I have a friend who has not touched his beautiful wife in over 20 years. He was looking for a relationship outside of the marriage in order to satisfy his needs for intimacy and his desperate unhappiness.
I asked him why they were not intimate and he said “she has no interest in me.”
I asked him how he knew, and he told me that one day she was in the kitchen cooking and he came up behind her and put his arms around her and touched her breasts. She pushed him away and said “don’t touch me like that.” He walked away and never touched her again.
I asked him about his marriage, they have a great family, a wonderful life, he loves her dearly and has no interest in changing the family dynamics or leaving because of this deep love. He is a smart guy, very successful professionally, well educated and considers himself to be a very logical and cool headed human being. "Women are the emotional ones" in his mind, and yet, his intense emotional reactivity has created a situation where he is desperately unhappy on many levels for TWENTY YEARS.
This situation is fairly common, with less extreme emotional reactivity, but the one where one approaches, the other says “not now” or even "not in that way, please do it like this" the approacher feels rejected and reacts accordingly, and the other one feels irritated at the rejection reaction and both enter an ongoing loop of reactivity.
Here is the thing, when you REACT you are never reacting to the situation at hand, no matter how intelligent or “logical” you think you are. When you RESPOND to the situation at hand you can manage it, and yourself, and create a good result.
This man had no idea what his wife was going through at that moment, all he knew was that he wanted to touch her body. When she did not like that, he took his toys and left for good, so deeply hurt that he preferred to remain celibate for 2 decades and to eliminate the physical intimacy from his marriage punishing not only her, but himself. Had he been responsive instead of reactive, not only could he have been able to respect his wife’s needs in that moment but he could have easily generated the space for intimacy at a better time.
One person says something. The other reacts, the first reacts to the reaction and the loop begins. Frustration abounds. Intimacy destroyed.
To break out of this cycle you must learn to become RESPONSIVE, instead of reactive.
Another quick one, but more personal. There was an attractive man who had expressed interest in dating me, although we had not yet met in person. A few days after talking he sent me a joke meme which I thought was absolutely disgusting, way way out of line. I gently said that it was a little too much for me, that I like a good dirty joke and some banter but this was not for me. His REACTION was to tell me that other people would laugh at it, just move on, and that he would never send me anything again. This “Fine. I’ll never say anything ever again” reaction told me enough about him to know that dating this man would be an exercise in frustration.
What about my friend?! Well, he’s a friend, not a client, and unwilling to take responsibility for the intimacy in his marriage so this will not change.
Reactivity is the bane of relationships and the death of intimacy.
The good news is that you can heal your reactivity and improve your patterns of connection. The other good news is that it can be done with or without your partner. The third and final good news is that it does not take years or decades of therapy and talking about why you’re reactive. It takes willingness to put in the work to learn some new skills, some new patterns of response and to have enough responsibility to put them into action. This is not magical thinking, it is specific practical tools that anyone can put into use.
Are you ready for reactivity to stop ruining your intimacy?
Book a free phone call, send a message, let's talk about it.
I got an email today from my subscription to Esther Perel, one of the teachers I admire most and wanted to share not just her words, but some thoughts that were provoked in me in how the art of conversation relates to your sex life. A common theme I hear -- from men, primarily so this is where this conversation is directed -- is how hard it is to connect with women and get them interested in sex. This is both about partnered men AND single ones. Most of them have stories about how the reason that women don't want them is: they don’t have enough money, they don’t have a six pack, they are “not an asshole” or whatever it is they think that women need in order to agree to sex... Since they’re looking for that magic button to open the legs and get what they want. They will drone on and on about how they are one of the good guys because they are willing to give oral sex and are resentful that this willingness is not gratefully accepted and praised.
The truth is that women want sex and intimacy just as much as men do, and we’re living in a time where it’s far more socially acceptable to engage sexually outside of the constructs that in the past made it extremely dangerous socially and physically to engage in the sex she wants to be having. There are as many of us wanton and willing women as there are you men, of any age. The problem is, if you turn her off with your poor social skills she is not going to want to have sex with you. Married to you or not! Sex is a choice, and when reasons such as marital obligation, attempted procreation, fear, coercion are not in play then unfortunately or fortunately there needs to be likability and attraction. Seductive conversation is a skill, one to use on your dates or when you intend to create an erotic environment, and it is NOT the same as your day to day buddy buddy conversation state.
