Is it worth it to accept something that your partner wants to give you sexually instead of holding out for what you really want? Is something better than nothing? Laurie and George use a tried and true EFT principle called "slicing it thinner" - find a way to help your partner get closer to what you want without them losing themselves or feeling compromised.
The million dollar question! (for pursuers) how do you get someone to pursue their own pleasure. In our Q&A, Laurie and George see a reader’s point. For so many reasons it works better when your partner is engaged sexually - they supply desire that fuels the sexual fun, it’s a turn-on to see your partner in uninhibited abandon plus it takes the pressure off from always having to initiate. But there’s a flip side that is often dynamic.
Keeping connected is easier when we're in green brain - when our brain says we are safe, cared about and even loved - when we can relax, talk, listen with openness. Red brains are escalated, tense, maybe angry or in total shut down. Listen to George and Laurie talk about pulling a partner in red brain into the calm connected place where sex and connection can happen.
FOREPLAY welcomes Emotionally Focused Therapy, founder Dr. Sue Johnson to talk with us about George's driving and the sexual cycle. We laughed together about their early relationship and more seriously about George asking for help after 9/11 with the couples he was seeing and Sue's generous response. Sue gives us a keen example of a uber sexual pursuer and how his needs for attachment drive him even thought his behavior pushes his partner away. Listen up to our discussing with someone who has changed the world with her theory and life's work!
For an EFT Therapist or to purchase her bestselling books LoveSense or Hold Me Tight - contact Sue's organization: ICEEFT.com
Listen to this emotional episode to to help the withdrawers in your life. Trained to suppress emotions, withdrawers have decided early in life - it's is not okay to have needs. Their nervous systems don't trust because in the past people haven't shown up for them. Even if their pursuing partner are longing to be close and cover them with their love, their hearts believe others are not safe or dependable. George and Laurie think about the actual words that withdrawers might say when they finally reach out to their waiting partners.
Withdrawers in relationship are steeled against the three waves that come for them... first, they do it wrong for their pursuing partner, next it's their fault for withdrawing and third, they really are nothing after all. Can you see why it makes sense not to engage? If all you get when you engage with your partner is ultimately the knowledge about being not good enough, maybe unloveable - it's soo much better to stay distant. Laurie and George talk about the different strategies that withdrawers use to stay as far away from failing as they can.
We want to help pursuers get what they need and then take it into their hearts when it finally comes their way. We know there can be mistrust when a withdrawer at first tries to understand and meet the pursuer's need. Your longing for attention, engagement or sex has left you in fear of always feeling this way. It makes sense that when your withdrawer starts to come forward that you would have serious doubt about their intentions and authenticity. But Laurie and George want to set up both partners for a better reconnection.
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This is George and Laurie's love letter to those pursuers out there! We see how hard you work. Male or female, sexual or emotional pursuer. We see your good intentions. We see your longing for your partner. We know you are working hard at doing it right and often are only criticized when you blow it. But we are sending love and encouragement. Hang in there.
George says the value of my hour is equal to the value of your hour! Laurie says if there are big inequities in responsibility between couples - there's gonna be big problems in the bedroom! Hear G and Laurie exclaim over how important it is to get FAIRPLAY before FOREPLAY is possible. We know so many couples fight about this and we know it's so important to straighten this out in order to keep the bedroom hot!
Our Q&A - What happens when you can’t orgasm during intercourse like you used to? George and Laurie come up with many different ideas about what might be happening and techniques to help our listener. A listener doesn’t think Laurie gets hookup culture and why orgasm isn’t always the focus. Here’s to a deeper look at what people might be looking for. Heartbroken over her partner’s rejection due to herpes, we help a listener come to terms with what she needs to do.
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We all have scripts that have been handed down. Our families have told us how we are to behave sexually. Gender roles proscribe the way we should act in the bedroom. Our culture tells us what makes us valuable in sex. Let's examine these scripts instead of just unconsciously following them. Free yourself from scripts that might have outlived their purpose! Welcome special guest - Dr. James Hawkins from the postcast: The Leading Edge!
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What happens to sexual desire after marriage?
