Laurie and George discuss the 'still-face' experiments and how that shows up in the bedroom.
Sex and emotions—there’s a delicate balance between the two, an overlap that can’t be ignored. Emotions can enhance sex or inhibit sex, and sex can enhance emotions or inhibit emotions.
Borrowing concepts from the attachment theory, we dive into how sex and emotions intertwine by exploring the role of the Pursuer and Withdrawer...
Great episode for EFTers – So important for therapists to know how to leverage the sexual attachment cycle in order to get change in the emotional attachment cycle and vice versa!
While we don’t always fall neatly into a cycle, there is always a cycle, some level of interdependence. This interdependence can shift as patterns and is not concrete. A Pursuer can become a Withdrawer, or you might find that you were a Pursuer in an old relationship and a Withdrawer in your current relationship. The patterns are not your personality; they are a response to the complexity of sexual and emotional connections.
Understanding yourself and your partner requires intention but a balanced connection is worth the effort.
What can we learn from Hollywood about balancing sexual 'yin and yang'? In this episode, we'll focus on sensuality as a pure act of giving, and on the importance of balance between the yin (sensuality) and the yang (assertiveness) of sex.
Shifting from yang to yin asks us to unravel our unrealistic views of sex, and Hollywood occasionally provides the perfect how-to guide. Let's talk about three movies with scenes that perfectly capture yin sensuality...
The movies we discuss all focus on men performing sensual acts for women – but ALL genders crave sensuality. A back scratch, a hair massage in the shower, an affectionate touch in the middle of the day, all of these efforts allow the mystery to unfold between partners.
Focusing on the mystery is focusing on the journey – which is where endless possibilities unfold...
Want to explore new moves with your partner, but don't know how to ask? How can Pursuers approach and encourage their Withdrawer partner to open their mind to new things?
Pursuers can get discouraged themselves after being rejected time and time again; They assume it is a hopeless attempt and stop trying, eventually resulting in pain, distance, and resentment.
When we want variety or want to suggest something new to our partner, energy and enthusiasm can carry the day. When there is reluctance, a Pursuer needs to resist the wish to fall back and at least bring their heart and passion.
On the flip side, the partner receiving the request can really support their partner’s vulnerability at asking, with encouragement and responsiveness. Unfortunately, when a sexual Withdrawer is the suggester, it can feel like just a drop in the bucket compared to all that has been longed for. Instead of receiving the new suggestion with grace and gratitude, it often becomes an opportunity for the sexual Pursuer to complain and feel disappointed.
In order for Withdrawers to feel safe enough to initiate or try new things, Pursuers must acknowledge their effort and vulnerability – no matter how "small."
Pursuers – in order to open a conversation about sexual variety, ask your partner what THEY want and need, and tell them what YOU want and need. With your heart and deep vulnerability.
All of us have struggles communicating, and these struggles often seep into the bedroom. As sex and couples therapists, we often run into couples who avoid talking about sex and sexual needs. Instead, they defer to an avoidant-style habit that can be a sex life killer: making assumptions.
When we make up stories about our partner, it kills the curious drive that creates sexual magic. When we assume our partner knows what we want, we forfeit the possibility of getting our needs met.
People make up stories and assumptions for understandable reasons. They do it to avoid embarrassment or vulnerability. They do it because they don't want to hurt their partner, make them feel insecure, or because communication wasn't received well in the past. But no matter the reason, we can't stop trying. The cost of not sharing is so much worse!
Let's talk about some practical solutions to breaking the habit of assumption, and talking explicitly to get better sex.
Where were you on 9/11? We all remember. It's been 20 years.
Most of us were stunned, watching the twin towers fall, but George was with the FDNY rushing to Ground Zero, following his training, following his instinct to get people out of there.
Listen up as he shares about the worst of times -- the horror of the day and months to come, searching for people who were still alive and finding none. And the best of times -- the support and love that people poured out to the first responders, to their neighbors -- the cohesion of a community and a nation united. "There's value in pain if we face it with others." -- George Faller
Today, we honor George and all the first responders who ran toward the danger. We send gratitude and peace to Kathy Faller for watching her young husband leave in the midst of chaos, not knowing what would happen and for holding down the fort afterwards. To both of them, we celebrate that in the midst of fear, they could turn towards each other and find comfort.
G - we love you! Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing with us.
