Suffering is the addiction to comfort and stability.
To be safe is our most primordial instinct, and to deny our need for it is completely inefficient, at best. It is the most valuable offering from a parent to child, from a man to his lover, and a woman to hers. To say, often without words, “you are safe, my love is safe, now please go fly”. What a gift that is to give to another human being.
But some, even with this permission, are too afraid to fly. “I am stuck..” they say, even though there is nothing tangible that tethers them to their nest. In their self inflicted paralysis they stay bound to the familiar, comforted by their routines as well as their problems. Every so often they look up, and see a world beyond their vesicle - a cosmos which holds layers and layers of experiences, smells, flavors, and colors. But the shackles of their doubts are too strong.
This is the great debate that lives in all of us, in some way or another.
If we want to feel more of life coarse through our veins, unfortunately /fortunately we have to, despite our upbringing, despite our past, despite our shortcomings both physically and mentally, commit ourselves to the expressions of our creativity. To identify what makes us come alive, and to say yes more often to new experiences. To fresher parts of ourselves. To not rot when we can be ripe. We have to consistently ask ourselves, “HOW DO I TURN MYSELF ON?”
This is the process of emotional fitness. It doesn't happen with one work out. It needs hundreds and thousands, consistently.
This is how we keep the passion alive in a relationship, for the long term.
In Part 1 of this blog I addressed the utter importance of certainty, stability, and comfort in an intimate relationship. Certainty is what fertilizes the soil of a relationship, giving it a place to grow it’s roots.
But passion lives in the realm of the unknown. It’s the world of interdependence and creativity - a space where we both commit to connection and to our freedom. A habitat we design not just for survival, but where we aim to thrive. What we, as humans often forget is that this “realm” is very rarely “out there”. It’s instead self generated through a feeling, a glance, a new habit, a refusal of an old habit, a change in our breath, and most certainly, an intentionality behind our attention and focus.
For the fire to exist and persist between you and your current (or future) partner, two things must take place:
- You must break up with comfort. - you can get back to together with it later - it’ll be more than happy to take you back. ;)
- You must divorce the belief that passion should “just happen.” It didn't even “just happen” in the beginning - you actually created the conditions for it to happen, you just didn't realize it. Now I’m asking you to realize it, and consciously implement. It’s in your control - I promise you.
YOU MUST HAVE THE WILLINGNESS TO PRIORITIZE PASSION IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP BY CREATING THE CONDITIONS FOR IT TO GROW AND SUSTAIN. THIS IS INTENTIONALITY IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP: IT SAYS, I AM PRIORITIZING YOU AND OUR EROTIC CONNECTION TOGETHER.
So what does it mean to create the conditions?
TURN YOURSELF ON:
I’m not talking about sex here. Our relationship with the erotic has so little to do with the act of sex itself. It is the sex before the sex - in fact, its the sex before the foreplay. It’s the uncertain and playful dance we must have with ourselves as much as we share with our lover.
Energy = curiosity for your life.
Our relationship with our erotic selves is the relationship we have with our potential. I’m talking about the quality and the level of your energy. A curiosity about your own life, a willingness to explore new things, and to rediscover the lost parts of yourselves in the process.
One of the biggest limiting beliefs many, (including myself at one point), have is the belief that adventure exists only in extreme conditions - such as traveling the world by yourself with nothing but a back pack and a compass. That IS adventurous, but so is anything that puts you in a situation that inspires YOU. That feeds your soul, that lights you up, that grabs your intellect, that gives you butterflies. It doesn't matter what it looks like -the point is that it triggers your energy in a different way than the same ole.
It might mean you need to slow down, and explore your femininity through connecting with yourself and others.
It could mean your stress has lowered your testosterone (not a good thing in men - the idea that high testosterone leads to anger and rage is a myth - it actually is the opposite) and you might need some alone time to restore.
It could mean taking greater risks in your career.
it could mean traveling, dancing, running, seeing, doing, being, not doing.
WHEN YOU ENGAGE WITH YOUR LIFE, WHEN YOU EXPLORE AND SATURATE YOURSELF WITH EXPERIENCES AND ACTIVITIES THAT LIGHT YOU UP, YOU NOT ONLY AWAKEN A CORE PART OF YOUR EROTIC BEING, BUT YOU BECOME A MAGNET WHO ATTRACTS YOUR PARTNER’S DESIRE.
Because when you’re engaged, you’re in your body - and your body IS your element. It doesn't matter how you get there - it could be from an epic bath, or from achieving epically at work. The pathway is personal, the result is always more you. We are drawn to our lovers in those moments when they’re in their element - when they’re in flow, because we see them as independent, self sufficient, impressive beings who don't NEED us, but choose to love us. This sparks desire.
CURIOSITY FOR YOUR PARTNER BREEDS DESIRE.
When couples stop being curious about one another, they create a breeding ground for blame, judgement, apathy, stonewalling, and LOW energy to fester. Therefore, when we’re curious about them, it means we have an appetite for them.- their psychology and their bodies. For what turns them on spiritually, psychically and sexually. To watch them evolve and change as the months and years go on, and to want to know what those changes are, and how they are manifesting for THEM.
