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Fifty Shades of Relationship: 8 Tips on Keeping it Hot and Together

I'm not just a sex expert, I've been"happily enough" married for 30 years. That's no small achievement and I'm happy to wear the merit badge. I also live an out of the box life erotically  and support others to evolve their own sexuality on their own and in their long term romantic relationships.  Recently, someone called me a "Marriage Whisperer" but we don't have to whisper. Let's face it, after you say "I do", you evolve.  If you don't evolve in your own life, you dry up and emotionally deaden. A sexual numbness can creep in like the fog on a San Francisco morning.  How can a person who is living an evolutionarily life expect their relationship to stay the same? Marriages, romantic relationships and live in partnerships need to shift and transform too other wise they fracture and die. I think that's the biggest reason for the  high split up rate in the United States.  Somehow, we think that if our relationship can't stay as it was when we agreed to "Happily ever after" that it's broken and it's time to move on.  Here's the thing, most likely you will confront the same issues again and again.

So how do you evolve and keep it hot and sexy in a relationship, marriage or long term partnership?

1. Commit to owning your own sexuality.  Have you really thought about what you want erotically in your own life? Do you have it? What has changed for you since you entered your relationship? It's crucial to do your own work. I have worked with countless women who have told me that they have never had an orgasm alone or with their partner.  Believe it or not, learning to access your shifting sexuality is often work best done at first without your partner!  Our sexual persona can sometimes get trapped in our relationship dynamics. Separating who you are sexually from how you engage with your partner is often the first crucial step.

2. Practice being sexual.  That's right, go flaunt yourself.  Wear clothing that makes you feel sexy.  Walk like you mean it. Go dancing. Read sexy books.  Touch your own body.  Change your look.

3.  Confront the fact that you might be sexually bored.  Honestly, sexual boredom is one of the biggest reason's relationships fail. Perhaps it's time to take your sexuality with your partner out of the bedroom. And let's be clear, I'm talking about way more than having sex on the kitchen counter (even though that can be fun!). It may be time for a "SexPloration Vacation".   Have you ever taken a sexuality workshop together?  Or planned a private couple's sexuality retreat with sexuality experts? Here's the thing, no one really teaches us how to touch, speak our desires, and play erotically. Most of us learned about sex being quiet and quick. It was about shame, not getting pregnant or caught or catching an STD. Even if your sexuality evolved with more sexual freedom than that - most of us never learn to play erotically.  Everyone needs to shake off the sexual cobwebs from our relationship.  Trust me, you're not going to do this by reading a book or simply wishing for something different. You actually need to take action and that could take some courage, time and money.  It's so worth it.

4. Compliment your partner.  When was the last time you told your partner that they did a great job giving you pleasure? Kindness and encouragement go a long way.

5.  When was the last time you brought something new to bed? That's right; I am talking sex toys. Take your partner on a desire tour. Plan a date around inviting something new and sexy into your relationship. There are so many new and exciting sex toys on the market. Grown ups like new toys too; buy one!

6.  Get real. When was the last time you and your partner actually talked about your sex life? Do it.

7.  It's only kinky the first time! What about sharing your sexual fantasies with your partner? This tip goes well with tip number 6.  And don't get discouraged if your first "kinky" experiment doesn't go well. Try again. We need to practice being sexual and trying new things! And consider doing something different that is just for your partner. Maybe you are not "into" being tied up but it doesn't freak you out and it really turns on your partner.  Maybe be willing to try it on for your partner if it is "neutral" for you.  Sometimes our kinks don't line up but they don't repulse us either.  Being able to offer your partner their sexual fantasy can be a great big turn on and can create an opening in your sexual relationship.

8.  Let the other person win the fight!  You don't always have to be right.  You know the expression: "Do you want to be happy or right?" Sometimes, it's worth it to let go of being right in favor of being sexy together.

