sex in relationships

Swoon Podcast: Your Body is a Wonderland - Getting Out of Your Head and Into Your Body

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

Episode 6 – Your Body is a Wonderland - Getting Out of Your Head and Into Your Body

Do you have a hard time staying present during sex? Are you distracted? Worried about performance? Or focusing on your to do list?

In today’s podcast Gina and Julie share tools and practices to help you stay present and experience more pleasure in and out of the bedroom.

This episode covers:

  • Sign the petition asking Psychology Today, the largest online therapist directory, to add a third gender option to their search filters. 

  • What it means to get out of your head and into your body.

  • Different ways anxiety, distraction, multitasking or focusing on performance creates more stress and pressure during sex.

  • The ways embodiment can make sex more enjoyable and connecting.

  • Tools or rituals to get in your body – Sensual walk.

  • A practice you can use when you feel distracted (or your mind is busy) during sex.

  • How presence can lead to more pleasure.

MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

On being in your brain vs. being in your body -

“I often work with people who are operating from the neck up. They are not connected to their body. Sometimes they can't feel sensation in their body. Sometimes they are so wrapped up in the swirls and whirls and rollercoaster that is going on in their brain that they can't feel if they are turned on, they can't feel desire, they can't feel pleasure, because they are so in their brain. “

“I think our brains are really important. I don’t want you doing math with your vagina. There are things we really need our brains for. However, there are times our brain get in the way – distraction, multitasking, anxiety, making a to do list while your partner is kissing your neck - there are times that being in our brains keep us from the full spectrum of pleasure.”

On the times if doesn't feel OK to be in your body -

“It's unsafe for some people to be in their body. I get migraines and when I do, I don't want to be in my body. It's so painful and if I just sat there and felt my pain, that's not going to be helpful for me. What I always have to do afterward is come back into my body the next day. And I have a ritual around that.”

“It's not a problem to not be in your body. Sometimes it's too painful to be in your body. We also need to know how to get back in our body.”

On pleasure and presence -

“What is your goal for sexual connection? Is your goal something that is actually serving you? If the goal is connection, orgasm or erection might not matter. If the goal is joy, or pleasure, there are a lot of pathways to achieve those goals that aren’t always as specific as 'I have to have this kind of sex', and 'it has to look this way' and 'it has to take this much time.'”

“Our minds work like a tribe of playful monkeys. If you are going to train them, yelling at them isn't going to help much. But if you are gentle or playful with them you are far more likely to have success and far more likely not to stress yourself out.”

Resources Shared in This Episode

Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Body

Action Steps from the Podcast

Focus on Sensuality -

Connect with your senses in a nonsexual way.

What are you seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling?

Practice this with food or in the shower.

Bonus Action Step - Shift to a mindful kiss

Notice, did you actually connect with your partner during your kiss. Were you present?

Your Swoon hosts

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Swoon Podcast: I Want You to Want Me: Higher Desire Partners in Relationships

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

I WANT YOU TO WANT ME: Higher Desire Partners in Relationships

Being the high desire partner can seem like a simple problem form the outside, but people living this experience will tell you it's not that easy. You want to connect, share passion, and get your needs met, but you need to be careful to do it in ways that don't add pressure to what can often be a tense situation.

Let Gina and Julie help you understand how to handle high desire in mismatched desire relationships, in loving consensual ways.

This episode covers:

  • They ways “higher desire” can affect an individual and a relationship

  • Many of the factors that can influence how much desire someone experiences

  • The difference between spontaneous desire and responsive desire 

  • Practical tools you can use in your relationship or with yourself to explore willingness, pleasure and desire

Memorable Quotes in This Episode

On the inner experience of the high desire partner -

“High desire partners often experience an intense inner struggle, where on one hand they know they are entitled to have desire, and they know there's nothing wrong with asking for what I want, but at the same time I'm tired of always being the one to gets things started... so I either feel like I am pressuring someone all the time, or I take it personally.”

On our culture and sex -

“Sometimes we have a tendency to talk about sex like it's not important or it's base. We tell people to focus on love more. There's something wrong with you if you have a lot of desire. You're not enlightened if you have a lot of desire. So there can be shame around this.”

On knowing when high desire is a problem -

“There are a small number people on one extreme end of the spectrum where their desire, boundaries about sex or impulse control about sex are interruptive in their life, they can't make it work, they betray relationships, they don't respect the boundaries of others because they can't manage their sexual impulsivity BUT that is one small end of the spectrum.”

"Is it causing you emotional strife or relationship problems?"

"Is it negatively impacting your life?"

On sex and love -

“For some people, sex and love go together and that's really important. But for some people, it doesn't and that's okay. ”

On exploring desire -

"If I believe the only way for me to get my sexual needs met is to have sex with a partner that can put a lot of pressure on a relationship... When we focus in on only one pathway to pleasure and stop playing around."

"It's okay to like other stuff."

"One of the most important ingredients for a great sex life is curiosity and a willingness to explore."

Resources Shared in This Episode

Mating in Captivity, Esther Perel

Mating in Captivity TED Talk, Esther Perel

Action Steps from the Podcast

Explore different ways of being in your body and connecting sexually with yourself and/or with your partner.

