This weekend is a smorgasbord of information from creating healthy sex to information on the value of group workshops. Healing comes in many forms and fashions. The most important thing I recommend is make it your own!
Healing Souls Weekend Sexperiment: Creating Sex
Are you and your partner not having sex, is it boring, or are you afraid that your not doing it how you they want you to do it. Is the same old, same old getting redundant? Like chicken on Monday, pizza on Wednesday and your favorite left for Friday’s.
In a previous career I was a chef/owner/ sommelier (wine guy) at a small restaurant. Each day my staff and I would go to the market or have some farmers come into the restaurant and offer the fresh ingredients that were in season at the time. Often the simple invitation of a fresh vegetable or produce that was different or new would give us all a renewed renewal to cook or create. Sex isn’t that different. This weekend’s sexperiment is all about improving and improvisation, just like cooking. Throw the cookbook out. Don’t get me wrong it’s nice to know the directions and how to cook. Although, this is a whole other subject, and it’s a whole different story using what you know and improving with a fresh viewpoint.
Another unique thing we would do at the restaurant would take one ingredient AND use it for every menu item. COULD SOUND BORING RIGHT? OR MAYBE EVEN EXCITING. Imagine taking something savory like morel mushrooms and making an ice cream, different right?
I could go on and on with metaphors and stories of how sex, food and cooking relate. Ala Carte Menu (your choice) or Pre Fixe (Chef’s Choice) No matter which way you turn it. Food and Sex are one in the same.
The likelihood of this being exclusively a monogamous –hetersexual problem is highly unlikely. People that are single, polyamorous, fluid, pansexual, and or on the sexuality wheel of the 2018 are all-susceptible to boredom, fear, and unrewarding sexual intimacy.
SO, what can you do?
Having more options on the table greatly increases the likelihood that you’ll say "Yes" to one of them.
If I know my only option is plain old oatmeal, I’m going to skip breakfast half the time because there’s just nothing to get excited about.
But when I have multiple options to choose from, my decision transforms from "Should I eat breakfast or not?" into "Which breakfast option should I choose?"
This same trick works wonders with sex.
Put more choices on the menu when you’re initiating intimacy with your partner.
Change the decision from, "Should I have the same boring, predictable sex we always have?" to "Which of these different, intriguing options should I choose from?"
Most couples tend to default to doing the exact same thing in the bedroom over and over again.
I’ve even heard single people defaulting to there “go to” because they mentioned it worked in the past. --- Um really 7.4 billion people on the planet and your doing the same thing to everyone you meet… Houston we have a problem.
Heterosexual couples in particular, tend to default to having intercourse.
But intercourse very quickly turns into boring plain toast and black coffee, trust me there is nothing wrong with plain toast and black coffee. I hear from a lot of people their appreciation for black coffee. Sorry I digress. (Especially for men and women that only know one thing, or have never been taught anything different. More on this important topic next month!)
Instead, try this: Sit down with your partner, and make a list of the ways that the two of you could connect intimately. For example:
Lying in bed naked together.
Having a make-out session.
Talking dirty together about a fantasy.
One partner focusing on the other partner.
Getting each other off with your hands.
Watching porn or reading erotica together. Contradicting to many of my other blogs. Used in limited amounts and with an intimate intention there are sex positive uses for porn and erotica.
These are just a few examples, because the possibilities truly are endless.
When you initiate, tell your partner, "I want to spend some quality time with you. Would you be open to getting into bed naked together, or giving each other massages, or reading more of our erotic novel?"
Even just having a conversation with your partner about redefining what "sex" can mean can work wonders for your relationship, and help you both feel more excited about being intimate with each other.
More exploration the better!
Just like when I was in the restaurant playing with morel mushrooms and ice cream. Magic can happen spontaneously and without a previous experience. The more safe exploration the better, as long as you feel safe, welcome, and consensual – the menu is open.
More Workshops Coming Soon
Over the course of the last 5 years I have been doing pop-up workshops with clients and organizations on a wide spectrum of topics ranging from healthy sexuality, dreamwork, addiction, and relationships to learning new communication patterns. Throughout the workshops and meetings it is always great to watch how people come together to heal and support one another.
There will be more to come regarding new locations and topics.
I thought it would be helpful to share all potential values of interactive group therapy workshops.
Purpose for these workshops:
The instillation of hope. Since group therapy often includes clients at different stages in their treatment, some of the newer clients can find encouragement from seeing the positive impacts on clients further along in their treatment.
Universality. Just being part of a group of people who understand what you are going through and have experienced similar problems will help clients see that they are not alone, and that suffering is universal.
Imparting information. Group members can be a great resource of information for each other.
Altruism. Group therapy gives members a chance to practice altruism by helping others in the group, an experience that will likely help them as well.
The corrective recapitulation of the primary family group. This long-winded principle refers to the process of clients learning and exploring the childhood experiences, personalities, behaviors, and feelings of themselves and other group members, and learning how to identify and avoid destructive or non-helpful behaviors.
Development of socialization techniques. The simple experience of working in a group provides excellent opportunities to socialize, practice new behaviors, and experiment in a safe environment.
Imitative behavior. Clients can observe and imitate or model positive and helpful behaviors toward others in the group, including the therapist.
Interpersonal learning. Interacting with the therapist and other group members and receiving feedback can help a client learn more about themselves.
Group cohesiveness. Group therapy sessions can facilitate a shared sense of belonging and acceptance of one another.
Catharsis. This principle is based on the healing powers of sharing with others; talking through your feelings and experiences in a group can help relieve pain, guilt, and stress.
Existential factors. Although group therapy offers guidance and support through the group, it also helps clients realize that they are responsible for their own actions and the consequences that follow.
Dr. Ryan Westrum is a sex therapist that advocates and educates sex positive and healthy sexual living. Please contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 952-261-5269