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

We were just joking about the 5 Easy Steps, but we do think it’s time to lose the reputation you’ve been trying so hard to protect! So here’s a story by (and about) Celeste that we think will help you find your freedom instead…

When the rumors started

One Monday morning in 8th grade, as I jogged slowly around the block with my fellow students in PE class in the small town where I grew up, one of my classmates jogged up next to me, “So, I heard you gave head to John last night in Nate’s treehouse.” Simultaneously, I felt the wind knocked out of me and my flight response kicked in full-force. I started to run as fast as I could – Looking back now, I know I was trying to run away from this image of me as a girl who would give a blowjob at a party to someone she wasn’t even really dating. Never having been any kind of jock, it was certainly the fastest I’d ever run in PE.

Nevermind that the furthest I had ever gone with a boy was a french kiss and a little touching of my breasts over the shirt. But for the sake of the rumor mill, the fact that I had breasts – really big ones for my young age combined with my flirtatious personality were enough to brand me a slut. When I first heard the news I felt a very strong need to clear up my reputation, to make sure people knew that I had done no such thing. At the same time, I was perhaps lucky to have been born in the early 70’s into a family who had fully embraced being part of the hippie counterculture. It had never been our motto to fit in or be what everyone else thought we should be. My dad was an avid stoner and, by this time, my mom had already begun her career as a Tarot reader.

And I, whether I liked it or not, was going to be seen as a slut. It didn’t take me too long to stop running and to wholeheartedly embrace the slut image. After all, I was really horney. I loved to flirt and feel people’s attraction towards me. Though I didn’t have sex with lots of guys, I started having sex relatively early and had had 5 partners by the end of high school. I also loved to make out at parties and I really, really loved dressing sexy. I liked the attention and I liked showing off my big, beautiful breasts.

Letting the “Good Girl” Go

There was something about losing the reputation of being a “good girl”, (something I still love to be called during sex), that also freed me up from worrying too much about being good in general. We, humans, are complex creatures, and to pretend that all of our motives and actions come from a place of love, generosity, and positive purpose is a lie. What’s more, even when we are coming from a place of love, generosity, and positive purpose, others may still see or experience what we are doing differently. They may even feel harmed by something that we are offering from this place.

The wonderful thing about losing your reputation, early and often, is that you don’t have to be shameful, or guilty, or defensive when you do something from the not-so-full-of-love-and-light part of yourself – from the childish, vindictive, or narcissistic part. And, you don’t have to defend yourself if you are doing something from a place of positive intention and someone else experiences what you’ve done as hurtful. Instead, you can “cop to it”. When you can be honest about not being perfect and you can let go of having to be seen as perfect, you get to be human and you get to be more connected.

So, go ahead and ruin your reputation

Think about it, if you have to defend against, divorce yourself from, or hide from anyone who thinks that something about you isn’t perfect or who is harmed by your best intentions, you will spend a lot of time defending, divorcing yourself, and hiding. If, instead, you step towards people and acknowledge your imperfections and hear their pain.You may even know that they are most certainly gossiping about you behind your back and you can let go of needing that to be different because you can now walk in the world with openness. People may look at you and shake their head disapprovingly saying, “She (or he) is shameless” and you will know that they are right. Turns out being free of shame is not such a bad thing.

 

  • Photo by Raj Bandyopadhyay

The chill in the air, the early sunsets, the coveted seasonal beverages, these all mean one thing: it’s officially cuffing season. While the kinky among you may be saying, silly sexperts, every season in cuffing season for me – we aren’t talking about what goes on in your fave dungeon. “Cuffing Season” is a term for the phenomenon where people who are generally happy being single in beach weather suddenly want to hunker down and snuggle up with a mate during the colder months. Basically, they are willing to be cuffed. While the term cuffing season is more recent and has been traced to college campuses, Canadians have noted the phenomenon of “taking a winter wife” for ages. Beyond the desire for body heat, there are various social psychological explanations for this, such as the association of winter with loneliness, the holidays and family pressures, the panic that there will be no opportunity to be out and about. The fears and desires that surface during this time are important to honor and explore, whether you are in a monogamous relationship or not. Here are a few tips on making it through the winter months.

It’s OK to need contact

While western society promotes individualism and self-sufficiency, the truth is we all want to feel loved, wanted, and connected. Maybe in the warmer months it can feel a little easier to be a lone wolf, getting things done, focusing on yourself but still feeling like your quota of human contact is met. Personally, we feel like just seeing more skin out in the sunshine makes the world feel more connected, and sexier. The winter months can feel isolating. It’s good to have a plan for staying connected even if it doesn’t involve getting laid. Plan a weekly poker night, happy hour, movie night, booty call, snuggle party, whatever it is that keeps you feeling warm and connected. It can be hard to motivate last minute when you know you’re gonna be chilled to the bone. If you’re in a relationship, plan something with your partner that feels intentional and fun, not just a default night of side by side laptoping.