#20YearsLater #911 #FirstResponders #NeverForget #SendingRespect #PrayingForYourPeace #LieutenantFaller #28Truck #BraveHearts #343FireFightersGone #HarlemHilton_Manhattan #HelpingCouples #SueJohnsonTrainsGeorge #DoctorLove
Couples who find themselves stuck in the boring and mundane are often couples who have failed to be vulnerable.
George uses a three-road analogy to explain why some couples remain in mediocracy. The High Road—the road of great energy, great sex, vacations, and excitement.
The Middle Road—the grind of everyday life. It’s doing the dishes, mowing the lawn, and cooking dinner.
The Low Road—relationship depth. It’s diving into deep conversations, sharing, and vulnerability.
Failure in vulnerability reinforces our opposition to vulnerability and keeps us from exploring the Low Road. We perceive failure when we share with our partners, and they react by trying to fix us (yellow zone), blame us (yellow zone), or shutting down and saying nothing (red zone). Vulnerability contains a sense of danger.
When someone is vulnerable, it's important to understand that they are already in the yellow zone. Every couple must face the dilemma of addressing vulnerability. When our fears and triggers arise, if we draw closer to our partners and see beyond our triggers, we can rebalance our relationships.
We always talk about sexual Pursuers and Withdrawers—those who seek sex and those who withdraw from it.
Because sexual Pursuers are usually the sexual initiator, they are often facing rejection. Over time they become anxious about initiating. For Pursuers, rejection goes beyond being told “no” when they make a sexual advance. Rejection also happens when they perceive or assume rejection. It may seem unfair but it feels true to the sexual Pursuer.
Pursuers are prone to stories from others, past experience, and ideas they tell themselves about what they will happen if they ask for sex. The feelings created by potentially false assumptions are as real as the sting of actual rejection and can leave a pit in their stomach.
Couples (Withdrawers and Pursuers) usually have opposite protective strategies which can create psychological, sexual tension and frustration from the negative cycle.
How can Withdrawers seek to understand and help their frustrated sexual Pursuer? We’re breaking down 5 ways Withdrawers can protect their partner from rejection!
It is believed that 3-6% of people in the U.S. struggle with sexual compulsion, all genders can be affected. Sometimes sexual activities become compulsive and lead to damaging pattern in people's relationships and work lives.
Defining sexual compulsion is best done by identifying certain patterns and behaviors... Some of these include overindulging in porn, loss in interest in sex with their partner, having a "secret" life seeking seeking sexual activities elsewhere, the escalation of risky sexual behaviors, or neglecting responsibilities due to their sex addiction.
It’s difficult for many to understand what drives a person into these behaviors, which are clearly antithetical to relationships and how love-making bonds us to our partner. How do we understand and begin healing sexual addiction?
We talk a lot about romance outside of the bedroom, but what does a romantic interlude look like? “I wish my partner were more romantic in bed” is a statement we often hear from women. “Are you kidding me?” is a retort we often hear from men. “I thought we were done with all the jumping through hoops after we got married.”
While it is true that many men feel as described, it’s also true that both men and women appreciate romance and thoughtfulness in relationships. Bringing romance to a relationship will differ for everyone but based on our experience, there are 4 important elements for adding spice to the bedroom!
Let's break down each of these steps!
In this episode, we explore grief through the lens of sexual intimacy... For many couples, sexual intercourse is a safe space where they can be vulnerable, knowing that they can reach out to their partner and their partner will reach back. No matter what you are experiencing while working through sex and grief, the goal is not to force one behavior or another but to communicate so that you can return to that safe space when the time is right.
As therapists, we often see clients who successfully navigate the emotional aspects of grieving while failing to address the sexual side of their relationships.
It’s not uncommon for us to work with couples who are not having sex. Often, those couples can trace the loss of intimacy back to a period of grief. It’s understandably a difficult position: How do you maintain a sexual connection with your loved one while honoring the grieving process?
Grieving is a complex topic. Sex is a complex topic. Talking about both may seem awkward – but for anyone in a relationship, the reality is, sex and grief will eventually converge. When couples are faced with the terrible loss of a loved one, this conversation can comfort and add to their security with each other when they need it the most.
In memory of Mary Louise Faller
Q&A episode!!! We're answering a bunch of different questions from our listeners about the science of attraction, faking it, and how to bring sexy back!
What does scientific research say about attraction and desire?? What visuals spark chemistry and the get the erotic mind flowing? Hint: Red is SEXY! Like our Foreplay colors ;)
How can you bring passion back to the bedroom when you get a little too comfortable? Couples slip into habits... The key is being intentional, and building anticipation and excitement...