Culturally, a lot of women are conditioned to be nice, to listen, to smile and to make sure that their social cues are not hurtful to the person they’re interacting with. This can be confusing to a male who does not actually know the difference between politeness, and interest, or who never learned how to engage in enjoyable conversation and instead is put in situations over and over and over where a woman of interest is tolerating his presence instead of enjoying it.
My invitation, if you suspect this could be your problem, is to find a man who is utterly charming and socially affable and spend some time with him. NOT basking in his attention, since chances are he is going to feel really good to hang out with, but in order to pay attention to how he interacts. What is he doing that is so nice to be around? What is the magic behind his easy manner? What does he DO to make people around him feel good? You do not need to learn how to be an extrovert or to be talkative, or entertaining. But it would be helpful to learn how NOT to be repulsive via your conversation and instead inspire others to feel good in your presence. I’d say that is something worth doing and could change your personal life dramatically. I do actually know someone who teaches this professionally, a brilliant teacher and human that I’d recommend above any other and am happy to recommend his material.
Esther Perel's email quoted below
“All too often, I see the tension between speaking and listening. We expect to hear people drone on about themselves in professional settings, hoping to stand out, get a promotion or investment, or make a life-changing connection. But lately that mentality of pitching oneself is showing up in smaller circles. How many dinner parties have you attended where one person seems to be talking AT everyone, at length, about their business or their back problems?
From the very beginning, Western parents tell children “use your words.” The current norm emphasizes direct communication and the ability to clearly articulate one’s needs as an essential step to building confidence and self-esteem. It’s interesting, isn’t it? We make of point of encouraging one another to be assertive—speak up! Communicate! Advocate for yourself! Yell it from the mountain tops!--but we don’t quite prioritize listening in the same way.
The art of conversation is about healthy amounts of both: thoughtful speaking and hardcore listening, asking questions and navigating commonalities and differences. Consider Erich Fromm’s six rules of listening. Or David Bohm’s writings on the paradox of communication in which he says “if we are to live in harmony with ourselves and with nature, we need to be able to communicate freely in a creative movement in which no one permanently holds to or otherwise defends his own ideas.”
In an age of self-surveillance, of measuring oneself’s likeability based on “likes” and one’s network based on how many “connections” they have on LinkedIn, the collapse of simple but depthful conversation was almost bound to happen. Now, at least in cities, we’re more likely to meet a friend at a co-working space—those of the “venture-backed belonging” variety—than in our homes.
The gap between work and life is narrowing. So many of us are putting our whole selves into our work, investing everything we’ve got by betting on ourselves. In this state, transforming dialogues into monologues feels like a survival tactic. We know we need the support of our friends and communities, but we feel as if we must advocate for it. Rather than deep exchanges that are rooted in curiosity, or even superficial conversations floated by fun, our conversations become performances. How many opportunities do we miss because we didn’t ask someone about themselves? “
Recently I’ve been teaching a lot on pleasure.
Something I’ve noticed with clients that come in to learn is this sense of apology, a self deprecating shame of the sort that a middle aged clumsy, overweight and insecure person would sometimes have when walking into a cross fit gym or beginning figure skating lessons.
The idea that they’re “past their prime” and it’s almost silly to want to improve their sex life so badly that they’re actually seeking help for it. At their age. Maybe they’re just deluding themselves.
NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH
To me…prime would be when you’re most able to experience and engage in pleasure. This has nothing to do with age, appearance, how many times you can release your erotic energy in a short period of time. Actually, I believe that riding the waves of sexual energy is far more pleasurable than releasing it as quickly as possible. Therefore, any person has the potential to increase how embodied they are as long as they have the ability to be present and focus, pleasure and erotic capacity can be increased and enjoyed and like any practice, you get out of it what you put in to it. You can put it aside and pay attention to other things, then come back to it… not having lost it forever. With age comes maturity, willingness, time, the patience to pay attention, the ability to appreciate MORE in yourself and your lover.
