#219 – No, this is not your soul mate – Tracy Crossley

#219 – No, this is not your soul mate – Tracy Crossley

Listen to “219: No, this is not your soul mate – Tracy Crossley”

This is not your soul mate 

How we were raised as kids, how consistent our parents (or caretakers) were, and how safe and loved we felt when we were young can shape our attachment style during our adulthood. Tracey Crossley walks us through secure and insecure attachments in relationships and how our upbringing plays out in our intimate relationships as adults. 

Insecure and secure attachments 

Our relationship with our caretakers from the time we are born greatly affects our having either a secure or insecure attachment with other people in our adulthood. Secure attachment starts when the child trusts the caretakers and feels an emotional bond with them. They don’t worry that if you leave the room you’re not coming back. On the other hand, if there is insecure attachment, the child can have different reactions and could become avoidant. These experiences as kids, we bring with us to adulthood. 

How does insecure attachment show up? 

It shows up in a variety of ways, but many people don’t realise where it’s coming from. Naturally, deep down, all of us want to be securely attached and feel loved. But our conditioning says something different, so we seek what we know. We repeat the same sort of familiar feeling and situation that we had as a child. It affects how we feel and how we act. This sometimes led to confusion and even attracting dysfunctional relationships. Even though we want something different, part of us wants the familiar, which doesn’t serve us so well. 

Do we have a soulmate? 

People would be looking for a unicorn when they look for their soulmate. People who are securely attached do not say they found their soulmate. They usually are just happy that being with their partner feels good and there is no need to give it a label. When you do not have that sense of security, that’s when you tend to come up with labels as though it’s some sort of magical thing that’s going to happen. The idea of happiness and satisfaction about finding your soulmate is a moment in time and not related to reality. It’s just about the fantasy you have about what the other person is bringing to you and how it will make you feel. 

How do insecurely attached people respond to sex vs securely attached people? 

Insecurely attached people usually perform acrobatics in the bedroom. They’re all about how great they are at sex and that’s like their secret weapon. They’re going to hook you through sex and do whatever it takes to hold on to you so you don’t go away. Very strong feelings of desperation are usually involved in insecurely attached people. Meanwhile, securely attached relationships are not so much about just sex but how you are creating intimacy. Sex is a part of the relationship, but it is not the whole relationship and the intimacy comes from emotions rather than the physicality.  

Anxiety in relationships 

Tracey Crossley paints a picture of anxious-avoidant, anxious and avoidant people and how they react whenever they are in a relationship, or lack thereof. She stresses that one big thing missing in a healthy relationship is anxiety. Instead, there should always be progression. Moreover, do not dwell in fantasy land looking for that perfect partner. Always do a reality check , be in the moment  and deal with all the disappointments it could bring rather than living in fantasy and prolonging your agony. 

Biography 

Tracy Crossley is a behavioral relationship expert, author, and podcast host, who specializes in treating individuals with unhealthy life and relationship patterns. Tracy helps clients transform, impostor syndrome, insecure attachment, negative belief systems, breaking the cycle of narcissistic damage, destructive self-talk, and more. With a background in psychology, an innate emotional intuition, which draws from her own personal experience, Tracy shows her clients how to permanently change the repetition of the unhealthy, unhappy and unfulfilled cycles personally and professionally. Tracy’s popular weekly mental health podcast, Freedom from Attachment: Living Fulfilled, Happy and in Love offers listeners a different perspective when it comes to breaking the cycle of unhealthy behaviors that keep them stuck repeating pain-inducing actions on auto-pilot. The podcast addresses folks who want to deal with their emotional baggage and get unstuck, happy, and have a clear mindset. She also has a monthly podcast called Moving On, where she invites guests to speak about their life experience in overcoming difficult times to be successful and happy in their lives.  

