Picture this: you scroll through your Instagram feed, and the self-portraits are grown women, glowing in the full presence and tingling invigoration brought on by the delicious sex they’ve been having regularly… and they say a little about that. Nothing voyeuristic, mind you… Just like, “Loving the way John and I are connecting… I think it’s good for my complexion, too!”
Or your Facebook feed regularly has questions like
“Okay, help! We’re both too tired to initiate sex after we get the kids to bed, but we miss that connection. Anyone figured this puzzle out at their house?”
“Intimate question alert: there are things I want in the bedroom that I’m afraid to ask for… How do I find the words that won’t hurt feelings and WILL create more fun and ease for us? How do YOU ask?”
These kinds of questions are totally commonplace for other topics.
Think about it.
At a party or online, it’s easy to admit challenges and ask for support:
FOOD: “I’m thinking about going (insert new eating style here: Vegan/Paleo/Viking/Traditional/All-7-11/whatever). What tips do you have?”
PARENTING: “Gaah! Bedtime! Will it ever get easier? What’s worked?”
TRAVEL: “We want to find a place where we can spend 2 weeks doing service work, then go play on a beach for a week. Who knows a great spot in Central or S. America for either part of this?”
WELL-BEING: “Prayers, please. My mom is going in for surgery on Tuesday….”
But sex and intimacy?
Although magazines, television shows, movies, and online ads are smeared with images of scantily clad and sexualized people of both sexes, and increasingly, a more normal-person range of sizes (if still smoothed and bronzed by Photoshop!), we often don’t talk about what’s REALLY going on with our bodies.
It’s private. Our partners don’t want us talking about problems, because sexual satisfaction has been set up as such a marker of “performance” and therefore WORTH. If it’s not already perfect, that’s like stamping DEFECTIVE on both our foreheads.
And our culture seems to tell us all that love and sex
belong inside a long-term commitment,
and that inside those, it’s supposed to be easy.
But anybody who’s tried loving the same person for more than… say… 4 months… knows that we’re ALL hard to live with, we’ all have friction, and all our loves move past that initial infatuation.
There’s a ton to learn about love and sex, if we’re going to enjoy either for very long with the same person. Switching partners frequently definitely keeps things interesting, but certain degrees of stability, depth, and growth may be the casualties with that approach.
I’m all for any love style and relationship configuration that helps you be your happiest, most expressed, most serviceful self in the world.
I’ve devoted my life to exploring my own aliveness and turn-on inside a commitment to two children, and, for so long as we can grow and learn together, their father.
He and I show no signs, 20 years in, of running out of ways to learn and grow within this relationship, so it seems like this’ll be a lifetime gig.
Many of my clients are the same: they crave vibrancy. Turn-on. Electric sexual chemistry.
But they also want to create all that inside one relationship that deepens and widens through years and decades. And that’s a particularly delicious challenge. We’ve got to be so so resourceful to continually craft that kind of love, that kind of eroticism. So I think we’ve got to find ways to talk about it.
I’ve started. It scares me every day. But it’s worth it.
How about you?
Do you want life-long love and ever-renewable turn-on, even if it dies a thousand deaths (as it will)?
If so, might you need to talk about it?
How will you continue the conversation?
I love the Bonnie Raitt song, “Let’s Give ‘Em Somethin’ To Talk About.”
One line says, “How about love? Love… Love!”