Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

The Sex Coach: True Intimacy

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Self help books, women’s magazines and traditional therapists extol the virtues of intimacy as the way to improve your relationship and therefore have better sex. The two key aspects to this ‘intimacy’ are:  1) to become more connected by spending more time together, and 2) to communicate (by speaking) every little thing about yourself, and conversely listening wondrously in rapt attention agreeing in perfect accord with every utterance.

Which would imply most of us haven’t got a snowflake’s chance in hell of having a decent sex life…

Fear not. You can breathe a sigh of relief because this means that in fact you will avoid that stifling arrangement of co-dependent ‘intimacy’ we too often think is the prerequisite for ‘happily ever after”.

Now certainly intimacy does require connection and communication, but it’s the how, the what and the how much that matters. Let’s look at the two fundamental aspects of intimacy – connection and communication – debunk a few myths and look at what really matters.

First, connection. Supposedly we need to have lots of quality time together to feel intimate. But in fact you don’t have to even be physically near each other to feel connected. Especially in this digital age there are myriad ways to connect without being physically present. Even when you are together, it doesn’t have to be ‘quality’ time, i.e. time that is spent highly focused on each other, more of that rapt attention stuff. Just spending time together in an unfocused hanging-out kind of way can actually be a better way of enjoying each other’s company than high intensity time together. (How often have you seen couples in restaurants eating without speaking? Not a lot of intimate connection going on there. They’d be better off doing the gardening together or going for a walk where there is more distraction, less intensity and surprisingly more ease of connection).

We’re also supposed to improve our ‘connection’ by sharing common interests and learning to enjoy those that aren’t in common. Well, that’s not necessary either. While it’s good to have some interests in common, you don’t have to have everything in common, and there’s no onus on you to learn to like those that aren’t. There’s nothing wrong with having different interests, it doesn’t mean you’re not suited, it doesn’t mean you’re not close. Quite the opposite, maintaining connection in the face of difference is bonding if you respect and appreciate the difference.

This can be intimidating for some people though. They fear that sense of separateness. They fear that if they’re not fused they could lose the other person. These people become jealous and fiercely attached to their partner. Any sense of flirting is felt as potential or actual infidelity and is the hovering angel of death to the relationship. There is no trust, only a desperate clinging. This is not true intimacy.

It’s also intimidating because of the threat of rejection. If your partner is different to you then they may not agree with you and that can be a frightening thing. It’s scary to know that the person whose opinion you value the most and whose agreement you crave might reject your thought or action or opinion. Shock, horror, that could cause disharmony, and we all know that the “perfect relationship” is harmonious.

It might be, but not through fear of difference, only through appreciation of difference. If you’re holding yourself back and not expressing your true self, not living with a sense of integrity, because you fear your partner’s disapproval and crave their validation, then you are not being truly intimate.

When you interact like this you cannot have good communication, that quality so espoused by the self help gurus. Look, of course communication is essential, it’s how it’s done that matters. Too often communication is equated with speaking, whereas communication is effected through so many ways, not just spoken. Even considering the verbal aspect, more is communicated through tone of voice and body posture than the actual words (which is why arguing never works because the arguers are reacting to the tone not the content). But communication also occurs through touch, looks, through silence, through action, and definitely through sex. In fact when a couple have truly intimate sex they communicate their inner beings far more profoundly than any conversation could ever do.

Receiving the content of the communication is also crucial to effective conveying of meaning. But what is receiving content and how are you expected to respond? When the communication is spoken, listening openly to the other person is important, but it doesn’t have to be in rapt wonderment, affirming every utterance in mutual accord. Listen with respect, certainly, but not under any pressure to agree.

Just as importantly, being open to communication in non-verbal ways is essential to true intimacy, you can’t just expect verbal cues. Your partner expresses feelings and thoughts constantly, in actions, gestures, moods, silences, and of course, in making love with true intimacy.

Even being open to this type of communication requires true intimacy, because it requires you to show your real self without needing validation from the other person, and without feeling that you have to give it to the other person. True intimacy is not expressed through jealousy, fear or anxiety.

True intimacy requires integrity of your self. You need to show yourself and be seen. To do that you need separation, difference, distance, a sense of ‘other’.

This is essential for good relationship, and it is essential for good sex. Why? Because only with true intimacy can you express your sexuality without fear of rejection or displeasure by your partner. It’s only when you can truly know and express your eroticism that you can enjoy the other key element to extraordinary sex: erotic tension.