Resources and links: 

Website: https://tracycrossley.com/ 

Instagram: instagram.com/tracylcrossley/?hl=en  

More info and resources:
How Big a Problem is Your Sex Life? Quiz – https://www.sexlifequiz.com
Access the Free webinar: How to make sex easy and fun for both of you: https://intimacywithease.com/masterclass
Secret Podcast for the Higher Desire Partner: https://www.intimacywithease.com/hdppodcast
Secret Podcast for the Lower Desire Partner: https://www.intimacywithease.com/ldppodcast

#218 [Personal Story] A Journey Through Miscarriage – Jessica

Listen to “218: [Personal Story] A Journey Through Miscarriage – Jessica”

A Journey Through Miscarriage 

This episode talks about a very sensitive topic – miscarriage. Losing a baby is heartbreaking, no matter when it happens, and Jessica bravely shares her experience when she and her husband lost their baby. She reveals how she healed – physically, mentally, and emotionally – what moms who suffered the same should know about their options when going through this, and how the experience impacted her relationship with her husband. 

Women have options 

When you suffer a miscarriage, you would be going through a traumatic loss, but life goes on. You should try and take care of yourself by sticking to a regular sleep schedule, eating well, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Jessica also underscores the fact that women should know the options that each person can take to navigate the process in a way that’s best for them and to honor that process of grieving that needs to happen. 

The journey after a miscarriage 

Pregnancy loss is only the beginning. What your mind and body will have to go through are completely different journeys unique to every mother. Jessica’s body did not know that it stopped the development of the baby for a couple weeks already until they went for what’s supposed to be just routine checkup. Jessica shares what they did to help her body resolve the miscarriage and start the process of healing. 

Impact of the experience on intimacy? 

Jessica shares that the bitter and painful experience brought her and her husband so much closer. There was bickering as they were both grieving but she said they just kept coming back and remembering that they are on each other’s team and were in it together. They took a few days off apart from each other and the space allowed them to reflect and integrate the process.  

Time to heal and grieve 

Time is often the best healer. After a pregnancy loss, the body needs time to get back to normal and so does your mind and emotional health. Allow yourself to go through the grieving process and spend time to stop and acknowledge the loss. Jessica bravely shared her journey because as she felt the surge of grief from other people, she also felt that these very same people might have losses of their own that are left ungrieved. 

You are not alone 

Amidst the feeling of guilt, anger, shock, sadness and sense of failure, Jessica emphasizes that no one should feel alone during the process. As Jessica put it, we can ask for help and we can be out loud about what we are quietly shouldering in this journey. We should talk more about the whole fertility process – not just in trying to conceive but also about being parents. We should try to bring discussions about this to the foreground rather than in the background so we don’t have to do it alone. 

More info and resources:
How Big a Problem is Your Sex Life? Quiz – https://www.sexlifequiz.com
Access the Free webinar: How to make sex easy and fun for both of you: https://intimacywithease.com/masterclass
Secret Podcast for the Higher Desire Partner: https://www.intimacywithease.com/hdppodcast
Secret Podcast for the Lower Desire Partner: https://www.intimacywithease.com/ldppodcast
#217 – Overcoming Anger and Resentment – Rich Heller

#217 – Overcoming Anger and Resentment – Rich Heller

Listen to “217: Overcoming Anger and Resentment – Rich Heller”

Rich Heller 

Overcoming Anger and Resentment 

“Conflict Coach” Rich Heller enlightens us on resentment, anger, and other negativities that couples can get into that can get in the way of their sex life. If you or your partner is buried in resentment, this episode will help you get on the same team again and work on your sex life.  

How do people get buried in years of negative feelings? 

In the beginning of a relationship, there is often a honeymoon stage where everything seems perfect and you are deeply in love with each other. At some point, this stage ends. Not that you stop loving each other, but reality hits and all of a sudden you are not the centre of each other’s universe. It becomes clear you are not with the fantasy partner you may have imagined. All the little unresolved resentments and feelings about different expectations can build over time, creating a structure of resentment and even hostility. it’s also possible one partner is doing bad stuff to the other that just can’t be overlooked.  

When anger gets in the way of intimacy 

Firstly, check if there is something in your past was triggered that made you angry. Writing it in a journal helps so you can eventually share it with your partner. Since anger is most likely a mechanism to feel powerful when one cannot express their more vulnerable, underlying emotions, it is crucial for partners on the other end of angry expressions to understand what emotions and factors are driving the anger. Expressing differences freely is important to a more positive outcome.  

