Soulmates…

The idea of a soulmate sounds romantic, and some do believe they’re out there – but you know me… I always have to share another perspective. Notice I said PERSPECTIVE, not ultimate TRUTH.

So, if you’re struggling in a relationship, or question the one you’re in, or you’re single and waiting for the “special one” – this post may be for you.

My opinion on the matter goes like this…You CREATE the relationship that works for you. Some can accommodate, some cannot. Considering 50%’ish of marriages end in divorce, I’d like to think there is more than just one person we can spend our life with. Otherwise, those divorced folks are screwed if they want to find love again – and I have EVIDENCE that is not the case. Actually, I know several people who have found INCREDIBLE partners AFTER their divorce (more on my thoughts on that another time).

Thinking that ONE person has to have every single thing you’re looking for will inevitably lead to disappointment, and is truly unfair to your partner (and to you!). Your partner may not be the best lover you’ve ever had, but they have other things that you value more (and you can always hire a sex coach – ahem, ahem 🤷‍♀️). You may have different parenting styles, but the loyalty and trust you have is in a different league. You may wish you had a partner with a similar family life as you did growing up, but the way they handle your personal struggles is second to none.

Like most things in life, I see relationships as a give and take. Could you find someone else that has some of the things your current partner doesn’t? Of COURSE! But will they ALSO have everything you love about your current partner? Probably not. Additionally, we change. You could be riding along problem free for 10 years, and then someone loses a job, gets sick, changes sexually…and then what? You need to adjust. More than once.

Focus on your core values. If you don’t know what those are, take time to think about them. When I coach recently divorced, or single people, it’s one of the things we always discuss. What are your hard NOs and MUST HAVEs? Most of the peripheral stuff can be pretty malleable if approached correctly. I don’t believe you should settle for some toxic relationship. That’s not the message. The message is that NO relationship is perfect. HUMANS aren’t perfect, so how the hell can putting TWO of them together be perfect? I often wonder if our focus shifted on seeking compatibility versus perfection, we’d fare better?

As I said to a friend earlier today, I believe the pillars of a strong relationship are based on honesty, trust, vulnerability, and communication. And even more importantly – totally aware that shit shows happen, and you both need to grab the wipes to clean it up.

Much love,

Me

The “Perfect” Relationship Myth

I want you to know something. I personally believe (read: this is an OPINION) that long-term relationships have moments…and even phases (think months, or even years) where you swear you’re alone. Yes – even while you’re IN the relationship. Your sex drives don’t match. Your communication styles are polar opposites. You argue over parenting techniques. You barely recognize each other, and you feel like you’d be better off apart. Then one of two things happens: You either move through it and stay together (and that move through process looks different for everyone), OR one or both decide to go your separate ways. Sound familiar?

There is SO MUCH SHAME around relationship struggles. I see it ALL THE TIME. That’s because somewhere along the line, we were taught that relationships/marriages just sorta “happen”- and if it doesn’t, then you’ve “failed” at relationshipping (it’s a word. I just made it up.) Like, if it was a “good” relationship, it would seamlessly happen with no effort required.

Can you imagine how your perspective would be different if we were taught to EXPECT difficult times? To EXPECT to desire other people? To EXPECT to question if we are in the right relationship? To EXPECT to argue over parenting, sex, and money?

Maybe we wouldn’t be so afraid and avoidant when it comes to conflict. Maybe we’d learn more effective communication skills, and focus on self-awareness. Maybe we wouldn’t have as much guilt about totally normal thoughts.

The human experience for most of us (if not all) is a series of shit shows, fu*& ups, and painful lessons. It’s ALSO a series of elation, excitement, awesome sexual experiences, and butterflies in our stomach. It isn’t supposed to be one or the other. You can actually be a totally worthy human being and have BOTH the good and the crappy. Imagine that! 🙄

If a relationship doesn’t work out, you’re not a failure. You’re human – welcome to the damn club. If your relationship is going through a rough phase right now and you want to fight for it, then fight for it. If your relationship has agreements that differ from your friends/family, but works awesome for you guys, rock on!

