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

#118: We’re All Individuals! There are Spectra of Sexuality

Jacqueline Hellyer - Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The incredible success of the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Trilogy (30 million copies sold and counting…) has sent shock waves around the globe with commentators everywhere trying to explain how this really very ordinary book could have been such a big hit.

The assumption is that it must be the content, which includes sex scenes involving BDSM (which stands for bondage, discipline and sado-masochism), otherwise known as kinky sex.

How, the commentators wonder, could so many people want to read something that includes such ‘abnormal’ sex scenes? Well, it could be that people like reading about something they have no interest in, or want an excuse to frown upon. But 30 million copies…? Could it be that the content is actually speaking to something that people actually like? Something that, to varying degrees, titillates or arouses us? Could it be that a lot of people are at least a little bit kinky?

We like to categorise people in this society, put them in boxes, label them as one thing or another, especially when it comes to sex. You’re either gay or straight, open-minded or frigid, perverted or normal.

In reality though, it’s not either or, we’re on a continuum.... read more

#104: Consensual Non-Monogamy

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, October 13, 2014

I’ve written elsewhere about how humans are not necessarily naturally monogamous, and that’s it’s a social norm rather than a biological imperative.

It’s a very strong social norm, and anyone who goes against that norm risks pretty severe social disapproval, particularly if it’s done in a deceitful way. Unfortunately most non-monogamy is deceitful, one party has an affair, or several, and when the other finds out it can be ruinous for the relationship. I am completely against non-consensual non-monogamy, ie cheating on your partner.

It doesn’t have to be one or the other though, monogamy or cheating. If monogamy works for you, great, if not, there are more options than being unfaithful to your partner in a deceitful way.

It is possible to be non-monogamous – with consent. That’s the difference, it has to be consensual. When a couple both agree to be non-monogamous and continually assess the situation and their own rules and boundaries, then it can be a successful approach to living and loving.

I do want to stress though, that in this society it’s not easy to be non-monogamous, and I'm certainly not suggesting that anyone should be. However, it does work for some people. I often work with... read more

#80: What Do Men Love Best About Sex?

Jacqueline Hellyer - Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I’ve spoken to hundreds of heterosexual men at the most intimate levels about their sex lives. I always ask them what it is they love most about sex. And do you know what the answer is?

If you have an old-fashioned view of sex, that ‘men have their needs’ and that really they are just animalistic creatures who need to get their end in to get their rocks off then you’d probably say something like: having an orgasm.

But no. All the men, bar a couple of complete jerks, have told me that what they love best about sex is their partner’s pleasure. Yes: the more pleasure she has, the more pleasure he has...

This makes sense because women have greater potential for sexual response than men. Men are a bit limited in the sexual response area, especially if you think of sex as penis activity - penises can only last so long and can generally only have the one orgasm and then they’re done.

Women however can last and last. Women can really go places sexually. And when a woman goes places sexually, she takes her man along with her.

So it makes sense that men love to please sexually - they’re doing it for their own pleasure!
... read more

#79: Fetishes are Fine

Jacqueline Hellyer - Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Most of us have fetishes of some kind or another. If you’re lucky, they’re socially acceptable, and not even considered fetishes - such as if you’re a woman who gets turned on wearing lace knickers or stiletto shoes; but if your fetishes are not socially acceptable - such as if you’re a man who gets turned on wearing lace knickers or stiletto shoes, well, then you’ve got problems. For example, in our society in general:

  • Women are permitted to find wearing lacy knickers erotic, men are not.
  • If you’re a man who has a fetish for women’s breasts, you’re considered completely normal. If you’re a man who has a fetish for women’s feet, you’re considered abnormal. Simply because society considers breasts to be sexual parts of the body, but not feet. Feet lovers are considered to be deviant.
  • If you’re a woman who feels sexy in a tight silk dress, you’re normal. But if you’re a woman who feels sexy in a tight latex dress, you’re abnormal. Simply because society deems silk to be acceptable material for dresses, but not latex. Latex wearers are considered to be deviant.

  • If you find the sensation of a feather tickling your skin pleasurable, you’re normal; if... read more

#77: Sex Doesn't Have to Involve the Genitals

Jacqueline Hellyer - Tuesday, July 02, 2013

We tend to assume that sex has to involve the genitals, and that any sense of erotic or sexual arousal will need to lead to genital engagement.

This is because we’ve associated sex with reproduction for so long, and obviously you need genital interaction for reproduction.

Yet sex is not just about reproduction. In fact it’s rarely about reproduction. Sex in humans is not primarily a reproductive function.

If we do think of sex as only genital, or at least, having to involve the genitals, then we get into the either/or thinking that plagues us. For example, if you have a particular fetish for wearing certain clothes, you’ll feel a heightened erotic sense when wearing them. That enjoyment can be enough in itself. It doesn’t have to lead to sex.

Conversely, we can feel a heightened erotic sensation from so many experiences, such as food, music, art, gardening, sport and physical activity. In fact, any pleasurable activity that leads to the release of ‘happy hormones’ in our body is in some way sexual because it leads to that heightened sense of arousal.

