in many ways. However, one thing that has been constant over the years is his sexual appetite has always been greater than my own. Sound familiar? That’s because a ridiculously huge proportion of women face similar issues in their relationships.”

Is Good the Enemy of Great?

“It wasn’t that I couldn’t have GOOD sex with my husband. Despite my self-diagnosed ‘low libido,’ we still managed to have sex on a moderately regular (albeit less than he would have liked) basis. But it was routine. I brushed my teeth, put on my pajamas, crawled into bed with him and we did the things we knew would please each other and we had sex. It was good. But GREAT sex required stars to be aligned. It required vacations, or alcohol, or a particularly perfect week at work and a kid who went to bed early or slept in late. It required me to get out of my head for a second and to not be annoyed that his loving overtures weren’t coming at a time where I was already in the mood, but to have them put me in the mood. It required a small miracle.”

Looking for the Quick Fix

Many couples try to resolve the issue with “quick fixes,” “hot tips,” and all sorts of short-cut solutions that generally don’t do much to shift people’s habits or change their sex lives and relationships. Our client continues:

“We’d had discussions over the years about this topic, and as a result of these emotional conversations, we’d stumble upon various tactics that would work for a SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. We’d decide to have sex every Wednesday, and it worked. For a month. We’d decide to be more amorous to each other outside the bedroom, and that worked. For a couple weeks. He would buy me sexy lingerie. That wouldn’t work (does that work for anyone but a guy?!?). We’d think that “Oh when the baby is older, we’ll get back in the groove” or “Oh, it’s the birth control pills, that’s it. After the vasectomy and I’m off the pills, we’ll magically want to jump each other’s bones all day long.”

Sound Familiar?

Some of you are probably nodding your heads emphatically right now, totally able to identify with our client’s situation. Society tells us that sex is easy, especially when you’re in a happy, loving relationship. In reality, many women suffer from occasional to frequent low-libido, making them frustrated with their relationships and themselves.

In our next post we’ll continue following our client on her journey as she searches for an answer to her low libido.

Here is a question we received from a reader:

Hi, I was going through your blog. I have a peculiar issue, maybe. I am 31, a mother of 2, and my husband is 34. He is very interested in sex — anywhere, anytime, — but me, I don’t know why, but I totally dislike it. He loves me a lot. And I feel bad that I discourage him, which hurts him a lot, but anytime he comes to me, even for a small kiss, I feel he is proposing sex. I have posted my problem in many blogs, but no luck till now. It’s been almost 3 years since I have let him near me. I feel sad for him. Please help.

The longer a couple goes without having sex, the more difficult and awkward it can be to start again. Your body actually forgets what it liked about sex. The good news is that a sex drought can make getting it on again even more exciting! We’ve helped many couples out of their sexless ruts, and find that the reasons they stopped having sex usually fall into three main categories.

Low sex drive – Some women naturally have a lower sex drive than they’ve been led to believe is “normal.” If your libido has always been lacking, it can be increased by simply spending more time thinking about sex! Tune in to the sensuality of the world around you, explore your turn-ons with erotic movies and books, and don’t forget to masturbate!

Emotional disconnect – For women in particular, misunderstandings and unresolved conflict in the relationship can cause a lack of connection and and make intimacy difficult. You and your partner must learn to effectively communicate your feelings and bridge the divide between you, because relationships are about repair.

Pushing the wrong buttons – Women frequently confide to us that their partner doesn’t know how they’d prefer to be approached, seduced, and pleasured, but they’ve never said anything to him! It’s crucial that you talk about your turn ons, even if you think they’re a little weird. Once your partner knows what you like, we can help him perfect his technique.

Even if it seems like your partner is always in the mood, he’s probably suffering from feelings of rejection and insecurity. He may fear that he won’t be able to perform well once you do start having sex. You need to make sure you keep communicating, reassuring one another, and working together to rebuild your sex life.

All this advice may be overwhelming. If you’re not sure where to begin again, a kiss is always a good start.

