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

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.

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.