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?
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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Maybe you or your partner is uninterested in or uncomfortable with certain acts, such as oral sex. Both men and women can resist oral sex. What’s holding them back? The turn off could be anything: smell, taste, self-consciousness, discomfort, cleanliness, or fear of failure. But most of these concerns can be mitigated by change!
However, some things may be off limits entirely and we have to understand and respect our partner’s boundaries… How do we grieve for sex acts that we want but just aren’t on the table for our partners?
This week we’re talking about erotic blueprints. Like the 5 love languages—but all about sex! We all have different ways that we get turned on… Energetic, Sensual, Sexual, Kinky, and the Shapeshifter. Do you know your dominant style?
When partners have different sexual styles, they can be on completely different wavelengths and don't understand what their partner wants. How do you get them talking about it and into flexibility, so that they can meet each other's needs?
In a committed erotic life, you have to be willing to meet each other half way. Some of the time, figuring out what your partner's big turn on is and giving them that, keeps it exciting for both of you. How can we meet our partner in a different approach and learn to speak each other's erotic language?
Erectile dysfunction is a common issue and can be caused by a number of reasons such as anxiety, age, medication, and physiological issues. The good thing is, ED is treatable!
Anxiety is perhaps the number one reason for ED. Oftentimes the pressure of performing can become overwhelming and cause a disconnect because they are unable to relax. With unrealistic expectations that come from porn and society, men can be harsh on themselves and worry that they aren’t a good lover. Men are hindered from being in the present moment because they are concerned about their performance and focused on the “end goal” being ejaculation.
But what is the goal of sex and intimacy? Is it orgasm or deep connection? The goal is to focus on the love and the connection, not the finish line. Focusing on the connection without expectations can be an excellent anecdote for anxiety. If the goal is connection, there is a beautiful opportunity to use vulnerability to come alongside parts of each other that almost never get connection. When struggling with ED, men need reassurance from their partner and know that they will be loved and wanted regardless of the outcome. Learn to let your partner in during these moments and face those fears together, not alone. There is strength in sharing fears and overcoming them together.
What are the blocks that keep us from each other? Withdrawer blocks might look like taking space through laughing, walking away, or being too positive to avoid emotional pain. A sexual withdrawing block might be a headache or being busy. A sexual pursuer block may be angry pressure trying to motivate change or wishing to wake up their partner and drive a sexual action. Laurie and George show the way to see past the block. You don't have to be perfect but you CAN get through blocks. Take George's challenge about what to do with the blocks from your partner!
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Does your partner feel just outside of your grasp? Are you longing for a deeper physical and emotional connection? Pursuers and withdrawers have different needs and fears that need to be heard and understood... What do you long for?
Fulfilling each other's needs and desires can bring you closer together, but you have to communicate and create the space for this to happen. Pursuers fear rejection and often feel like they're being "too much." They need to feel wanted and fought for. Withdrawers fear failure of "letting their partner down" which is why they are hesitant to engage. They need to feel acceptance and reassurance from their partner.
You have to meet each other halfway... Pursuers—create safety by expressing your longing for both sexual and emotional connection to your partner. Be attentive to their needs and give affirmation of their feelings. Withdrawers—you hold a lot of power and being willing to initiate can go a long way. Meet your partner with excitement and reciprocate a desire for deeper intimacy.
When the pursuers longings are finally met, it can be very healing for both partners. Enjoy the afterglow moment together!
How can you navigate the world of online dating and find a partner with the qualities you’re looking for? How can you avoid wasting time on drama and ghosters and find people interested in a similar connection?
It’s hard to know much about a person by evaluating their online profile. Most profiles keep it surface level- their hobbies, career, favorite books, etc. But who are they really? What are their values? And what level of commitment are they looking for?
When you’re online dating with the intention of finding a partner and real commitment, it can be hard to decipher who is on the same page. And the “swiping” culture doesn’t help with clarity… Physical attraction can become the highest value and maybe you’re basing that first impression solely on their profile picture. Or maybe you’re only looking for casual sex, no strings attached. What’s important is being clear and upfront about your intentions and what level of commitment you’re looking for! Without communicating this, somebody could be hurt. Authenticity will prevent things from getting lost in translation and save everyone’s time.
Online dating can be tricky… and putting yourself out there can be a little scary! So, when you set up your online profile, ask yourself: Who am I? What do I need? What qualities are important to me in a partner? What kind of commitment and connection am I looking for? And then, make those values very clear on your profile.
Why is makeup sex so hot?! Emotions are so raw in the moment… and anger can be arousing! The passion is mutual and therefore, even hotter! Energy is high, inhibitions are low, and both partners are present. Distance is created when fighting and the act of makeup sex literally bridges that distance. The most threatening part of a relationship is right before the makeup scene… the riskiness. Which is why the experience of overcoming those fears together feels even better. It’s the mutual affirmation that brings greater connection—which equals greater sex!
But how can we skip the fighting and distance altogether and still get this kind of passion in everyday sex?! What risks can you take together that will bring you closer? It’s about being present in the moment together… Maybe it’s going on a high-adrenaline date together like skydiving. Or meeting in a bar as strangers! Even taking emotional risks and revealing vulnerable parts of yourself can be arousing...
Let’s open the door to the erotic mind of a female…What do women fantasize about? What gets them hot?
Not just fantasizing in the moment—but even daydreaming can be exciting. Our minds are designed to wander… Women often turn the switch “on” by thinking about old memories, fantasies, romance novels, movies, etc. These scenarios and thoughts tend to have more of a romantic narrative than men. There can be more emotional connection involved sometimes, but women also fantasize about being “taken” and respond to a man’s powerful, dominating sexual energy! There is no shame in whatever your fantasies may be, and it can be freeing to express those with your partner! If exploring those fantasies together increases your engagement and keeps you present in the moment—it’s a good thing! Creating the safety to have these conversations is a great start that will lead to a deeper connection.
In this week’s episode, Laurie shares her perspective on the erotic mind of women with George, and together they break down the themes of female arousal...
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Why do men struggle with expressing their emotions? Often they’ve spent much of their lives learning how to avoid feeling vulnerable at all costs—adhering to values such as toughness, assertiveness, logic, disciple, and confidence. They are trained to feel like expressing their emotions is a “weakness,” making them reluctant to embrace being vulnerable. How can we help men/ emotional withdrawers open up and be vulnerable?
As a partner, you can encourage vulnerability by creating safety. A soft approach is important to reassure the withdrawer that they aren’t doing anything “wrong.” Being too pushy can make the withdrawer more defensive and retreat. When initiating a conversation, it should be an invitation—not an accusation.
Being vulnerable can take time... so pace it and celebrate the little wins! We want men/withdrawers to embrace the positive benefits of vulnerability to bring deeper intimacy!