Getting the Sex you Want

My thoughts on Relationships, on The Academy of Miracles podcast

I’m honored to share with you that I’m this week’s featured guest on Elloa Atkinson’s podcast, The Academy of Miracles! Elloa and I enjoyed a deeply personal conversation about relationships. Starting today, you can listen to the podcast through Elloa’s website: www.elloaatkinson.com or through iTunes.

A great relationship has great sex

If you want great sex, you have to have a great relationship. In a recent panel discussion I hosted for YourTango, Harville Hendrix, author of Getting The Love You Want, had some great advice for couples wanting to spice up their relationship.

One thing we know that does not make for a great relationship is anxiety. If you and your partner are into negativity and putting each other down, you might have sex but it’s not going to be great sex. It will be a compensation for the missing intimacy. The relationship has to be safe, because only when you’re safe can you drop your defenses. Only when you drop your defenses do you have access to your body and to the chemistry that comes with safety.

To re-inspire the passion in your relationship, get all of the negativity out, make it safe, and then spice it up with some creativity.

Watch the video on YourTango for more advice on how to stay connected, intimate, and having fun through all the stages of your relationship.

New condom design includes female pleasure

I’m really excited to hear about innovation in the world of condom design: a built in vibrator to provide pleasure for women. Yes, we’ve seen the development of the female condom, and classic condoms with bumps, ridges, and chemicals all designed to improve the experience for woman. But never before have we seen a condom that takes into consideration that many women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm.

The new condom, called the VA w.o.w. condom feminine from IXü, may change the game of contraception and sex for pleasure forever.

Fulfill your fantasies with these tips

Even though you love your husband and want to to be intimate with him, something just isn’t working. You’ve both come to the realization that your sex life is pretty lackluster, in spite of how hard you try.

You don’t share the same sexual likes and dislikes and can’t seem to get on the same page. Instead, this soon becomes a laborious ordeal to maintain the sexual intimacy, and the original fairytale love begins to fizz out.

Many partners find communicating about turn-ons and offs and sex in general difficult. But everyone is forgetting that you can’t read each other’s minds!

I hosted a dialog with fellow YourTango experts, Imago Institute’s Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt, Tony Victor LCPC, Sue Butler LMFT and Certified Sex Therapist Kimberly Anderson about how partners can get on the same page with your fantasies. We all agree that if there is a will, there is a way! We shared some tips for how couples can work together to recreate their fairytale romance.

Watch on YourTango.com: 2 Ways To Get On The Same Page With Your Man About Your Fantasies

20% of women in college are sexually assaulted

As a woman, a mother, a teacher, a therapist, I’m horrified and sad to know that 20% of women in college in the US experience sexual assault. This statistic has been challenged by men’s rights activists but a new study covering a wide variety of colleges indicates these figures may be accurate. (Source: That “flawed” statistic that 20% of women in college are sexually assaulted? It’s true

Thankfully, with more publicity and awareness, the volume on the discussion of sexual assault is being turned up in big ways. Colleges are increasing their prevention efforts including supporting education on campus focusing on consent.

This statistic also suggests that 1 in 5 women who attended college carry the trauma and emotional pain of having experienced sexual assault. It can be frightening to open up emotionally and physically with a loved one when memories of assault clutter your mind. But all hope is not lost, because you can heal your erotic relationship.

You don’t want sex, but your partner does

One of the most common reasons couples seek sex therapy is because of a difference in desire: one person wants sex but the other person doesn’t. It can be really frustrating both physically and emotionally for the partner who desires sexual connection. Sometimes it’s even frustrating for the partner who doesn’t want sex, but wants a happy, healthy, satisfying relationship.

So what do you do when your partner wants sex but you’re not in the mood? I shared some insight and advice with Ashley Papa, FOX News Magazine Contributor for this article.

Many couples use sex as a language of love. Feeling wanted sexually makes people feel loved and wanted emotionally, says sex therapist Dr. Tammy Nelson. “Feeling rejected for sex may make a person feel like they aren’t wanted, or even that they aren’t loved,” she says. “If you don’t feel like having sex, your partner may interpret that as you not wanting them.”

“There may be a time when having sex even when you aren’t in the mood is a gift for your partner,” says Nelson. “Having sex even if you aren’t feeling desire can trigger arousal, and then the sex can turn into a positive thing for the relationship.”

And if you just don’t feel like having sex at all, offer a rain-check. Making a “sex date” for later on will keep your partner feeling wanted and give you both something to look forward to.