Book News: “The Ethical Slut” Now In-Store

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Consider yourself a ‘relationship pioneer’? Do you want more than monogamy, mortgages, and marriage? Well, The Ethical Slut may be the book that changes your life.

First published in 1997, Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy (pictured left) gave the world the first ‘real’ book to deal with relationship issues from a different point of view – poyamory, open relationships, new models of partnership and so much more. It blitzed the bookseller’s lists, and before the 2nd edition was finished in 2008 it had already sold over 100,000 copies.

Here at MaXXX Black we’ve been recommending this book ever since we opened, and today, finally, the 2nd Edition paperback arrived in store!!!

For anyone who has ever dreamed of love, sex, and companionship beyond the limits of traditional monogamy, this groundbreaking guide navigates the infinite possibilities that open relationships can offer. This new edition has been heavily revised to include more communication skills, workshops, and discussions. It is far more effective in helping us to create and honour boundaries, resolve conflicts and define relationships on YOUR terms.

This is a wonderful book, and we have lots of copies in store (though expect this first shipment to go quickly). If you haven’t heard of it before, or you have been lucky enough to read the first edition, this new improved 2nd edition is a must-have!

Click the book cover to go to the product page!

The Ethical Slut: A Roadmap for Relationship Pioneers

Jacqueline Hellyer: Your Bedroom, Your Sanctuary

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

What is your bedroom like? Is it a relaxing and rejuvenating place separate from the cares of the world? When you walk into your bedroom, do you go ‘aah’ and smile because you feel more restful just being there? Is your bedroom a sanctuary you can chill out together in?

If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions – well done! Your bedroom is as it should be, and because of this you probably find that sex is something you can transition into fairly easily.

If it’s not, then it’s redecorating time! Think about colours and textures, music and lighting. Ban all technology except for your music player. Remove family photos other than happy romantic ones of yourselves. And keep it tidy.

Now it will feel like a sanctuary. You’ll be able to walk across the threshold of your bedroom and leave the cares the world behind, entering into a peaceful place where you can wind down and chill out together.

Yes, chill out together.

I find that too many people only use their bedroom for sleep and sex, they don’t go to the bedroom unless they’re planning one or both of those activities. Then it can get a bit awkward about how to move into some sexual activity. Or they wait until they’re already under the covers, and by then one of both of them really can’t be bothered, they’d rather sleep! (I include myself in that category, once I’m under the covers – it’s sleep time!)

I encourage you to start using your bedroom as a place of mutual chill-out and connection. Take a cup of tea or glass of wine up there and sit on your bed and just chat. Play good music, have the lighting set at a relaxing level. Lounge on the pillows. Massage each other’s feet as you chat. Whatever. Then you will probably find it’s easier to transition into some sensual touch, kissing, sensual undressing, and voila – you’re making love!

This approach to ‘getting to sex’ works. If one or both of you are having trouble initiating or getting going. It may be that you’re not leading up to it well. I’ve been talking about the importance of ‘beforeplay’ lately, this is taking the beforeplay into the bedroom, which makes the transition to foreplay easier and more natural.

Or not. It’s not just a way to get sex happening. More importantly, it’s a way to get the two of you bonding and connecting in an intimate way. It’s important that you learn to hang out in this way without it necessarily leading to sex, so there’s no pressure (on the lower desire person) or expectation (on the higher desire person). Having this easy connection between you, with open communication, is how you will have both the desire for sex, the ability to communicate where you’re at in relation to sex, and the time and space to create and consummate that desire.

Jacqueline Hellyer: Sex Coach – The Sum Of The Small Things

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

I’m sitting in bed writing this, having just had breakfast in bed brought to me by my wonderful partner. 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.

I’ve talked before about the concept of be-foreplay, all the things you do before you even get to the bedroom that put you in the mood for a bit of lovin’. It’s the beforeplay that gets you in the mood for foreplay and from there, sex (which I define as all things genital, not just intercourse).

This is particularly the case for women. The feminine sexual energy is like water, it takes a while to heat up. A woman who has a high sexual desire is one who is keeping her waters simmering, so to speak. That is in large part a reflection on how the two of you are relating, the beforeplay, all the small things you do to each other to feel good about each other, to appreciate each other, to enjoy each others company and from that to want to enjoy each others bodies in delicious sexual play. By which point her sexual water energy has come to a boil and then will boil and boil and boil and boil and…

A couple I’ve been working with for a while announced at a recent workshop that the thing that had made the biggest difference to their sexual relationship is that every day once the kids are in bed they spend ten minutes or so just chatting over a cup of tea or glass of wine. That’s all. Yet that small amount of time every day is enough to connect them and easily lead them on to love-making, when the mood takes them.

