Archive for the ‘Sex’ Category

Sexy time

August 15, 2015

Couples feet in bed

Ever wonder why sex in the long term can be so challenging?

There is no easy answer to this but there is much to be understood about sex in a long term monogamous relationship. I get asked questions like these all the time:

  • How can sex be exciting again?
  • Why do we fight so much about sex?
  • Why is she/he avoiding coming to bed with me? It’s like they don’t want to be intimate with me anymore
  • Why am I so anxious when I think about sex with my partner?

Common? Yes!

But why?

Once you are past the romantic phase of your relationship, and the Love Potion chemicals are no longer running so heavily, the passion that came so easily changes and like all things, needs to be cultivated and sparked. So many couples either don’t realize this is a natural phenomenon or don’t know how to keep igniting passion  so they end up having a very difficult time navigating their sexual lives. While sex starved relationships are rampant in our culture it still leaves us feeling sad, isolated and very dissatisfied.

If you have attended our Getting the Love You Want Weekend workshop we invite you to come to our annual 1 Day Sex and Intimacy Workshop. This year it is on September 26th from 9-4 pm.  If you want to register please go on our website at www.Imagovancouver.com. Registration is limited to 12 couples.

(Note: Only those who have attended the weekend Getting the Love You Want workshop are eligible).

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Feeling sexy eh?

June 23, 2014

Maybe it is the long dark night of Canadian winters but yet another study has indicated that Canadians have robust sex lives.  Almost 7,000 Canadians answered Canadian Living magazine’s annual sex survey of preferences and practices.

Researchers are not necessarily confident that respondents don’t exaggerate their answers inflating their answers in order to feel good about their sexuality. Nevertheless, the results indicate Canadians are generally satisfied with their sex lives and also embracing new trends in enriching their sexual expression.  Nearly 45 per cent of Canadians said they use technology to enhance their sex lives. 25 per cent sent  sexts;  15 per cent sent erotic photos and 4 per cent sent racy  videos.

And Canadians are eager to try new things to keep the spice in their sexual relationships. Some 58 per cent of respondents said they had tried anal sex;  33 per cent had tried bondage, 24 per cent had tried cyber sex , 30 per cent had tried role playing, 19 per cent had a threesome and 11 per cent had someone else watch their sexual encounter.

Some results aren’t a surprise, such as the fact that on average, men wish to have sex twice as often  as women or that the number one reason for lack of sex is relationship conflict. As one respondent put it, “when I’m mad at him, he’s in the penalty box of no sex!”

When asked where Canadians like to have sex, there were some memorable lines such as “We do it carefully in a canoe like Canadians, eh?” And  some old fashioned advice from an Alberta reader: “don’t try have sex while you are both swimming in the lake –fyi- it doesn’t work!” There’s a story behind that line!

See the survey results or click here: canadianliving.com/sexsurvey

2014-Sex-Survey

The greatest Valentine’s Day gift ever!! Quality time together

February 11, 2013

Don’t let your job or the kids or volunteer work or time with friends and extended family interfere with your committed relationship.

Many couples today find that being together doesn’t guarantee that they will have quality time with one another. If you are both busy, you have to plan to spend time together. Here are some ideas.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Varies

What you need:  commitment and a calendar!

Here’s How:

  1. Schedule a weekend just for the two of you. Write it on your calendar, put it on your computer planner, etc. Don’t change it for any other event. You don’t have to go anywhere.
  2. Have lunch together once a week. On nice days, meet in a park.
  3. Let your children know that you two need time alone together. Tell them they can knock on your closed bedroom door only if there is blood.
  4. Walk around the block together.
  5. Do chores together like the dishes or weeding. It may not sound like quality time, but it can be.
  6. When you are running errands together, turn off the radio or CD player in the car and talk with one another.
  7. Take showers together.
  8. Spend 20 minutes a day in daily Imago dialogue. “How do I feel about today?” is a standard dialogue question. Remember, dialogue is a gift you give to one another. However, it is a gift with no strings attached.
  9. Arrange for a quiet evening at home alone once a month.
  10. Hire a babysitter to watch the kids for a couple hours even though you are home. This works wonders!
  11. Work out a deal with another couple to have them watch your kids overnight so you can have a romantic evening alone … then you watch their children for them.
  12. Schedule dates with one another. Having an evening or afternoon out together twice a month is a good beginning.
  13. Think about coming to one of Imago Vancouver’s updates for graduates of the Getting the Love You Want workshops.
  14. When you travel together, don’t take work on the plane or road trip. Spend that time talking with each other.
  15. Have a one-night stand with each other.

Bottom line: if you don’t schedule time for one another, you won’t have the time.