Esther Perel Reflection Activity

Take a piece of paper (or use your computer) and draw a line down the middle (creating two columns).

Write "Love" at the top of the left column and write down your first responses to the following questions.

"Love is..."

"When I think of love, I think of..."

"When I love, I feel..."

"When I am loved I feel..."

"In love, I look for..."

"I wish I experienced love as..."

On the top of the right column write "Sex" and write your immediate associations to the following prompts.

"Sex is..."

"When I think of sex, I think of..."

"When I desire, I feel..."

"When I am desired I feel..."

"In sex, I look for..."

"I wish I experienced sex as..."


Now take a few minutes to look at your responses. Notice any similarities? Notice any differences? How do you feel after looking at your lists? Do you wish you had different responses?

Your Swoon hosts

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Consent Isn't Just Sexy

couples worksheet | worksheet for couples | couples therapy worksheet

Consent isn't just sexy

We talk about consent mostly when we're talking about sex, but if you're into care and balance or equality in relationships consent is critical well beyond sex. 

Too many couples I work with run on auto-pilot. They miss opportunities to check in, learn, and grow together all the time- practicing consent changes this up. 

Consent is not the same as permission. Typically, we define “consent” as the act of communicating to someone that it is okay for them to interact with us in a particular way. 

Instead try thinking of consent as a felt sense, an understanding that we're both making a conscious choice to participate in the relationship in specific ways.

Fuck yeah I want you


What if throughout the day you were giving enthusiastic consent in your partnership, "fuck yeah I want to eat breakfast and I want to do it with you." 

And if you got enthusiastic heartfelt consent from your partner, "I SO want to go for a walk and hold hands with you."- how would that feel? 
 

Check it out:

How might your relationship shift if you asked for consent when interacting with your partner throughout the day?

How might your life shift if you oriented only toward the 'fuck yeah' choices you make each day?


If you're interested in learning more about consent and moving toward a "Fuck Yeah"

Enter your information to download my free couples worksheet.  

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Asking Them to Try Something New in Bed

Asking Your Vanilla Partner to Get Kinky | Uncommon Love Couples Counseling in Portland

Despite what we see in movies, no two people share the exact same fantasies and desires.  None.  

Even if your fantasy is similar, details may be off or the desire you share will be different.  I see it every day, one partner desires sex daily, the other twice a day- their desire isn't the same and that's perfectly normal.

 

Here's the hard truth about sexual desires in relationships:

1. No two people have the exact same desires.

2. There is nothing wrong with you or your desires.

As long as you are among consenting adults your desires are valid.  Period.  

But since our desires and fantasies aren't the same there will inevitably be a time in a relationship when we need to ask for something new to get our needs met.  Here are the four main considerations to think through before asking your partner for what you want:

Remember you are asking

It's vulnerable to ask for what we want- so we often use defense mechanisms without even realizing it.  We use humor, sarcasm, self-deprecation and all kinds of other tactics to take the pressure off- often losing the clarity we started with about what we want. 

I might say "I've been kind of thinking about trying this thing once... but it's not that big a deal." When really what I mean is "I am going to tell you something I have never told anyone, so I am super nervous about it.  But I have been thinking about (insert fantasy here) for years and I really want to try it with you some time.  Would you ever consider trying something like that?"

Because we're asking for something we really want we can forget we're asking for consent.  Challenge yourself to think of this as an invitation to share something instead of a secret disclosure to help you keep grounded when defense creeps in.

Think it through and get specific

Some of the desires I talk through with clients have been secret fantasies for years.  We've replayed them in our heads often enough they've become familiar and we can think we're clear about what we want- even when we're not.  

For example, if I've know I want to try bondage and have been fantasizing about rope play for years.  I know I want to do it and it's so exciting to me I might blurt it out to a partner in a fit of passion.  But I've never actually bought rope, taken measurements, talked to anyone else who uses rope in bondage, or felt it against my skin.  

Before I bring it up to a partner, I need to have a little logistical information in place to help answer their questions (like, where would we get the rope? how much do we need?  your place or mine?  for example).

Consider the impact, comfort, and safety concerns

Similar to basic logistics and specifics, consider the safety concerns involved so you can bring the subject up with consideration- especially if you are interested in more advanced kink play.  Many partners are concerned about scarring, bruises, clean up, and other concerns when the topic is brought up- be sure to put a little thought into the safety concerns your partner may have when you ask. 

Don't be surprised if your partner asks logistical questions or brings up concerns you may not have thought of in advance (the point isn't to become a mind-reader), instead take them into consideration.  "Oh, I didn't realize you'd feel uncomfortable being undressed in front of others.  Let's find a different way that feels better for you."   Will help you two stay connected instead of getting defensive or assumptive.

Ask about their fantasies

Remember your partner has fantasies too.  The more you can practice receiving their desires with the kind of openness you would like to experience the more you two can share and explore.  They may even surprise you!


Gina Senarighi Portland Couples Counselor

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sex educator and relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, LGBTQ issues and infidelity.  

She can help you:

  • rediscover passion in long-term relationships
  • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • move past jealousy, insecurity or codependent patterns
  • open your relationship or practice polyamory with care
  • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect
  • break unhealthy communication patterns in your relationship

Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

Click here to download her free guides to strengthen your relationship (monogamous or not).