Everything can change! Men are usually sexually consistent throughout the dating process and marriage. Women, on the other hand, are statistically more likely to switch from sultry to celibate after the wedding cake digests. Even women who were sexually engaged throughout the dating process can fizzle out once they embrace married life.
For husbands, the switch can be confusing, and so in this episode, we will try to iron out a bit of that confusion by digging into what it is about marriage that dampens sexual desire.
Research concludes that in dating and early partnership, what secures a woman emotionally is male sexual desire.
Women rely on this primal sense from men that creates a feeling of being wanted. As far-fetched as it sounds, in early partnership, the man’s relative emotional availability is not meaningful in making her feel secure. What makes her feel secure is his sexual desire for her. In short, male desire drives female desire, but unfortunately, desire also has enemies.
While it’s easy to blame marriage, the byproducts of marriage–time and togetherness–are the real villains.
Listen as we talk about the real reasons for the shift in desire after marriage!
“Being desired is the best sexual orgasm for women.” – Meredith Chivers, Canadian sex researcher
What does your orgasm feel like? An orgasm is so powerful – It’s almost indescribable!
In this episode we talk about how to put words to it! And give you tips on how to talk about orgasms with your partner. Laurie and George also open up about what their own experiences are like… Practicing what we preach – VULNERABILITY!
If your partner asked you to describe how an orgasm feels in your body, could you do it? Would you do it?
It's difficult to find the words to describe the feeling and to explain what the body experiences during sex. Sex is, after all, a non-verbal language. However, that doesn't mean we should resign to remaining non-verbal about sex. Working through the discomfort of such an intimate conversation can improve the quality of our sexual encounters and, subsequently, our romantic connections.
If you're ready to talk about the big O, we have 5 open-ended questions you can use to keep the conversation flowing smoothly while improving the emotional connection you have with your partner.
The conversation isn't meant to put pressure on either of you. The ultimate goal of sex is pleasure and connection, not orgasm. Instead, it's intended to open the door to communication. It's a way to explore how orgasms work and don't work while encouraging intimacy. As the saying goes, "communication is lubrication."
A person’s sexual history is profoundly revealing.
Those who have attempted to discuss sexual histories with their lover know the conversation can elicit different emotional reactions. It can be awkward to ask your partner about their past or have your partner ask you about your sexual past, but the outcome of braving such a conversation is stronger intimacy.
Join George and Laurie as they get beyond numbers and into curious questions. Find success in discussing sexual histories, learn about your partner's accelerators and brakes.
Caveat: use caution if your partner is a jealous person.
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How do we heal the pain created by reaching for our person and finding they aren’t there? We’ve all experienced hurt and disappointment in relationships. When a healthy attachment is present, the pain is acknowledged, and you move past it together. However, when there’s an attachment injury, the process of moving forward is blocked...
Dr. Sue Johnson defines an attachment injury as a “feeling of betrayal or abandonment during a critical time of need.” If our lover isn’t there for us in those moments or doesn’t show up, it’s incredibly painful, and our bodies are smart enough to avoid future pain.
The pain we experience in these moments is sent to our limbic system. In response, our limbic system releases stress hormones, alerts our amygdala to danger, and embeds a message in the hippocampus that says, “Do not depend on this person again.”
The good news is that it’s never too late to heal an attachment injury! The body and the brain stand outside of time. Our bodies hold memories, and we can go back to them and heal them now. While you can’t change what happened, you can change how you feel about what happened, which can change everything.
Let’s talk about HOW to heal these attachment wounds… together.
Let’s talk about all things smooches! Types of kissing, “good” and “bad” kissers, what a kiss means to you…
Labeling someone as a “good” kisser implies a one-size-fits-all technique, but in reality, we don’t have good and bad; we have compatible and non-compatible kissers. Kissing is a matter of preference, attraction, attunement to your partner, and perhaps even genetics.
Once we become sexually active, we often throw kissing into the foreplay category and give it little thought, but kissing can be the end game. Kissing doesn’t always have to lead to sex! Kissing can be exciting, and my challenge to you is to let it stand alone. Spend a day making out with your partner and explore how that feels together!
Communication is, not surprisingly, key when it comes to kissing.
Does your partner prefer wet kisses or dry kisses? A hot and heavy makeout or soft and slow caress? Do you like to be touched while kissed? Where and how?