Women’s pleasure potential is through the roof, yet most women get nowhere near reaching it. We want to put the power of pleasure in your hands by helping you know your body, how it works, and what is possible. Once you know what is on the menu, you can choose the dishes you like best and that feel best in your body.

We want you to have all the delicious orgasms you can, but first a brief history of the facts and politics of women’s orgasms. If you remember nothing else, remember that 70% of women need some kind of clitoral stimulation to have an orgasm. Historically, Freud said that the only mature orgasm was a “vaginal orgasm.” Later, feminists fought for the clitoris, contenting that there was no such thing as a vaginal orgasm. More recently, we’ve learned that women can have orgasms that originate from three different places – the clitoris, the G-Spot, and the cervix. Some women get even more pleasure from combination orgasms, where two or more of these areas are being stimulated at the same time.

As sex and relationship coaches, the most important lesson we teach women is that every orgasm is a mature orgasm. Whether you get it from your fingers, your partner’s fingers, your partners mouth, your vibrator, or your partner’s pelvis/penis, celebrate and enjoy every second of it!

Warm Up

You are not going to get to any of these great orgasms unless your body and your mind has enough warm up. Check out our recent Huffington Post article 3 Ways to Get Excited to get some warm up tips! In addition, make sure that you ask your partner to kiss, lightly touch, and grab you while whispering adoration or fantasies in your ear.

No Pressure!

Your body will not respond well to pressure, so think of your pleasure potential journey as an exploration – instead of trying to reach the goal of having all the different kinds of orgasms, think of it as a way to learn what your body enjoys the most. Let’s put it this way, you can spend the rest of your life wishing you had the “right” kind of orgasms or you can spend it fully enjoying the ones you can actually have. We know which one we would choose!

Clitoral Orgasms

The easiest way to get a clitoral orgasm is by stimulating the clitoris yourself – usually starting slowly then getting much quicker – with your own fingers or a vibrator. Get a vibrator with multiple settings so you can start light and work your way up to just right! The next best way is to have your partner use their fingers or tongue. You can also get a clitoral orgasm from intercourse – when your partner’s pelvis rubs against the clitoris or the movement in and out pulls the lips of the clitoris across the hood. But for most women this may not be enough to result in orgasm because the stimulation is more intermittent and indirect. If you want to dramatically increase your likelihood of having an orgasm during intercourse use your fingers or your vibrator during the act.

G-Spot Orgasms

G-Spot orgasms come from pressure and movement across the inside of your vagina right past the urethral sponge. For most people, the best way to find it is to have your partner go inside with their fingers a little past the knuckles and then hook their fingers upwards. For most women the best G-Spot tool is their partner’s fingers – fingers are both sensitive and skillful. When your partner uses their fingers, while you direct them and give them feedback, they can moderate the location, pressure and speed of their touch – all very important for your ability to get a G-Spot orgasm.

If you try stimulating the G-Spot and don’t feel much at the first few times don’t give up. It takes time and repetition to awaken and sensitize the G-Spot. Also the G-Spot can generally take more pressure than most folks think, so invite harder, faster pressure and see how it feels. G-Spot sensation can be very intense and unfamiliar at first and might make you feel like you have to go to the bathroom, but you don’t! G-Spot pressure can lead to female ejaculation – yes ladies, it is a real thing! Try to stay with the intensity and add some clitoral stimulation or warm up with a clitoral orgasm before your partner uses their fingers on your G-Spot.

Cervical Orgasms

Cervical orgasms come from stimulation on your cervix – the opening of your uterus – located deep inside your vagina. The best tools for the cervix are a penis, a toy, or long fingers. Some women have a very sensitive cervix and can only take very light pressure while others like very hard pressure. The cervix is also a great candidate for combination orgasms: try giving yourself some clitoral touch or vibrations at the same time as your cervix is stimulated.

We hope you will continue to find out all about your body and how it works so you can have the most pleasurable sex life possible!