Cultivate an attitude of curiosity, of gratitude for the pleasure your body can feel, and the questions - how much more pleasure can I feel? How much more pleasure can I help my lover feel? Your prime is yet to be experienced. Or maybe you’re in it now. I propose you should redefine it as your Sensual Prime, and with it the attitude of "I don’t have time for those denigrating judgments or insecurities, I’m too busy playing with ecstasy in my sensual prime." Go ahead, put down the baggage. You’re more than enough.
**omission of stock photo intentional**
When you think of sexual confidence with regards to women, what is it that comes to mind?
Close your eyes for a moment, think “sexual confidence” and notice what images come to mind, notice how you compare yourself to those concepts of what sexually confident means.
A lot of people think that in order to have sexual confidence, you must be “sexy,” and by sexy they mean conventionally attractive from the standpoint of what is broadcasted across our media. A woman of certain proportions, unblemished, an impossible combination of looks and youth with virginal innocence and porn star performance in the bedroom. A good girl on the outside and a slut in the bedroom who performs as the perfect canvas for her man’s fantasies. A shallow and unsustainable concept at best, destructive and inhibiting as well.
Is sexual confidence about being conventionally beautiful?
Is it about knowing how to behave in a manner that arouses the desires of men (or other women)?
Is it about taking strip tease classes, blow job classes, lingerie, getting breast implants, liposuction, vaginal rejuvenation surgery, HgH injections lip implants and going into debt to try (and I say try) to recapture the silhouettes of fertile youth?
Whose rules have you been expertly playing by in order to maintain your habit of being not sexually confident? Your mother’s? Your father’s? Your Church’s? Is it the hundreds of thousands of advertisements that are carefully designed to create a feeling of inadequacy you so that you purchase something to ease that pain?
Consider this: what is it you risk needing to let go of in order to have full sexual confidence as a woman?
Your sexuality is an infinitely vast and rich landscape to cultivate, explore, take pleasure in, discover, feel good about and adore. If you have feelings of insecurities and believe that you cannot be sexually confident…. You have taken on a story about female sexuality that IS NOT TRUE and are holding that story up next to yours, comparing yourself to it and saying because I am not this, I am not okay.
I have seen beautiful powerful women with incredible confidence and accomplishments in many areas of life resign themselves to feeling flawed, disgusting, and used up and unsexy because their husbands are playing a script in which they fall short of his expectations and believe that his inability to appreciate is somehow their fault.
Lets talk about how to actually feel sexually confident!
Knowledge and experience helps. An understanding of sexuality is wonderful and enhances the experience of pleasure that you are capable of creating for yourself and with your partner. Competence leads to confidence! However, it’s not necessary that you know everything first, the attitude of curiosity, of deservingness, of presence and engagement gives you everything you need to know to have that sense of sexual confidence.
Need some help? I offer sessions for women in person and online.
From cultivating specifically the part of you that is an embodied sex goddess, to discovering what your body likes and learning to communicate it clearly to a partner, to hands on instruction in how to play a man’s body like a finely tuned musical instrument and take joy in that experience.
An Opinion on Women and Personal Sexual Responsibility
I wrote this piece in part as a response to a surge in what I call the “Hollywood Sex Starlets” who market brilliantly by promising desperately unhappy and sexually frustrated women in pretty videos that they can have the best orgasms of their life if only they do a few magic things. Buy this little course, pop this egg into your vagina, get a tantric massage...pay me some money and your deepest fears and pains will be relieved. They enhance your feelings of deficiency and promise to have the answer. Well here is an answer, and you don’t have to buy it… though any decent education is paid for in time and effort.
Is a sexual education worth your investment of time and energy?
In working with the subjects of libido, desire and erotic pleasure I have noticed some patterns that plague women who have difficulty with their sexual response. This is not by any means an exhaustive article or meant to cover all of the reasons why women may not enjoy sex or to invalidate trauma based issues that need to be resolved, but it’s one that hits an important subject that is relevant for many women.
Here are some of the statements I hear on this subject:
Yes, of course every situation is unique and in breaking down what is happening with an individual woman and her relationship, there are things that are specific to her, and to them. Assuming that the husband/partner is reasonably competent sexually and has a clue how to touch and arouse the female body, I will discuss the ways that a woman hinders and can help herself be sexually responsive. If the partner is sensually uneducated, I highly recommend learning how to touch from a somatic sex educator who will do hands on teaching. I do hands on teaching for couples, or you can seek out someone local to you.
