I read this from Amy Jo Goddard today and found it expressed what I have been observing, so I am going to copy from her email as she says it so well.
"I think there are three top reasons why people get stuck sexually and things stay the same. When they get stuck, they think nothing will ever change and that their sex life is doomed to be as it is for the rest of their lives. That often results in a lot frustration, resentment and anger. And yet, it’s totally changeable for all of us.
One: They wait for someone (or something) else and don’t take the bull by the horns.
So many people who are in long-term relationships that are sexually numb or dead and they keep waiting for their partner to do something or change something. Or they are waiting til the kids are grown or til they finish that advanced degree or whatever other excuse they find for why they can’t do anything about it right now.
If you have followed me for long, you know I don’t believe in waiting. I’ve lost friends and loved ones suddenly, and I’ve personally been reminded over and over just how fragile life is. I’ll bet you’ve had those experiences as well. The truth is that all we have is today, right now, this moment. If your life is not as you want it now, then do something now.
Stop waiting for someone else to fix it or to save you. Stop waiting on outside forces because they will keep you stuck over and over if you give them that power.
And if you are making up excuses so you don’t have to take responsibility, then I hope you’ll at least be honest with yourself about that; and then you have a choice to make. You can keep up the excuses not to make the change or you can do something NOW—even if your partner isn’t interested, even if you think it will be challenging to do your school work and address your sexuality at the same time, and even if it will make you look at your relationship in a different way. I hope you’ll choose the latter because there is nothing more empowering than deciding you are going to change your life and doing it. I’ve done it many times and those moments made me who I am.
Two: Ego gets in the way and they don’t think they need to do anything to change.
The second reason people’s sex lives don’t change is that they think they don’t need to change. They don’t listen to their partner’s concerns. Maybe they think it’s the other person’s fault and are unwilling to do the work. Maybe their ego gets a little bruised thinking that they should do something new sexually and so they dig in their heels and decide they won’t—it’s not my fault. (That serves absolutely no one.)
A lot of the time the people who get stuck in their ego are there, in part, because they’ve believed the cultural myth that sexuality comes naturally and they must be a natural at it. Therefore, they need to do absolutely nothing to make it better. This is the most harmful myth there is about sex and sexuality. We ALL need sex education, we all need skills and information and we all need to be open if we want to have the most fulfilling sexual lives.
If you’ve gotten stuck here, lay down your armour. Listen more and talk less. Ask yourself what it gets you to deny that there might be new things to learn about sexuality. Because sexuality is vast and you can continue developing and learning for your whole life, if you choose to. I definitely have, and it’s been incredibly fulfilling. I want to keep learning.
Three: They don’t know how to change.
The third reason is that people just don’t know how to change or where to get the support they know they need. So they stay quiet, sexually frustrated or even angry and do nothing.
This is the easiest one to break through because all you need to do is find resources. We have this thing called the internet now and it helps you find what you need. And friends help connect us to the resources we need. There are sexuality resources to meet everyone’s needs whether you want to be more empowered sexually, want to develop certain skill sets, need your needs around disability or health to be included, want to learn to talk to your kids about sex, want to bring more sexy back to your relationship, or want to have a new sexual adventure. Truly, all of the resources you want exist"
What did you think of what Amy Jo had to say? I have experienced some of these and seen this in people I have met, waiting for someone else to do the work, maybe it all seems to hard or maybe they think it is the other person's issue and finally they don't know what to do or where to start. This is where a sexologist can help, they can provide resources and education, they can support the person to make the changes required and help the people involved to work as a team, a person can work on their issues alone but for a better outcome it takes all the people engaged in the sexual relationship to work together and support each other towards change.
Many years ago when I was teaching sex ed to kids I would often start the session by asking them "What is sex?" The answers would vary depending on their ages and level of education, anything from 'boys and girls" to " your bits" and "doing it". We would then look at what made up sexual activity and "sex" was often defined as penis in vagina (PIV) intercourse, and apparently to some kids oral sex and anal sex were not sex because you could not get pregnant, even though they had the word sex attached....boy did I have some news about how anal is not such a great contraceptive...those little buggers can swim and move from one orifice to another
So I would like to ask you "What is sex?".
Do you immediately think of intercourse? Do you consider oral and anal to be sex? Does outercourse, mutual masturbation, digital penetration, rimming, using toys and grinding come into the picture? (for more information on these terms check out the Information page).
So I have news for you....all of these things are sex to some degree, they are all sexual activity that either involves the genitals or desire, arousal and possibly orgasm. Sexual activity can also involve a whole range of things that do not involve the genitals as well, visual stimuli such as erotica ( books, art, films), auditory such as talking dirty, mental such as erotic thoughts and anything else that gets your mind going in anticipation, your skin tingling and your juices flowing.
