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

#272: How Has Sex Helped You Grow - Research Participants Wanted!

Jacqueline Hellyer - Saturday, November 16, 2019

I’ve just received final approval for my research project – hooray- and now I need couples to be my research participants.

The fancy, academic title for my research is:

The transformative potential of optimal sexuality within a relational context.

What this means in everyday language is:

Does having a great sex life develop you as a couple and as individuals, and if so, how?

There’s a great quote from John Welwood that says:

intimate relationship…is such a provocative and powerful meeting place, where the psychological and the spiritual come together in a particularly potent way.”

I totally agree with this and am particularly interested in how a couple’s sex life contributes. I am sure, from all my years of professional experience, and from my own personal life, that developing a certain kind of sexuality, does transform you. A couple who attended one of my Bali retreats, describe this beautifully when they said that they felt their relationship “had changed frequency, as though we have shifted from AM to FM”.

In my last LoveLife Blog article, I described ‘optimal sexuality’ and what it entails. There are eight components to having this level of sexuality:
  1. Being present: focused, aware and utterly immersed in the experience.
  2. Intense emotional connection: a sense of connection, alignment, being in sync, merged with the partner.
  3. Deep sexual or erotic intimacy: mutual respect, caring, genuine acceptance.
  4. Extraordinary communication: heightened empathy and sensitivity.
  5. Interpersonal risk taking: sex experienced as an adventure, a journey, ongoing self-expression.
  6. Authenticity: being genuine, uninhibited, transparent.
  7. Vulnerability: getting ‘swept away’, revelling in the sensations and surrendering to the partner.
  8. A sense of transcendence: bliss, peace, awe, the feeling of utter timelessness in encounters that are transformative and healing.
I’m looking for couples who self-identify as having this kind of sexuality who would like to explore with me how they’ve grown and transformed as individuals and as a couple through developing this level of sexuality.

What I mean by the term ‘transform’ is a qualitative shift in one’s life and/or worldview that is persistent (not merely a temporary shift that reverts to a previous state), pervasive (not confined to isolated aspects of one’s being or functioning), and profound (having an important life impact).

In evolving and transforming in this way you tend to have:
  • an increased expansiveness of being,
  • an increased openness,
  • an enhanced awareness,
  • an increased sense of connection, and
  • a more authentic and meaningful existence.
So, if you feel your sexuality meets all or most of these criteria and feel that it has transformed you in this way, I’d love to interview as part of my research!

It will of course be totally confidentially and the reporting anonymous. I’ll need an initial hour or two of your time for an interview which will be recorded and transcribed for my research, and then a few months later, after I’ve interviewed all the participants (about six couples) and done my analysis, to see how you feel about my findings and whether they need modifying.

I’m sure it will be fascinating project to do and be involved in, so if you are interested, please let me know by email:




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