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


#307: Three Types of Sexual Communication: Chit-chat, In the Moment & The Debrief

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, November 22, 2020

Communication is so fundamental to co-creating a great life together. Whether it’s as simple as agreeing on what you’re going to have for dinner, through to big topics like how you manage your finances, every aspect of relating needs good communication. This is never more important than when it comes to sex, but…talking about sex is one of the hardest things for a couple to do.

Why is this? Well, some people think you shouldn’t have to talk about sex, it “should just come naturally”; some people only talk about sex when there’s a problem so when they do it’s heavy and negative; and a lot of people are simply too shy. Yet without talking about it, it’s not going to be good. Imagine if you didn’t talk about what you wanted to eat, or where you wanted to go on holidays, how you raise the kids – how good, or more likely bad, would your life together be?

So, let’s take a look at the three types of sexual communication you need to have a great love life.

Chit-Chat

Chit-chat is talking about sex in general. As I described in another blog article, you need to treat your love life like a mutual hobby – something you do for pleasure in... read more



#306: What I Desire

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, November 08, 2020


This is the text of a talk I gave at Generation Woman, about "What I Desire":

The simplest way to describe me is as a Sex Geek. I am fascinated by sex and love and intimacy in all its aspects – the physical, emotional, mental, social, anthropological and the spiritual. So, when it comes to talking about desire, well, that’s what I do all day. But it’s other people’s desire, or the concept in general; I rarely talk about my own, publicly, so this is a little different for me. And when I’m talking to an audience of women it’s usually for two days at a time, not five minutes. 

So, how do I talk about a topic I have dedicated my life to exploring, in five minutes, in a personal way…?

Well, given that people are always asking me how I became a sex therapist, I thought I’d start with how my desire for desire started. And if a shamanic journey I went on a few years ago is to be believed, it all started several lifetimes ago when I was a Tibetan lama, exploring how sexual energy can be used for spiritual growth – but ended up inadvertently traumatising a bunch of women, and slunk off in abashed horror... read more



#305: Lazy Sex

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, October 25, 2020


I am a big fan of lazy sex. Hey, I’m a busy woman and ‘lazy’ is often the most I can manage. But lazy doesn’t have to mean boring. Let me share with you the simple pleasures of lazy sex….

I often find clients say they don’t have the energy for sex, as if it’s a given that sex needs to be energetic. It doesn’t. We’ve all been misled that way because sex scenes in movies tend to be passionate and fast, porn certainly doesn’t show lazy sex – how boring would that be to watch! And if we think back to when we were young, yes, it probably was more intense.

If you think about other pleasures in life though – food, music, walking in nature, conversing with friends – we don’t assume they have to be intense and passionate. So why should sex?

Of course, it can be, there’s nothing wrong with a good intense shag with lots of varied activities along the way. If you have the time and energy and you’re both in the mood for that, great, go for it. But if you’re not, rather than missing out on pleasure and connection, take a different approach.

I remember a client I had once who said that she liked sex,... read more



#304: It's Not "Needy" to Connect, It's Human

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, October 04, 2020


Sometimes a client tells me they feel they are too ‘needy’ because they want to connect with their partner more. Or in contrast, a client tells me they feel their partner is too ‘needy’ because they want to connect with them more. And occasionally they are right, the ‘needy’ partner lacks self-assurance and uses their partner to fill a hole in themselves. But more often the clients have bought into a belief, so common in our society, that idolises individuality.

Yet humans are social creatures, we are pair-bonding creatures. It’s not ‘needy’ to desire connection, it’s human.

We’ve evolved that way. Why? Because we have very large brains and therefore very large skulls. This means that compared to most other mammal species, humans give birth to our young very prematurely, while the infant’s skull is still small enough to get out of the mother. So, our infants are born totally helpless – they can’t even hold up their heads! It takes seven years for a human infant to get to the level of independence that most mammals get to in a few weeks or months.

Other mammal species don’t need fathers. Once he’s done his job of impregnation the mother can gestate, birth and raise her infants all on her own. There is... read more



#303: The Art of the Thrust

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, September 20, 2020


Men can have a bit of a jack-hammer approach to thrusting, lots of tension and tightness, which can be ok if you’re focusing on friction to gain arousal rather than feeling. To move into deeper, more connected love-making you’ll need to master a broader repertoire of thrusts. 

It's not just the men though. Intercourse is not simply a man thrusting into a passive partner. She needs to be engaged in her pelvis and moving with the motion too. Ideally you're moving in a harmonic unison. So these points, while directed to men, apply to the woman too. (And apologies for being so heterocentric, it applies whenever there is a penis or phallic object moving in and out of a partner.)

Important Point #1: Relax your hips

Keep your pelvic area relaxed, hips, buttocks, belly. You’ll feel more, you’ll have more control over your movements, you’ll be more sensitive to how your partner's body is responding, and you’ll move more freely and smoothly.

Important Point #2: Focus on the Out as much as the In

Rather than focusing on the in-in-in-in, which gives a jerky intense feel to the thrust, focus on the out as much as the in. This gives a more sensual flowing feel to the thrust. 