The bottom line is that you don’t know what your partner wants and they don’t know what you want unless you talk about it. When we explore kissing with our partner, we learn to dance together, and we learn to enjoy the kiss!
Shame and disgust are heavy words that inhabit dark places, but we can't avoid dark places if we want to experience the highs a relationship can provide emotionally and sexually.
The power of shame is in secrecy. We don't want to show our shame. We don't want to be rejected, so we lock away parts of ourselves and pray that no one sees us. The irony is that the antidote to shame is connection and empathy, gifts we can only receive when we allow others to see us.
Within the sexual cycle, shame takes many forms. We might feel shame over what we've done, over things that have been done to us, or over our desires and fantasies. Many feelings of shame and disgust are rooted in our childhoods (or trauma).
If one partner brings up a new sex act and their partner has a huge reaction of disgust, it can create deep shame for simply bringing it up or even disgust at one's self for having "such" ideas, further fueling the shame cycle.
So how do we close the gap and find attunement within this mismatched experience? The answer is communication.
Listen as Laurie and George roleplay and show you how to have these conversations with your partner – with safety.
Let's talk about five primary emotions: joy, fear, anger, sadness, shame, and disgust – feeling all of them is important, especially with your partner. Emotions are the language of the body. They say, "pay attention, something's happening!" But so often we don't pay attention, choosing, consciously or unconsciously, to disconnect...
We may have been raised in homes where anger was expressed in an unhealthy way, joy covered by a wet blanket, or shame used to control and manipulate our behavior. Regardless of how our childhoods taught us to relate to emotions, we can rewrite the script by creating healthy emotional attachments and responses.
While there are many tools we can use to do that, in this episode we're going to talk about co-regulation and co-creation ("CoCo.") And learn how to share and navigate emotions together.
If your loved one is excited, you match their excitement. If your loved one is angry, you honor their anger. Co-regulation is not co-dependency. Co-regulation does not say, "I feel happy only if you're happy." It says, "You feel happy, and I'm happy for you." Co-regulation allows the witness to be there for their partner while also honoring their own emotions.
Most of the time, people don't understand the emotion they're in, and they need someone to support them in a curious and non-judgemental way. Co-creation allows partners to act as witnesses for each other. By asking questions and being present, the witness can help the emoter explore and deepen their understanding of their feelings.
Listen to learn how to apply 'CoCo' to your relationship and create positive shifts in your emotional and sexual cycles!
Let's use the 3 road analogy to discuss the sexual and emotional cycles: the High, Middle, and Low Roads. Research highlights the importance of navigating all three roads for relationship success. The question is, how do we navigate them?
We’re putting all the pieces together in an exercise that will challenge your relationship and open the door to communication.
Balancing the High, Middle, and Low Roads within your relationship will require a conversation that isn’t for the faint of heart. In your relationship, attempting such a pointed conversation will probably come naturally if you are the Emotional Pursuer.
If you’re a Withdrawer, channel your inner Simon Cowell while expressing what you need to feel safe within the conversation. After all, clarity is kindness.
Listen to hear our 5 exercises that will engage you and your partner, and explore how each of you show up in the relationship!
EFT (or Emotionally Focused Therapy) walks couples through a de-escalation process, but what sets EFT apart is Stage Two. The second stage of EFT focuses not on “what’s wrong” but on making things right in the relationship.
Laurie and George celebrate as Laurie becomes certified in EFT and both thank Dr. Sue Johnson for the amazing gift of this therapy model!
In sex therapy, we discuss emotional patterns, but we also understand the interdependency between sex and emotions. One isn’t more important than the other, and when leveraging patterns to create lasting change, the sexual cycle can’t be ignored.
When the sexual pursuer learns to communicate from a place of vulnerability, the withdrawer feels a release of pressure that allows them to draw closer to the pursuer, which is ultimately what they both want...
In stage two, couples learn to replace the negative cycle with a positive cycle. They create “new moves.” The “new move” script in this episode is about compassionately sharing and accepting each other’s needs. By integrating these new moves into your relationship through better communication, you can continue to grow in sex and love…
Listen as Laurie & George talk you through a success script for addressing the sexual/emotional cycles in your relationship!