It’s OK to Hibernate

If you are someone who loves to be home more and have time for introspection that is wonderful and don’t feel pressure to force yourself out and about. Give yourself permission to take some time to yourself. If you are single a sick of the dating roller-coaster it’s alright to sit a season out and focus on taking stock and visualizing what you actually want. If this sounds overwhelming we would love to help. If you’re in a relationship maybe you and your love truly cherish this time to netflix and chill and that is great as well. Just check in with yourself instead of going on default.

Communication is Key…even if the relationship is only seasonal

So maybe you are someone who takes a winter wife (or husband) and you find yourself overly committed come the spring when you suddenly want to experience a bit more freedom. If this sounds familiar, you can stop doing it haplessly and start doing it consciously. There is nothing wrong with spending more time with a new lover in the winter months, but it is a good idea to check in and approach this with honesty while still making them feel special. Also, some people who are scared of commitment might need the winter as an excuse to allow themselves to enjoy engaging more fully in a relationship. Just make sure you are not consoli-dating – taking an early promising connection and instantly putting all of the pressures of an LTR – since this can jeopardize a good thing. Who knows, this winter lover could become a year round staple.

Keep Yourself Warm

No matter what your relationship status, the winter is a great time for an extra dose of self-love. Heat up a heating pad, warm up your favorite pumpkin spice lube, and enjoy the feeling of getting away with something. Oh and it’s totally OK to keep your socks on.

As you move through the honeymoon period, you start to see the person for who they really are, which is never exactly the person you hoped or imagined they would be. This is the beauty and challenge of a relationship – the differences between your fantasy partner and the person sitting in front of you create an opportunity for interpersonal and personal growth.

In the long-term love phase, you get to see your partner’s endearing and annoying day-to-day habits, as well as your own, and you also get to experience your partner’s and your own vulnerability and defenses. As you let someone in more deeply and they let you in, you begin to see and feel your strengths and challenges. Each of you starts to gain access to the other’s buttons that trigger the fears of the inner child, the fight/flight/flee response that comes in the face of these fears, as well as the accompanying defensive strategies.

We believe true and lasting love is about developing a solid, loving base supporting each other’s attachment needs and giving each other mutual care. It is also about personal growth, following your own dreams and desires, and celebrating and supporting your partner in growing and actualizing their dreams and desires as well. In our book Making Love Real we teach you all the steps to building a satisfying and fulfilling relationship that last.

It feels so good to say and to hear the words “I love you,” but what do they really mean? In order to talk about what makes a relationship successful, it is crucial to have a working definition of love. This is something you can remind yourself, and each other, of during the inevitable ebb and flow of any long term relationship. Defining love is not an easy task. Poets, philosophers, neuroscientists, therapists and just about everyone else have tirelessly tried to answer this question. Our working definition of love comes from what we have seen work for the couples in our practice as sex and intimacy therapists.

Of all of the couples we see in our practice, the couples who have the most successful relationships know, or learn, that intimacy grows and is sustained not just in moments of connection, but in moments of tension. Moments of connection, such as touching, looking at one another, having an enjoyable shared experience, talking or having sex are all part of the glue that keeps relationships together. Likewise, moments of tension including differing desires, disagreements, misunderstandings, hurt feelings and anger, if done well, can also be part of the glue that holds your relationship together. When you come to conflict with the intention of sharing difficult feelings and deepening empathy and understanding of one another, and you learn to repair breaks in connection, you begin to build a sense of trust for one another that you can make it through challenges. Since every relationship has tension, knowing that you can make it through challenging moments is also part of the glue that holds relationships together. Doing both connection and tension well are essential to sustainable love.

Most relationships start out with a feeling of attraction and then move into two somewhat distinct phases. The first is the experience of falling in love (the “honeymoon period”), and the second is the experience of long-term loving. Not every relationship moves from the first phase into the second, and the ones that do so successfully are able to experience a love that is not narrowly defined. In our upcoming book Making Love Real we explore what love means. Articulating what we mean by love helps us to understand why we choose the people we choose to love (even when it does not feel like a choice). In this blog series we will explore why we love who we love and how to sustain it. Stay tuned and subscribe to this blog to get email notifications!