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


#306: 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.
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#305: 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.
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#303: 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 did he mean 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.
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#302: Turning Sex Lives Upside-Down - It’s My Life’s Work!

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, June 28, 2020



Take a group of couples who love each other, put them in a beautiful environment with no distractions, teach them to connect more deeply, inspire them to explore and play, and what do you get…?


Well, as one man who attended one of my couples retreats put it:

"I thought this retreat would expand our sex life, but it didn’t so much expand as turn our sex life upside down! I’m now seeing the world with a new, exciting, slightly bewildering light.”

It’s hard to explain that to someone before they’ve experienced it. “What do you do?” people ask me. My answer could indeed be: “I turn people’s sex lives upside down.”
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#300: Do You PIV or VEP When You Have Sex?

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, May 31, 2020



How do you describe the act of intercourse? Do you call it ‘penetrative sex’? If you do, which wouldn’t be surprising as it’s such a common term, have you ever thought about what the word actually means and symbolises?

Penetration means ‘breaking through resistance’. Which might have applied to sex in the bad old days when a wife was supposed to just submit to her husband whether she wanted to or not, so it may well have been an act of breaking through resistance. But now, in 2020, do we really want to think of sex as an aggressive act?

Worse still, the term ‘penetrative sex’ gives agency to the ‘penetrator’ - the man - who does it to a resistant, or at least passive, recipient – the woman.

Is this really the concept of intercourse we want to be perpetrating these days – that it’s something done to a woman by a man? Of course not, yet we still use the term. read more...



#298: It's Time to Let Our Souls Catch-Up

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, April 26, 2020



After a couple of really full and busy years, I had hoped 2020 would be slower-paced, but I wasn’t expecting it to be like this! With the bushfires at the start of the year there was no annual beach holiday to refresh and recuperate, so I thought a ‘stay-cation’ would be good as I could potter at home and get the house and garden looking good (when it wasn’t too smoky to go outside that is). And…I’m still pottering at home. The house and garden are looking amazing! I am fortunate than I can still get out of the house go to my clinic to see clients, mostly online.

It is interesting to see how clients are reacting to the pandemic restrictions. There are couples who are finding that spending more time together is solving their problems as what they mostly needed was more downtime together. Others are finding the forced time together is highlighting and exacerbating existing problems, bringing their troubles to the fore and forcing them to address them. Some single clients are withdrawing from the world while others are reaching out and finding that the longer ‘dating’ required at this time means they are forming better quality connections.

For me, at the start of the pandemic, like so many others I dropped into ‘production’ mode. What more could I offer, how could I help people more, what myriad of online course could I create to support others? Then I was hit with overwhelming tiredness. I didn’t want to do ‘more’, I actually wanted to do less. read more...



#279: Bake Your Cake Before You Ice It - the foundation of great sex

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, December 01, 2019

 Photo by Jill Wellington from Pexels

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...



#276: Q&A: How Do I Meet My Sexual Needs in a Sexless Marriage?

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, November 10, 2019



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...



#275: Optimal Sexuality - Reaching Your Sexual Potential

Jacqueline Hellyer - Saturday, November 02, 2019


 

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...



#270: I See You as Lover - the importance of attention in loving well

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, September 22, 2019

600

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.
 read more...



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