My friend and colleague Ian Kerner author of She Comes First, contributed to the article as well. Ian suggests sharing with your partner the reasons why you’re not in the mood and reassuring them that you still find them attractive. “Don’t just say ‘not now,'” Kerner explains. “Often, there is no conversation about why one partner isn’t in the mood. Be honest about being stressed, having too much on your mind, or ‘not feeling sexy right now.’ You don’t want your partner to feel it’s their fault for the lack of desire,” he says. Check out Ian’s website at GoodInBed.com.

Read the full article on magazine.foxnews.com: What to Do When Your Partner Wants Sex But You’re Not in the Mood

Pay Attention to the importance of a healthy sex life

It’s Spring here in the Northeast – finally! Are you ready to break out of your Winter doldrums?

My personal affirmation for this exciting time of the year is “pay attention!” So much is happening so fast. From the hummingbird that hovered above my geranium on my back deck for a quick second, to my children who are growing up so fast, to the opportunities I can create in my life, I need to pay attention in a new way, a closer way.

Do you feel like an area of your life could use a bit more attention? Perhaps your sex life has taken a turn towards mundane? Sex plays an important role in your overall health and well being, so it should not be ignored. I explored how to break out of a sex rut with some of my colleagues in a recent YourTango video: The Best Way To Break Out Of Your Rut In The Bedroom.

I recently weighed in on the importance of a healthy sex life in a MedicalDaily article by Lizette Borreli: Use It Or Lose It: How Age, Hormones, And Masturbation Predict Sexual Health. The more sex you have, the more you want. Not sure how to up your game? E-mail me for an Individual or Couples Intensive session; I have two spots left this summer and can send you more information.

The bottom line is…get busy everyone and pay attention to what makes you and your partner happy. If you need guidance or support, I am here to help.

The Modern Family: Platonic Parenting

Family against dark sunsetLast year, following Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s announcement of their separation, I penned an article for HuffingtonPost about Conscious Uncoupling. The topic was hot in the media and with relationship experts for a few months until something new came along. Intentional or conscious uncoupling is a wonderful approach for couples looking to separate their lives after a period of companionship while still considering the well-being of all involved.

Some families have been trying a different approach for many years: platonic parenting.

Many couples seek couples therapy trying to reawaken the loving, sexual connection they once shared. For a few, they may be trying to discover a new way of relating to each other with love after years of struggling with sexual incompatibilities. They may remain happy as companions and desire to remain happily married, caring for their children while letting go of the sexual and romantic connection between them.

Newly platonic parents need to negotiate their new monogamy agreement to include housing and financial arrangements, how each person will get their sexual needs met, and how much will the kids know about their relationships.

Six phases of sexual intimacy

We meet in the grocery store, at a sporting event, or online then fall in lust, then fall in love. Next comes the engagement, wedding, and babies. Finally we end with an empty nest and aging bodies. Throughout a life time, relationships change dramatically, including our sex life. For most couples, sex becomes more intimate with time. I contributed to an informative article on Zoosk.com about the six phases relationships move through. I shared my advice for couples wanting to maintain a loving, intimate marriage through the ages.

Why Sex Changes Over Time in a Relationship

What phase is your relationship in?

Show your wife some appreciation on Mother’s Day

Tomorrow, when you’re showing your appreciation for the woman who raised you, be sure to remember a special moment for your wife.

Being a Mom is a full time job. One day a year a homemade card and pancakes in bed is not too much to ask for. A massage, a manicure, some attention, that’s usually what mothers want. Brunch, some shopping, or just some acknowledgement that the major sacrifices that they have made, every day of their lives since the moment of conception, is recognized and appreciated.

If Mom doesn’t feel appreciated, the resentment can erode the foundation of the entire marriage. Let’s face it, Mom wants acknowledgement on Mother’s Day not only from the kids but from the father of her children. If she doesn’t feel appreciated for the work she has done, the physical exhaustion and the emotional depletion that comes with mothering, she may turn outward for emotional renewal.

The biggest day of the year for female sign ups to AshleyMadison.com, the website for married people looking to cheat, is the day after Mother’s Day. In fact, in 2012 there was a 400 percent increase in female sign ups on the Monday after Mother’s Day. Noel Biderman, the CEO of Ashley Madison, says that Mother’s Day leads women to “magnify the flaws” of their husbands, and “leads to questions” about their relationships. This then leads them to think about “doing something different.”

Don’t let your wife feel disappointed this Mother’s Day. For some tips on how to make her feel appreciated, check out this blog I wrote for HuffingtonPost: Don’t Let Your Wife Cheat on the Day After Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day to my Wife