September 2, 2017 Office Hour Recording
Below is the full recording of the questions from the September 2 office hours for themes related to the course content of The Art of Desire and Enhancing Sexual Intimacy.
To listen to the September 2 Sexuality Office Hour from start to finish, play the above recording.
For listeners who prefer to browse -- to read the questions and selectively listen to their responses -- the individual questions in the above recording have also been extracted into separate segments below for easier browsing.
Note that there is no question in the above full recording that is not also found below, and vice versa. They are recordings of the same office hour.
The problem in our relationship is definitely initiating. We are both very private people and have ingrained very deeply in us putting the other person first. This doesn't serve us very well because it makes it so we don't share our desires or needs. We wait to see what the other person may want so we can put them first. We both initiate very subtly expecting that if the other person wants it they'll take it from there. Once we get the ball rolling things are great, but we can go for weeks without getting it going. What help could you offer us?
While my husband and I were dating he never flirted in a sexual way, which I found to be a relief. But after 6 years of marriage, he still doesn't. When I flirt with him sexually he will get very excited very fast, so I don't really. He expects sex, but "wants to be respectful," so feels bad about initiating it. When he does initiate sex, there's no buildup and I feel like I'm being mauled. In those situations I'll either try to imagine a more seductive scenario to turn myself on, or, (what's been happening more lately), I'll freeze up and shut the whole thing down. We rarely have sex now. Both of us are extremely frustrated and sexually unsatisfied. I think we have a hard time communicating what we want--it feels like walking through a minefield. What would be a good next step for us to take?
I finished the Art of Desire course, ordered a Magic Wand, and tried things out, surprisingly with some moderate success. However, finding "the sweet spot" seems to be so random, and where I might get something to feel good for a few seconds, I have a really hard time duplicating it, and it's often too intense to feel good (kind of like being tickled). Do you have any tips or techniques for someone who has been solar systems away from anything to do with masturbation for her entire life?
Also, this may be jumping ahead, but I'm worried that if I can actually get myself to orgasm, bridging the gap and bringing my sexuality to my husband will be problematic. The idea of orgasming in front of him is a mortifying idea. I rarely let anyone see any serious emotions from me, rarely crying or letting anyone "have the satisfaction" of seeing that I'm really happy. My public display is calm, cool, and collected. This obviously hinders my ability to let myself be truly known to my husband and others, but I just can't seem to tolerate vulnerability. Do you have any ideas on allowing oneself to be vulnerable and sharing one's sexuality?
How do I heal from past wounds [from childhood sexual abuse] that have caused me to hate sex? How can I go from this sexual fear/anxiety to healthy sexuality when my life has significantly been tainted by the good that comes through intimacy?
And how can I separate those who misuse sex with those who don't? Basically, is it possible to have an active and passionate sex life without leading your spouse down the "slippery slope"?
And lastly, how do I become more attracted to my spouse? Especially after his character revealed someone different beneath the surface?
My husband has confided in me that he has periodically been viewing pornography with masturbation. The first time he came to me with this, it was a few months after having our first child, and we hadn't yet continued our normal amount of sexual activity. I took it pretty hard. I was in complete shock. I admire my husband deeply and I didn't feel his actions were in line with the honestly our relationship seemed to have....
I am handling this news better this time, but I am at a horrible loss at what to do. Wanting sex on an emotional level is hard for me recently. I very rarely feel aroused, and if I do, I feel surprised by it and it is usually due to my personal fantasies.
We finally figured out from your course that we believe I have anxieties about having sex. The pressure to preform gets to me, I shy away from the contact, and he pushes harder. My avoidance feeds his pressure which feeds more avoidance. I am trying to be more receptive to his advances.
My issue is two-fold: how do I handle this information about his pornography use?; and how do I come to the point where I have more desire, and am aroused by my husband?
I have had an irrational fear of same gender attraction since I was a young teenager. As a college student, when I was dating, I never had these worries, but after I had my first child for some reason they came back as I struggled to want to have sex again after childbirth.
I admit, I know these worries are irrational but I can't seem to let them go, especially since I'm still trying to improve my sexual relationship with my husband. I know there are many who struggle, but I just fall back on the worry that maybe if I try to truly discover my sexuality I won't like what I will find, and therefore I often find myself pushing aside the work I know I need to do to become sexually confident in my marriage.
I do find men attractive, my husband in particular, but I just start worrying that there's something wrong with me when sex doesn't come naturally.
When we are having sex I feel like sometimes my spouse is hesitant to explore things that may increase her pleasure. Even when I ask her to tell me if things I am doing feel good, I feel like I have to bug her or I am just guessing. What can I do to help her feel more comfortable and willing to explore things that give her pleasure and communicate those things to me?
I am wondering how I can do better with my husband initiating and me being on board. When I initiate, I know I'm ready... but it terrifies me when he wants to initiate. I don't know how to get past that and be more accepting and loving and ready when he is ready.