Dare ya –

What are you going to do to schedule a quality time date with your beloved? (Remember don’t wait for your partner to do it. You do it. Life happens while you are waiting).

Yours truly on Valentines 2013,

TA

Getting Your Sex Life Back In Gear

July 25, 2011

IMAGO Director, Tim Atkinson interviews YourTango.com Expert & Sexologist, Tammy Nelson for her thoughts.

Is it just a natural part of getting older together that our sex life is going the way of the Dodo?” asked Brenda and Simon. “We really care for each other, but on the rare times it happens, sex is pretty dull.

Tammy Nelson made quite a stir in 2008 with her book Getting the Sex You Want in which she applied Imago Relationship Therapy to restoring the love lives of couples like Simon and Brenda. “Sometimes couples wonder if their marriage is simply past its expiration date” she told me. “They are asking whether it’s time to trade in their partner for a new model.

Simon doesn’t want to be unfaithful, but makes up for lack of action in the bedroom with internet porn. That leaves Brenda worrying that it might not just be the sex that’s wrong, but that the whole relationship is fading away. “We don’t even really know how to talk about it” they shared with Tammy.

Not knowing how to talk about sex is extremely common in relationships, and Tammy’s response is to use Imago Relationship Therapy to get Brenda and Simon talking about the deeper things that really matter.

Step 1 – Talk about what it is you are missing in a positive way

Shortly before my last marriage ended, my wife would say to me things like “get some help with your sex technique.” Other days she might complain, “You don’t find me attractive anymore.” From Tammy I learned that these comments are painfully common, and are just as effective as saying nothing and silently seething. Instead, it’s important to find a way to share your concerns in a positive way. “I’m feeling distant from you” might be one way, or “I’m missing those wonderful times we had together.”

Step 2 – Talk about what sex means to you

“Usually at least one partner feels guilty and anxious about the lack of sex” explained Tammy “So it’s helpful to start connecting around sex in a way that looks at the deeper needs, rather than the physical details.” Tammy coached Simon and Brenda in a way of talking called the Imago Dialogue. She would ask each partner to share what sex means for them. One might say “Sex for me is about being emotionally connected”, and then the other would mirror that back, repeating what they heard. The mirroring process helps build connection, because each partner feels really heard. Mirroring becomes more important the deeper the conversations go.

Step 3 – Appreciate your partner

When couples talk about what is going wrong, things go more wrong. For example, men tend to avoid sex altogether if there is any suggestion of dysfunction. It’s easy in these conversations to shift the blame on other things, like too much stress at work. Soon discussions about sex get blocked, waiting for the external world to change. And it rarely does.

Instead, turn the conversation around. Tell your partner “One thing I really appreciate about you sexually is…” This will be even more effective if you can both use the mirroring process described in step 2. You can add “One thing I really like about our sex life is…”

Tammy encouraged Simon and Brenda to talk more about the whole sexual experience. “It’s not all about the finish line” she says “but finding the delight in each moment couples share together.”

Step 4 – The weekly sex date

I was quite taken aback when Tammy told me that her advice for a couple wanting to resuscitate their sex-life is to set aside a regular time for sex. “Same time, same day of the week, whether you feel like it or not.” she prescribed. “Even if you are angry or tired!”

I always thought that sex should be spontaneous, but Tammy changed that. “Marking a regular date in the calendar sets up some anticipation, and helps couples begin to look forward to it. Simon and Brenda were resistant, but willing to at least try it. They found, like many, it worked well for them for a few weeks, and started to get the sizzle back.” She explained.

But after about six weeks many couples hit a wall. That’s when it might be time for some good “nuts and bolts” type conversations about what happens in the bedroom, and maybe get a little specialist advice.

Step 5 – Get exciting

Now is the time to start using the Imago Dialogue to explore more about what you really want sexually. Stay in the positive, telling your partner “Something sexual I enjoyed in the past…” and then expand into what you would like more of in the future.

At this stage Tammy starts coaching couples to share fantasies. “These aren’t necessarily things that couples are really going to do” explains Tammy “it’s more important for their partner to understand what these fantasies mean to their partner emotionally.” Tammy calls it sexual empathy.

One example may be a partner who wants to be blindfolded, but her partner didn’t want to do this because he felt it was degrading to her. Through Imago Dialogue he learned that his partner felt that being blindfolded would free her from insecurity about her body, and enable her to be more fully engage in pure sensation. It became a new point of connection.

Tammy’s work is deeply rooted in Imago Relationship Therapy, where creating deeper connection is all important. She believes that eroticism is an important part of that connection, bringing a fresh energy into the relationship. As sex becomes a world of new adventure and discovery, Brenda and Simon can fall deeper in love than ever before.