I love using food metaphors when educating and inspiring people around sexuality. We understand the variety, the flavours, the processes and ingredients – from simple to complex - when it comes to food. So, it is with sex too.
One of my most important food analogies is that great sex is non-linear, more like a picnic than a three-course meal. More recently I wrote about ‘relationship vitamins’, all the little things that are needed to make a relationship strong and healthy and sexy.
Today I’d like to use the metaphor of a cake and icing (frosting for my North American readers). Icing is sweet and delicious, but on its own, it’s too sweet and is sickly rather than tasty. Icing is only good when it’s on a cake. When you have a delicious cake, and then you ice it – mmm, yummy scrummy! read more...
The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!
From my column in Body+Soul
Question: "I've just turned 60 and have been married over 35 years to a very good lady who loves me, but over the years has lost interest in sex. These days, she would happily have no sex at all, and so my advances are almost entirely rebuffed. The problem is I can’t find release myself – I’m not able to masturbate (perhaps my Catholic upbringing has locked in some guilt that stops me). My question has two parts: Is having regular erections without release bad for my health (eg my prostate)? And then… what can I do? If I can’t change my wife’s mind or learn to self-pleasure, I’m afraid I’ll start looking outside my marriage." read more...
I am really interested in human sexual potential. What is truly great sex? And why should we aim for it?
Well, most sexological research seems to have been focused more on quantity than quality. There’s a big focus on functioning genitals, with the assumption that if he’s erect and she’s lubricating, well, off you go then, that’s all you need for sex.
More recently there is more attention placed on pleasure, which is great, but again, it tends to focus on quantity rather than quality. How many orgasms are we having and how big are they?
But I work a lot with people who do have functioning genitals and satisfactory orgasms, yet they still say there’s something missing, that there’s got to be more. And yes, there is! I believe our human sexual potential has a lot more to do with depth and transcendence than in functioning genitals and quantifiable orgasms. read more...
Our brain is such an interesting thing. It stores away memories and impressions, and then when we are met with a similar situation, it immediately goes ‘oh that old thing’ and presents a pre-formed idea based on the past. Which means it’s easy to get complacent in our experiencing of life, including our experience of our partner.
When we first meet there is so much newness and excitement – our brain is bedazzled by our new object of interest, we find this person fascinating. Our brain is engaged and releasing lots of dopamine and the endorphins and oxytocin are flowing in our body. It feels sooo goood! Often this is fuelled by pre-existing beliefs around ‘happy ever after’ and ‘finding one’s soul mate’, which enhance the interest and positive feelings.
But, over time, that person is no longer new. They become a bit ‘same old same old’. Our brain gets used to them, we no longer see them as new and interesting, and often this is exacerbated by beliefs around sex and love getting boring with time, and maybe memories of our own parents’ complacent marriages mixed in. We go into automatic mode with our partner, with our impressions and expectations of them. We get bored and boring, in all aspects of our relationship, including sexually, we become a slave to our preconditioning.
So many people who come to me are wanting more from their sexuality, but are at a loss as to what that ‘more’ might be.
These people might already have done their own research or seen other professional helpers. They've made sure their genitals are functioning, have given themselves permission to try different sexual activities, learned the importance of consent – and yes, these are all important parts of a healthy sex life – yet something is still missing…
The answer to the ‘more’ in sex is not a doing more, it’s a being more.
It is about moving away from sex as an ‘act’ or a ‘performance’ and engaging with another with openness and transparency. Rather than ‘doing’ each other or ‘getting each other off’, it’s about both surrendering to the experience. When two people engage in this way you are allowing yourself to explore, express and be known at the deepest levels of your being. read more...
So often I hear my clients say that they still love their partner but are no longer in love. Often this is given as the reason for wanting to end an otherwise good relationship. These clients always make this claim with some despondency and with a sense of finality, as though once it’s gone it’s gone.
This is understandable, as it’s a common belief that there is the exciting, passionate ‘in love’ honeymoon period and then there is dreary ‘loving’ companionship ever after. But is this fact or myth? Is loss of ‘in love-ness’ inevitable or can we keep it going? read more...
1 May 2019
Today I am 55 years of age. It feels somehow special. I feel I’ve ‘arrived’ at a new stage somehow. I didn’t feel this when I turned 50, although that was significant too. Fifty-five feels strong, wise, powerful.
I woke up with the phrase 'Own the Crone' going through my mind.
It comes from the three classical stages of woman: maiden, mother and crone.
It’s the ‘maiden’, the young woman, who has been considered the most desirable, the most sexual in our society. We glorify youth, the beauty, the vibrancy of the young. That’s what’s considered sexually desirable.
The ‘mother’ phase of a woman’s life, well, this has been when she's considered the most ‘useful’ – as long as she had children of course, god forbid if she didn’t and remained a ‘spinster’. But was she sexual? Ah, no.
And as for the crone, that dried up older woman. What use was she? She’s past it, a post-menopausal has-been.
Hardly! I’ve never felt more confident, more capable, healthier or more sexually juiced up in my life! So, I’m coming out loud and proud about my age to be a beacon of inspiration for women of all ages. read more...
For centuries we had the Madonna - Whore polarity, good girl versus bad girl: bad girls put out, good girls are virtuous. You fuck the whore but not your pure, chaste wife. Female sexuality was only there to serve men's sexuality: the good girls provided offspring and the bad girls provided pleasure - and never the twain would meet.
Then that ridiculous notion changed with the sexual revolution of the 1960’s and 70’s. Finally we believed that sex was good and we should like sex - hip hip hooray, sexual freedom and liberation for all!!!
But has it really changed? read more...
The standard approach to sex is rather like a three course meal, it proceeds in set stages: you kiss a bit, fondle a bit (maybe give her an orgasm), then have vigorous intercourse until he comes. The End.
It’s not a bad model for sex, but it’s limited, and can get pretty boring over time.
I suggest you take a less lineal approach to sex and think of it less like a three-course meal and more like a picnic. At a picnic everything is available in front of you and you can pick and choose whatever you want, in whatever quantity, at whatever pace, and in whatever order you please. read more...
Can you makeover your sex life?
Of course you can! That’s what I’m all about.
Essentially a makeover is when you realise you’re not living up to your potential in some area of life and you set about changing that. Many people simply accept their “lot” in life, excusing even the possibility of change with beliefs that: “I’m too old”, “I’m too poor”, “I’m too whatever”. Other people realise that we have agency to create our own lives, so it’s up to us to choose to be however we want to be. This applies as much to sex as any other part of life.
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