About Last Night: Is it possible to reclaim passion and desire? 09-09-18

September 10, 2018

A: This is my most frequently asked question. Almost all couples find that desire flags over time. The honeymoon ends, and responsibilities, work pressures, money worries, and tiredness, combine to burst the romantic bubble. To understand why this happens I suggest that you read Dr Ester Perel’s groundbreaking book, Mating in Captivity.

This process can be reversed, but both of you need to be willing to address this together in order to enjoy a fulfilling relationship in the long term.

I do not believe that the answer lies in “spicing things up”, or reigniting a flame. That implies that the answer is to be found outside of the relationship.

The commercial sex industry offers to sell you “spice” and “sauce” in the form of pornography, sex toys, fluffy handcuffs, chocolate body sauce , and lingerie. These can all be a lot of fun, but buying props will not facilitate real change, or help you to connect in your intimate life.

Sexual pleasure and fulfillment are both possible, and desirable, but genuine sexual satisfaction does not come from titillation alone, but instead, nourishes the whole person.

The brain is the most powerful erogenous zone, and the heart transforms copulation into love-making.

Sex-positive educator and facilitator, Roger Butler, is passionate about helping people access their authentic sexual selves, and to achieve true sexual satisfaction. Almost five years ago he founded Curious Creatures as a vehicle to further these aims. (curiouscreatures.biz).

To quote their mission statement, Curious Creatures “believe in sexual empowerment, self-development, community, consent, and communication”.

They pursue these aims by running workshops, producing a podcast, hosting events, speaking publicly, and writing about topics close to their hearts.

Butler says that the downturn in your intimacy can be reversed, but there is no quick fix. “To do so takes some level of time and investment … you’re going to need to talk about things, and set aside some academic learning time to relearn each other’s (and your own) bodies.”

His workshop, Fun Little Sex Games, is designed specifically, to support people in long-term relationships who are seeking to reinvigorate their sex life.

Butler asks, “Why fumble around with intimate contact and hope for the best, when you could be having exactly what you want, at precisely the level you want it?”

This four-hour workshop presents half-a-dozen deceptively simple practices to add some structure and assist with the process. “You can either view your situation as the end of your sex-life, or as an opportunity for new forms of intimacy to become a part of things. This might include sex as you know it, but it may also include some new and untraditional ways of connecting intimately with your partner, too.”

The workshop teaches how to recognise what you want, understand your boundaries, communicate all of this to a partner, get better at dropping fully into “giving” or “receiving” mode, and embed consent and negotiation into your sex-life “in a way that reflects your brand of sexy”.

The first step is for you and Julie to talk. Talking about sex can be difficult, so you need to be brave. Speak your truth; respectfully listen to Julie’s truth; and see if you share common ground. If you are both committed to doing whatever it takes to have the best relationship possible, you can then decide how to proceed.

Would you enjoy doing a workshop together? Are their issues getting in the way that need to be resolved? Do you think that it would be helpful to begin by getting some professional relationship counselling or sex therapy?

Only the two of you can know what will work best for you, but whatever path you choose, know that it is possible to reclaim passion and desire. For many couples, doing this work results in them enjoying the best sex of their lives.

Email: abtlastnight@gmail.com

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