None of us are immune to relationship struggles. NONE. OF. US. So, can we just sorta throw the shame stuff out the window? It has no place here. 

Can Long-Term Relationships Ever Feel “New” Again?

Although this email came to from a woman who is in a relationship with another woman, this is no different in heterosexual relationships either. Read her email below.

My wife confided in me last night that she had sex with a man during the one time she and I broke up (about 2 years into our relationship; broken up for 3 weeks mostly as a result of some messed up things her family felt towards her relationship with another woman). I wasn’t mad. Not in the slightest. I was: Impressed? Proud? TURNED ON? So many things. I had/have this primal desire to reclaim her as *mine* (uh, we’ve now been together 11 years, married, kids, etc. She’s mine, ha!).

I don’t know what my question is. I enjoy this feeling. I feel like I’m seeing my wife differently – in a good way. We made out (just that) for the first time in YEARS (without leading to sex) and it was like we were 20 again.

And, another part of me is sad. She said “That’s it. I don’t have a single secret left.” And it dawned on me – those early butterfly stages are gone. This little blip (bomb as I called it) was the last little “BANG” she gave me. Of course there are other things in life (kids, etc.) that make me fall for this person over and over. But for a split second (that I’m still riding) I saw my wife as I saw her all those years ago – as an independent sexual person who I want to get in bed with SO badly!

(Lesbian, Female)

Well, first and foremost – BRAVO for being open with each other, receptive, and non-judgmental. Extra bonus that it benefited your current sexual relationship!

Let’s start by defining the word, DESIRE.

“…a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.”

So, by definition, desire creeps in when we want something we don’t have. In this example, you may “have” her now, but when you found out that she slept with another person (especially a man, in this scenario), a few things may have happened…

1. In the absence of comfort and complacency, we often enter competitive mode!
Your comfort and complacency were threatened (not necessarily in a “bad” way). Often, in long term relationships, we get comfortable and complacent. We forget the fact that, in reality, we can never truly guarantee that our partners will always stay with us. However, we do tend to fall back on that assumption after a while – especially in trusting and communicative relationships. The moment we are faced with the fact that our partner desires other people, it threatens that level of safety and comfort. Although we may assume that our partner obviously finds other people attractive, we may not talk about it often, and (in monogamous relationships) we certainly don’t expect to have discussions about who we’ve slept with outside the marriage.

That feeling of wanting to “reclaim” her, is a human response. I go over this in my blog on Hot Wives/Wife sharing as well. Think about when you were a kid and some jerky classmate stole a ball that you were playing with on the playground. What happened? Aside from probably crying, you may have found yourself angry, and even plotting ways to steal it back – am I right? The jerky kid threatened your level of comfort in knowing that the ball was in your possession. Once you got the ball back, how incredible did that feel? You probably appreciated it more, and may have even become more protective of it! See where I’m going with this? Sound familiar?

2. The Madonna/Whore Complex is a thing. No, I am not calling anyone a whore here (although I challenge you to ask yourself why that would be seen as an insult if I did – but that’s for another blog.). It’s an actual concept that has been studied many times. Psychoanalytic (Freud) thinking was that men could not sexually desire a woman they loved (Madonna), and could not love a woman they desired (whore). Essentially, it’s the idea that women are seen as either “good” – pure, innocent, amenable Madonnnas, or “bad” – sexual, promiscuous, seductive, whores. I won’t get into the patriarchal BS of the concept now, but it does explain a lot of struggles people have in long-term relationships, sexually speaking. This happens with people who have children as well. When someone becomes a mother, sometimes their partner(s) have a hard time seeing them as sexual. Society has deemed motherhood and sexuality to be mutually exclusive (cannot go together).