 

Tips for Bringing "The Playful" Back Into "The Sexual"

Sometimes even sex educators can really caught up in our own brains.  We think, and we write, and we talk about sex a lot.  And frankly, sometimes we talk the sexy and the pleasure right out of sex!  And if you are like most people, you want to get out of your brains just for a little while, and you want to get into your bodies. You are yearning to laugh and to play. And you just can't remember the last time that you played with your sexuality.  When was the last time you did something different? Some people even put their noses up in the air and make groaning sounds at the very thought of being sexual with their partners or with even with their own bodies.

To truly experience what it is to have sexual freedom, we need to cultivate our erotic imagination.  For each of us, our sexual freedom and playfulness lies in our ability and willingness to create a sexuality of our very own. Forget normal.  In truth, what works for doctors and some psychotherapists putting the human experiences into boxes of normal and not normal does not always serve us when it comes to sexuality.

What if we were each invited to view our sexuality as a work of art, and I handed you a blank canvas that was the size of the biggest wall you had ever seen, and an endless supply of colorful paints, pencils and markers. What if I invited you to fill this tremendous blank canvas with your erotic desires? What if you felt truly free enough to create your very own sexuality without shame, judgement or inhibitions? What if I invited you to play in your sexuality?

The human erotic imagination may be one of the golden keys to having an extraordinary sex life.  So many of us are raised with a spoken and unspoken understanding of what is allowable when it comes to having sex.  We are raised with this idea of what is "normal' and "approved" and what is not.  Quite literally,  for many of us our erotic imagination get's shut down and we are left with a very short list of what is allowable for us in our expression of sexuality. Everything else is somehow made "taboo" or "dirty" or "not normal".

That leaves us with either filled with shame over desires that we may think are wrong, or we simply become numbed out to the possibilities.

For others, we may simply have not explored how to cultivate our erotic imagination.  So what makes up our erotic imagination? What are some tools to free up and explore our erotic imagination:

  • Sexual fantasy is a great starting ground.  Allowing ourselves to travel freely in our own mind and explore without shame or putting any labels of judgement around our sexual fantasies.
  • Reading erotica and romance novels can be a great place to put your erotic flint to stone.
  • Wandering through a sex toy shop can also be a great place to cultivate your erotic imagination. Walk around and handle the toys. Often there are books and videos to explore as well.
  • Explore the idea of sexuality being playful.  When we play we are free to get things wrong, experiment, try on different roles, laugh and even be foolish. What if we looked at sexuality as play?
  • Put on costumes.  And this idea is not just limited to women.  Erotic lingerie can be a wonderful tool to assist our erotic imaginations. I know men who put on superman boxer shorts to get into the mood.  Are they exploring their erotic imagination? I think so.
  • We can all cultivate our own erotic imagination and create a sexuality of our very own.  Let go of "normal" and invite in exploration and play.  The possibilities for sexual expression is as vast and limitless as the human mind. Come play.

Let's see if I can conjure up some a  few more ideas for bringing the playful back into your sexual.

Let's get started:

1. For couples for who bored, feel like there is nothing new to do with each other and are stuck in a rut. Here is my all time favorite game. I call it, "What's in Your Basket?"  This is a couple's game. Go into a sex toy store...or go on line and each person gets half an hour to put toys in their basket. Sometimes, "Showing" our desires and fantasies is SO much less scary than "Telling".

The couple meets up and they get to look into each others baskets. Oh la la!  I bet you will find things in each others basket that you had no idea they were interested in. Remember that when your beloved brings you their basket, they are bringing you an incredibly intimate and vulnerable part of themselves. Please receive the basket with as much love, and kindness as possible. You may be truly surprised and delighted by what is in the basket, and you might be blown away too! That's great!

Now, each person gets to pick three things from the other person's basket that they are willing to explore. This is where "Consent" and "Boundaries" come in. When you pick the items in your partner's basket you are only consenting to exploring the toy or fantasies that the toy represents. You are not consenting to do it. You are consenting to explore it. Talk about it and then decide how much you want to play. And you just might be a "Hell Yes"!  And you might be a "Maybe".  It's also really acceptable to be a "No".  The hope is that you can find three items in each others baskets that you can be either a "Hell Yes" or a "Maybe" too.