Obstacle 1: Women see sex as something that they are giving to the man instead of something that she is giving to herself. If she is overextended in her life and not receiving the support she wants and needs, she can feel stingy. Since sex is viewed as yet another thing she has to do for someone else, it’s not perceived or experienced in a way that is arousing and full of pleasure. It’s a task and a chore.
Obstacle 2: Refusal to make sex something that is important to enjoy, and instead of being fully engulfed in erotic thoughts and feelings, she will occupy her mind with things that inhibit arousal. “I can’t help it” is the excuse. There is a way to control thought through mindfulness and intentional trance. It’s a skill, something that people who naturally are excellent at enjoying sex seem to be good at and those who have difficulty “letting go” or being present are not good at. It’s a skill that can be learned!
Obstacle 3: Women have rules around when and how they should have sex and what it takes for it to be good. The planets have to be perfectly aligned, the house clean,laundry washed and folded, and every other detail that they’ve thought about in the last week needs to be taken care of. Their partner cannot have irritated them in the last 24-48 hours and they should be already horny. The sex should flow smoothly like a romance novel or hollywood fantasy without any hiccups.. The slightest distraction will ruin everything.
These criteria or reasons to sexually engage are way too complicated! Sex is not just an expression of desire, it’s a social lubricant, and it literally creates the chemicals of love in the body. The bottom line is that unless you’re actually in the midst of a passionate affair that is relatively new, or you’re someone who enjoys turning herself on with a variety of juicy activities, the criteria for giving yourself permission to have and enjoy sex is probably way way way too high, and it will take a deliberate effort on your part to change that.
Would these things change your experience?
My suggestion to women who feel they are blocked, sexually -- or that something is preventing them from being aroused is to make a decision to make learning how to get into their erotic state a priority. Yes, I teach this. The same way a woman decides to make her diet, or her exercise regime her yoga practice, or her work a priority and takes responsibility every day to get into the correct mental state for performance or achievement in those subject matters….. She can make the decision to be not just an active participant, but the one who is the executive. The driving force behind her erotic pleasure.
What does it actually take to start doing this?
At its most basic, it takes a woman who has sex because she makes a decision to have sex (there are a million reasons to have sex,just as there are a million reasons to NOT have sex so take your pick!) and in alignment with that decision, takes enjoyment from the experience. Notice that I did not say passively waits for her partner to do everything perfectly without her ever saying a word. I said she takes enjoyment from the experience… whatever it ends up being. That’s it. You don’t need your chakras aligned, or to go to therapy for 10 years and find out just how much your parents fucked up in raising you, you don’t have to rage against the church and you probably don’t need a new husband with great pectorals, a six pack and a bigger harder magic penis. Not that there is anything wrong with getting an erotic charge out of those things, having a lover, or fantasizing about a lover with those attributes. You simply need to learn how to take pleasure from sexual experiences.
Not every sexual encounter is going to be mind blowing, or result in an orgasm. I don’t think that is the point. I think the point is to get curious!! What kinds of pleasures can be taken from each encounter? There is satisfaction to be taken from harder faster and furious sex that maybe does not provide the stimulation or pleasure necessary to have an orgasm. But it can be FUN!!!! There is a deeper sense of connection, of love, warmth and intimacy in erotic cuddling that may or may not include intercourse, in languishing for hours gently exploring the skin’s surface and playing with how sensation shifts and changes and where pleasure spots are. It is immensely satisfying to play a lover’s body like a virtuoso musician -- something that happens only with true enjoyment of the other’s pleasure and surrender to your touch, and in gifting your body’s ecstatic response to your lover in the same way. What kinds of explorations and interactions can you come up with to learn more about your body, or about theirs? How interesting and fun can you make those explorations? This attitude paves the way for deeper experiences that do become spiritual, tantric, and “mind blowing.”
All you need do to be excellent at being sexually responsive and aroused is to step into the space you’ve created for your sexuality and BE THERE. Leaving behind the things that do not belong in that space.
What doesn’t belong?
Anything and everything that is not conducive to your arousal and pleasure. Things that are outside of being fully present in your body, and with his (or hers if you have a female partner) The laundry does not belong there, neither do the bills, your ex husband, neither does your list of 1000 things your partner does to make you angry, your mother, your kids, work, critical thoughts about your body or about his body. Really, stop criticizing your body in the sexual space. You want to be thinking about how good your body can feel, not how imperfect your body looks. Leave those things behind and think about them at the appropriate time. Focus. Control your thoughts, and be with your feelings and sensations.
