How to Compliment a Woman

Giving a really good compliment is a powerful skill that can help you create a passionate, amazing relationship. And while I 100% believe that it’s a useful talent, regardless of the gender of the person you’re giving it to, it’s even more important when you’re talking with a woman. There are lots of reasons for

When Is “I Feel Unsafe” A Weapon?

Update: I wrote this in December 2015. In April 2019, I wrote this post to explore how my thinking on this topic has changed. Do you want to know one of the most subtle and easiest ways to manipulate a partner? Tell them, “That thing you do makes me feel unsafe and you need to

How To Make Group Sex Fun

Here’s a question that someone sent me about group sex: My boyfriend and I have been together for a year. I love him a lot and the sex is great. He is the most sex-positive person I’ve dated, and is open to experimenting with me. I am curious about including others in our play, and

Getting Angry To Avoid Your Feelings

There’s a funny thing that people often do. I’m sure you’ve seen it, done it, or had it happen to you. We get critical or angry about something that we used to appreciate as a way of pushing it away or avoiding how we really feel about it. This has been coming up for me

Turn Towards The Feelings

As a sex & relationship coach, I get to see people while they’re in the middle of some difficult situations. I’ve mediated couples during arguments. I’ve worked with people when they’re stuck in their triggers. I’ve talked with folks who were in the middle of their emotional reactions. And over and over, I’ve witnessed how

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.

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:

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