It also means that rather than... read more



#302: Transformational Erotica

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, September 06, 2020



This piece of erotic fiction is the Creative Synthesis I wrote as part of the research dissertation for my Masters of Science degree in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology. The research topic was: A Heuristic Inquiry into the Transformative Potential of Optimal Sexuality within a Relational Context. You'll find reading this erotic fiction an easy and enjoyable way of getting across the findings - which is essentially the essence of the overall approach in this blog...

F-Day Anniversary

Her:

You wake. It’s the eighth anniversary of F-Day – Freedom Day. The day you discovered your tedious husband was bonking one of the attendants at the golf club. You’ll never forget the feeling – first a numbness from the shock, then an incredible feeling of release. It was as though something woke up in your belly, in your womb, and slowly expanded throughout your body, awakening a joy, a release, an aliveness you hadn’t felt in years, if ever. You recall your surprise as it actually felt sexual, this feeling of your whole body being awake and alive. Nothing like the dutiful dull, late-night rutting of your husband relieving himself inside you – not that that happened much anymore, he seemed as jaded by it all as you; nor anything like the early... read more


#301: Sex as Embodied Mindfulness Practice

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, August 23, 2020



Mindfulness is a good thing. From scientific research to the personal experience of increasing numbers of people, there is proof of so many benefits from practicing mindfulness in life – better health, calmer, more self-aware, more engaged with life.

There’s also been more research on sex and mindfulness, although the focus tends to be on how mindfulness practices can make sex better. I’m just as interested in how sex itself can be a mindfulness practice.

So, what are mindfulness practices? We tend to associate mindfulness with solo, sedentary practices such as meditation, prayer and contemplation. And yes, these are great ways to practice mindfulness, to learn to still the mind, relax the body and even have experiences of oneness with the universe. Ideally these practices will also be embodied, so that you are really present and aware of your body, as much as stilling the mind. I tend to think of this as ‘bodyfulness’ as much as ‘mindfulness’.

While you can practice embodied mindfulness in seated positions, more obviously embodiment-focused are the movement-based mindfulness practices. These practices involve movement, such as tai chi and yoga, which have additional benefits of being kinaesthetic, proprioceptive, tactile, spacial and interoceptive (when practiced with focus not just as... read more


#300: So Many Ways to Eat, So Many Ways to…

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, August 09, 2020



There are so many different ways to eat – all the way from a quick snack through to a fancy multi-course dinner. It’s the same with sex, which is why I use so many food analogies when I’m talking about sex.

I was doing this with a couple of clients recently. They’re a really fun-loving couple, upbeat and lively in most parts of life – but not the bedroom. Instead of the lightness that was in the rest of their connection, bedroom matters had become heavy and hard, and pretty non-existent. After several sessions of helping them identify and share their feelings and desires around sex, with loads of food analogies along the way, they came in to session with big smiles on their faces.

“We had sex three times!” the wife exclaimed. “We had roast dinner…” “And some cheese on toast…” added the husband, “And even an open sandwich!” finished the wife.

They’d really taken on board the food analogy concept and were using it not only to help with their sexual communication, but to make it fun as well. One evening she’d had a lovely time on her own relaxing and getting in the mood for some loving, then texted him to invite him... read more


#299: Date Night or Date Day?

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, July 26, 2020



A couple came to me this week for their three-month check-in after seeing me regularly early in the year. With big smiles and loving glances at each other they said that one of the big changes for them was that they have instigated a monthly Date Day.

I am a big advocate of couples spending quality time together. Without it you lose connection, start feeling like house-mates rather than lovers, and sex becomes either a non-event or a Big Issue. I’ve written elsewhere about finding that connection in small ways throughout the day, and having chats together in the evenings. Those small connections are your ‘relationship vitamins’. But that alone is rarely enough, you need some longer, more interesting times together, so date nights are a great idea.

But…sometimes getting out in the evening can feel like more effort than it’s worth, particularly if you’ve got young children. You’re tired! So going out at the end of a long day (and week) can just add to the exhaustion (not to mention the expectation of having sex when you get home and by the time you’ve paid the babysitter and checked on the kids and got undressed and into bed…zzzz….)

So, I often recommend to... read more


#298: Teenage Love-Making

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, July 12, 2020



My teenage son came to me the other day and proudly declared that out of all his mates, he’s the only one who has made love.

Once I got over the initial shock of him being so open with me – even though all three of my children are really open about their sexuality, since I’ve brought them up that way, it still surprises me as I could never have been that open with my parents – I asked him if he meant that his friends haven’t had sex yet.

“No, Mum,” he clarified “they’re having sex, but it’s just that boring teenage sex. Me and Kate, we really make love.” He had a big satisfied smile on his face.

“So, what’s the difference between regular sex and love-making?” I asked.

“Oh, Mum, we spend ages making out first. Then only when we’re like, really really into it, that’s when we have sex. And we do it really slowly and it feels sooo good and we can just go on and on for ages. You know, it’s all that stuff you told me makes it good. And some other stuff we’ve, you know, found out ourselves. Kate just goes into this zone and it’s really good. Yeah, none of... read more


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