What about make up sex? 

Some couples say they have sex when mad because it is a way of reconnecting and resolving their issues. Very often, sex is a way to release anger. But the more this dynamic builds up and the more the fighting becomes regular, then the angry sex is going to stop too. Yes, sex can be a release or a form of connecting, but over time, if what’s behind it isn’t dealt with, even that’s going to drop out.  

Forgiveness and moving on 

How do you forgive and forget about the past? We need to see our partners wrestle with remorse and accountability in order to move forward. That’s where healing would come from. You need to know why they did what they did and what to look out for in the future so you can both talk about it as it’s coming up – before it happens again. You need to understand the why to figure out how to heal and grow and make the relationship better. 

Biography: 

Rich Heller MSW, CPC, ELI MP 

Rich is a “Conflict Coach” who works with people engaged in high levels of conflict so that they can create cooperation out of conflict. He works with individuals and couples, focusing on how they can have a relationship that works with minimum friction and maximum support for their children. Additionally Rich helps organisations and businesses transform destructive conflict into a vehicle for change and innovation. 

He went to Vassar College for his BA, Hunter School of Social Work for his MA, trained in mediation with the Centre for Understanding in Conflict, and trained in Parent Coordination through the AFCC. He is a Certified Professional Coach, and an ELI Master Practitioner.   

No stranger to conflict, Rich Heller grew up in NYC, is a child of divorce, has been divorced, and successfully remarried. He and his partner Katherine have been married for over 20 years and launched six children into the world.  

Resources and links: 

Websites: https://richinrelationship.com/ ; bit.ly/endthefight 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/richinrelationship/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/richinrelationship/ 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVj35RVXHgu-4irxB0_5ukQ 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/rich-in-relationship/ 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/richinrelationship/_created/ 

More info and resources:
How Big a Problem is Your Sex Life? Quiz – https://www.sexlifequiz.com
Access the Free webinar: How to make sex easy and fun for both of you: https://intimacywithease.com/masterclass
Secret Podcast for the Higher Desire Partner: https://www.intimacywithease.com/hdppodcast
Secret Podcast for the Lower Desire Partner: https://www.intimacywithease.com/ldppodcast
#216 – Co-Creating a Sex Life Over Time – Chelsea Wakefield

#216 – Co-Creating a Sex Life Over Time – Chelsea Wakefield

Listen to “216: Co-Creating a Sex Life Over Time – Chelsea Wakefield”

Chelsea Wakefield 

Co-Creating a Sex Life Over Time 

What does it really take to make a sex life last? How do archetypes about sex, expectations, and love capacities all come together to be a starting point for you and your partner to have conversations and do things differently to co-create a lasting relationship and sex life? Psychotherapist Dr Chelsea Wakefield explains how to co-create a sex life that you can be excited about for the rest of your life, and how you can build soulful relationships that endure challenges and changes. 

Sexuality and long-term relationships 

Couples in long-term relationships commonly struggle with sexuality at some point and begin to have questions about what can be done to help the relationship move forward to maintain a meaningful connection during the arc of the relationship. What are the elements that can make a relationship and sex life thrive over time? 

Prioritize personal development 

Sexuality should be a priority for couples. Some questions that may be asked before committing to co-creating a sex life: Why would you want to engage in co-creating a sexual relationship? What would it bring in your life? Co-creating a sexual relationship encompasses so many dimensions of relationship including knowing one’s self and defining one’s self as a sexual being. It takes a lot of personal development in each of the parties, otherwise it will not thrive. You don’t change your partner but rather, both need to work on themselves in order to co-create a dynamic sex life. 

Communication is key 

Sex is far from being a natural process. Communication is key to making it last. And communication is not just about talking and saying what you want but knowing who in you is talking and being able to do the necessary shifts. How do I get in touch with my sensual self? How do I access my playful self? How do I shift out of “responsible mother self” to “responsible lover” or “playmate”? How can I and my partner get there together? 