Another couple this week told me how focusing on small things, like taking the garbage out together, adds to their connection (and makes a mundane task more fun).

For me, a cup of tea and toast every morning during the baby and toddler years meant that I started the day slowly and happily, so I felt good about myself and good about my husband, which meant that the likelihood of nooky was much greater. (That relationship of 16 years came to an end when we realised it had done its time, and we’ve moved on amicably to follow our now separate life paths).

I stress the breakfast in bed thing because that’s one example of what works for me. My parents told me many years ago that their secret to a long and happy marriage was that my father has brought my mother breakfast in bed virtually every day of their married life. I’ve inherited my mother’s appallingly bad ability to function in the morning, so my partners have realised that this small token of affection makes for a happy sexed-up Jacqueline!

The question is, what are the small things that mean a lot to you, and which mean a lot to your partner? How can you keep the connection strong through small and frequent acts of kindness and affection? It can be words, it can be touch, it can be actions, it can be gifts and it can simply be spending time together. It’s easy in the early days, before the risk of complacency sets in. Over the longer term you need to take up the challenge of keeping it going.

Just like everything else good in life, such as health and wealth, it’s the small constant positives that lead to on-going success, just as much as the small constant negatives lead to failure. Frittering away money and leading a slothful life will affect the quality of your wealth and health in the same way that neglect of your partner will affect your love life. Constant regular savings and an active life with a nutritious diet will enhance your wealth and health in the same way that regular expressions and tokens of affection will fill up your love bank.

Read more from Jacqueline by clicking the link HERE

Advice: Low Density Love vs High Density Love Part 2

Monday, November 29th, 2010

This article is courtesy of Dr Michael Wayne, a modern natural health therapist who established Quantum-Integral Medicine…

In yesterday’s article I began to dissect this crazy little thing called love.

I said how these are complicated topics, full of pitfalls and entanglements, mishaps and risks, and also much bliss and happiness.

I love you - in sign language

I love you - in sign language

I also said how it’s the arena in which we can become most vulnerable, in which our deepest intimacies can become known; it can also be the arena in which our buttons are pushed to the max.

So let’s delve deeper into it. I’ll also explain why I believe that people who live a Low Density Lifestyle have a better chance of entering into lasting relationships and having better sex.

We are all social animals, and everyone desires to have a social network of friends, family, loved ones and significant other that you desire to spend time together with.

Strong relationships are a vital component of a healthy and happy life, while negative relationships can impact health and happiness in a detrimental manner.

When you are living a Low Density Lifestyle, you are naturally attracted to other people who are also living a Low Density Lifestyle, and it is these people who will make up your most intimate social network. If you feel centered, balanced and in the flow, you won’t readily enjoy the company of people who live a completely opposite lifestyle, as it will just be too jarring to your soul.

Interestingly though, people who live a High Density Lifestyle will be naturally attracted to those who live a Low Density Lifestyle, because the calmness and peacefulness of someone living a Low Density Lifestyle is something that can help to balance and center someone living a High Density Lifestyle.

It can actually be a profoundly transformative experience if someone living a High Density Lifestyle allows themselves to open up to the energies and calming influence of someone living a Low Density Lifestyle. So this is truly one case of opposites attracting!

But the tricky thing is that for those living a Low Density Lifestyle, the desire is to have happy and harmonious relationships, and they will go out of their way to find them and to reject relationships that create unhappiness and disharmony.

So it’s not impossible for people on opposite ends of the spectrum to come together—after all, the chemical bond of love transcends all boundaries and overcomes all limitations—it’s just that if you want to have a sustaining and lasting relationship, there needs to be a bonding of two souls, one in which each person can gaze into the other’s eyes and see the reflection of the deep and infinite waters of the Zero-Point Field, which is the origins of universal love and consciousness.

Communication is a big part of a relationship, and failure to communicate is a major reason for breakups. To be able to communicate, each party in a relationship needs to feel loved and safe. Each person in the relationship also has to let go of expectations and not judge or criticize the other, but instead help them to feel comfortable being able to communicate.

Communicating your deepest and most intimate thoughts and feelings is not easy, but if you feel safe and loved, and feel that what you say won’t be held against you, then it is easier to speak from your heart. This happens easiest when both people in the relationship are living a Low Density Lifestyle.

If one or both people in the relationship are living a High Density Lifestyle, then it’s a lot harder, because there’s no feeling of safety in expressing intimate thoughts. These are the relationships that are doomed to fail.

