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


#315: Finesse Your Expertise on Each Other

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, March 21, 2021


What makes a great relationship is being experts on each other.

You are different, always were, always will be. So, what makes you great as a couple is the ability to know, accept, appreciate, and work with the differences.

The similarities, the good stuff, that’s easy. No-one ever comes to me seeking help on how good things are!

Now, you might think you know your partner, but do you really? More likely your concept of your partner is a mix of how they were when you met (a time when you probably did pay a lot of attention) and your interpretation of who they are based on who you are…

Never assume you know your partner. You don’t. Keep paying attention and being curious. Keep discovering each other. You are endlessly fascinating. The more you each understand yourself and the other, the better you will understand your dynamic and be able to continuously co-create a secure, engaged relationship (or jointly and amicably agree to end it if it’s done its time).

Don’t make the other wrong. They are just different. The way you are, the way you see the world is not ‘right’, it’s just familiar, so it feels ‘normal’. But there is no ‘normal, we’re all individuals with individual histories and life experiences which... read more



#311: The Bridgerton Effect

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, January 24, 2021

The Netflix series Bridgerton has been hugely popular. This Regency-era romance series has had audiences rivetted by both the slow burn courting as well as the quality sex scenes.

I've been interviewed twice by journalists on the show – one on the romance side, which you can read here, and one on the sex side, which you can read here.

I was more than happy to do the interviews, because even though I found the storyline itself pretty light and trite (spoiler alert – she gets her man!), there are some good takeaways from the show.

Firstly, and traditionally, there is great inspiration in the way the couples court. It is slow and subtle, yet builds up an incredible erotic charge. As I’m quoted saying in the first article:

"Even if it's just a nice kiss on the cheek – you can still do that in an erotic way. I think Bridgerton showed us just how erotic the bare minimum can be, especially when these days people think they have to be naked and doing all sorts of crazy things on the first date. Energetic frisson is incredibly powerful and something we’ve really lost lately. It's the building of anticipation and sexual chemistry without doing anything overt."

Secondly, and more... read more



#310: Cuddle plus – an essential phase of the affection-sex continuum

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, January 10, 2021


I see a lot of couples who get on well, are very affectionate, are kind and polite with each other, yet find it hard to get to sex.  They might be holding hands and sharing little kisses throughout the day, working well as a team to get stuff done around the house, manage the kids, etc, but then…the reality of getting naked in bed together…? Well, sometimes that feels like too much of a stretch.

To these couples I say – focus on the cuddle-plus!

You see, they’re missing the phase between affection and sex. Just because you’re getting on well and are affectionate, are cuddling on the couch, it doesn’t mean you can go straight from that to full-on passionate, genital engagement.

The cuddle+ phase is where you go beyond simply the “oh I like you” to “mmm, I like you!”  This is where you connect with your eyes, where your kisses linger longer than a peck, your conversation doesn’t go beyond what is happening between you and me right here right now, where touch moves from comforting to arousing, where you are sinking in and syncing together.

As I’ve stressed so often, in a long-term relationship this is probably not going to be intensely passionate, it may well be more... read more



#307: Three Types of Sexual Communication: Chit-chat, In the Moment and The Debrief

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, November 22, 2020

Communication is so fundamental to co-creating a great life together. Whether it’s as simple as agreeing on what you’re going to have for dinner, through to big topics like how you manage your finances, every aspect of relating needs good communication. This is never more important than when it comes to sex, but…talking about sex is one of the hardest things for a couple to do.

Why is this? Well, some people think you shouldn’t have to talk about sex, it “should just come naturally”; some people only talk about sex when there’s a problem so when they do it’s heavy and negative; and a lot of people are simply too shy. Yet without talking about it, it’s not going to be good. Imagine if you didn’t talk about what you wanted to eat, or where you wanted to go on holidays, how you raise the kids – how good, or more likely bad, would your life together be?

So, let’s take a look at the three types of sexual communication you need to have a great love life.

Chit-Chat

Chit-chat is talking about sex in general. As I described in another blog article, you need to treat your love life like a mutual hobby – something you do for pleasure in... read more



#286: Meditate Your Way to Great Sex

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, March 08, 2020

 Photo by theformfitness from Pexels

To have great sex you need to be able to switch off and focus at the same time: switch off from the rest of the world and focus on what's happening right here and right now. You need to be able to lose yourself into the experience.

One of the main reasons I hear that people have trouble getting in to sex or getting around to sex is that they can't switch off and become present to the connection, so clearly this is a skill that modern people are in need of. Even if you are having decent sex, improving your ability to let go and be present in the experience will make the sex better and better.

So how to learn that skill? Learn to meditate! The better you get at meditating, the easier it is for you to sink in to sex.


It’s that ability to ‘sink in’ to yourself, that deep, calm feeling that’s so good for sex. This is especially so for long-term partners, where the 'va-va-voom let’s-go-for-it-baby' approach, that you might have had in the early days, has waned. Well, let’s face it, when you’ve been... read more


#285: Q&A: My Partner Doesn't Like Kissing - what to do?