The great paradox of curiosity, however, is that we must feel safe with our person in order TO BE curious. We can’t be anxious about whether or not they love us and be curious. We can’t be uncertain about their love. period. And be curious. But you must not allow the certainty of your intimacy to convince you that you know all that you need to know. There is always more terrain to seek - both within yourself and him or her.
MARKETING AND INNOVATION:
In the beginning of your relationship, you were an incredible marketer and innovator. In business, marketing is about getting people to want to do business with you. Innovation is when businesses use imagination and creativity to keep evolving, so they can be relevant as time and technology progresses. Innovative marketers, particularly in today’s world, are always seeking, experimenting, and exploring new ways to attract and serve their customers. They don’t ever stop, because they understand that if they do, their business goes down hill, quick.
In the beginning of a relationship, we are incredibly innovative marketers. THAT’S WHY IT IS SO MAGICAL OFTEN IN THE BEGINNING. The colloquial joke is that everyone is on their best behavior in the “beginning”, which is why it’s so good. But there's more to it. The prospect of love is so exciting that we actually generate more energy when we’re around this person. We show up to liaisons ALIVE, inhabited, embodied. We’re more present, thoughtful, and playful. We make the other person feel like they are the only person in the room when in a crowd. We make them feel special, and our openness attracts their attention and desire.
People say that marriage ruins a relationship. Or if not marriage, long term partnership, or even living together. NO. Marriage doesn't kill relationships, who we become inside of the partnership is what damages the relationship. We (I say we because no one is innocent here) often become so comfortable with our partner that we bring home our energy leftovers - after we happily were energetic, fun and present with friends or co-workers. We leave our edge elsewhere - with other people, or even other places on the map. If we just brought our EDGE HOME, if we brought home our creative, present, open, intentional selves more, we would have more of what we had in the beginning of the relationship, now.
Yes, you’re allowed to be in a shitty mood once and while. Yes, you’re allowed to bring it home once and a while with the expectation that we will be loved and accepted anyway. But for god sake, every one must stop doing it as much as we do, or did. Only you know the truth of how much leftovers you’re bringing home to your spouse or lover. If we only did 5% of the innovative marketing we did in the beginning, we’d see our relationships thrive.
When I tell people this, I usually get bombarded with a bunch of excuses. I don’t belittle nor doubt anyone's struggles. But the bottom line is that they have not yet reached the point where they’re ready to take accountability for how they are engaging in their life and marriage. They have not yet reached the point where they’re willing to prioritize the erotic life of their relationship. And until they do, until any one of us are willing to be accountable for the quality of our relationship, nothing can be done. No one can give you a pill and make it better.
To make a difference in your life, to have the love and relationship you want, it boils down to this core belief: To be accountable is a privilege. Your ability to make a difference in your relationship is widely bigger than you think. Your relationship to anyone and anything is in your control.
A couple’s erotic life is a playground where they must bring fun, mischief, and imagination. Erotic is a different language, and is a different aspect of the relationship all together.
How to build the fun, mischief, and imagination:
- Go on dates. Even if it’s 1x monthly - but it can’t be about the same ole same ole. An adventure date is about doing something outside of your habitual pattern and comfort. A restaurant you’ve never been to. Dancing. Anything.
- Surprise your partner with dates. Sometimes it can be planned together, sometimes you must surprise them with doing what THEY would want to do.
- BREAK SOME RULES: Even if you have kids, and can only do this every 3 months: make sure every so often you don’t have a curfew. Don’t come home early to relieve the baby sitter. Stay out til 4am. You don’t even have to drink - just get the hell out and rage and don’t give a shit about the next day. Again - plan this according to your resources.
- Ditch your phone. If you always have your phone next to you while having some quiet time together on the couch, at meals -wherever, put it away once and while. Remove anything that will distract you from being present.
- Have conversations that are not about “marriage inc”. Erotic is a different relationship - it’s a different language than the language of Partnership LLC. Have secret emails or numbers for each other where your children or office can’t reach you. PRESERVE THE SACREDNESS OF YOUR BOND BY HAVING PARTS OF IT SEPARATE FROM OTHER MEMBERS OF YOUR ORBIT.
- Schedule Marriage/relationship Inc. -to prevent the business of your family life from becoming the prevailing force of your relationship, schedule weekly meetings to go over everything in the “business”. In that meeting, come prepared to go over everything, from scheduling, grievances, etc. Don’t discuss it outside of the meetings as much as you can.
- Stop talking. Start experiencing. Too much talk about the relationship is a total passion killer. Do the above steps.
- change up the your sex routine. If you usually have sex naked in bed, have it clothed on the couch. Or in the shower. or in the car. Whatever.
***What’s familiar is not allowed in the play ground. The playground is where you go to create novelty. Surprise. Adventure. Curiosity. Uncertainty. The playground is your most important foreplay.
