Archive: September, 2011

September 30, 2011

Sex and Sadness

Are you overwhelmed by all of the sadness or hardship in the world? Maybe you are going through a personal or family struggle. Maybe you just feel sad.

My September newsletter – How can you focus on sex when there is so much sadness in the world? – can be read here.

Want to receive my monthly newsletter directly in your inbox? Subscribe here.

Filed under: Emotions, Grief, Newsletter, Sexuality — admin @ 6:25 am

September 29, 2011

Simple Ways to Spice Up Scheduled Sex

couple having sex

Just because you’ve got sex on your calendar doesn’t mean it has to be dull or routine.

Here are a few ways to spice up scheduled sex!

  • Try a new position
  • Have sex during a different time of day – Schedule a lunch/sex date and notice how the afterglow lingers when you are back at work.
  • Seduction – Just because you are expecting to have sex doesn’t mean you can’t seduce your partner!
  • Focus on foreplay – Scheduled sex doesn’t have to be a quickie (although that can be fun too).  Take your time and really enjoy each others bodies!
  • Heighten your senses – Add a blindfold, use ear plugs (or headphones with music) or restraints (scarves, handcuffs, ropes, etc) and see how that shifts the experience for you.  When you remove one sense, it will impact the others.

Scheduled sex doesn’t have to be boring.  You can spice up your sex even when it’s written on your calendar.

Filed under: Pleasure, Relationship, Sexuality — admin @ 8:40 am

September 27, 2011

Happily Ever After?

When you were young, did you think you would partner?  What did you imagine your relationship would look like?

What about when you got older?

What are your relationship models?  Do you want a relationship like your parents’?

What does a healthy relationship look like?

A healthy relationship can look a bit different to each person.  I’m often asked about how much work should be put into a relationship.  I know plenty of people don’t like the idea of putting any work into a relationship.  People want their relationships to be fun and effortless.  And while I am all for a relationship being fun and enjoyable…I also believe that relationships take work.

Your career takes work, hobbies take work, losing weight takes work, learning a new skill takes work – it would seem reasonable that relationships take work as well!  (If you don’t like the word “work” you can substitute it with “effort”, “energy” or “attention.”)

The tricky thing is finding the balance between work and enjoyment.  Here are some ways you can work on your relationship and find enjoyment as well.

Take a look at your relationship expectations. If you expect relationships to be easy and fun, that will impact how you react when they take a little work.  If you expect relationships to be too much work and miserable, that might impact your ability to enjoy your relationship.  If it helps, replace the word “work” with one of the words I listed above and see if that makes it easier to put a little effort into your relationship!

Filed under: Marriage, Relationship — admin @ 6:15 pm

September 22, 2011

Make a Sex Date!

Still think sex dates are boring? Next week I’ll be posting about ways to spice up scheduled sex!

Filed under: Relationship, Sexuality, Video — admin @ 9:45 am

September 21, 2011

Is Self-Care Selfish?

Self-care massage

What’s the difference between self-focus and selfishness?  What about self-love and self-centered?

Is taking care of yourself selfish? Is loving yourself selfish?

Last week in my Live Your Best Life group, we focused on self-care.  We defined self-care.  We talked about the nurturing and enjoyment self-care can bring.  We also talked about fears of self-care morphing into something else (watching your favorite TV show might feel like self-care, plunking yourself in front of the TV all day might be avoidance).  We discussed about what gets in the way of self-care (time, energy, guilt, others not supporting your self-care).  And we identified ways to practice self-care.

I would argue that not only is self-care NOT selfish, it is essential!  I think of it as the building block for many other areas of your life.  Can you do a good job at work if you are exhausted or stressed?  Can you be fully present in your relationship or if you are running on empty?  Can you take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself?

Not only is it OK for your to take care of yourself, it is necessary!  If your self-care starts to feel selfish – think about the oxygen mask on an airplane.  If there is a sudden loss of cabin pressure, you are instructed to put yours on first.  Let self-care be your oxygen mask.  If you care for yourself first, it’s easier to care for others.  If you love yourself first, it’s easier to love others.

Not sure how to practice self-care?  Try listening to your intuition.  Or look at some tips on scheduling time for yourself.

Filed under: Self-care, Self-love — admin @ 2:02 pm

September 20, 2011

Two New Sexuality Workshops

I love my monthly women’s sexuality workshops and I’m excited to announce the last two for 2011!

Each workshop is part educational (I provide information and resources) and there is also time for group sharing.  These workshops are an opportunity to learn about the theme and also share your experience with other women.  Each workshop is limited to 6 participants.  The cost is $25 per workshop.  To reserve your spot, or if you would like more information, please contact me at julie@portlandsextherapy.com or 503-756-3478.

Sensuality and Sexuality – Thursday, October 27 7pm-9pm

Sensuality can be a great bridge to sexuality and it can also be practiced on its own.  Tonight we will focus on defining sensuality and identifying ways sensuality can impact your desire and pleasure. 

Sex and Shame – Thursday, December 1 7pm-9pm

Is shame getting in the way of truly enjoying your sexuality?  We’ll talk about shame, where it might come from and ways you can release it so you can reclaim your sexuality and enjoy your sexual experiences fully!

These workshops are a great opportunity to be in a small group of women with similar experiences.  Not only will you learn ways to enhance your sexual experiences, you will learn that you are not alone.

Filed under: Groups, Sensuality, Sexuality, Shame, Support — admin @ 10:58 am

September 19, 2011

When Your Sexual Routine Becomes a Sexual Rut!