In this specific example, the writer said in her own words, “But for a split second (that I’m still riding) I saw my wife as I saw her all those years ago – as an independent sexual person who I want to get in bed with SO badly!

This is precisely what I’m referring to! We often “forget” how sexual our partner was in their life before us. We are so intertwined, and up each other’s butts (not in a good way), that it’s hard to remember how we saw them years ago.

But, guess what? I have REALLY amazing news!

You can create/recreate those feelings! Yes, even in a long-term relationship. It takes creativity, openness, and honest communication. It’s a dance between wanting to stay with what’s comfortable, and being willing to push the envelope a bit. From choosing activities that neither of you have done before, to bringing some fantasies close enough to reality to illicit that dopamine rush – it’s all possible!

I work with couples on this exact process, and each couple is so unique (which is what makes it so damn fun!).

Cheers!


Tensing to orgasm?

Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash

Q: I am a 45 yr old female and have been with my husband for 15 years. The missionary position is the only position I can have an orgasm. I tense everything up in order to have an orgasm. I have always done this. I’m in pretty good physical shape, but my hips are always sore the day after we have sex. I’ve tried to stay relaxed and it either takes much longer or doesn’t happen. I’m not complaining, but just curious. My question is: Why do we tense up our muscles in order to orgasm?

(heterosexual female)

A: First and foremost – it’s AMAZING that you’re having orgasms during intercourse! Many women cannot, so kudos!

Let me preface this by owning that I am not a Doctor or medical professional. However, I am a woman with a vulva/vagina, and I research and read about sexuality for both personal AND professional reasons, so there’s that…#sexgeek.

Most people actually DO tense up as they build to orgasm! You are not experiencing anything abnormal or uncommon, whatsoever. Self disclosure: I am the same way! There are a few reasons this might be the case. First, when our bodies are aroused and working towards orgasm, blood flow increases to our genitals. By tensing our muscles, it helps that process happen faster. Many people (penis AND vagina owners) tighten their muscles – often from the waist down. There are, however, people who find themselves tensing their upper body as well!

On a totally different and possibly unscientific note (aka: me just speculating and making something up that COULD be true): When a woman tightens her Kegel muscles (think, the muscle that can stop us from peeing midstream), the glans of her clitoris (the man in the boat that we all see on the outside) sort of retracts a tad. I’ll give you a sec to try it…

Ok…we’re back. Now, follow me here for a hot minute…

Sometimes, if the pressure of the stimulus (tongue, fingers, toy, etc.) is too much for the clitoris and you clench to retract it a bit, the clitoral hood sort of buffers the stimulation to make it more tolerable to receive the clitoral stimulation.

How amazing are orgasms, right?! It’s as if our body innately does what it needs to do for our specific orgasm – “specific” being the definitive word. Women (with vaginas) tend to differ greatly in the manner in which they orgasm. From what arouses them, to the environment that needs to be created, to the actual mechanics. And it’s allllllll good!

In terms of your hips being sore, that is most likely from the constant tension during arousal while you’re working towards an orgasm. That may mean you’re tensing your butt as well (also super common) as one of the muscle groups to aid in orgasm. By tensing your butt muscles, your hips sort of drive forward as well.

Because I am not there in person to see how your hips move during sex, my other thought is how you’re moving your hips (or if you are moving them at all). Women often like to grind against the pelvic region of their partner during penetrative sex to make clitoral contact. If that’s the case, you may want to try asking your husband if he can position himself differently where HE is doing the grinding of his pelvis on your clit, versus the other way around.

Lastly, you could experiment with allowing yourself to go back and forth between tensing and then relaxing, versus staying tense consistently. It depends on how uncomfortable your hips are, and how much you want to change that outcome. I understand wanting to cut down on the time it takes, but if your sore hips are bothering you enough to want to switch things up a bit, then go for it!

Regardless of what you choose to try, just know that each of us has our own unique “orgasm formula”, and the ONLY goal is to make it work for YOU. It sounds like you’re ahead of the game! ENJOY!