It's a great way to begin the conversation of "what turns my partner on" as well as opening new playful doors for the two of you to explore. And it's fun! Amazing openings and play has happened with this delicious heart opening game.  Enjoy the conversations and experiences. Go to dinner after and then go home to slowly explore and savor the play that will unfold.

2. For all of us: Do you have a secret sexual alter ego?  You now, the sexual person you might want to be if you didn't have any rules around who you had to be in your real life as a sexual being? Have you ever spent time with your sexual alter ego? Playing on line with your secret sexual alter ego can be a lot of fun. Some people write blogs, develop Facebook pages, join sexy on line communities such as "FetLife" in order to explore and play with their secret sexual altar ego.  It's called having a "Scene Name". Some people even going out and  buying clothing for this part of themselves, and will go out in cities or areas of their town where they are not known, and enjoy  being seen in this part of themselves that they normally wouldn't allow anyone to see them.  This can be a lot of fun and very playful.  This can also be a way of "Trying On" parts of yourself.

3. Do something really different. There are so many different kinds of retreats, trips, meet ups, and centers for sex positive explorations. Sex stores in your community may be running workshops. Go. Getting out and explore some of your edges.  They are waiting for you.

Cultivating Your Erotic Imagination

To truly experience what it is to have sexual freedom, we need to cultivate our erotic imagination.  For each of us, our sexual freedom lies in our ability and willingness to create a sexuality of our very own. Forget normal.  In truth, what works for doctors and some psychotherapists putting the human experiences into boxes of normal and not normal does not always serve us when it comes to sexuality. What if we were each invited to view our sexuality as a work of art, and I handed you a blank canvas that was the size of the biggest wall you had ever seen, and an endless supply of colorful paints, pencils and markers. What if I invited you to fill this tremendous blank canvas with your erotic desires? What if you felt truly free enough to create your very own sexuality without shame, judgement or inhibitions?

The human erotic imagination may be one of the golden keys to having an extraordinary sex life.  So many of us are raised with a spoken and unspoken understanding of what is allowable when it comes to having sex.  We are raised with this idea of what is "normal' and "approved" and what is not.  Quite literally,  for many of us our erotic imagination get's shut down and we are left with a very short list of what is allowable for us in our expression of sexuality. Everything else is somehow made "taboo" or "dirty" or "not normal".

That leaves us with either filled with shame over desires that we may think are wrong, or we simply become numbed out to the possibilities.

For others, we may simply have not explored how to cultivate our erotic imagination.  So what makes up our erotic imagination? What are some tools to free up and explore our erotic imagination:

  • Sexual fantasy is a great starting ground.  Allowing ourselves to travel freely in our own mind and explore without shame or putting any labels of judgement around our sexual fantasies.
  • Reading erotica and romance novels can be a great place to put your erotic flint to stone.
  • Wandering through a sex toy shop can also be a great place to cultivate your erotic imagination. Walk around and handle the toys. Often there are books and videos to explore as well.
  • Explore the idea of sexuality being playful.  When we play we are free to get things wrong, experiment, try on different roles, laugh and even be foolish. What if we looked at sexuality as play?
  • Put on costumes.  And this idea is not just limited to women.  Erotic lingerie can be a wonderful tool to assist our erotic imaginations. I know men who put on superman boxer shorts to get into the mood.  Are they exploring their erotic imagination? I think so.

We can all cultivate our own erotic imagination and create a sexuality of our very own.  Let go of "normal" and invite in exploration and play.  The possibilities for sexual expression is as vast and limitless as the human mind. Come play.

 

 

When Did Sex Get So Serious? Can Sex Be Play?

When was the last time sex felt playful to you? Have you ever had a great big belly laugh with your partner during sex or leading up to sex? Have we all gotten lost in the Orgasm Olympics and forgot that sex is not as much about achievement as it is about pleasure? These days I am wondering about playful sex. The kind of sexual interaction between two people that is actually super fun, filled with anticipation, giggles and a sense of silly adventure.  If we can let go of performance can we bring back the fun?