Now we have that straight....that sex is more than penis and vagina and in and out, lets look at why we have sex.
So now I ask you...."Why do you have sex....apart from a physical release from orgasm?"
There are so many reasons we have sex other than a physical release:
How many others can you add?
And did you know that many people do not have desire (horny) until after that are stimulated and aroused (wet, erect etc.), rather than feeling desire then getting aroused....the old "once we got started then I suddenly wanted it and had a lot of fun".
So if sex is more than PIV and we often have it for more reasons than orgasm, how can this help us if we are having issues with desire or performance?
If performance is an issue think about the many and varied ways we can have sex that do not involve PIV and if desire is an issue think about all the other amazing things you get from sex and the fact that sometimes it is about starting and then seeing how you feel.
Ask yourself " Is this something I really don't want to do or do I feel ..... Why Not?" When feeling a bit "Why not" we can often find that the other reasons we enjoy sex can be enough for us to get started and then things can heat up pretty quickly once we get going.
So your homework for this week is the two questions above....what does sex mean to you and why do you have it? The answers might give you the motivation required to move beyond some sexual issues, or at least have fun exploring it all.
People often see a sexologist, sex or relationship therapist for any issues regarding sex, these can be a variety of things related to identity, lifestyle, relationships or more directly arousal, function and desire. A good sexologist will have qualifications, be non judgemental, respectful and ethical.
One of the first things a sex therapist will do, besides asking why you are there, is to take a sexual and familial history. They will be looking for things that may contribute to the reason you are there and to get a picture of who you are, where you have come from and what you have experienced. Sexologists come from a biopsychosocial perspective and will look at a variety of things that may be impacting on you sexually.
Issues with sexual or gender identity (LGBTIQ+), relationships (Poly), or lifestyles (Kink, BDSM) may require counselling, education and linking with other like-minded people.
Sexual issues or dysfunctions can have several causes:
They can also fall into several categories:
The sex therapist will explore the issue further by defining it as:
All of this information gathering will take time, some therapists may take several sessions to gather all they need to make a diagnosis and treatment plan while others may have a longer first session.
Treatment may require medical tests to ascertain biological causes, changes in medications, exploring relationships and messages about sex the person has taken on board, levels of sexuality education and sex knowledge, the impact of values and morals as well as the thoughts and emotions the person holds about sex and the issue they are experiencing.
There may be sessions providing sexological education, because lets admit it we probably did not get very much when we were younger, and we often don't know what we don't know.
Sometimes there are take home activities, to do alone or with your partner, these may be about increasing communication, intimacy, or sexual response.
So if you are experiencing any issues with your sexuality linking with a Sexologist might be just what you need to help you resolve what ever is bothering you.
Once again some wonderful points made by Ev'yan Whitney, this time about Sexuality.
Sexuality can mean many different things to each of us, I like what Ev'yan has to say, I could not have put it better myself.
See her words below:
"1. Everyone is sexual.
Your grandmother. Your great-uncle. Your next door neighbor. The homeless man sitting in a wheelchair. The girl with coke-bottle glasses that bags your groceries.
They all have sexual energy coursing through their bodies, just as you do.
Sexuality is not a privilege or a gift presented to an exclusively selected mass of people. It is bestowed upon all us from the moment we are conceived and its essence is carried with us into the afterlife.
We are all born with sexual energy emanating throughout our organs, cells, and muscle tissue. All of us. How (and if) we choose to actualize our sexual nature is as personal and unique as the color of our eyes.
2. Sexuality is fluid.
As much as we’d all like to think that our sexuality can be housed within rigid labels, it’s not as simple as that. Our sexual energy isn’t specific, it just is what it is: erotically, carnally, instinctively sexual.
I like to think that anyone can form the way they express their sex energy through intimate self-discovery. It is such a liberating experience to make that decision to explore outside our perceived boxes.
To choose flexibility, to try exploration, and to accept the sometimes flightiness of our sexual nature. . . this is your right as a sexual being.
Maybe the box we tick underneath the word “Orientation” doesn’t have to be cemented for the rest of our lives. Maybe just as we evolve, so does our sexuality and the way we express it.
That is, if we give ourselves permission to explore. (And I want for you to give yourself permission.
3. Your sexuality is expressed in many ways.
Not just within the act of sex (or intercourse) but in other things: The art you create. The tone of your voice. The musical notes you pluck on your harp. The manner of which you walk. The poetry in the words you speak.These things contain sexual energy because you contain sexual energy.
