The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!


#332: Be Conscious Not Complacent

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, November 14, 2021


It’s so easy to become complacent in relationships. Hey, we’re busy people, we’ve got a lot on, we’re tired, we don’t have the time or energy to invest in our relationship, there are other priorities…

 And so, without the nurturance, it withers and dies…

 Like everything in life, if you want something to be good, if you want it to be a part of life that supports and enhances you, you need to focus on it. If you want to be healthy you have to focus on your health, if you want to be wealthy you have to focus on your finances, and if you want to be loved-up you have to focus on your relationship.

 If you get complacent you stop being consciously engaged with your partner and even with yourself and revert to subconscious beliefs and patterns, such as poor parental role-modelling, limiting cultural beliefs around relationships, unhelpful myths about sexuality.

 When you pay attention though, you learn about yourself and your partner and through that you develop a better dynamic. With that awareness you make better choices. If there are tensions or blocks, you work on them. You admit where you lack knowledge or experience and get help and learn. Then you practice, together, and... read more



#331: It's OK to Disappoint Your Partner

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, October 31, 2021

So often people tell me that they don’t want to say their truth as they don’t want to upset their partner, but what they really mean is that they don’t want to feel bad about disappointing their partner. There’s a big difference between those two statements.

Of course, we don’t like our partners to be upset, but that doesn’t mean we should do anything we can to prevent them having a bad feeling. That is intensely co-dependant.

We are not responsible for our partner’s feelings. We are responsible for our own feelings. Now, let me clarify that a bit.

In a healthy relationship we are interdependent. That means we are both independent and relational. The relational part is that we are attentive and supportive of our partner. We are always responsible for being caring and polite and kind and respectful to our partner. Absolutely. The independent part of a good relationship is that we are also attentive and respectful to ourselves. That means we need to express our truth to our partner. The relational element of this is that we need to express that truth in a caring, polite, kind and respectful way.

Then the independent element on our partner’s part, is that they are responsible for managing their... read more



#330: Moans & Groans – why sound is good in sex and how to make more

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, October 17, 2021

 

"Oh, yeah, oh yeah, that’s good, oh yeah, mmm, oh, yeah, oh god oh god, mmm, mmm..."

It’s hard to convey in writing – so listen to the podcast – but those moans and groans during sex are so sexy. It’s a turn-on for your partner to hear them and it actually makes the experience more pleasurable for you too.

Why? Well, firstly we all like to know that our partner is enjoying themselves when we’re having sex with them, no-one wants to have sex with someone who isn’t enjoying it, particularly if it’s your beloved – and it’s a sexual confidence-builder to know that we’re good at pleasuring our partner. It’s a pleasure to pleasure!

And then, it feels better for us as individuals when we make sounds. Why? Because we’re opening and releasing. We’re breathing, we’re letting the feeling, the pleasure, the energy flow and that creates more good feeling. If you’re feeling tight and holding it in, then there’s no flow and no release.

It’s particularly good when we let the sounds come from deep in our torso. The higher sounds which come from high in our torso or throat, are good, but see what it’s like when you drop down into your belly and pelvis... read more



#329: Gateways to the Erotic Shift

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, October 03, 2021


There’s the everyday, and there’s the erotic. And there’s a shift between the two.

There’s a physical shift where your body stirs.  It’s not just genital arousal, it’s a shift in your physical state, a rich warm spread of feeling throughout your whole body. And there’s a shift in consciousness, from the everyday waking state to something altered, with less active cognitive thinking, to a more right-brain, bliss-like awareness.

To have good sex, you need the erotic shift, physically and consciously.

Sure, you can engage in sex without it, you might even have genital orgasms, but you won’t have that rich altered state of consciousness. Which is fine for a quickie, but for a fully satisfying experience right to the depths of your soul, you need to access the erotic shift.

What leads to that shift? What are your gateways?

For some it might it might be sensual engagement through touch and sound, for others it might be a sense of deep love and devotion.

Some might get there through a sense of the transgressive, going to the edge, in their minds or in their actions, for others it could be through the simplicity of an eye gaze.

Some might find their way through erotic storytelling, others with... read more



#328: Safety is Sexy

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, September 19, 2021

It might not sound particularly sexy, but without safety you don’t get sexy, at least, not quality sexy. 

Safety is needed to be able to trust, be vulnerable, open up and let go, and that is what’s required for good sex. 

Safety comes first.

It’s often overlooked in sex though. We want to jump straight to the good stuff, the behaviours, rather than making sure the conditions are safe. It would be like going skydiving without checking the parachute is packed properly. It’s dangerous! And not pleasurable. And in fact, like with skydiving, the more ‘dangerous’ you want your sexual encounter to be, the more you have to focus on safety.

You’ll actually find that those who engage in the kinkier sexual activities have very thoroughly well-packed “parachutes”. You’re safer in a BDSM dungeon than in the average bedroom, because there you don’t engage without a thorough understanding of what each is wanting and setting your boundaries very clearly. In contrast, I’ve had clients who have been together for decades, who have never discussed their sex life.

