In part one I talked about knowing what you need or desire by really listening to your body. But then what? We have to ask and receive. As fully as we are capable. Which at times is downright difficult…
2 months ago, my partner, Ryan and I took on a project to transform our unused, unfinished storage space into a place for friends and somatic sex education workshops.
There were late nights of gathering materials - flooring, paint, ceiling decor. Trips to borrow tools from friends. We finally set a date to begin the work. I was ready to go! I expertly organized the troops - my kids - who was doing what, what needed to go where and feeding everyone, besides. And often, even after we said we were done for the day, we kept going.
Two weekends of this and I could feel the disconnection between Ryan and I creeping in.
It’s spring. For many of us, it’s a time for house projects, family gatherings, vacations, outdoor hobbies, sports, end of school year events and hours spent in the garden. We are flung from the quiet of winter into the flurry of warm weather activity. It might be fun, provide us a sense of accomplishment or even feel super stressful. Regardless, it’s busy. And life feels full.
4 Magic Words
So how do we find balance between building our relationships and “building the empire” as I call it? How do we stay intimately connected to our partners when so much of our creative/sexual energy is going towards a pressing to-do list?
It’s a simple (but not easy) practice that starts out with these 4 magical words:
“What do you need?”
This question can create a beautiful reconnection for couples by giving space to name their needs, asking and negotiating what they want, and then to receive the gift. It’s vulnerable territory for sure but I’ve seen these words work again and again for all the somatic sex education couples I’ve worked with and myself.
Yes, even and especially me. Ryan and I get sucked into projects almost daily. We work extremely well together. The creative juices flow and flow and flow… We love making beautiful spaces and aren’t afraid of getting dirty to do it. Friday date nights sometimes look like mulch and stone runs lol. Yep, we are worker bees and relish getting that sh*t done.
And. This definitely will take it’s toll if we let it go too far. So someone has to break the pattern. What do you need?
“To sit on the couch with you and take a break.”
“To take a bath.”
For me, hearing “What do you need?” is the flag that signals it’s time to put down the to-do list and pay attention to myself and my relationship with Ryan.
You might say, “Well Amanda, that seems so foreign to my way of relating with my partner and myself that I don’t even know where to start.”
That’s okay. I’ll be following up on this email to break it down a bit. (Maybe with a video?!)
But the first step is naming the need. If you don’t know what you need that’s okay too. Many people don’t know what they desire. We live and love in an autopilot culture where it is one thing after another and disconnection from self and others abounds. And, we tend to think about what everyone else needs first.
If I offered sex therapy, we might talk about why you don’t know what you need. But because I’m not a sex therapist, but rather a Somatic Sex Educator, we approach things a little differently, we learn how to listen to what the body says it needs. We focus on discovering the what not the why.
A few weeks ago, I had an enlightening conversation with my friend and colleague, Belinda Porter of Heat Effect Life Coaching. Belinda is a life and intimacy coach in Syracuse, NY.
In this video, she shares her trials and triumphs with cancer, chemo, early-onset menopause, and the relationship with her husband Kevin throughout it all - they’ve been married 30 years…
While the title of this burgeoning profession might conjure up the sense of a sterile sort of sex education, or maybe something like surrogacy partner therapy, I assure you it is neither.
Those of us who hold the certification of Somatic Sex Educator are often met with blank stares, or a barrage of questions. “What does ‘somatic’ mean? Do you work with trauma? Are you a sex therapist? What does a Somatic Sex Educator actually do?”
All such welcome questions and all completely normal…
We were at the beach for the full moon, and started messing around, (which pretty much looks like me turning into a spider monkey ;) so we hit “record” and here’s what happened…
We just played… for 10 whole minutes...
Most people come to see me because they think something needs to be fixed - their libido is too low, they orgasm too fast or not at all, they don’t feel good about their desires, they suffer from sexual trauma or maybe they’re just really dissatisfied with their sex life.
The marketing experts say that I need to talk about the issues I support people with as my clients would talk about them.
And while that’s true and helpful, it’s just not enough…
Sleepless nights...nauseous stomach...worry, endless thinking.
Basically this is me when I fall into what I call “anxiety mess mode.” It’s a place of forgetting - my deep love of life and my connection to all that is.
Especially my connection to my own body and senses.
I’ve been working with a breath practice - an “erotic” breath…
I recently created something that I wanted to share with you. It’s a 3-Step Path for Greater Sexual Confidence. My sincere hope is that it will help you to start creating the intimate life you are seeking. Because who doesn't want more love and connection?