Tag Archives: tips

The Healthy Sex Pyramid

Why is variety good for us?

I recently wrote a blog series about the importance of variety and novelty in relationships and in the bedroom.

When somebody’s sex life falls a bit flat, the popular wisdom is that you just need to “spice things up”.

But familiarity isn’t the enemy – sexual comfort and routine allows a couple to gain valuable knowledge and techniques for turning each other on, often lets them relax more during sex and experience less performance anxiety, and usually provides a sense of emotional safety in the bedroom.

But it is true that familiarity and sexual routine can become too dominant in a relationship, leading to less sexual passion, sexual boredom, and low prioritising of sex.

Continue reading The Healthy Sex Pyramid

Passion, Novelty and Hedonic Adaptation: In the Bedroom (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series I discussed the topic of Hedonic Adaptation from a general relationship perspective. Part 2 of this series will focus on the application of these ideas to the sexual domain.

To recap, Hedonic Adaptation in relationships is where, after a surge in happiness and passion at the beginning of a new relationship, people generally adapt to this scenario over time -the passion then reduces and happiness comes back down to the person’s previous baseline. Continue reading Passion, Novelty and Hedonic Adaptation: In the Bedroom (Part 2)

Passion, Novelty and Hedonic Adaptation: The Back Story (Part 1)

One of the advantages of a long-term relationship is the familiarity and comfort that develops as a couple – staying in for a cosy movie on a Friday night, building routines together, going to that favourite restaurant, feeling known and understood.

But if there is too much familiarity and routine in your relationship, this can lead to a significant drop in passion over time.

These observations are related to a theory called Hedonic Adaptation. Continue reading Passion, Novelty and Hedonic Adaptation: The Back Story (Part 1)

Reproduction Can be Very Unsexy

Part of my work has involved counselling with couples who are undergoing assisted reproduction such as IVF, donor sperm insemination, and donor egg and embryo use.

From this work I have noticed some key things about sex and reproduction:

  1. Sex can be unproductive;
  2. Reproduction can be unsexy; and
  3. Reproductive treatment can be downright sexually demoralizing.

Continue reading Reproduction Can be Very Unsexy

Long Distance Lovin’

My recent interstate move got me thinking about long distance relationships.

All relationships have periods of separation, whether it be due to work trips, leisure travel, or temporarily or permanently living in different cities.

In some circumstances, the distance might be a nice chance to have a little break from intimacy – an opportunity to miss each others touch and build anticipation for their return. Continue reading Long Distance Lovin’

Sexual Intimacy and the 4:2:1 Ratio

At the budding stages of a new relationship, there is often lots of hand-holding, kissing, cuddling and spooning, as well as sexual intimacy.

But as a relationship goes on, the balance of different kinds of intimacy can get out of order. This seems to be especially so for couples struggling with sexual difficulties, such as a desire discrepancy or performance anxiety. Continue reading Sexual Intimacy and the 4:2:1 Ratio

What is Low Sexual Desire? Part 2.

Part 1 of this blog series described three common kinds of “low sexual desire” concerns.

Whilst different kinds of sexual desire concerns need to be approached in different ways, there are several ideas that can be helpful in all scenarios. And this is what I will cover here in Part 2.

The four key ideas covered here are: Understanding spontaneous and receptive sexual desire, knowing the value of sex in your life,  using communication to negotiate a satisfying sex life, and exploring the conditions for good sex. Continue reading What is Low Sexual Desire? Part 2.

Sensuality is Not a Cat-Food Commercial

Consider the word “Sensuality”.

Take a moment to reflect on what images and feelings come to mind when you think of the phrase “Sensual”.

Sensuality has various meanings depending on who you talk to. And due to media portrayal, many people have a skewed picture of sensuality. The media seems to tell us that in order to be a sensual we must be: Continue reading Sensuality is Not a Cat-Food Commercial

Creating Mindful Moments

For a general introduction to mindfulness and how it relates to sexuality see Mindful Sex: Tuning In, Turning On

One common misperception of mindfulness or meditation is that the goal is to “clear your mind”. Therefore, many people tell me “I’ve tried meditation before, and it didn’t work for me. My mind just races too much.”

Well, their mind is doing exactly what is was designed to do – to think, to ruminate, to worry, to analyse – because all of these mind activities have survival benefits to humans.

When humans emerged tens of thousands of years ago, the landscape was very different to how we live now. Continue reading Creating Mindful Moments

The Paradox of Sexual Silence

I am continually surprised by how many people do not talk about sex with their partner/s.

But then again, it’s really not surprising given that communication around sex is not encouraged in our culture. In fact, it could be argued that we are actively taught not to talk about sex – just think of all the movie sex scenes where everything happens in complete silence (minus the passionate music) and talking during sex is represented as an awkward interruption to the moment.

As a consequence, many people have never learnt how to discuss sex comfortably and constructively. Many people feel quite uncomfortable even thinking about talking about sex. Continue reading The Paradox of Sexual Silence