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


#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



#322: Don't Ever Stop Kissing

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, June 27, 2021


So many of my clients don’t kiss. They might give each other pecks, but nothing more intimate or sensual than that.

Yet kissing is one of the best ways to become aroused!

Well, that’s part of the problem. So many people stay away from kissing for fear that it will inevitably have to lead to sex. But without the kissing you won’t feel like sex…

It comes back to the problem of taking a linear view of sex – step one must lead to step two which must lead to step three which must lead to step four, etc. So, if I’m not feeling like the later steps (ie getting genital) then I won’t go anywhere near those earlier steps.

The problem isn’t the kissing, the problem is the steps, or at least, thinking there are steps, and thinking that one must lead to the next. So, ditch the linear thinking, come back to the moment, and enjoy it for what it is.

A kiss, whether engaged in for a moment or for minutes, is connecting. Without the kissing you won’t get to sex (or at least, not enjoyable sex), and with the kissing there's no obligation to go to sex - it's just a kiss.

Use... read more


#321: Consent From the Inside

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, June 13, 2021


I was talking to a female client recently who has become very sex averse. As she described her sexual history, I pointed out that it sounded like she’d been engaging in obligation sex with her husband for a long time and therefore had been subjecting herself to low-level sexual trauma.

“Oh, no” she immediately replied, “I consented to it.”

 She paused.

 I waited.

Then she softly added: “But not on the inside.”

She realised that she was ‘consenting’ to sex due to external pressures. She thought it was something she should do and so agreed to do. But in fact, on the inside, she was screaming a big “NO”.

And because she wasn’t wanting it, she wasn’t enjoying it, so it became a traumatic experience, which of course led to her never wanting it, ever, ever again.

What I find so interesting is that this is a highly educated professional woman. I see this so often. Women who in all other areas of life are independent and assertive and empowered, but who when it comes to sex, fall into the old patriarchal trope that sex is something a man does to a woman and her only options are to succumb or run. Either she goes along with his expectations (or what she thinks are his... read more



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