Labyrinth of Love  

In her latest book Labyrinth of Love, Dr Wakefield talks about love capacities that can be applied to any aspect of a relationship, including sexuality. Learn about commitment, courage, curiosity, communication, compassion, and creativity and how these affect the success of a relationship. 

Teamwork 

Self-awareness is crucial in making a relationship thrive. But at the end of the day, it’s teamwork that will make it happen. Once you discover your own history, anxieties, trauma, etc., you share that with your partner and work together as a sexual team and make it a journey of mutual growth. When couples are distressed about the limits of what they’ve tried and feel stuck, know that these roadblocks may not just simply go away but can be transcended by personal growth. Make co-creation of your sexual relationship worth it and something that both of you want to engage in. Step out of the box and encounter each other anew to open the possibility that the other person can engage in the process. 

Biography: 

Dr. Chelsea Wakefield is Director of the Couples Centre for University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.  She is a psychotherapist, educator, conference facilitator, public speaker, and author.  Dr. Wakefield has written 3 books: 

  • Labyrinth of Love 
  • Negotiating the Inner Peace Treaty 
  • In Search of Aphrodite: Women, Archetypes and Sex Therapy 

She is also creator/facilitator of the Luminous Women Weekend 

Dr. Wakefield believes: 

The time we invest in healing wounds of the past, rewriting limiting life scripts, and becoming more consciously aware helps us to make more responsible, respectful choices in life.  It determines the quality of our relationships. Our level of consciousness and presence benefits everyone around us, life partners, friends, co-workers, community and ultimately our world.  

 Resources and links: 

More info and resources:
How Big a Problem is Your Sex Life? Quiz – https://www.sexlifequiz.com
Access the Free webinar: How to make sex easy and fun for both of you: https://intimacywithease.com/masterclass
Secret Podcast for the Higher Desire Partner: https://www.intimacywithease.com/hdppodcast
Secret Podcast for the Lower Desire Partner: https://www.intimacywithease.com/ldppodcast

 

#215 – The Wonderful World of Sex Toys – Searah Deysach

#215 – The Wonderful World of Sex Toys – Searah Deysach

Listen to “215: The Wonderful World of Sex Toys – Searah Deysach”

The World of Sex Toys 

Sex educator, Searah Deysach, takes us to the fun and playful world of sex toys. Founder and owner of Early to Bed, Chicago’s first woman-owned sex shop that sells high-quality sex toys, Searah shares her expertise on the different kinds of sex toys and why people use them. For people in a relationship, learn how to talk to your partner about it, how to use it as a couple and how to introduce it to your sexual play. Haven’t tried using a sex toy? Have a listen to know how it could be beneficial and fun! 

Why do sex toys exist and why do people seek them out? 

On the most basic level, sex items exist to enhance people’s sex lives. To some people, they may have more therapeutic uses, or tools to solve a certain problem. But for a lot of people, sex toys are used to make sex more fun. Interestingly, the word sex toy has gotten a bad rap all of a sudden, so instead, for marketing purposes, people are calling it a “wellness item” instead of a vibrator. Calling them a different name does not really change anything, but if calling it a wellness item gets it into someone’s hand, then it’s great. The more people see it as part of a healthy sex life, the better it is for everybody. 

What is a good entry point for people who want to own their first sex toy? 

There is still a lot of stigma surrounding these products, but there are a lot of sex toys that are discreet that you can easily take with you. Vibrators are always a good entry point. They are versatile and do not interrupt a person’s sex life. Getting the first toy can be intimidating, so whether you plan to buy in store or online, do not hesitate to ask questions. Making an informed choice before you start gives you the best chance of making the toy work for you. 

When in a relationship, how do you bring it up to your partner? 

Talking about sex is one of the hardest conversations people have, but it can also be one of the most vital to having good sex. If you want to bring a sex toy in a relationship, do not frame it as a problem solver. If you want more sensation or more orgasm, make it sound more fun as opposed to not having good enough sex with your partner. Finding toys geared towards couples can also be helpful. As with almost anything, communication is key. 

Do men find sex toys emasculating? 

