Q. As a therapist, what one life hack would you recommend?
Sex Talk Tuesday!
Some couples who have a more spiritual focus in their lives will call it Sacred Sex Talk Tuesday.
This is an assignment I give to all of my sex therapy patients, and I do it myself. Most of us aren’t raised talking about sex around the dinner table – we don’t know how to do it, and most of us are very uncomfortable talking about sex, but developing comfort talking about sexual intimacy with our spouses is crucial in creating a safe, loving and pleasurable sexual relationship.
So every Tuesday, or when we’re busy, one Tuesday a month, my husband and I sit down together and have a sex talk, and I’m going to describe the structure:
Each partner takes a turn being the talker and the other the listener.
1. First the talker shares something they enjoyed sexually
For example, “I really loved it when you rubbed my feet and pulled on my toes in bed last week.”
2. Second, they share something they would like to be different or they didn’t like
For example, “I just couldn’t focus the last time we made love. I let myself get distracted by thoughts about that presentation” or “I would like more touching and caressing,” and then they can talk about what kind of touching and caressing.
3. Third, they share something they really appreciate or enjoy about their partner sexually.
For example, “I love it when you tell me what you enjoy. It lets me know that you’re enjoying what I’m doing, and it gets me excited.”
4. The listener expresses gratitude that the talker has shared
This is really important because it can be such a vulnerable, even sacred thing to share one’s erotic world, and it’s important to help make it safe to share. For example, “Gosh, thank you so much for sharing what you enjoyed and what you didn’t enjoy about our sexual relationship.”
5. And then the listener reflects back what they understood and asks for clarification
And that’s Sex Talk Tuesday.
Q. What else do we need to know about changes in marriage?
I think Esther Perel, who’s a writer and psychotherapist, makes a really important point. She says that some people have two or three marriages in their adult lives, and some of us do it with the same person.
She’s saying that basically if you’re married for a long time, you’re going to have a few different marriages with that same person. Expect that big change will happen, and you’re going to grow because of it.