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

#123: The Yin & Yang of Sex Chemistry

Jacqueline Hellyer - Thursday, May 07, 2015

I talk a lot about the yin and yang of sex, taking a more energetic, spiritual approach to understanding sex and intimacy. Today I’m going to get scientific.

The yin and yang of the hormones is pretty much the same as the yin and yang of the energies. There are the ‘yin’ hormones: oxytocin and vasopressin, the bonding hormones that give feelings of connection and satisfaction, and endorphins, the feel-good hormones; that are released by gentle, cuddly, sensual activities. And there are the yang hormones: dopamine, the reward chemical (and the addiction hormone) that leads you to want more (including more of your true love), and which leads to the production of the lust hormone, testosterone.

We need dopamine, it's the romance hormone, and it's stimulated by novelty and interesting activities, so it's important that your relationship is stimulating and not complacent. And you need the oxytocin as it's connecting and keeps you feeling good about each other, it provides resilience in your relationship. So both cuddles and interesting activities are necessary in a relationship to produce the balance of bonding and romance. You need the balance in the lead up to sex.

You also need the balance during sex. The trouble is though that... read more

#120: Don’t Fake It Till You Make It - ‘Cause You Won’t Make It

Jacqueline Hellyer - Tuesday, April 14, 2015

If you want to spice up your sex life, it’s got to be real. There’s no point faking it. That would be like putting fake spices into a curry - it might look good, but if it tastes terrible there’s no point. If you fake sexual pleasure you’re deceiving your partner and you’ll end up frustrated and resentful.

“Fake it till you make it” might work in some parts of life, but not with sex.

I had a client once who came to me after faking orgasm with her husband for seven years. She wanted me to help her become orgasmic with him without actually telling him she’d ever faked it.

What a dilemma!

She had two choices: 1) confess that she’d been faking it and work with him to become orgasmic again: or 2) not tell him anything and replace the fake orgasms with real orgasms.

I would have preferred if she’d gone with option #1 as it’s so much easier to make changes to a couple’s love life if they are both involved. But she felt he’d be devastated if she admited she’d been... read more

#112: What’s Your Eroticism - Intimate, Wild, Fun?

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, January 26, 2015

Have sex that is intimate - gentle, deep and tender:

Go ahead – stare into each others eyes while barely moving. Make love ever so slowly. Stroke every inch of your partner’s body. Whisper poetry in her ear. Visualise a bond of energy joining your hearts. Alternate four short strokes with one slow and long. Sigh and moan and quiver and shiver. Make blissful love!

Have sex that is erotic - wild, lusty and wicked:
Go ahead - bring out the handcuffs and tie yourselves up, tie yourselves down. Wear crotchless leather knickers and 10-inch stilettos. Talk dirty to each other. Drip candle wax on each other’s skin. Play slave and master. Take explicit photos of yourselves. Yell and groan and bite and growl. Let loose and fuck!

Have sex that is playful – exuberant, mischievous and outrageous:
Go ahead – dress up as a French maid and tickle him with your feather duster while he plays dead. Smear each other with strawberry jam and lick it off. Pour champagne over yourselves. Stop the car and have sex on the side of the road. Do it by an open window where you might be seen or heard. Be silly,... read more

#110: When the Man Leads, the Woman Embellishes

Jacqueline Hellyer - Tuesday, January 06, 2015


A professional ballroom and Latin dancer told me this the other day. I was curious as to how the man, who is leading the dance, could instruct the woman, who is following, how to do all the fancy bits.

The dancer explained that the man is simply leading the direction and major movements, the woman then embellishes.

I thought this was quite fascinating, and also made dancing seem less sexist, less as though the man led it all and the woman was a passive accomplice. In fact, the embellishing is as important as the main moves (not to mention the fact that, as Ginger Rogers once pointed out, she did the same as Fred Astair, but backwards in high heels!) And to be able to embellish, you need to be really connected.

It also made me think of sex. In heterosexual sex, the man might lead more than the woman, but that doesn’t mean the woman is a passive recipient. Just as in dancing, she needs to be totally connected to him so that it all flows and she can embellish. She’s no more a passive recipient than if a male dancer was dancing with a rag doll. Oh no, for the dance to be good, passionate,... read more

#97: Plugging In - Sex Without Movement

Jacqueline Hellyer - Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Have you ever tried having sex without any intention to orgasm? Without even moving?

Try it, in fact try it regularly – just lie together, penis inside vagina, and do nothing.

That’s it.

Not much to it really.

For genitals more used to intensity and vigour, you might not feel much at first as you’ve trained yourself to need intensity to feel sensation. Yet over time you will start to wake your genitals up. The vagina and the penis will start to feel again. They’ll start to feel subtlety, and from there comes exquisiteness of sensation.

It’s lovely to do this in spoon position, lying on your sides with her back to his front. He embraces her body with his body on the outside, and she embraces his penis with her vagina on the inside. Or you can do it lying facing each other, gazing softly into each others eyes as you do so.