I hope this provides some perspective on personal responsibility for sexual pleasure, and gives some food for thought on what you may or may not be doing to help yourself.
If you’d like to explore this subject further, please do not hesitate to contact me via www.thesensualist.org
Take a look at this list, below to the right and see if you see yourself in it.
Yes, I am one of those people who wants to stop using. What should I do?
Most simply. STOP USING PORN. If you can do that, then great! You will also find it easy to increase personal sexual response and likely are more ready to improve your lovemaking skills. If not, read on.
1. The most important part is for you to be ready to commit to yourself. Are you ready for change? Are you ready for positive improvements in your life? Porn is not compartmentalized to masturbation and to your penis, it spills over into every aspect of your life.
2. Together, we determine how it is affecting you and discover what you would like to be doing with your life INSTEAD of mindlessly fapping to pornography. Maybe you want to rekindle sex with your wife, or make the sex better. Maybe you want the warmth and company of a real girlfriend, but need to leave your couch and computer in order to actually start to interact with real life women. Maybe you're tired of feeling like your dick is dead and the endless search for something that can turn you on like you used to get turned on. Yeah, it sucks, and will only get worse if left untreated.
We will use a process that determines what pornography is doing for you, and substitute alternative healthy and productive behaviours. Have you ever experienced where part of you wants to do something -- like eat a healthy salad for dinner, and another part of you decides it wants a big burger and fries with iced cream for dessert? We will access the different parts of you that are in conflict or making bad choices and help them to become congruent in your goal of healthy sexual expression. Your unconscious ALWAYS has a positive intent in choosing what it does, we need to find the intent and help it to help you get what you want. Yes, healthy sexual expression can be wild, varied, kinky and fun.
You will learn healthy sexual habits, whether you're partnered or not. How to tune into your sexuality, cultivate your erotic energy and amplify your pleasure and arousal.
Depending on how severe the problem is, you may want to do a complete sexual reset which is a three month commitment.
You may want to invest in coaching to improve your lovemaking at home. I have a toolkit of activities and exercises to make sex better, yes even if you have not had sex in 20 years you CAN rekindle ecstatic pleasure, romance, and erotic enjoyment together. Even if you have not been attracted to each other in a very long time.
This can be done on your own, and if it seems too hard... send me a message!
"Can you fix my erections?"
is probably the most common question I get, closely followed by "Can you make me have better orgasms or orgasm with my partner" from women.
Unlike pharmaceutical pushing organizations and click bait business that prey on the desperation of males who suffer from ED I am going to tell you my take on it, honestly, instead of lying and promising that
"this one weird trick will give you rock hard erections."
How often have you read that crap?
The fact is that erections are a normal part of healthy physiology and when they stop occurring in natural situations, such as during sexually exciting discourse they are an INDICATOR that something is wrong. The penis is the flag, and instead of standing up it droops, lags and stays soft instead of reaching it's full potential.
It needs to be approached on a holistic level, understanding the things a penis needs for health and function are important for recovery -- whether the issue is psychological in nature (most cases are) or physical. Can the physical causes be remedied? Yes, often they can when a man is willing to put in the work and make the life changes. When physical in nature I aim to help the man understand what is going on and what needs to be done. When psychological in nature, I offer resources or direct change-work via trance to help access the best states for generating powerful erections, arousal and pleasure.
It is also a fact that in a few (not the majority) cases sometimes the physical causes will not change. At least not yet, and not according to my knowledge. I am VERY passionate about the subject, so my opinions are subject to change as I learn more or learn better. So lets take a man in his late 60s, early 70s who has had diabetes for years and has not had an erection in decades. It does not look like he will regain erectile function, and yet, he has an overwhelming desire for intimacy and sexual connection in his life. It is not over! Penis in vagina penetration is such a small part of the entire picture when it comes to fulfilling sexuality. For these cases, I can teach you (and your partner) to have beautiful, erotic, highly pleasurable highly satisfying sex without needing to have an erection.
Can't ejaculate either? Many men can ejaculate without erections, but did you know that you can have multiple non-ejaculatory orgasms that are every bit as enjoyable as an ejaculation?