These questions... and more! Listen to Laurie and George answer YOUR Q's in this week's episode!
We often use the word "tango" in EFT in context of the cycles, patterns, or feedback loop that couples can get stuck in. How do you change that dynamic? To break free from the negative cycle you have to see the interdependency – it takes effort, vulnerability, and engagement from BOTH partners. Change can't happen without meeting each other halfway!
Pursuers and Withdrawers: What are some new moves to help you better understand each other's needs and strengthen your emotional and sexual bond?
For both pursuers and withdrawers, acknowledging the attempts of your partner and making them feel heard and seen, is the key to changing the dynamic you are stuck in. You have to protect each other and always reward the vulnerability and risks of your partner!
Affairs devastate the trust and connection in a committed relationship… Although healing after an affair is a delicate process and can feel impossible, we believe that recovery and reconnection is possible! What works best to restore the relationship and trust?
Acting out in an affair is often a sign of problems with the person’s life or relationship. A push/pull dynamic can fuel the infidelity…
While sexual betrayal strikes at the very heart of commitment, marriages and partnerships can often emerge stronger after an affair. Join sex therapist Dr. Laurie Watson and couples therapist George Faller, LMFT as they talk about the causes and how to recover from the pain of infidelity...
We’ve talked about what turns women on… let’s hear about men!! It might not be what you expect...
We’re borrowing from Michael Castleman’s insightful research on male libido. Contrary to popular belief about what turns men on – a supermodel, beauty, lingerie… the research actually says there are much bigger, deeper factors.
The #1 factor? Desire, feeling wanted. Let’s talk about some of the main factors that impact male libido...
All gas, no brakes!! We're using our acronym B.E.S.T. sex to talk about turn ons and turn offs. What works, and what doesn't work. Body, Emotional, Spiritual, and Thoughts... Use B.E.S.T. to be more intentional and find practical tactics to apply to your relationship.
B.E.S.T. sex is all about attunement! When your partner knows what you like, what you need, and how to touch you, that's hot stuff! The best love is when you feel safe, safe enough to take risks and know you'll still be accepting. A big part of great sex is to keep growing together, and the best lovers are vulnerable.
We've got some homework for you! Write down your turn ons and turn offs using the B.E.S.T. acronym and share them with your partner!
How can you develop your erotic mind? The BRAIN is the best sexual organ we have! Engagement of the mind is important and developing eroticism can bring new energy into your relationship!
Fantasizing about and longing for your partner leading up to the experience itself, builds anticipation - a major turn on. The unknown, “what could happen next?” feeling, common in the dating phase, that can be so exciting. Fantasies fuel arousal; They are great bridges into the moment. Sharing these fantasies with your partner and exploring them together - opens a new door to vulnerability… “What do you like?” “What do you think about?” - Get specific!
Reminder: It’s OKAY to fantasize, to let your mind wander… don’t judge your own thoughts, or your partners! Be open to vulnerability and use fantasies as an opportunity for connection. Strengthening your erotic mind will inevitably strengthen your bond and relationship.
Do you feel stuck in the negative cycle? What's not working?
Couples usually understand what’s not working, but not what they could do differently. It is difficult for pursuers to understand where their withdrawer partner is coming from... and vice versa.
But you are not helpless victims to the negative cycle! There are things you can do; You can control own your new moves. You can learn new ways to approach your partner that recognizes their needs.
In this week's episode, Laurie and George teach you new moves— for both pursuers and withdrawers!
When someone is committed to fidelity and their partner absolutely does not want sex—is there any hope?
Technically, sexless is considered less than 10x a year—but for some people, there is no sex. Sometimes each partner still has desire but they don’t know how to talk about it. They may even masturbate on their own but feel it’s too complicated to share with their partner. Sometimes the sexual pursuer just gives up and becomes a sexual withdrawer.
The danger of a sexless marriage is that the couple may not feel the love of or for their partner and become subject to the temptation of others. They may long for the sexual connection they shared in the beginning; George and Laurie share some ideas about how taking their clothes off again can be safer.
What sexual cues turn women on? Here’s a hint—interest is sexy! 32% of women lack sexual interest, according to a research study by Meston & McCall, “Cues Resulting in Sexual Desire for Women.” The study found that increased sexual cues resulted in increased frequency for females. In this episode, we’ll talk about the many cues that trigger a woman’s desire!
