Sexuality Workshops

The Gift of Long Term Relationship: And 7 Tips

I have slept for most of 30 years with my husband spooned around my body. Like two swans. Anaïs Nin say this: “Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.” And this is true. All relationships change. It's an evolution. They will never be the same from one month to the next or one year to the following decade. When I was 17, I didn't need a "Fifty Shades of Gray" to get excited or turned on.That was not in my consciousness yet. I was who I was at 17 and I was whole and complete.

It was enough for my then boyfriend, now husband, to kiss me. I swear to all that is holy that I had an orgasm with that first kiss. All that I needed was his lips to touch mine.

That same kiss to me today, from my beloved of 33 years has a completely different delicious flavor today. And it's a kiss of the deepest love I think I have ever experienced. The kiss is not a climax or toes don't curl anymore.  The kiss is not the taste of a long desperate yearning or the thrill many of the erotic games and rituals that I so deeply enjoy and love in this place in my life.

I don't share that with this man 33 years later. I share something evolutionary. It is the kiss of a man with an incredible big heart that opens to me and sees me with incredible beauty. It's the gift of trust and of allowing me to always evolve without leaving me. That's the kiss. The kiss of extraordinary relationship loyalty. The gift of loving someone so completely that you can see them as 17, or holding your baby on an operating table near death, or the kiss of our empty nest. Or holding you while your grieve the losses in your life. Or dancing with you and cheering at each small victory that life brings. It is the kiss of comfort when your "outside relationship" is stretching you and you want to cry and kick and scream. And he says to be patient, and quiet and not to make a mess. How about some popcorn instead?

Not everyone will get to taste this unique, rare kiss of extended loving over a life time. It's take's a certain willingness to stay.  It takes a willingness to be looking at what used to work, and shifting to what works now. It takes a willingness to learn how to replenish love's source, as it's source is always changing. It takes a willingness to kiss the wounds and the tarnishing that all relationships experience. It takes a willingness to love through change without judgement.

Today as I opened my eyes, my husband reached over me and held me in his arms. His mouth reached down and offered me his kiss.  Again.

So how did we become marriage or long term relationship "survivors" and "thrivers"? 1.  Be willing to look at the need for connectedness and space to create a balance.  Fires need air.  Don't do everything together.

2.  Practice  erotic privacy not secrecy.  If one of you wants to watch porn, or has a sexual desire that you want to explore without your partner talk about it and do not hide it.  Secrets corrupt a relationship and everyone needs some erotic privacy. Privacy is different than lying and sneaking around. How do you have what you need and do not want to share with your partner without having a secret?

3. Being willing to be uncomfortable with the idea of allowing each person in the relationship to have experiences outside of the relationship. Whether it is a bicycle trip across the county or going to sexuality retreat for women.

4. Being willing to stay when you are bored, not turned on and totally restless and realizing that no matter who you choose to be with in life, "New Relationship Energy" fades and eventually you will get to this place again. So how do you work with it?

5. Do something unexpected in the relationship like work with a "Marriage Whisperer" and go on a private retreat for couples or attend a sexuality workshop for couples. Doing something spicy and edge pushing is sometimes exactly what a couple needs. We get stuck in routine and we think that "these kinds of experiences" are not for us.  Yes they are.

6. Being willing to be truthful when needs and desires change.

7. Look at yourself. How are you doing? Do you need to do something for you and your relationship with your body and your sexuality? Usually this is work that each person has to do on their own too.  We all need to evolve too. What are you doing to keep evolving? When was the last time you spoke to someone about sex, relationships, and your changing body? Do you have your own "Pleasure Plan"?

7.  Pay attention.  The biggest gift that long term couples can give each other is attention and presence. Are you holding hands? Saying "I love you" or noticing each other? Notice. Compliment and cheer each other on.

The "Flexible" Marriage

Have you read Sex at Dawn which makes the case that we humans are at our core not monogamous creatures? That in many ways monogamy is a societal concept - imposed on us by religion and many other factors. I loved the book, but for me personally it's a big leap from there to being fully polyamorous or in an open marriage.

And yet my memoir, Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner is all about wanting more....and staying married.  My personal ethos keeps evolving, but the same question keeps being raised: So, how do you get more - and stay monogamous? Or how do you expand on monogamous but stay out of OKCupid?

Is there a solution outside of going from marriage to marriage in a serial monogamy routine that so many of us fall into because we need more on some level? Is there something in-between monogamy and full out polyarmory or open marriage? Right now this is a hot topic in the world of sexuality and relationship.

Is "Polyamory" the  new more accepted term for  "Open Marriage"? We are certainly hearing that term more and more and some are saying that it is next big sexual revolution. I am living something else - which I call the Monogamish Marriage. Which is a kind of  middle ground of sorts.

Sexuality and relationship is all about taking what works for you and your partner and leaving the rest. I love the idea of creating a sexuality and relationship that is all your own. But we can learn from what others are doing. And I do. All the time. When I first thought of the term "expanded monogamy" I thought that I had coined a new term. But a quick search on google turned up several references to expanded monogamy with different definitions. In my version of expanded monogamy - a couple sets the rules of sexual exploration that fit with their own set of personal boundaries that in my own rule book does not include taking a "traditional lover".