Contact me today for information and REAL (not inflated click bait bullshit) solutions and attention to an extremely important subject. in a man's life.
Compassion and discretion guaranteed. Lets work on this together and get you enjoying the sex life you desire.
I’ve noticed something that I could talk about theoretically for days but will instead share a story.
My body likes a variety of touches and there is no telling what I will like or when. I am fortunate enough to have a lover that REALLY genuinely enthusiastically enjoys touching me in ways that produce pleasure and arousal. So this one time, when sexually engaged, I realized that a very specific touch felt very good. It lasted only a moment and was a gentle brushing of the outer labia. It was heaven, and the thought that came to mind so briefly that I almost did not recognize it was that I wish I could feel that touch all day. This was a fraction of a second, an almost imperceptible flash. Logically, I knew that after a few minutes it would reach the point of diminishing returns and need to change but in that moment that is how I felt. My partner was just doing his thing, touching me in ways he knows arouses me but I didn’t want them I just wanted that silky graze.
This is the moment that so many people struggle with, that so many people miss.
I would like to help you navigate this moment keeping the following points in mind.
First of all, be aware enough to REALIZE the desire for something specific. The sensation can happen quickly, and being able to formulate thoughts around it, and then change those thoughts into words takes practice and self awareness. Being caught in a circular pattern of thoughts, distractions, anxieties will guarantee that you will miss it.
No lover is a mind reader and “hope and hints” will never ever create the lover of your dreams out of someone who is willing.
Second, having the vulnerability to ask for it, knowing that it may or may not be given is very important. Lots of people shut down because a request that felt vulnerable was not received or acted upon. What I’ve noticed, is that what seems clear and obvious to us, is often not clear and obvious to a partner, even when we think it should be.
Third, the communication dynamic which permits your lover to not feel like you’re micromanaging his or her touch. And I suggest many discussions about this to help both of you through what can be a difficult dynamic depending on triggers. One of the most degrading things I heard from a man, was that he did not want to do things that aroused me (versus treating my body and doing stuff that got him off) because it made him feel like he was being micro managed sexually. There is a time and a place for bulldozing or ploughing your way through a fuck fest, but lets be honest, if a woman is going to want more it’s got to be pleasurable for her too. In that circumstance there was no second chance. In marriages, that kind of attitude turns desire into disgust.
So what happened? Well I said hey that feels amazing and I would like a lot more of that, and I got it. Later, in a conversation, I admitted that I had the thought that I just wanted to lie there for ages feeling that one very specificc sensation. My partner requested that I tell him when that kind of thing comes up and I said okay, it was interesting that it was so hard to even recognize and act on, even for me.
In exploratory bodywork sessions (not strictly pleasure ones), I do not let people get away with unexpressed desires. In fact, I “ruin the mood” by insisting that they step out of their comfort zone and describe what it is they want to feel. What feels better? How can this be even better?
The take home: With sexuality in long term relationships shitty sex does not have the luxury of riding the wave of new relationship energy and desire. Sex has to be good, there needs to be an honesty in communication, and a self awareness and yes, an honest desire for the other to experience pleasure. You need to care about your partner’s pleasure, not just your own gratification.I’ve written this from the female perspective, but find that men have trouble speaking up as well. Talk guys, and if you can’t talk to each other, talk to me and I can help you relate in ways that the other can hear.
Do you need to talk to someone about this, or another pressing intimate concern?
I do distance consultations via skype, facetime and telephone. Get in touch!
The Phenomenal Jason Linett of Work Smart Hypnosis was gracious enough to have me on his podcast, take a listen!
On today’s episode, Freja explains how she was introduced to hypnosis and her shift from traditional practices to those of a more intimate and sensual nature. We go into depth on how hypnotic strategies and EFT techniques overlap into topics like sexuality, desire, and releasing dysfunction.
“A lot of our sexual problems are because we spend too much time in our heads” – Freja Njorden
Peak State Sexuality
Women & Erotic Massage
Want a Kinky Partner
New Sex Therapy
The Erotic Edge
When Sex Stops
Get Them to use Toys 1
Hurting your Erections
Sex every day?
Your Brain On Porn
Low Desire Partner
Sensual Massage for Women
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