Oh how intoxicating that first year is. I love everything about the early love-fest year(s); the absolute ravishment of each other, both full of primal lust and complete passion.
I love who I become – a spicy erotic creature – my draws overflowing with new lingerie, my eye mask serving a new purpose other than just a sleep aid and my legs meticulously shaved.
And then inevitably, things begin to change. I realise he doesn’t mind my hairy legs and so (phew) can go back to shaving them once per month. It’s a little late to feign sexiness – he’s seen too much of my regular, unsexy humanity.
Like, there was that time where I had to go to the hospital with a kidney infection. I had to do a pee test and I was so feverish that he had to reach down and catch my pee.
This was love. And, since he had caught my pee in a cup (among other things), probably the death of sexual intrigue.
Not surprisingly, when real love ensued, so did a predictable sexual pattern; like we exchanged excitement for flannel pyjamas and a movie. Over time, the routine became uninspiring (the ‘foreplay’ menu, the position menu – always. the. same.) Somehow it felt inauthentic, like something was missing but that ‘something’ was difficult to change because it was so comfortable and easy.
It caused me to wonder, are we all doomed for boring, predictable sex if we’re in long term relationships?
I say no. I’ve kept it alive over the long term before BUT…
I know from experience that if you want sex to stay alive, you’ll need to apply a dose of dedication, willingness to risk and curiosity – because really, the world of sex IS an infinite playground of possibility if you’re willing to invest your time and energy.
So here are some ideas:
Look at your resistance.
I remember standing in the kitchen as he asked me if I wanted to have an Orgasmic Meditation session. I’d been asking for him to initiate this for months (it had become my number one nag). Anyway, there he was initiating and I turned him down with a lame excuse like ‘I have a headache’ (yes, shamefully my imagination failed me). Truthfully, my inner Good Girl had kicked in. I didn’t feel like opening to my sexual side with him that day.
In long term relationships, we tend to form resistances that I call ‘Personas’. For example, the Good Girl, or the Wholesome Wife or Martyring Mother. These Personas start to rule the bedroom and get in the way of intimacy. They are embodiments of our excuses, our shame and our fear of change.
Personas are symptomatic of an inauthenticity within yourself or the relationship – something is not being said or addressed and so Personas act like a front, blocking what’s really going on.
For men, a common Persona is The Gentleman. This Persona feels afraid of being aggressive in the bedroom because outside the bedroom, it’s a huge no-no for a decent bloke to ‘man-handle’…
There is a secret about human love that is commonly overlooked: Receiving it is much more scary and threatening than giving it. How many times in your life have you been unable to let in someone’s love or even pushed it away? Much as we proclaim the wish to be truly loved, we are often afraid of that, and so find it difficult to open to love or let it all the way in.”
~ John Welwood
Have you ever thought it strange that we say we want love, but then complain about the package it arrives in? We proclaim to want someone but then get resentful when they turn out to not be who we thought they would be. We push away love when we cannot let go of blame. We push away the lover when we refuse our part in the conflict and instead lather them with our anger or guilt.
It’s like the biggest cosmic joke; that even though we say we want love and pleasure, we get caught in the most painful universal wound of all – that we don’t deserve the love we say we want.
I have clients who get anxious before sex, or who cannot see past their perceived certainty that pain is on the way or who can’t cope with too much attention on them.
I myself have looked love in the eye and said: ‘This isn’t enough’ or ‘I’m not ready’.
We have to establish love at the centre of our existence before we can let it in. By this I mean we have to claim our very selves as the source of love so that whatever is ‘out there’ is just a mirror of what we already are. And this is, I think, the ONLY lesson worth truly mastering. You have love already. You generate it on the inside.
You are the source of love. I am the source of love.
So many people block their ability or willingness to experience pleasure. They are living the impact of not feeling worthy of love. When it comes to sex, this can best be seen in the experience of orgasm. In my experience, women (and men) will literally stop pleasure in its tracks by tensing up, putting the focus on the other or avoiding intimacy all together.
We have to forgive and accept who we are sexually. Our erotic souls need loving. I hear women beating themselves up about being too sexual or not sexual enough, or not orgasmic, or ashamed or disconnected.
Where does this come from? Well… our collective sex negative culture and slut-shaming mixed in with over-sexualisation in the media.
It seems like all the ‘cool’ pop stars are humping, coming and felating inanimate objects.
So there’s a pressure to be sexy and orgasmic but a fear of being judged at the same time.
So I invite you to stop looking out…
I don’t feel like sex right now. And I’m ok with that. I don’t think we take enough holidays in general and my vagina feels the same. Quite seriously though, I think we should all honour the signals of the body. Sometimes it opens, sometimes it closes. That’s life. (And my very annoying coffee shop downstairs.)
Periods of contraction are natural and sometimes long lasting. Sometimes your vagina is telling you to look at your relationship. Other times, she just wants to close the shades for a little ‘me time’ and spiritual reading.
Permission to not be sexual is needed.
I do find other access points into my sensuality though, otherwise I feel like my shell hardens and my association with bodily pleasure numbs. I like warm water for this.
I also like a bit of conscious BDSM.
What can I say? I get by with a little help from my friends.
And I do have friends with interesting career paths. One of my dear friends is a dominatrix and the other day she offered to come over and give me a flogging to help with break-up catharsis.
(This is a flogger for those not accustomed to the tools of the dom trade.)
Now, I can feel all you good girls out there taking a sharp breath in. I would have once too. Mainly because I didn’t understand it. I know it can sound strange and way out. But like most things, when you understand it, it becomes less intimidating.
My adventures into the world of conscious BDSM began last year in a workshop taught by the legendary Barbara Carellas. It was a surprisingly joyful experience…. FAR different than I expected. Not at all intimidating and such a revelation in terms of ‘what else’ is available in the world of intimacy.
So when my friend offered to come over last Saturday morning I was a definite YES to re-exploring this sensational experience. Frankly, a flogging sounded like a much more interesting way to spend Saturday morning than brunch so why not?
I want to dispel the dominatrix stereotype. My friend didn’t arrive in her trench coat over a black latex corset and 10 inch heals. In fact she arrived at my house looking like a beautiful dame in a long green skirt and lacy pink blouse.
She is so full of love and generosity.
She asked me if I’d like my flogging to be playful or meditative and I opted for the latter. We used breath and rhythm to get out of thought and into the experience of giving and receiving, feeling and experiencing the present.
Me, semi naked, holding onto a banister, her fully clothed and totally present to my experience. Lots of sighs, a few shrieks and laughs. Tons of love and care.
It was a spiritual experience, full of intention that lasted almost an hour. Followed by a cup of tea.
You might be wondering WHY?
Entirely fictional research suggests (as in, I made it up) that it seems to open the energy channels of the body which allows emotion to run.
Actual research suggests that flogging releases…