I have a few ideas to get you started:

1. Go to a sex toy shop with your partner.  You each grab a basket and separate. You get about a half hour.  Spend time with the toys. Let your imagination wander. Pick out toys, books, videos, or anything else that you would like to experiment with. Your partner does the same. Meet by the vibrators or the lube at the appointed time and look into each others baskets. What's there? Any surprises? Now, you each get to pick three items from each other baskets that look like something that could be fun to try or experiment with. Go home. Play.

2. Buy sex dice. Sex Dice is a game created to add play back into sex.  Instead of numbers, each face on the die contains the name of a body part; the body part that faces up when the die is rolled must then be given sexual attention. It's fun. It's silly. It creates an atmosphere of playfulness. And it extends foreplay. They are inexpensive. Go on. Play dice.

3. Play Seven Minutes in Heaven! Are you old enough to remember that game? It was created by somebody in the 1950's and enjoyed by teenagers at parties. Two people are selected to go into a closet or other dark enclosed space and do whatever they like for seven minutes. In my version of the game, you get seven minutes to consequentially enjoy your partners body.  You may ask if you can touch your partners breasts for seven minutes or kiss or even tickle their feet.  Remember to take turns! Put on a egg timer to help you play fair and keep track of time.

Come on.  We are never to old to play. And taking the time to bring the play back into sex can really help you get your sexy on.

Want to learn more? Join me and  Mac S. McGregor, sex educators and intimacy coaches for a playful, sexy, interactive discussion filled with helpful ideas to bring the play back in your sex life.

In this tele-seminar we will bring you suggestions on how to reconnect through erotic play and laughter.

You will learn about new toys for couples, role play and how to set up scene for playful hot laughter filled sex.

When was the last time you played with sex? Perhaps it's time to change your perspective.

Join us! You will laugh, learn and get ready to bring the sexy back into your life! All genders and sexual orientations are welcome at this tele-conference. Self Register using the link!

The Not So Secret Pleasures of a New Sex Toy

I don’t consider myself a “Sex Blogger” even though I am sex positive and write about sex a lot! After all, I am a sex and relationship coach! But somehow,  I don’t often do “Sex Toy” reviews – or share my personal sexual experiences, except perhaps in my book Shameless! Oh yes – there are exceptions to every rule!  And rules are made to be broken - right? Like my personal addiction to the sex toy, the Hitachi Wand.  To me – and thousands of others, who use vibrators in their sex lives (alone or as a couple) – the Hitachi Wand was the most dependable toy around.

I have used others – because I know that self pleasuring (masturbating) with the same sex toy all time is not always the best way to achieve or heighten sexual pleasure. But try and try again – I never hit another vibrator that worked for me like the old wand – and I got tired of throwing good money at toys that didn’t  how shall we say – hit the spot?

And then I met Jimmyjane’s Form 2 one of the rock stars in the “Pleasure to The People” line.  Form 2 a little discreet vibrator that took the form perhaps of a small bunny face (nothing like the famous vibrator toy – the rabbit!).   It is all about the little ears or if you like-  the two amazing fingers! What does it look like to you?

The designers call it “LITTLE PERKY” (suggesting that we call Form 2 whatever we would like – I call it magnificent! I had little to no expectations for it – it was so small. How could little Form 2 bring me to orgasmic  bliss?  I could wax poetic about the delicate vibrations that reminded me of a lovers fingers which special abilities.  Or the how the double prong (ears) worked together or separately!  All I know is that I have a new friend in my bed room drawer - ight next to my  Zestra!  Put those two together – and call me in the morning!

News Flash: It's NOT About The Orgasm!