Female sexual desire has a more emotional component to it; Women are more externally triggered in relationship factors and setting; connection and presence. What kind of cues increase her desire? Let’s get specific. In this episode, Laurie and George break down the cues from the study: emotional bonding cues, erotic/explicit cues, visual/proximity cues, and romantic/implicit cues.
“Cues Resulting in Sexual Desire for Women” (Meston & McCall): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2861288/
In this episode, we’re answering YOUR questions!! We find that the questions can be repetitive because couples are struggling with the same sexual and emotional issues… Let’s talk about a common theme we hear from our listeners: Willing vs wanting.
Couples find themselves at a sexual "crossroads" with two options: breakthrough or breakup. How can you avoid the latter and instead find an opportunity to connect on a deeper level both emotionally and in bed? People get separated and divorced… not because they don’t love their partner, but because the distance gets too great. The mistrust gets too great. They become stuck in the negative cycle. But you can BRIDGE that distance and have a breakthrough with higher levels of engagement, more love, and better sex!
We love hearing your feedback! Ask us your questions on our website: www.foreplayrst.com/contact
How can you better approach and communicate with your partner about your feelings and needs? Reflect, Evocative Response, Validate...
In this week's episode, Laurie and George give you concrete tools and bridging exercises to build your connection and understand each other on a deeper level.
R- Reflection - You’re telling me how sex makes you feel alive in your body.
E - Evocative response - Can you tell me also what you feel about me in your heart when we have sex?
V - Validate - It makes sense that orgasm makes you feel merged with me and kinda one with the universe.
Starting these conversations opens the door to vulnerability; The goal is connection, not to solve the problem. When you experience success in that communication, that feeling of connection is what will eventually allow you to solve the problem.
Have you experienced a state of “flow” during sex? What is the correlation between flow and sexual satisfaction? A new research study by Jamea, E. N., McCaskill, L.A., & Needle, R. B. (2021) found that flow proved to be a significant positive predictor of both partner-focused and personal sexual satisfaction. In this episode, Laurie and George talk about how to find this sexual rhythm that will help you fall into each other, lose yourself in the moment, and merge together as one.
In general—how do we control happiness and contentment during sex? By entering the zone... Happiness requires a committed, intentional effort. When we become absorbed in a flow:
Get in sync with your partner and have passionate, fulfilling, and BETTER sex!
Check out the article and research by Dr. Emily Jamea, Ph.D., LMFT, LPC!
We are keeping HOT this week! Real talk about female pleasure and the clitoris…
Discover new techniques to increase pleasure during sexual intercourse. Using research from OMGYES and Laurie’s sex therapist experience, we hear about techniques to try—both physical and psychological—to help your partner experience more pleasure. Women: FEEDBACK is important, so being vocal about what feels good or even showing your partner can help you have better sex and intimacy. In this episode, we’ll discuss 4 techniques from the study: angling, rocking, shallowing, pairing, and kegel squeezes!
Explore even more techniques with informative videos and graphics at OMGYES.com. Our listeners get a 10% discount with our link OMGYES.com/foreplay!
Research by OMGYES gives insight into how women can increase their pleasure in vaginal penetration. In partnership with Indiana University and Kinsey Institute researchers, OMGYES has interviewed and surveyed thousands of people with vulvas about what’s made their pleasure better. Everybody is different—What works for you?
Finding out what works for other people can help you find NEW things that expand your pleasure.
THERAPISTS AND CLINICIANS: This has been such a valuable resource for us to use as sex and couples therapists! We highly recommend it for sex-positive educational purposes, PLUS certified nurses, clinicians and therapists get free personal access—so you can see whether you want to recommend it to clients! All you need to do is email your professional website/profile to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Anal play, anal penetration, prostate stimulation or anal sex. While we may feel squeamish about this subject - the anus IS an erogenous zone charged with sexual nerve endings. It's also a body part that from childhood that we've been taught is contaminated and dirty. We may even feel shame about the anus. Especially we might feel shame about our desire to include it in our lovemaking and then never talk to our partner about these ideas. We're not trying to get you to try anything you don't want to try. But George and Laurie are trying to get you to have a conversation about it. We want people to see the opportunity in these vulnerable conversations to share who they are. Even if you don't get what you want, there is something important about knowing yourself and knowing your partner better. If we protect ourselves and don't have these conversations, we ultimately have lower engagement in our partnerships.
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