You don't need to have sex to be a sexual being. You already are one, even as you are sitting here reading these words.
Perhaps you don’t feel as sexual now when compared to when you are fully aroused. But trust me… your erotic energy is there.
Try to remember that it's there with you. Always.
4. You cannot get rid of your sexual nature.
You can diminish it with negative thoughts. You can scare it away with religious dogmas. You can abstain from sexual pleasure for decades. But you will never be without your sexuality. You can never stop being a sexual being.
Your erotic energy is always within you and it will always be a part of you. So you may as well embrace it.
5. Your sexuality should be explored.
Experiment. Stay curious. Maintain a state of intrigue about your sexuality and all that it encompasses.
Like, what does it mean to you to be straight (or gay, or bi, or queer)? Did you choose the orientation you identify with or were born with it? What do your sexual desires look like? What turns you on? If you could give your sexual energy a color or shape, what would it be?
Ask questions about your sexual nature. Your answers might surprise you.
6. Your sexuality is sacred.
The expression of it. The definition of it. The way it makes you feel. Your sexuality, no matter what it looks like, is beautiful. It is yours and no one else’s.
There’s no need to compare your sexual energy to the way it is expressed by others. Just as there is no one identical human being on this planet, there is not one identical expression of sexuality.
There is also no preferred type of sexuality. It can be as subtle, as broad, as passionate, as unrefined as you would like for it to be.
And that’s just it. Be."
SO, what do you think of what Ev'yan has to say on sexuality?
What does sexuality mean to you?
How do you express your sexuality?
Remember, your sexuality, is your sexuality, is unique to you and how you identify and express it is totally up to you and is just fine (as long as it does no harm, is safe, sane and consensual).
So get out there, live your best self and embrace your sexuality, whatever it may be.
I have been missing in action for the last two Friday blogs as I have been visiting my mum for her 80th birthday in another state and accompanying my partner on a work trip up north.
But I am back and I was wondering what I would write about to cover being away, after going through many, many emails I came across this one by Ev'yan Whitney, someone who I am subscribed to, about Sensuality and I thought this worked well considering my business name.
So I am going to copy and paste what I recieved from Ev'yan as I think she put it beautifully.
"So, what exactly is sensuality?
Here's what I know:
Sensuality is the vibrancy of every moment. It's an invitation for you to open wider, to tune in closely, to be present actively.
Sensuality is connection—connection to your surroundings, connection to your body and inner rhythms, connection to what feels good.
Sensuality is instinctual primal enjoyment. When you are engaged in sensuality, you listen keenly with your senses. Time slows, inhibitions lower, and pleasure expands your body.
Without sensuality, your life would be dull, mechanical, unfeeling. And you feel deeply.
Sensuality lives in your breath, in the soles of your feet, on the tip of your tongue, and in the sacred voice of your intuition.
I believe that you don’t need to be taught how to be sensual; it is inherently within you. You only need to open to your natural capacity to feel and sense and be.
I believe that sensuality is your birthright, that moments of slowness, succulence, and inner listening are imperative for sexually liberated living.
I believe that sensuality is easily accessible, that every breath is an opportunity for you to experience the sensual and awaken fully to this gorgeous moment—even if it’s filled with busyness or chaos.
I believe that sensuality is yours for the taking. All you need to do is give yourself permission to play.
If you want to be sensual (a quick how-to):
1. Breathe—deeply, consciously.
2. Go slowly.
3. Seek pleasure wherever you are, in whatever you’re doing.
4. Open yourself to the richness of each moment.
5. Develop a relationship to the desires of your body.
6. Create a dedicated self-care practice.
7. Go inward and ask yourself what you want / need.
8. Explore your capacity to experience pleasure—in and outside the bedroom.
9. Trust your body and intuition and their ability to guide you.
10. Consciously make space for your senses to open you. . .
. . . to this gorgeous moment, to the depths of your ability to feel, to the pleasure you know your body is capable of.
But especially: Give yourself permission to play (it doesn't have to be so serious all the time!)."
So what do you think of what Ev'yan has to say? For me sensuality is all about getting in touch with yourself, your senses, your environment and the people in your life.
I am going to practice these 10 tips......are you?
Richelle has had a passion for sexuality and sexual health since 2001. She has worked in the field since 2006, providing sexuality education in schools, and adult education in the topics of diverse sexualities and gender identities, LGBT health issues, sexual health and LGBT relationships.
This is a space for me to share with you my journey as a Sexologist, the things I learn and the people I meet and what I think and feel along the way.