In part one, I shared a simple daily practice that can help if you are on a path to loving and accepting yourself, your whole self, your sexuality, even the parts you sometimes keep hidden. I also acknowledged there is talk about sex all around us every day. Regardless of our comfort level with what we see and hear around us, regardless of our personal beliefs about sex, we learn, we wonder, we make judgments, we create expectations about our partners and relationships, we even experiment based on all that stuff!
Our partners don’t know all the millions of thoughts and expectations we may have unless we tell them. We all have desires, thoughts, and expectations. Why not learn to share them a bit more? Why not become comfortable talking about sex?
It’s okay to be concerned about sharing our deepest secret desires. We may have had our own heartaches that now make us wary of opening up. We may have experimented in the past or have been abused in ways that felt degrading. I get it. I have secrets. And I’ve learned to share lots of them in healthy ways, and yes, some things may be best left in my head and memories. It’s okay to keep some things to ourselves.
For example, someone once confided in me that when he and another child found an adult magazine, they thought they saw a man urinating into a woman’s mouth (it was just oral sex, but they only knew the penis for urination). They duplicated what they saw with a not so pleasant result. Once, while playing “house” my cousin and I were the parents, so when it was bedtime, we took off our clothes and got into bed. It was innocent, we duplicated what we saw, getting undressed and into bed. I remember that playing house sometimes included someone getting spanked, even bare bottom, because back in the seventies, spanking was generally considered acceptable. We learn from those experiments. We learn from every experience at any age, good and bad.
But, whether in a committed relationship or not, if
you want to increase your overall intimacy and learn to open up and talk more about sex, start now, start simply.
If you live with a partner, you can practice this daily. If you see someone casually, you could still practice this without the “I love you.” If you are not seeing anyone at the moment, you can simply continue the LoveFest practice shared in part one and move to the visualization exercise I share further down.
Look your partner in the eyes and say…
“I love/like you and thank you for ____” or simply “thank you for ___”
“I love/like you and I’m grateful for you because ____” or simply “I’m grateful for you because___”
If or when it feels comfortable and to really get more intimate, each of you can place one hand on the others’ heart as you say those words. It can take just 1 minute, every day… but WOW the impact on intimacy is huge!
The thank you or gratitude can be for anything. It can be for specific activities like taking out the trash, giving a back rub, picking up the dry cleaning, listening to a vent about work, etc. Or it can be for more general characteristics like, listening at the end of the day, being kind to neighbors, supporting the family, making a partner feel loved, etc. When you make this part of your everyday routine, you’ll find that some days you’ll thank your partner for something deep and intimate, some days, just the simple stuff.
If you already express appreciation regularly, that is awesome! But I’d still suggest giving this a try, especially starting or ending every day this way. Talking about sex or any topic becomes easier when you practice looking into each other’s eyes, placing your hands on each other and expressing gratitude.
While strengthening your intimacy and building your confidence, it’s a good time to also get clear about what you’d like to talk about. What do you really want in and out of the bedroom in terms of your intimate and sexual life?
This next suggested exercise is one of my favorites. Visioning exercises of any type can be powerful tools in gaining clarity and focus. You can do a visualization anytime, anywhere, but ideally you’ll want to have time and space where you won’t be distracted or interrupted. Get comfy, turn on music if you like, but I suggest it be instrumental music, lyrics can be suggestive and lead your visioning without even realizing it! For your first time, give yourself at least 10-15 minutes, set a timer if you like, but commit to that time. 15 minutes can go by very quickly or it can seem to last an eternity.
In this exercise, you don’t have to think about any particular person. So if you’re single, stay focused on what you want to experience - you’re not trying to visualize who would be a perfect mate, just visualize YOUR amazing experience! If you’re in a committed, loving relationship, then yes, imagine you partner in this exercise, but be careful to focus on the feeling and the experience and not get distracted by fixing anything you might think needs fixing about the partner or relationship.
Before you begin, tell yourself that the past is just that, the past, and you’ll make no comparisons or judgments about the past in these 15 minutes of visualization. Take 3 deep breaths, and consciously intend to see and feel clearly what you desire.
Choose one of the following, start wherever you feel comfortable, and let your mind take you on the path.
- Imagine a perfect kiss. What does that kiss feel like? If you’ve experienced perfect kisses, it’s okay to remember what made it great, but stay focused on the qualities of the kiss, not the kisser, especially if it’s not your current partner. Think about the intimacy of the kiss, imagine what that would feel like, soft or hard, wet or dry, tongue or no tongue, open mouth or closed mouth, all of the details of that perfect kiss, that awesome kiss, just feel it.
- Maybe you want to imagine building intimacy up to having that perfect kiss. Begin imagining a perfect date (not a first date, unless you want to start there). Imagine what you’d love to share or do, the light touching of hands, the conversation, etc. Imagine if you could totally be yourself in that date, what it would feel like. Maybe you and your partner haven’t been on a date in ages, what would that great date look like? Imagine it all, from start to kiss!
- If you have children, maybe you want to imagine a perfect night away. Grandma and Grandpa come over to babysit and you get a room at local hotel. What happens in your special time alone? Now this visualization could get really fun for some of you, maybe you visualize playing out a scene, not necessarily a costumed role play, but more an idea that it’s just the two of you without any restriction or worry about kids waking up in the night and running into your room and no concern about how loud you might get. In your perfect night away, what would you do, how do you feel?
- Maybe you have an idea that’s been floating around in your head a while regarding a sexual experience you’d like to have. It could be simple, maybe you’ve never had someone lick your toes or other body part and you’ve always been curious. Maybe it’s more intense like creating a role-play fantasy. Whatever it is, let yourself imagine it, but not just as a sexual fantasy, but as an actual experience where you feel free to share that fantasy in words to your partner first in a safe way where there is no judgment about the fantasy. Then continue to imagine creating that fantasy. Imagine every detail and what each detail feels like.
- Create any visualization you desire that includes a healthy dialogue about what you desire and then the experience itself. This can be anything, even if you’d really like to just lay in bed touching your partner without proceeding to intercourse. Imagine that. Imagine whatever you desire and the confidence to share that desire with your partner.
How did it feel? What did you experience during your visualization? As your visualization developed, did you have any surprises? Did you find some clarity if you needed clarity?
The first time you do this, you may not feel anything, you may think it to be silly, and you may never want to try this again. What ever you feel is okay. But whether you loved it or hated it, why not try it again sometime. If you try it again, you might have a different result, you might move to visualizing a higher level of intimacy than the first time. You might have new insight or more clarity. You might become more confident in what you desire.
It’s important to stay focused on the desired feelings, so when we get ready to talk about sex on a deeper level it’s just about us and what we’d like to experience, NOT on what we think is wrong in our current relationship or what our partner should fix about themselves. Because if we really want to talk about sex in a meaningful way, there is no room for condemning judgment. Judgment may still be there in some ways, but it lessens when we build a foundation of love and acceptance first.
So, once you strengthen your personal or relationship confidence and bonds, are clear about what you want to talk about, how do you actually go about saying the words? How do you say the words, especially if you still feel like some of the things you are thinking are too naughty?
Let’s save that conversation for part three!
Tina Nies is a Happiness Consultant, Mentor, and Holistic Sexuality Coach. She works with individuals & organizations to build self-love, acceptance, and respect as foundations for success and happiness through programs about Love, Smiles, and the Power of Choice. http://www.40daylovefest.com/