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I often see clients who have put their partner on a sexual pedestal. They believe their partner has their sexual act together, and somehow they have to meet their partner’s sexual level. I see this whether in long-term relationships or in casual encounters.
It’s this belief that you are sexual inadequate and your partner is sexually competent, and you set the sexual bar at the other’s supposed level of sexuality.
This approach is destined to fail.
- For a start, no-one is perfectly sexually proficient, we’re all fallible human beings who are never perfect or totally competent in any area of life.
- Secondly, sexuality is an ever-fluctuating thing, it’s never a static constant ‘level’.
- And most importantly, quality sex is never about meeting another person’s sexual needs/wants/expectations, it’s about two people co-creating a unique experience of pleasure and connection based on their own desires moment-by-moment.
I do see this a lot more in women than in men (including same sex attracted women). No doubt it comes from all those millenia of patriarchy where a women’s sexual role was solely to satisfy the husband. At least back then the demands weren’t so high, just lie back and think of England while he does his business inside you, and pop out a couple of heirs along the way. These... read more
Consent is of course essential to quality sex. I think we all agree on that in the year 2021. But generally, that’s considered a ‘yes’ at the start of a linear process that once started has to go through all the steps, right to the end, meeting all the expected KPI’s along the way. That’s what the ‘yes’ has agreed to.
But what if you don’t want to go through the linear process? What if you don’t know yet if you want step 2 or 3 or 4 or whatever your script is? Or even if you thought you might, what if you change your mind along the way and want to do something different or stop altogether? In the standard model of sex it’s too late, you’ve already said ‘yes’, you’ve already given consent.
Or conversely, if you think your consent is saying yes to the whole process and you don’t know yet if you want to go to the later steps, then you might say ‘no’ up-front. Which is rather like saying ‘no’ to a meal because you don’t know if you’ll want dessert yet.
In the non-linear approach to sex that I advocate, consent is a moment-by-moment experience. What am I feeling and wanting in this moment? Then, what am... read more
Sometimes a client tells me they feel they are too ‘needy’ because they want to connect with their partner more. Or in contrast, a client tells me they feel their partner is too ‘needy’ because they want to connect with them more. And occasionally they are right, the ‘needy’ partner lacks self-assurance and uses their partner to fill a hole in themselves. But more often the clients have bought into a belief, so common in our society, that idolises individuality.
Yet humans are social creatures, we are pair-bonding creatures. It’s not ‘needy’ to desire connection, it’s human.
We’ve evolved that way. Why? Because we have very large brains and therefore very large skulls. This means that compared to most other mammal species, humans give birth to our young very prematurely, while the infant’s skull is still small enough to get out of the mother. So, our infants are born totally helpless – they can’t even hold up their heads! It takes seven years for a human infant to get to the level of independence that most mammals get to in a few weeks or months.
Other mammal species don’t need fathers. Once he’s done his job of impregnation the mother can gestate, birth and raise her infants all on her own. There is... read more
From my column in Body+Soul
Question: I’ve been seeing my new boyfriend for six months. We’re really well suited, in and out of the bedroom, but there’s something troubling me. He doesn’t climax when I go down on him. I’m 32 and haven’t encountered this before. He says he loves what I do, but I’m starting to get a bit of a complex about it. What do you think?
Answer: We’re a little too focused on our sexual KPIs (key performance indicators) in this society. Sex has to ‘achieve’ something, it’s goal-focused, and that goal is orgasm. And not just any orgasm, a very specific peak orgasm. If you don’t achieve that, you haven’t performed up to standard. You’ve failed.
But wait up a moment, that performance approach might be appropriate in the workplace, where there are quotas and deadlines and outcomes to be met – but in the bedroom? Do we need to take that performance focus into our sex lives, with all the pressure and expectation that accompanies it? Where’s the enjoyment in that?
I say a big no to the performance model of sex! Of the countless clients I see with sexual ‘dysfunctions’, the bulk of them are actually perfectly fine,... read more
At my last Couples Retreat in Bali I made the comment to some participants that I don't feel like a woman, I feel like a human in a female body. The shocked reaction came back: "But you're so womanly, you're gorgeous, the epitome of being female, a veritable goddess!"
Which I have to say was definitely very flattering, if a little excessive!
But actually I believe the reason I come across as so "womanly" is that I have balanced my yin and yang, my masculine and feminine, within myself. I simply feel 'human' and then I inhabit a female body. And I have to say I love having a female body! But you know, if I had a male body, I'm not sure I'd feel that different, and I'm sure I'd love having a male body. Because being human and having a body is a pretty cool thing when you think about it. Miraculous actually.
Foreplay is generally seen as what you do before you get to intercourse, to prepare yourselves (especially the woman) to be ready to receive “penetration” by the man. Intercourse is seen as a vigorous activity consisting of the man thrusting into the woman, or less frequently, the woman bouncing around on the man.
- Intercourse is the “main event” or “the whole point” of sex and that other activities simply lead-up to that “main event”
- Intercourse is such a vigorous activity that plenty of preparation is required
- Intercourse isn’t the main event, that it isn’t the whole point, that it’s just one of many elements and possibilities of sex and love-making
- Intercourse doesn’t have to be vigorous so it doesn’t necessarily require lots of preparation
- Intercourse can, in essence, be part of the foreplay.
You’ll notice that I often focus on sensuality and exploring the “valleys” of sex as well as the “peaks”, and particularly on softening and making the genitals more receptive.... read more
- #321: Consent From the Inside
- #320: How to Say No Without It Feeling Like Rejection
- #319: The Benefits of a Great Love Life Part 3: Sexual Transformation
- #318: The Benefits of a Great Love Life Part 2: Relational Transformation
- #317: The Benefits of a Great Love Life Part 1: Personal Transformation
- #316: Take Your Partner Off A Sexual Pedestal
- #315: Finesse Your Expertise on Each Other
- #314: A Lingering Sense of Each Other
- #313: How Do You Know When You're Having Good Sex?
- #312: Conflict is Inevitable So Learn to Prevent, Manage and Repair
- #311: The Bridgerton Effect
- #310: Cuddle plus – an essential phase of the affection-sex continuum
- #309: Moment-by-Moment Consent
- #308: How To Give (and Receive) An Erotic Spanking
- #307: Three Types of Sexual Communication: Chit-chat, In the Moment and The Debrief
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