If your partner doesn’t know what you’re feeling and wanting and fearing and hoping, it’s not safe, and it’s not going to be good. Either you’ll exceed your boundaries and get hurt... read more



#327: Pace Your Sexual Interactions

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, September 05, 2021

So often when I talk with clients about their so-called  “mismatched libidos” it has nothing to do with the quantity of desire and everything to do with the pace.

They are simply going too fast.

And so often I find that they are letting the one with faster arousal lead the way, with the other feeling or being labelled as inadequate because they’re not aroused quickly enough. Seriously, the stories I hear – no wonder so many people are not enjoying sex, often with one obliging even though they are not ready and the other feeling bad because they can tell their partner isn’t into it.

I often say to these couples, if you were going for a walk together, would you expect the slower walker to race along at the speed of the faster, or would the faster slow down to accommodate the slower so that you could enjoy the walk together? Or if you were enjoying a good meal, would you wolf it down and think that it was better because you ate so quickly – or would you take the time to savour the experience?

Of course we know that taking our time to enjoy activities together makes the experience more enjoyable. Yet when it comes... read more



#326: Fly on the Wall Friday - my new Video Series

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, August 22, 2021


What happens in a sex and relationship therapy clinic? What cases are discussed? What insights are uncovered?

Well, now you can be a 'fly on the wall' with my new video series - Fly on the Wall Friday!

In this series I reflect on cases I've seen through the week at the LoveLife Clinic and share insights from them, to inspire you in your own love life.

The first seven episodes in the series are:

1.  The Case of the Missing Partners

In episode one I compare two cases where two men were sent to me by their wives to 'fix' their sexual problems. The outcome was very different in each case, depending on the attitude of the wives...

2.  The Case of the Missing Libido

In episode two I discuss the case of one partner of a same-sex female couple who, like so many clients I see, had 'lost her libido'. In solving this case, we look at issues like: what is libido, how arousal does not equal desire, and the difference between spontaneous and responsive arousal.

3.  The Case of the Disembodied Clients

In episode three I discuss two cases of clients who weren't 'in their body' and therefore weren't engaged with their sexuality. In solving... read more



#325: When Things Get Wobbly Assume the Best and Get Curious

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, August 08, 2021

It's inevitable that you will have wobbly times in your relationship. You are different - always have been, always will be! Sometimes you’ll have different wants or opinions, sometimes you’ll have inadvertently annoyed the other, sometimes stresses will come in from outside the relationship, and sometimes there will be a misunderstanding.

Whatever is the cause of the wobble, you need to do things:
 1. Assume the best of your partner.
 2. Get curious.

You have to assume that your partner is not deliberately trying to hurt you or annoy you or piss you off in any way. You have to assume that your partner loves you and you’re on the same team. So if they are acting in a way that seems unloving or not on the same team, get curious as to why. Ask them open-ended questions to understand what is going on for them. “Babe, I’m curious what’s going on for you…” “Honey, can you tell me more about that…” “Sweetheart, I’m feeling a little confused, could you take me through that again more slowly…”

This might sound simple, but it’s not always so as we can easily trigger our nervous systems and become emotionally dysregulated, so it’s hard to stay calm enough to assume... read more



#324: How Alike do You Need to be to Have a Good Relationship

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, July 25, 2021

My clients often wonder if they are really suited to each other. They thought they were at the start but over time the differences have become more apparent and they worry that they’re not compatible.

So how similar do we need to be to have a good relationship?

Well, it depends on what aspect of relating you are considering. In some cases yes, in others no.

In brief:

• You need to have common values.
• You need to have shared, but not the same, interests.
• You can have very different personalities.

It’s actually good to have different personalities, different ways of seeing the world, of being in the world. Different ways of thinking, different ways of feeling, different ways of expressing – these all broaden the ways you as a couple can live and experience life.

A big caveat here though is that you have to appreciate the differences, not make each other wrong for being different.

And you have to realise that the same qualities can have both good and bad aspects. Let’s take an example of a couple where one sees the other as “my rock”, solid, dependable, someone who makes them feel really safe and secure in the world. Yet, those same positive... read more



#323: Be "At Home" in Your Body

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, July 11, 2021


Close your eyes. Take a breath in, exhale slowly and sink into your body. Keep breathing slowly and gently and allow your mind to wander around the inside of your body.

What do you notice? What do you feel? Is there a sense of comfort, ease, contentment? Do you feel at home in your body?

We really are turtles, carrying our ‘home’ around with us. We inhabit our bodies. We travel through life in our bodies. We experience existence through our bodies.

Yet how comfortable do we feel in this “home”? So many people don’t. They are disconnected from their body. There are two main reasons for this.

Firstly, through being too much ‘in our heads’. Prioritising thinking over feeling, the brain over the body. These people live their lives in their heads, they are a head walking around with a body ‘down there somewhere’. There is little integration. These people rely on their brains, yet by being disconnected from their bodies, they aren’t getting the information their brains need to be in the world. This leads to anxiety at worst, and a reduction in pleasure and enjoyment at best.

The second reason is when people have negative emotions associated with their body. Unlike the first type who are in their heads and... read more



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