Let’s Get the Sexy Back Into Your Romantic Relationships
Disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only and are not to be considered a substitute for professional legal advice or a consultation with a lawyer.
1. Family Law Tip of the Week
If you are in the middle of a family law case, remember your P’s and Q’s on Facebook, Twitter and all other social media accounts. An angry rant against your ex could turn the case against you and in his or her favor. So could pictures of you taking a vacation in Cabo despite the fact you claim not to have any money to pay support! Remember not to post anything you wouldn’t want to end up as Exhibit “A” in your trial.
Unfortunately, many people forget common sense when emotions run high, resulting in them painting a picture for the judge that may not be in the best interests of their families. Read this post for more tips on how not to be a loser in your case.
2. Let’s Get the Sexy Back Into Your Romantic Relationships!
A lot of people who file for divorce do so because they have lost a connection with their partners (emotional, physical or sexual). In today’s episode, Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, a sociologist, sexual therapist, author and speaker, talks with us about re-igniting the sexual spark (or maintaining the one you have) with your partner.
Why Does the Sexual Connection Change Between Partners?
To begin, Wendy relates how things changed for her sexually (with her partner) when she became a mother 3 years ago. At this point, Wendy sometimes feels overwhelmed from the demands of her life. She asks Dr. Jenn whether this is a common sentiment from the women she counsels.
Dr. Jenn relates that she often hears from mothers that their bodies don’t feel like their own anymore (after having kids). At the end of the day, the last thing they want is someone else who needs their body (i.e., their partner). These ladies just feel like they want some time to themselves.
Research shows that the “ripping off of clothes” that often happens during the early stages of romance is not sustainable long term. That is because this “stage” is largely hormonally based. After the hormones drop off, people have to figure out what the relationship is really made of at that point. That can be confusing!
What Do You Do When Those Hormones Drop Off After the Early Stages of a Relationship?
In terms of men, the main obstacles they face are having to redefine what sexuality looks like after hormones do drop off. Men struggle with blaming themselves for not being “good enough.” The drop in sexual activity can be a huge blow to the ego.
Men: You didn’t necessarily do anything wrong at all if your sexual activity has dropped off. Be willing to work these things through. This will take resiliency, creativity and thinking outside the box.
So…to redefine what the relationship will look like after hormones drop off, look at any foundational resentments that are getting in the way (such as lack of respect), as well as the following five things:
a. Physical components
b. Mental components
c. Emotional components
d. Social components
e. Spiritual components (whatever that does or doesn’t mean to each couple/individual)
Sex is complicated. There is no quick fix. Look at as many angles as you can in terms of the areas set forth above.
If you find yourself disconnected from your partner, start with baby steps. For example, try a sensual activity to re-establish trust. Re-discover what it is to be physically sensual (non-sexual) with your partner. There are boundaries that are very important to start re-building the trust that you must respect. (Please listen to podcast to understand what Dr. Jenn is talking about here).
Priming the Pump
Getting to the bedroom is different for men and women. It might matter less in the early stages of a relationship because everyone is “hot and heavy.” Generally, during foreplay, women want to be touched in places other than their genitals. By contrast, men want to be touched on their genitals.
Dr. Jenn talks about “priming the pump” to help women get out of their heads and into their hearts. Priming the pump can include one of the following: Planning a fun activity, talking about something emotional, or taking a date night. For some women, the “priming of the pump” starts first thing in the morning. They need to feel nurtured, connected, appreciated and like they are being touched for other reasons besides sex. When women feel this way, it will be easier for them to open up to sex.
What If Your Partner Constantly Rejects You and You Feel Discouraged?
Oftentimes men feel like they want to give up because they have been refused by their partners so much. This makes them feel not loved, not attractive, and it’s a blow to the ego. However, the fact that a woman isn’t interested in sex doesn’t mean she doesn’t love her partner.
When two people get to this point, it is probably best to get into counseling. There are so many layers that are there, it is difficult for couples to uncover them on their own. Dr. Jenn understands that many people/couples feel shame about these topics and shut down. Ideally, the first few times this starts to happen (refusing sex), think about going to see someone right away.
How to Communicate With Your Partner About Sex
In terms of communicating with your partner about sex, both of you should agree upon ground rules about being non-judgmental and non-reactive. Fear of being judged shuts down a lot of conversation. In terms of this topic, Dr. Jenn brings up the idea of mindfulness (i.e., what is happening now).
When folks are talking about shame and judgment, Jenn literally walks them through an exercise about what they are feeling in their bodies when these feelings come up. When these uncomfortable feelings come up, people shut down. The way to step into their power, however, is to sit with these uncomfortable feelings. As a result, the more people are able to stay in difficult situations = good!
Mindfulness Helps You Create Space and Make Healthy Sexual Choices
You can use mindfulness by tapping into your five senses. Choose to be in the moment. Focus on what is happening. Notice when you are distracted. Choose to bring yourself back to the moment.
Mindfulness is hard work. This doesn’t mean it takes a lot of time; it only takes 15 minutes or so each day. However, mindfulness is about staying with what is uncomfortable. The more you can cultivate mindfulness, the more you can make healthy choices about how to respond. It creates space where there wasn’t space before.
Mindfulness is very helpful when we are getting conflicting messages from body, mind and heart. Mindfulness helps us observe the whole picture. The more detailed you can get about what you are experiencing, the healthier the choices you can make for yourself.
If your motivations surrounding sex are coming from weakness and wounding vs. a place of strength and love, you may not feel so great about some of those choices. If you are aware, you are empowered because you made a choice about something. That something didn’t make a choice for you.
Start Outside the Box!
Be sure and watch the video (of the interview) below to meet Dr. Jenn’s friend “Mulva the Vulva.” Mulva’s parting wisdom is start not with the vulva, but to start “outside the box.”
Start outside the box!
You can find Dr. Jenn at drjennsden.com.
Dr. Jenn’s Recommended Reading List to Help You Get the Sexy Back
Mating in Captivity, Ester Perel
The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman
The Heart & Soul of Sex, Gina Ogden
7 Principles for Making Marriage Work, John Gottman
Mindsight, Daniel Siegel
The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown
3. Thoughts From the Life Coach
Today, James talks about nothing…doing nothing, that is!