By Lily, Already Pretty Contributor
Hello again! I hope thus far your journey has been enlightening and I hope that you are feeling more connected and grounded in your body. As you are able to embody what you desire, you may be ready to share it with others. Typically when people want to be brave in the bedroom, it is because ultimately they want to be brave in their bodies while sharing the experience with others. Part three will explore this through communication, non-sex sex (NSS), and partner exploration.
Sharing with a Partner
When is the last time you had an honest conversation with your partner(s) about sex? Communication is at the core of a satisfying and enriching sex life with others. No one is a mind-reader, so just like we wouldn’t expect someone to know our favorite food without telling them, we cannot expect them to know innately what we want and don’t want in bed.
I understand that there are often reasons why we don’t have these essential conversations. For one, talking about sex can be awkward or seem impossible especially since we likely weren’t taught how to have these intimate conversations. You may have every desire to start talking about sex and yet aren’t sure how to. Here is my best tip: be honest. Start by sharing that this conversation makes you feel nervous, scared, embarrassed, _____ (fill in the blank) and yet, you know how important it is so you’re going to start it. Chances are, your partner will feel similarly and feel relieved you’ve started it. This is a great opportunity to deepen your bond and intimacy.
Sometimes we don’t have these conversations because we don’t feel safe being so vulnerable. Perhaps you have tried before and it didn’t go so well and you’re now terrified to talk about it. I would encourage you to take time to get clear about what you want to communicate and again, begin with honesty. If it still doesn’t feel safe, it may be an indication that you may need some support in facilitating this conversation. A sex therapist would be an excellent resource for you.
Ultimately, by communicating, we are empowered to shape and create the sex life we desire and deserve.
2). Non-Sex Sex (NSS)
Non-Sex Sex (NSS) is a term I coined for what are essentially the acts we do for our sweeties – and what they do for us – that build emotional intimacy, which directly encourages physical intimacy. By showing our sweeties we cherish them, it invites true intimacy, both emotional and physical. Largely, the more emotionally connected we feel with our sweeties, the more physically intimate we will be. If you would like some NSS ideas, I invite you to download a free copy of my eBook: “Non-Sex Sex: are you having any?” here.
3). Partner Exploration
Have you ever really explored your sweetie’s body? Has your partner ever really explored your body? Even if you have, I encourage you to try it again with curiosity and the intention of discovery. Slow way down. Notice every curve. Continue to check-in with your partner by asking if they like what you are doing, if they would like you to change anything about your touch. Once you are done exploring, invite your partner to do the same to you. You may discover new areas and sensations that you or your partner enjoys that you may not have known before.
Additionally, in tying communication and exploration together, you can do the “yes/no/maybe” exercise. Grab a piece of paper and draw two lines to create three columns. Write “yes,” “no,” “maybe,” at the top of each column. In your own time and space, go through and write down everything you are willing to do in the “yes” column, everything that you absolutely won’t do in the “no” column and anything you are open to trying with the right circumstances in the “maybe” column. Once you have completed it, share it with your partner and compare your lists. Be gentle, open, and honest with one another allowing this to also begin a conversation about sex.
Phew! This concludes the third part of our trek – we are almost to the top of this mountain. Be sure to make time to relax, take a break, and breathe. Notice the progress you’ve made and give yourself a hug for making this a priority. We will be finishing up this journey in the next and final post of this 4 part series.
As always, I welcome your feedback. Have you found any of these to be helpful? Do you have any other suggestions that you care to share with us?
Until next time,
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Dr. Lily A. Zehner is a therapist who specializes in sex, intimacy, and relationships. Her private practice, The Center for Authentic Intimacy, is located in both Denver and Wheat Ridge, Colorado. She holds a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and a Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy from Regis University.
She is passionate about living authentically and helping clients do the same. She believes that letting our real selves shine is the key to self-love and finding true intimacy with others. She believes all bodies are good, beautiful, and perfectly imperfect. At times she struggles with this about her own body, but self acceptance can be a challenging road and it’s one she’s willingly chosen.