Disappointment Avoidance Ruins Relationships

When therapists, relationship coaches, and sex educators talk about the things that get in the way of creating positive connection and intimacy, we often include things like shame, anger, resentment, and unspoken expectations. But there’s one more that doesn’t get as much attention, even though it has a huge impact on our relationships: disappointment avoidance.

Calming Breathwork to Relax Your Body

One of the more common reasons people find it difficult to experience pleasure, build connection and intimacy, or enjoy sex is that they don’t know how to slow down. In this ever-faster, multi-tasking, get-it-done-now, over-scheduled world, it’s easy to get spun up and hard to calm down. When you’re chronically wound up, sex often disappears

Start Where You Are

Have you ever wondered if it’s too late to improve your sex life? In the last few weeks, I’ve had several conversations with people who felt embarrassed that they were as old as they were and hadn’t figured out their sexualities. For a couple of them, their sexual exploration started when a partner died or

It’s Good To Be Self-Centered

I once read an article by a meditation teacher from Thailand. One of the practices he taught was meditating on compassion, in which you learn to sit with compassion for yourself, then your partner, then your family, your friends, your community, and eventually, the world. The idea is that you start in the center and

The Cloud of Relationships

Relationships are tricky, sometimes. OK, so that isn’t news. But I think there’s a way of looking at the complexities of our relationships that makes them a little easier to understand. When I ask people to describe how relationships work, they often describe them as a connection between two people. It looks something like this:

Embodied Pleasure Heals

There are lots of paths to sexual healing. Coaching, therapy, journaling, sexual experimentation, learning about sex and pleasure, reading- all of these can help you understand your unique relationship to sex. But there’s one approach that you might not have considered that has the potential to help you create the sex life you deserve. Embodied

Active Receptivity

Have you ever noticed how often people talk about sex in terms of the “active partner” and the “passive partner?” It’s a fascinating euphemism, and of course, what they’re referring to is who’s giving and receiving penetration. But separate from the fact that sex doesn’t have to mean penetration, I don’t see any reason to

What Are You Afraid To Feel?

I have a question for you and I want you to take a moment to sit with it before you answer. Are you ready? What are you afraid to feel? I’m not asking you what physical sensations you dislike. I’m asking you which of your emotions you avoid noticing. What feelings do you find uncomfortable,

Embodied Consent

How do you know what you really want in bed? When you’re in a sexual situation, what tells you what you want to do, from moment to moment? This is a really important question to think about because that internal sense of your own wants and attractions is where it all begins. It’s the first

When Anal Sex Doesn’t Work

Here’s a question that showed up in my in-box today: Sometimes, when my boyfriend and I have anal sex, it’s really fun. But other times, it just doesn’t work. That doesn’t happen when we have regular intercourse. What are we doing wrong? It’s sort of hard to give you a specific answer since there are

How To Get What You Want In Bed, And Not Get What You Don’t Want

One of the themes running through discussions of sex, relationships, and gender is the notion of consent: what it means, what it looks like, how to recognize it, and how to respond to it. I’m really glad to see more conversations about it because consent is the foundation of a happy, thriving sex life. But

How To Accept An Apology

I recently received this from a reader: My boyfriend did something that hurt me deeply, and while he has apologized many times and we have talked about it a lot, I can’t seem to let it go. I know this is in no small part because I have a pretty low tolerance for hurt in