Having a routine is often a good thing. A daily routine helps you create habits and can be very grounding. Having a morning routine can help get your day moving. Creating an exercise routine helps you ensure you will meet your health or weight loss goals. But what about a sex routine?

sexual rut

The good thing about routine sex is that things usually become routine sexually because you like them. If you know that your partner loves to be kissed on the back of her neck, it makes sense that would become part of your sexual recipe. If there is a certain way it’s easier for you to orgasm, that will be part of your routine. The problem with routine sex is that it can become boring! If your routine is starting to feel less satisfying and more like a rut, it’s time to try shake things up a bit!

Here are a few ways to break out of your sexual rut –

The only way to get out of a rut is to do something differently!  If you are bored with your sex, it’s up to you to ask for something new.

If you would like more information on getting out of your sexual rut, check out Shake Up Your Sexual Routine – Video Postcard from Le Centre Pompidou.

Filed under: Relationship, Sexuality — admin @ 1:11 pm

September 16, 2011

“Just Because” means “Just Because I Love You!”

Would you rather get “Valentine’s Day flowers” or “Just Because flowers”?

What’s more meaningful – a special present for your birthday or a special present for no special reason at all?

What’s more touching – a card on your anniversary or a card on a plain old Tuesday?

What’s more surprising – a birthday cake or a cupcake on a date that holds no special meaning for you?

While gifts and cards are wonderful ways to celebrate special occasions, they are often “expected ways” of celebrating those occasions.

Gifts, notes, cards or adoring words “just because” aren’t “just because.”  They are “just because I love you” or “just because I was thinking of you.” If you are out at the store and see your partner’s favorite magazine and buy it for her…it’s because you were thinking of her.  If you are shopping and see a shirt that would look great on your guy and you bring it home, it’s because you love him.  If you stick a little love note in your partner’s bag it’s because you want your partner to feel special.

It’s wonderful to celebrate the special moments in your lives.  It’s also very powerful to celebrate your partner “just because!”

Need a little help coming up with ways to say I love you?  Check out this post.

Filed under: Love, Relationship, Romance — admin @ 9:17 am

September 13, 2011

Listen to that little voice inside

Jef Aerosol Mural Outside Centre Pompidou - Paris

Jef Aerosol Mural Outside Centre Pompidou - Paris

This summer I had a longer commute than usual.  I made myself a special play list to make the time more enjoyable.  My current commute is tiny and it was just last week that I decided to listen to my play list again even it was for just a couple minutes in the car.  As I would listen to little snippets of songs on my way to work or the grocery store, I found myself thinking, “I should really play more music around the house.” However, I would get home and there was work to do, pugs to cuddle with or cozy time on the couch calling my name.  For days I would get in the car, play some music, think about playing it at home, get home and finish my day music-less.  This morning I was writing in my journal, going about my morning ritual and I thought, “Hmmm, I should really turn on some music.” I got up and made my way to my laptop and found the perfect song for my morning and then I danced my way back to the couch.

DANCED my way back to the couch.

I didn’t realize I was doing it until I was about to sit down…and then I let myself dance a little more.

On some level, I have been yearning for music.  I have been yearning to dance.  A little voice inside me has been telling me to dance and I’ve been ignoring it.

What voice are you ignoring?

Sometimes it’s hard to hear that little voice inside because there are so many other voices!  My intuitive voice, or the voice in my gut screamed for music and the voice in my head rationalized that it wasn’t important.

Your voice inside may tell you one thing – “Your talents aren’t being used at work.” and your critic may tell you something else – “What talents?  You aren’t that creative.”

Your internal voice may warn – “This relationship isn’t serving me.” and your recently single friend may warn – “You are so lucky to be partnered, being single stinks!”

With so much noise, how can you wade through all of the voices and find the truth? The little voice inside is your truth. Your inner knowing might go against what others think or believe, but it is YOUR knowing, YOUR truth. The little voice inside will be insistent (Julie, you need to listen to music!)  The voice in your head might be learned (if your parents told you over and over again that you can’t make money doing what you love, that is what you head will tell you, even when your gut knows differently).

Pay attention to the different voices.  What are they telling you?  Where do you feel them in your body?  One way to sift through the voices is to become more intimate with yourself and your inner knowing.  Tune out others and turn up the volume on your inner voice.  Watch your life unfold as you honor your truth.

Filed under: Self-care, Self-love — admin @ 11:55 am

September 12, 2011

Increasing Intimacy With Yourself!

Intimate Embrace

One of the definitions I found for intimacy included – “a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship…”

Do you have that kind of a relationship with yourself?  Do you truly know yourself?  Do you feel affection for yourself?

Here are a few ways to increase your personal intimacy.

  • Share your thoughts and desires – You can do this by writing or drawing or creating a collage.  What do you really love?  What do you want?  What gets you fired up?
  • Stop doing everything for others and focus on yourself – What do you want, right now?
  • Know yourself – What do you like to eat?  How do you like to be touched? What’s your favorite scent?  Sometimes we like things that others like because it’s easier…what do YOU like?
  • Write yourself a love note - Treat yourself with loving kindness.  Write down the things you love and appreciate about yourself.
  • Spend a little time alone - What happens when you have alone time?  You get to know yourself better!  You can’t hide behind other people’s desires or problems.  You can’t distract yourself as easily.  When you are alone, you can truly focus on yourself and connect with yourself.
  • Embrace yourself – Embrace ALL of you.  That means embracing your favorite parts and the parts that are hard to own, as well.  It means truly knowing yourself.  It can also mean giving yourself a hug (self-touch is a form of intimacy too!)

Intimacy isn’t about pretending you are something else (cooler, funnier, sexier, etc.).  To be intimate with yourself, you have to KNOW yourself.  In order to know yourself, look within.  To be intimate with another person you have to be willing to be seen.  As you become more intimate with yourself, your intimacy with others will deepen as well!

Filed under: Intimacy, Self-love — admin @ 4:36 pm

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