Now, you may ask me what what taking a "Traditional Lover" means.  I might answer. I might not!

In my take on expanded monogamy - I am not talking about what been called an "Open Marriage". My version has boundaries that may seem outside of the box for some - but for others may seem quite restrictive. What is agreeable to one couple may not be agreeable to another. In my story - Shameless - I realize that I created a form of expanded monogamy and developed with my husband a way for me to explore my sexuality that did not fit the traditional outline of monogamy but was not polygamy either.

We are also not so good at finding middle places in our society.  It feels like every day  people  ask me questions like "How did your husband feel about you going to a Tantra workshop?" or ""Did you husband get jealous of you working with hands on sexual healers?" What about your explorations of Bd/Sm? How does he feel about that? How does your husband feel about you work at Back to The Body: Sensuous Retreats For Women?   Does he approve? No matter where I am in the country - I am asked the same questions over and over again about my adventures into the underground world of sacred sexuality.

In my search for language - I am embracing the term expanded monogamy or being monogamISH and I would like to introduce it to you if you are unfamiliar with it. In my own expanded monogamous marriage - I have had  room to go to sexuality workshops that include me exploring my own sexuality with myself and with others within boundaries and usually in a supervised workshop setting. I am able to be playful in my sexuality - which keeps my own inner fire alive and my marriage intact. It has become essential to me to be able to explore who I am as an individual as well as in my marriage.

In my own expanded monogamous marriage - both my husband and I have had the space to work with sexological body workers who are there to support us on our own individual paths. We attended sexuality workshops -  which may include us working with sexual energy techniques like moving our breath with other people - or eye gazing. This is what inspired me to create Back to The Body. I wanted a safe place for all women no matter their marital status to have a place to come to explore their sexuality.

In my own expanded monogamish relationship, I explore Bd/Sm (think Fifty Shades of Grey) without my husband because he isn't interested in it, and it is a very important form of erotic expression for me.  That is "Untraditional" love that I speak about, in case you were wondering.

Having the space to explore and experiment with my sexuality within the boundaries of an expanded monogamy has supported my 30 year marriage into a place where both my husband and I are happy and has helped us keep the light burning in our own marriage bed. Having room to expand your sexuality and explore over time may turn a once sexless marriage into something else.

Creating some room in our relationships for turning up the heat on our sexuality does not have to mean leaving the marriage or sneaking around.  We simply have to bring this possibility out into the world.  I do not hide.  There is no shame.

If we have the room to experiment and expand our own sexuality without shame - I believe that more people would not feel like they have to leave their primary relationships. We just may need more room to breathe. It's about creating sexual agreements that work for each partnership - and allowing each other the room to grow without ditching your lives.

 

What is a Turned On Woman?

There is a lot of talk about being a "Turned On" woman. But what exactly is that? To me, it's a woman who has figured out that sex is learning how to be a courtesan for herself first.

It's about taking the time to look inside at that magical, mystical place in our own bodies.

Once we figure out how to do that, a turned on woman will develop a deeper connection to her own sexual engine and be able to take that power source out into the world for the good of her family, friends, and community.

Now that's hot. That's turned on.

Loving you from here,

Pamela

PS. Are you standing on the side lines? Do you want some ideas, or a yellow brick road to step onto?

Sometimes you just need to be willing to do something different and bold to begin to turn on, change your perspective or reboot your engine. Come on! It's Spring! Here are some ideas and resources:

1.  Ron Stewart (http://www.skyclad.ca/) and I are running workshops and offering private sessions on the East Coast from Monday, April 22nd through May 5th.  You can find information about the workshop in Philadelphia here on Wednesday, April 23 in Bryn Mawr at 7pm 

Ron and are are offering private sessions for singles and couple on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the area in the Bryn Mawr area and NJ. Please contact me for more details at Pamela@backtothebody.org

On Friday, April 25th we are in NYC (SoHo) where we will be offering two workshops on Saturday evening at 6:30 until 9:30pm and and Sunday evening from 6:30 to 9:30pm. The workshops are open to all. You can find the complete information on the workshops here. 

Come as a way to connect back to yourself, play, and feel sexy! These workshops are clothing on. You don't need a partner, and you can bring one!

2. Ron and I are offering private sessions from Monday April 18th through May 5th in the NYC area. If you are interested in a private session for yourself or as a couple please email me as soon as possible to discuss - we are booking up but we still have time availability to make this happen for you and take you off the side lines! Women are literally flying in from all over the country to join us in NYC. Are you local? What's stopping you? Call me. Let's move that obstacle! We are creating VIP Days for women to have the exclusive full attention of Ron and myself from 10 to 7pm! Curious? Email me at Pamela@backtothebody.org

3. Have you listened to my CD yet? "Shameless Sex, Self and Love Meditation?" It might be a great start for you! You can find it here.

4. Have you read my book yet? "Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner?" You can find it here.

5. Have you ever considered attending one of our retreats? Back to The Body: Sensuous Retreats For Women has openings for our July and Tuscany Retreat in late September.

6. Just want to talk with me? Consider a free consult. We have so many ways to step off the side lines and live your life as a woman in full. Just send an email at Pamela@backtothebody.org