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, March 01, 2020



From my column in Body+Soul


Question
: My husband of 10 years and I have recently started seeing a marriage counsellor, and I feel like she’s on his side, and our sex life is ruined because of it. Why? Because my husband doesn’t like to kiss deeply, and the counsellor says he doesn’t have to if he doesn’t want to. Kissing has always been a point of contention in our relationship, because I love a good, deep kiss and it seems to me like a cornerstone in sexual intimacy. But now he’s flat-out refusing, and is very smug about it. We started seeing a counsellor because we had drifted apart. Is this the final straw to make me end our marriage completely?

Answer: This is why you should always see a couples therapist who is trained in sexuality as well as relationships. This situation is far more complex than ‘he doesn’t have to if he doesn’t want to’. Can you imagine going to a dietitian because your health was bad, in part because you don’t eat vegetables and being told by the dietitian that you don’t have to eat vegetables if you don’t want to? That would be absurd! We know that vegetables are an essential part of a good diet and... read more



#284: Communing - deep intimate connection

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, February 23, 2020



This is a great word that I like to use when talking to couples about how to relate to each other and get in the mood for love-making.

That word is “communing”.

The dictionary defines the verb “commune” as:

  • To share one's intimate thoughts or feelings with someone or something;
  • To feel in close spiritual contact with someone or something.

It’s a gentle, chilled-out word that makes you feel relaxed and connected. I take it to mean that act of sharing and feeling when two people hang-out together doing stuff that makes them feel good about each other.

It can be a cup of tea and a chat after the kids are in bed. It can be walking to the park together pushing the pram. It can be snuggling up on the couch laughing and watching your favorite TV show. It can be doing a jigsaw puzzle together. It can be taking dessert up to the bedroom and feeding each other while giggling on the bed.

It doesn’t have to involve a lot of verbal communication; it certainly doesn’t have to involve deep and meaningful conversation (although it can lead to that naturally). It... read more


#278: Stocking Up Your Love Larder - the key to spontaneous sex

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, January 05, 2020



Good sex is like good food. If you want a good meal, you've got two choices.

1) Plan in advance: set a date, go through the recipe books, do the shopping, set time aside for the cooking, start work in a clean kitchen, enjoy the process of cooking, lay a beautiful table, plate the food up well - then you have an amazing meal.

Or, if you want a more ‘spontaneous’ good meal:

2) Have a well-stocked kitchen: plenty of good ingredients in the larder and all the right implements in the cupboards, plus have plenty of practice at throwing things together - then you grab all the right elements to put an amazing meal together at short notice.

It’s the same with sex. If you want a really good encounter you can:

1) Plan in advance: set aside some time, create a lovely environment, ensure you’re not too tired, put some thought into what you might do - then you can have an amazing sexual encounter.

But, if you want a more ‘spontaneous’ good sexual encounter:

2) Have a well stocked ‘love larder’: so that you’ve... read more


#268: It's the Sum of the Small Things

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, October 20, 2019



I’m sitting in bed writing this, having just had breakfast in bed brought to me by my wonderful lover. It was just a cup of tea and toast, nothing flash, but what a difference it’s making to my day! It’s a small thing, but it’s a significant thing.

It’s the sum of these small things that set the quality of your relationship. Equally, it’s the sum of small neglects that stultify a relationship, flat-lining it. When a relationship flat-lines, there’s generally not a lot of sexual desire.

Maintaining sexual desire is a challenge for busy modern couples are so often tired and/or distracted. Couples who find it easy to move into sexual play are ones who keep themselves simmering, so to speak. That is in large part a reflection on how the two of you are relating as a couple. It’s the culmination of all the small things you do to, for and with each other so feel good about each other, appreciate each other and enjoy each others company, that you create a mood in which you want to enjoy each others bodies in delicious sexual play.

A couple I’ve been working with for a while announced at a recent retreat that... read more


#256: Solo Sex: Mindful Masturbation

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, May 12, 2019



I’m going to talk about solo sex. 

That’s right, masturbation, wanking, self-pleasuring, or as they refer to it in the ancient Taoist sexual tracts, self-cultivation. Why is this? Because the ability to self-pleasure is an important aspect of sexual empowerment and sexual development.

Unfortunately, it has had a bad rap over recent centuries. It has been seen as something unpleasant, even sinful, and so done furtively and secretly. I mean, when was the last time you had in-depth conversations with your friends on your favorite masturbatory techniques? Or as an adolescent did your parents encourage you to self-pleasure to explore your budding sexuality? I doubt it. Which is a shame, because it would have made a positive difference to your experience of sex.

It’s never too late, and I encourage everyone to enjoy the pleasures of solo sex. It’s a healthy part of everyone’s sex life, whether you’re single or partnered. People often think it’s secondary to partnered sex, and only something you’d do if you weren’t getting “the real thing”. But solo sex is fabulous in its own right, and when done well can enhance your ability to have better partnered sex.

When I say 'when it's done well' I mean when it's done... read more


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