You can both squeeze your pelvic floor muscles now and again to keep the erection, but move as little as possible. Not that you even need an erection for this, soft entry can be just as lovely.

... read more

#91: If Sex Hurts, Change What You’re Doing

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, February 24, 2014

Can I make this very clear?


If it does hurt, change what you’re doing.

Just to be even clearer. I’m not talking about consensual pain, which some people like and are perfectly entitled to like. I’m not talking about what for some people is a turn on.

I think this should be obvious, but plenty of women come to me trying to push through the pain.

I’m talking about hurt, pain that feels off, pain that feels as if there’s something wrong.

First off, get a medical check-up in case there’s a problem that might be able to be treated medically.
Quite often though, it’s either mismatched genital size or having intercourse too soon.

When he’s too big
If the man has a long penis and the women has a short vagina, then positions where he’s going in deep will be painful. You need to experiment to find out what positions work for you as a couple. Generally you need positions where he can’t get in too deep. Some suggestions are:

#90: Some Words for the Lower Desire Partner

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, January 27, 2014

Whether you feel bad about it or good about it, if you’re the lower desire partner (LDP) you have a major impact on how often and how well the two of you have sex. I get at least as many heterosexual couples where the man has the lower level of desire as the woman, so it’s not just “a problem that women have” and in same-sex couples there's always a difference too.

So guys, let’s start with you. If you’re not feeling it, there are some main reasons:

  • It’s easier to just masturbate in front of porn. True, but the experience is not the same. Saying “Yes!” to sex with your partner is saying “Yes!” to love and connection and intimacy and a very happy partner!

  • If she’s too overbearing, always complaining about the lack of sex. Well, she’s got a point! She’s crying out for intimate connection, so focus on doing good stuff together so that you actually want to be with her.

  • Even if she has a higher desire, she never initiates so why should you? The more you show your desire, the more likely she’ll initiate more.

  • If you don’t feel good about yourself, don’t take it out on... read more

#87: Planning for Pleasure

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, December 02, 2013

If you want a good night out, do you tend to plan it in advance or decide on the spur of the moment? If you’re playing sport, do you have your trainings and matches planned in advance, or do you just play whenever the whim takes you (and hope that everyone else involved is interested and available too)?

I imagine you’d say in both cases that you plan in advance, that you schedule those enjoyable activities.

So why not schedule sex?

Planning ahead and creating the space in your busy lives for making love needn’t be any less romantic or enjoyable than scheduling other pleasurable activities.

So for example:
  • If you know you like a lazy, sensual Sunday morning lie-in, then keep Sunday mornings free.
  • If Wednesday is the only day of the week when no-one in the family has evening activities so the kids can go to bed on time and you can have an ‘early night’, then make Wednesday your nooky night.
  • If you both have jobs where you’ve got flexibility of time, consider starting late or working from home on a Tuesday and spend some time in the bedroom.
  • If you go to the gym together after work on a Thursday and tend to come home feeling... read more

#83: How Often Should We Have Sex?

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, October 07, 2013

This is one of those ‘am I normal’ type questions that I’m always asked. The answer to the question: How often is normal? Is simply: Whatever is right for you.

So the question you should be asking is: How often is right for us?

If neither of you want to ever have sex, that’s fine, because that’s right for you. If you both want to have sex twice a day, terrific! That’s what’s right for you.

Clearly most people are somewhere between those two extremes.

I get some clients who come to see me claiming they’re having too much sex - or at least, the lower desire partner is claiming that their partner wants more than is ‘normal’.

More often though, clients assume they should be having more sex than they are having. They just take it as a given that everyone else is having lots of sex and so they should too. How much sex this ‘ideal’ amount is, is usually pretty vague, and they expect me to tell them.

I’ve noticed that a lot of women assume their partners want sex every day. This is generally because he’d like it more... read more

#74: "My Ejaculation Opens the Door to Deeper Orgasm"

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, May 27, 2013

 Photo by Collis from Pexels

In the Tantric and Taoist traditions it's often recommended that men should abstain from ejaculating, which is a challenging concept for modern men!

I believe it’s not about you should or shouldn’t, but how you orgasm. So here are some thoughts from a man who practices mindful love-making, and agrees with me that it's not what you do but how you do it.

“I find my orgasms to be very different from before, very meaningful. I feel grounded, very complete and even more connected during and after the ejaculation.

“Everything leading up to the orgasm - our interaction, the setting of the room, the approach to foreplay and all the stages, it doesn’t matter how long we make love for, at the point of orgasm it’s just completely different.

“Before, it was more a carnal thing, there wasn’t so much intimacy and connection. At the moment of orgasm I felt disconnected. It was a big release, then ‘I’m done.’

“Now at the point of ejaculation it’s like, ‘Hey!’ I come even closer. We’re even more connected. I feel: this is amazing, ‘Wow! This is a whole different level! I don't want to pull out, I don’t want to be disconnected... read more

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