You see, it’s all linked: your mind, heart, body and spirit. Stimulate one part and it makes... read more

#75: An Erection Does Not Have To Be Serviced

Jacqueline Hellyer - Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Erections come and go. A penis is quite a variable creature. Sometimes it’s not erect when you want it to be, and other times it’s erect when you don’t want it to be.

I’ve written before about when it’s soft, even if you’d rather it were hard (The Pleasure of A Soft Cock). So what about the opposite: when it’s hard and you might not want it to be.

The main thing I want to say here is that an erect penis does not have to be serviced. Ladies, just because he’s erect, it doesn’t mean he has to have an orgasm. He might possibly like one, but that doesn’t mean he has to have one, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you have to drop everything and give him one.

I’m surprised at how many women think they have to do something with their partner’s erection, even if they don’t want to. The saddest thing about this is that it leads to avoidance behaviour - they avoid affection and intimacy for fear that their partner will become aroused, and then they will be expected to have sex.

That attitude is such a shame, because of course affection and intimacy can lead a man to have an erection.... read more

#73: To Come or Not To Come

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, May 06, 2013

 Photo by Mahrael Boutros from Pexels

One of the main differences between 'standard' modern sexual practices and the more alternative, spiritual sexual practices is the attitude to orgasm.

In the mainstream, orgasm is generally considered a highly desirable, usually necessary, part of sex, and generally the bigger the better and the more the merrier.

In the Tantric/Taoist approaches there is a strong emphasis on not having an orgasm. Which to many modern Westerners seems crazy, especially for those who think the whole point of sex is orgasm.

So, who’s right? Should we or shouldn’t we? Is it more healthful/spiritual/ecstatic/pleasurable/fulfilling to come or not to come?

Well, to me it’s less about whether you come or not, and much more about how you come.

You see, nothing in life is black and white, particularly when it comes to sex.

To believe that we shouldn’t come is as limiting as believing that you have to come.

I certainly encourage everyone to move away from the mindset, firmly entrenched in the Adolescent Male Masturbatory Model of Sex: that sex is about a sexual... read more

#69: Trust Means Being OK with Not Knowing

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, February 11, 2013

 Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas from Pexels

"How can I ever trust him/her again?”

Client after client pleads this after discovering hurtful deceits by their beloveds. 
What they are really asking is: "How can I ever be 100% sure that my partner won't ever do this again?"

The honest answer is: you can't. In fact, you never could.

You can never be absolutely sure that your partner will never ever be deceitful or hurt you in some way.

The very definition of ‘trust’ is ‘not knowing’.

Trust is being OK with the not knowing. If you were 100% sure of something you wouldn’t need to ‘trust’. You don’t need to ‘trust’ that the sun will rise each morning; you just know it will. It’s only when you can't be absolutely sure that trust comes in, that trust has to come in.

We trust our partners to be honest and not deceive us due to the actual fact that we can’t be 100% sure that they won’t. Of course that doesn't make it any easier when our partner is deceitful in some way. It hurts! But does that mean... read more

#68: Renegotiate Your Contract

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, January 28, 2013

 Photo by Jopwell from Pexels

When things get tough, couples tend to either:

  • Separate, generally accompanied by bitter and twisted feelings or
  • Put up with it and flat-line, living lives of quiet desperation.
It’s far better to go with option three:
  • Renegotiate your relationship.

Often when the relationship is not going smoothly, it’s because you’re trying to live by an out-dated ‘contract’. When you got together you had certain beliefs and expectations around your relationship. Chances are you didn’t even fully share those beliefs and expectations; you just assumed your partner would share them.

Whether your beliefs and expectations at that time were mutual or not, over time your circumstances inevitably change, you change, and therefore the relationship needs to change: that original ‘contract’ needs to be updated.

So often I see that people are trying to live by values and norms that simply don’t suit them any more (and possibly never did): people getting married for the wrong reasons, people absorbing the norms of the society around them without ever questioning whether they really agree with them or not, people assuming that marriage or a relationship means X-Y-Z.

There’s nothing wrong with this, we generally... read more

#22: The Breadth of Sexuality & The Importance of Fun

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, November 22, 2010

I often find that people are surprised at the breadth of sexuality I encourage. As with so much of our society, we tend to categorize and label others and ourselves. What I do can’t be labeled in this way. I’m not just ‘tantric’ or ‘kinky’ or ‘raunchy’ or ‘clinical’ or whatever – I’m all of them, and more.

I believe in the full range of sexual expression, as long as it comes from a place that is real.

For me that’s the only issue. Are you being real, and are you allowing expression of your true self? I don’t believe there is any right or wrong when it comes to sex, as long as it’s between consenting living adult humans, as long as it’s life enhancing.

So the tantric types get a shock in my workshops when I bring out the bondage ropes; those who embrace raunch culture find the softness disconcerting; the kinky types wonder if all this talk about love isn’t a bit vanilla; and the clinical types find the fun and naughtiness rather perplexing.

But it’s all good! Tantric bondage, soft raunch, loving kink, are all real expressions of possibility.

I must admit I sometimes wish I could classify myself more specifically. It would be easier to explain what I do.... read more

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