Men are burdened with the thought that they’re supposed to give their partners pleasure and that using a sex toy is somehow emasculating. It is not emasculating to get help from toys. What’s worse and actually a disservice to partners is having to fake orgasms just to make the partner feel good about themselves. In the end, we are all responsible for our own pleasure, and we enlist our partner with that. Using toys to elevate the experience and make us all happy should be fully embraced. 

Biography: 

Searah Deysach is a sex educator and the owner of Early to Bed and FtM Essentials. In addition to running her retail store and websites, she lectures to community groups and colleges around the country on topics relating to masturbation, sex toys and positive sexuality. She is committed to working to create a culture where everyone has access to honest information about sexuality and all folks have access to the services they need to protect their reproductive rights. 

Searah is a proud member of Chicago’s LGBTQ+ community and has been featured in numerous outlets including New York Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Washington Post, Shape, Women’s Health, Playgirl, Glamour and many, many more. 

Resources and links: 

More info and resources:
How Big a Problem is Your Sex Life? Quiz – https://www.sexlifequiz.com
Access the Free webinar: How to make sex easy and fun for both of you: https://intimacywithease.com/masterclass
Secret Podcast for the Higher Desire Partner: https://www.intimacywithease.com/hdppodcast
Secret Podcast for the Lower Desire Partner: https://www.intimacywithease.com/ldppodcast
#214 – Self-Leadership and Erotic Rope Play – Edward Willey

#214 – Self-Leadership and Erotic Rope Play – Edward Willey

Listen to “214: Self-Leadership and Erotic Rope Play – Edward Willey”

Erotic Rope Play as Self Leadership and Intimacy 

Edward Willey talks about his seemingly two separate interests and pursuits – rope play and self-leadership – and his ingenious idea of combining them together to develop and practice. How do rope play and self-leadership intersect? 

How it started 

Prompted by his partner’s brilliant idea, Edward Willey started to introduce some movements and meditation practices he used in self-leadership training into his rope play sessions. He quickly realized that people started to learn rope tying techniques but, more importantly, the connection between partners greatly increased. Since then, each session became more about how to stay deeply connected to the partner and less about the technical side of learning how to do each fancy knot. 

“The knot that binds together” 

In rope plays, there are two Japanese terms often used: “Shibari,” which means to tie; and “Kinbaku,” which means “to bind tightly.” But more importantly, the word “Misubi,” which means “the knot that binds together” or the thread that ties all of creations together. The true focus of rope play is on the connection that happens between you and your partner, allowing true intimacy and connection to develop. Before getting caught up with the techniques of rope tying, create a foundation of relaxation and confidence with your partner. Make the experience between you and the partner as opposed to you and the rope. 

How does exploring rope play and leadership make you a better leader and lover? 

Being able to stay present, relaxed, and confident can make your partner feel a lot safer in the bedroom, and it can develop intimacy and more trust between the two of you. If they feel safer, more respected, and more heard, they are more likely to follow the guidance you’re bringing. The same thing applies to leadership. If you can approach your leadership with a relaxed body that’s strong, vibrant, and healthy, with an open heart that’s full of love and connection, people will naturally follow you. The rope is just a tool to develop deep connection and intimacy in order to create a container of safety for your partner. 

Is self-leadership different when you’re the one being bound? 

The person tying has more responsibility to take care of the safety of the other, but the person being tied up also has responsibility to be able to speak up if something doesn’t feel right or have questions or concerns. It’s a co-creation and it’s important to speak up. To be able to relax your body is also very important because being tied up can bring up fear and vulnerability. Keeping the mind calm for when it starts to spin up and feel panicky is the same training you give in self-leadership. 

Resources and links: 

Websites: https://www.knot-love.com/ 

https://www.willeyleadership.com/ 

More info and resources:
How Big a Problem is Your Sex Life? Quiz – https://www.sexlifequiz.com
Access the Free webinar: How to make sex easy and fun for both of you: https://intimacywithease.com/masterclass
Secret Podcast for the Higher Desire Partner: https://www.intimacywithease.com/hdppodcast
Secret Podcast for the Lower Desire Partner: https://www.intimacywithease.com/ldppodcast

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