Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about helping people (especially women) connect to their sensuality, open-heartedly express their sexuality and experience the soulful intimacy that comes from embracing all of who we are.
I believe that sexual intimacy can be a key that transforms our relationships and our whole lives if we embrace it consciously and with love.
That’s not to say that everyone’s sex life should look or be a particular way. We all have different wants and desires around intimacy.
Unfortunately, our sex-phobic society and the rigid gender roles laid out for us by society constrict both men and women when it comes to sex.
As women, we’re not often encouraged to explore what really lights our fire. We’re not encouraged to voice or even explore what we really want as society gives all kinds of labels to women who enjoy or have sex too much.
In my experience, we’re often focussed on what turns our partner on or we’re measuring ourselves against an idealised fantasy of what we think other people’s sex lives are like. Or maybe we’re still acting out the unconscious beliefs passed on to us from society around what women want when it comes to sex.
Men are also constricted by the expectation that they should know everything about pleasing a partner, always be in control in bed and be ready for sexual encounters at any moment.
The more I hear people share about their sex lives, the more I realise that we are all different. There are common threads of course, but there really is no ‘ideal’ and no ‘normal’. There is no ideal number of times you should be intimate each week. There is no position or act you should be aiming for.
In some ways, my sex life has become less adventurous over the years that I’ve been studying sexology and sexuality. My wants around excitement and intimacy have changed as I’ve given myself more permission to be vulnerable and to embrace the soulful intimacy that really fills me up. For many people I’ve worked with though, their experience has been the opposite.
It’s really about finding what works for you (and your partner if you’re in a relationship).
When I suggest to couples that they talk about what it is they both want and like in regard to sex, I’m often met with resistance. Everything from ‘that sounds a little boring’ to ‘doesn’t that kind of take away the passion and mystery?’ to ‘I could never talk to my partner about that’.
Actually, talking about what you want has the potential to bring passion and soulful intimacy to your sex life.
You may not always align in your wants and desires, but there is an incredible intimacy that comes from talking about what you want and deep closeness that comes from being sensitive to each others needs. It can also lead to exciting possibilities that you may have thought wouldn’t interest your partner.
Even asking yourself just one of these questions can be powerful and transformative.
These are not questions to be asked once. They’re questions to come back to, to talk about and explore on your own and with your partner. Expect that what you want will change over time and give yourself permission to want what you want.
The questions below are essentially what I work through with individuals and couples in the course of therapy. Helping a client to work out what they want, staying focussed on the motivational factors and working through blocks using practical steps.
What do I want in regard to sex?
This alone is an incredibly powerful question, especially if you (like most of us) feel a little shy about sex, or if you’re been focussing on meeting your partner’s sexual needs. Think about what you want it to look like, what you want included and how you want intimacy to feel.
What is motivating me?
It’s helpful to be clear on what’s driving us – find your ‘why’ in regard to sex and intimacy. If we’re doing something to please our partner, it can lead to resentment. Focus on the positive benefits that you want to receive, what are your positive emotional drivers?
What is holding me back (fears)?
If you’re really honest, what are the beliefs and emotions that are getting in the way? Pay particular attention to your fears as they are often there under the surface. Talking about these, or even writing them down can help them begin to shift, as once they’re brought into awareness, they’re no longer the boogey-man under the bed and you can take practical steps to move even further through them.
What can I do to get there?
What action could you take that would help you create the soulful intimate sex life you want? It may be booking a weekend away, buying some new toys, educating yourself, or getting some support. There are so many good resources available on sex at the moment. A little bit of education can be transformative, a sex therapist can give you personalised support and advice and a tantra class can open up a whole new world.