Another important part of a strong and lasting relationship is the sex life. Because those living a Low Density Lifestyle are healthier and more balanced, less stressed and more in the flow, they have the capability of having a strong sex drive and having better sex.intimacy-sex-couple2

They understand that sexual desire is a natural biological urge, as opposed to a feeling that one should be ashamed of or should repress. They know that sex, and orgasm, make both parties feel good and is a vital part of making love. In addition, sex allows for intimacy and expressions of love, and these are things cherished by those living a Low Density Lifestyle.

For many people living a High Density Lifestyle, the only time when they’re able to relax and feel comfortable having sex is when they imbibe in alcohol or recreational drugs, because these allow them to relax their inhibitions and feel less stressed.

Although sex can be very enjoyable when performed in an altered state, an important part of the sexual experience is the feeling of intimacy that one person has with another, because in that state of intimacy, a strong bond is formed between both people and the flow of love, happiness and joy circulates and is expressed between them.

When a person is having sex in an altered state, the flow is impeded. But unfortunately, for many people living a High Density Lifestyle, having sex while in an altered state is the only way they can get full enjoyment of the act of making love.

Another great aspect of sex is that it increases your chances to be healthier and happier. People who have a regular sex life have been found to have a decreased risk of heart disease and stroke, a decrease in pain in the body, and an increase in life span.

These are enormous motives for having a healthy sex life, but the reality is that in order to have a healthy and happy sex life, it is best that both people involved live a Low Density Lifestyle.

Advice: Low Density Love vs High Density Love Part 1

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

This article is courtesy of Dr Michael Wayne, a modern natural health therapist who established Quantum-Integral Medicine…

Relationships, Love and Sex.

These are complicated topics, full of pitfalls and entanglements, mishaps and risks, and also much bliss and happiness.

It’s the arena in which we can become most vulnerable, in which our deepest intimacies can become known; it can also be the arena in which our buttons are pushed to the max.

relationshipsIt is a risk to enter into a relationship with another, to fall in love, and to have sexual relations with another, because the heart is the most fragile of organs.

Many a person has fallen in love only to have their heart broken, and then to swear off ever being in love again; they put a shield around their heart, and enclose it so that it becomes difficult for them to easily feel again.

Being in a relationship and in love is when you are challenged to be the most brutally honest, because it is when your heart and soul is touched by another. You are then forced to either get in touch with your own deepest feelings, or else run away and bury those feelings deep down within.

Everyone wants to be loved, but you also need to know how to love. It takes opening your heart, authenticity, the ability to communicate, compassion, tenderness, understanding, the letting down of your guard, the lessening of expectations, and the ability to be humble and not let your ego take control.

In another words, this love thing is a tall order.

Many books exist on the subject, but even the experts are not always expert – for instance, noted relationship author and expert Barbara De Angelis has been married five times.

Obviously, getting the love thing down can be complicated.

Life is messy, full of chaos and unpredictability, and so even the best of relationships can be messy. The map of the human heart has many roadblocks and detours along the way.

It is my belief, and I will delve into this with tomorrow’s article, that the more of a Low Density Lifestyle you live, the better your chances of finding a lasting relationship, especially if it is with another person who also lives that way. That is because when two people come together who both live a Low Density Lifestyle, there is a sense of calm and inner peace already within the relationship, leading to less potential for possible friction that can cause problems.

Now, you can work on yourself till the cows come home, but the real test comes when you’re in a relationship, when love comes knocking on your door, and when you have the closest and most intimate of all encounters, the experience of sex, because this is when we are fully tested.

sex jpgSex, especially, is a subject that is often considered taboo and not to be talked about in polite circles. Granted, you don’t want to be shouting off a rooftop about your sex life, nor is it necessary to talk about it with everyone you meet. After all, it is a personal matter.

But we are a sexually repressed culture, afraid to fully express our primal needs and enjoy the full pleasures of sex.

On my intake form that I have my patients fill out at their initial appointment, I have an area that I ask how they feel about their personal lives, work, family, diet and sex life. I ask people to rate it, from great, to good, fair and poor. Most of my patients rate their sex life fair or poor. A small number rate it good, and a tiny fraction call it great.

But it shouldn’t be that way. After all, it is the most natural of acts.

Again, I believe the more of a Low Density Lifestyle a person leads, the better their sex life. I’ll revisit this in more depth tomorrow,  so tune in then.

If you’d like to know more about high and low denisty lifestyles, check out Dr Wayn’es website here.