Sexual arousal is an interesting thing. You could be totally attracted to your partner, but at times not be aroused by their sexual advances towards you. People feel mind fucked by this, understandably. I think we’ve all felt this before, and I could definitely go many different directions with this topic, but I will stick with one - one that I know personally, and have seen manifest the most working with couples.
It can be extremely stressful to not feel turned on by the person you deeply love, or to feel stuck in your ability to inspire them sexually. This is often when couples feel helpless. But believe it or not, it rarely has to do with a sexual incompatibility, and much more often has to do with two people not being attuned to each other’s sexual needs.
First and foremost, I must reiterate the importance of the erotic playground, which is the ultimate foreplay. We need to embrace uncertainty to feel more sexual - more passionate desire. But there’s even more to the story. There’s insight you can develop into yourself that once understood, can and should be shared with your partner to create more sexual longing for one another: a chemistry that feels more deeply in alignment with what it is you both crave.
Some questions to consider:
Do you prefer to feel your lover’s energy (sometimes for a long time) such as in the form of their eye contact, their breath, or their presence, before you experience their touch?
When you’re engaging sexually, do you prefer to be teased for some time, barely being touched? Do you enjoy (safe) distance between you both before going full force?
Do you prefer to create a pleasant environment before having sex? Such as the right music, smells, sheets, etc? Do you prefer to be completely relaxed before you begin?
Is timing everything to you when it comes to sex?
Do you enjoy going full force immediately - loving the intense charge of your sex from start to finish?
Do you prefer to experiment more with role playing, toys, “dirty talk”, hair pulling, smacking, etc?
Do you relate to all the above? Meaning, do you think to yourself, “I don’t prefer any of it over the other I just roll with what my lover needs and I’m happy.”
We are never just one way when it comes to matters of sexual arousal. We may have been one way with one person, and yet explored a different way with another. Things may have changed for you over time, as well. But consider where you are now. With you current relationship, or if you’re single, with your last steady lover or relationship. Think about the times when your partner wanted to have sex with you, and although you’re attracted, you just did not want it. Or the reverse - when you couldn’t understand why your man or woman didn't respond to your energy that way. Maybe you were overwhelmed with your familial, or parental duties and therefore were not in the right head space, or maybe it was stress from work. These are very real, and common examples of not feeling “in the mood.” But I’m referring to something else, I’m referring to deeper needs that you may have.
It’s a myth that all men just want to go full force, and women do not. Myth. Maybe if you’re a straight teenage girl dealing with horny teenage boys, yes. Of course. But not now. Men need some of the above as much as women do.
Will it be challenging to have sexual alignment with someone who only wants to be kinky, and you truly are uncomfortable with that? Yes. But there are ways to work with this, ways too complex to explain here. If that's the case, I strongly advise seeing a coach or a therapist to work through that.
It’s way more possible that you simply feel overwhelmed, and what you want is to be teased, yet your partner goes full force with touch too quickly.
That your lover needs more beauty around them in the from of music, or candles, or a clean, pretty environment.
That you crave intense touch and your partner is treading too lightly.
That you need some alone time to regroup before you engage with your lover.
That he or she craves more playfulness in the bedroom once and a while.
Have this conversation. Then aim to explore, and to please each other. Become attuned to what their needs are in terms of touch - when it’s too soon, or not soon enough. Play with teasing each other by teasing it out. Use your eyes, use your breathing, use the incredible instrument that IS your body, and communicate through its own language. The dialogue that may not have words, or may have the unique words that you know your partner craves to hear…
Be light, and be dark.
You have a light side to you. A side that loves to make love - sweetly. Tenderly. Softly.
You also have a dark side. A side that wishes to f*ck. To be dominant when you normally prefer to be dominated, and vice versa. To be wild, not sweet.
Make room for both. Both ups the novelty. It’s healthy for you, and for your relationship.
Allow for lovely maintenance sex:
When you’re in it for the long term, having sex does not have to be this epic liaison every single time. What an exhausting expectation! Say yes more to sex even when the conditions are not quite right. See where it takes you. Let go and allow for a lovely experience - one that will strengthen your love.
Your sexual experience as a couple will go to the next level if you stay with one another during your love making. I mean, really stay. In the moment, but also “in” your lover.
The moment we feel our partner disengage, even if barely, is the moment we will feel their tension. It’s almost impossible to not respond to their tension with our own. It becomes too easy to close if we don’t feel their undivided presence. We will then feel less than … painfully self conscious and insecure. Achingly unfulfilled.
Being fixated on climax is paradoxically out-of-body. If we just have that goal, we go into our heads, and leave the moment, we leave the person. Experiment with NOT focusing on that at all.
There is nothing more fulfilling than to feel our lover’s presence. To feel that he is totally with you. To feel her openness.
Get lost, but not in your head. Not only in your bodily sensations. Get lost WITH your lover. Breathe together. Steal glances, smiles. Melt away whatever residual tension they're holding with your presence.
All my love,
If after reading this, you decide that what you need is more help and guidance, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will be happy to share resources with you so that you can get the help you need. All correspondence is confidential.