When Tommy sang these words "See me, feel me, touch me, heal me" - he was singing about a universal core desire in all of us to be truly seen. The more I talk to people who are exploring their sexuality, the more I find that I am not alone in my own experience; that in the end  it is not about the orgasm! No matter how many articles you read about what women or men want in bed - most of  the advice that is screaming at us  about being sexual savants are  missing the point completely.  You see - you don't need a list of secret sex tips, a box of sex toys, to be able to locate the "G" Spot, or know how to have or give a woman a female ejaculation to be a star in the bedroom. What you  need is the ability  to see your lover with loving kindness and admiration through your eyes and through your finger tips. When was the last time you opened your eyes in the bedroom and simply offered your lover your soft accepting gaze of appreciation? When was the last time you touched your lover as if you were a blind person? Using your fingers as your eyes?  I am not talking about touch as a pathway to orgasm and intercourse  (although that might happen) - but using touch as a soft, gentle, erotic way of truly seeing your partner? Just talking about this kind of touch sends shivers down my spine!

Most of us are literally starving for this kind of touch.  It is through being seen and touched - without any goal other than to feel, love and truly worship the flesh of our beloved that we can be changed forever.

Oh yes - sex toys, orgasm and rocking the night away - can be delicious. But why not try something really new and see what opens for you and your partner simply through opening your eyes, offering admiration and desire through your gaze and touch with no agenda other than to honor, tantalize and hold?

Let me know how it goes for you!

Has Your Lover Pushed The Sexual Snooze Button? Maybe She is Bored!

So, one of my mentors - Joseph Kramer, PhD told me to go read this column by this very famous sex columnist Dan Savage (I am a huge fan - by the way!) -  here is the link to the column in question. In this particular column  - that somehow I had missed, Dan is  talking about this book called "I'd Rather Eat Chocolate: Learning to Love my Low Libido" By Joan Sewell. Apparently according to Sewell - woman naturally have lower libidos - and would rather eat chocolate or at least lots and lots of chips and pizza, than have sex! Look - I like my carbs as much as the next girl  and I have used food - over and over again to fill the empty places inside of me that I just couldn't name. Okay -  lets be real here - I have used food for just about everything! But I am not so sure about this premise - and I have to be honest  - I have also not read Mss Sevell's book - just Savage's column.

And what got me is how Dan - who I love - was being so hostile in this particular column towards women! He was full of forget about it boys - she just isn't into it and it doesn't matter what you do. Dan Savage went into this long rant about the  "if onlys". He said something like - well gentlemen you can forget about all the "if' onlys".

"If only I helped her with the dishes she would have had sex"

"If only she wasn't so tired"

If only I came home from work early to have a romantic dinner"

Dan basically said great-now we know the truth about women - now us men can give it all up and stop trying so hard because she isn't going to fuck us anyway!

So his advice for the men in America? Go drink your beers - play your video games - and fart. And his advice to woman? Put up or shut up when your man goes else where!

This particular column is really a dis-service to all of us.

I am getting really tired of all of this women don't like sex stuff. Not the woman that I know! What I do know is that women get bored. If you are snoozing and serving up the same old thing....night after night....she might choose to open another candy bar and put that in her mouth rather than you! Don't tell me that sitting  with a lap top buzzing is a turn on. It's not. Why not grab her while she is walking by your easy chair and throw her over your lap for a sensuous tickle? See if that doesn't wake her up? Do something different! Savage makes fun of sex play toys...such as chocolate frosting for the body - he says it is not dignified for parts of the male anatomy. I wonder if most men's anatomy would care about it's dignity with a happy tongue playfully washing off the sprinkles?

I believe that we are a nation of sexual paradoxes. We crave sex and think about it constantly - but we are also sexually asleep. We are sexually out of shape! Perhaps we need sexual trainers! Just like gym trainers! And they do exist! Just read my blog - but this needs to go main stream. Just like many people need a trainer to exercise - some may need a sexual trainer to help them wake up their libidos!

When I listen to doctors talk about low sexual urges - I go back to my metaphor of  sleeping beauty. If we are bored and not engaged  - we fall asleep. If we are encouraged to wake up and engage - we will dance with the prince! Or ourselves! Look, it's not just the man's job for wake us up. We have to wake ourselves up. That is really the truth. But this nonsense that the truth of it all is that us women are just are born to like sex less - is a myth worth busting.