Archive: August, 2012

August 30, 2012

Talking About Your Expectations Can Lessen Disappointment

communication

Have you ever experienced the following (or something similar) -

You and your partner planned on spending Monday night together.  You pictured dinner out and maybe a walk on the waterfront.  He was looking forward to takeout and a movie on the couch.

No one is wrong in the above scenario, but you both might be disappointed.

Maybe your partner tells you he will be home early and when he rolls in at midnight you are fuming because that feels late, but he feels pleased because he could have been out much later.

It’s natural to have different ideas or expectations about how something might go.  It’s important to talk about those expectations so you don’t get hurt or resentful.

Even something as simple as how you might spend an afternoon can cause a fight if you aren’t clear about expectations.  It becomes essential to talk about your expectations when planning to move in together, combine finances, get married or start a family.

Here are some easy ways to get in the habit of sharing your expectations.

Be specific – instead of “Want to hang out tomorrow?” Try “Would you like watch our favorite TV show and then get ice cream tomorrow?”

Share what is important to you - If you want to connect with your partner and you will feel best if you are able to hold each other or kiss, ask for that!  If you would really like to spend the holidays with your family, make sure you share that.  You may not always get exactly what you want, but you are more likely to get something at least close to it if you share what is important.

Ask for clarification – Even asking, “What are you expectations?” or “What did you have in mind?” can make a big difference when making plans.

Paint a picture - If you  have ideas about how something might look, paint a picture.  Talk about what you thought your evening what look like, how you might feel if things went a certain way or what you envision.  This can be really helpful when talking about sex.  “Sex” might look one way to you and another to your partner.

Sharing your expectations can help put you on the same page and keep you from feeling resentment or disappointment.  Sharing your expectations also helps you get what you want and who doesn’t like that?

Filed under: Communication, Relationship — admin @ 11:50 am

August 25, 2012

Can You Have Pleasure Without Guilt?

I believe in the importance of pleasure. If you’ve been reading my blog, that’s probably not a surprise.  I believe cultivating pleasure makes up better lovers, workers, partners and humans.  By making room for pleasure, we enjoy our lives AND have more energy to do things that aren’t so pleasure-full.

I have to admit I was a bit surprised when some of the women in my You Don’t Have to be a Sexy Tiger Group told me they can’t even talk about pleasure without talking about guilt.

Do pleasure and guilt go  hand in hand?

If you are having a hard time making time for pleasure, here are some questions to ask yourself.

  • What kind of people indulge in pleasure?
  • What kinds of things give me pleasure?
  • What used to give me pleasure (and why don’t I do it anymore)?
  • What are my obstacles to pleasure?
  • Am I worthy of pleasure?

Do a little digging to find out where your beliefs about pleasure come from.  And then see if you can shift those beliefs.  You don’t have to quit your job and move to Paris in order to cultivate pleasure. Look for small things you can do (instead of moving to Paris, plan a trip or even smaller – go to a cafe or bakery).  Adding small moments of pleasure to your day can really go a long way.

What can you do to add 15 (or even 10 or 5) minutes of pleasure to your life right now?

Give yourself a permission slip for pleasure!

Filed under: Pleasure, Self-care, Self-love, Sexy Tiger — admin @ 7:43 am

August 22, 2012

Empowered Sexuality – A New Women’s Group

I’ve been asked to create a space where women can meet and talk and share and learn and grow.

  • A place where they can talk about sex and relationships and pleasure and shame and fear
  • A place where they can connect with other women
  • A place where they can grow and learn more about themselves

There is power in sharing

There is power in connection

There is power in talking about things (especially things we don’t normally talk about in “polite society”).

People don’t talk about sex. When they do it’s often in an exaggerated way (because no one wants to be the only one who is having mediocre sex) or a complaint (i.e. “I’m not getting enough sex!”). I’ve seen how powerful it can be to have a room of women talking honestly about sex and intimacy. I’m not talking about bitching or venting or male bashing. I’m talking about honestly sharing our desires and fears and questions and disappointments and satisfaction. Where do you get to do that?

This summer’s Heart Centered Sexuality Retreat was so amazing that Ami Opal and I immediately started talking about how we would partner next.  We do plan to offer our retreat again (probably in the new year).  We wanted something that was ongoing, a format where we could witness the growth from month to month.  Ami and I have helped hundreds of women improve their sex lives and increase intimacy.  We are passionate about this topic and very excited about creating a community of women.

Thus Empowered Sexuality was born.

This is a group that meets once a month for 4 months.  It’s a closed group so the same women come each month, that way you have time to get to know one another and develop a comfortable, connecting space.

What can I expect each month?

  • The group will decide on a topic for the evening – something in the realm of relationships, intimacy or sexuality. (Possible topics may include: desire, sensuality, getting out of your head and into your body, getting sex on your radar, spicing up sex in a long term relationship, body image, etc)
  • You will discover tangible ways to deepen intimacy, increase pleasure, and be more present in your body (and in the bedroom).
  • Julie and Ami will share their expertise about the topic and ask questions that will foster self-reflection and help you uncover what you really want.
  • The group will be able share personal information, ask questions and really shape each meeting (sharing is at each members’ own comfort level).
  • There will be exercises and journaling each group.
  • There will be things to work on between groups and we will check in about them when we meet the following month.
  • Through the group process you will learn that you are normal or typical or not alone.
  • There will be room for growth, emotions, sharing, connection and laughter – this will be a FUN group!

Who should attend this group?

Women who want to learn more about sex, relationships, intimacy or themselves.

Women who want to improve their sex-lives.

Women who want to deepen their relationships.

Women who want to live more lusciously.

Women who want to connect with other like-minded women.

Women who are looking for community.

Women who want accountability and a place that will help them shift and grow.

Sound like your kind of a group?  I hope you will consider joining us on this journey!

Find all the details (fee, time, how to register) for this group on my events page.

This group is limited to 8 participants so reserve your spot soon!

Ami OpalAmi Opal, N.D. is a physician who takes care of the organs of creation and reproduction in the female body.  Through hands on work with bones, muscles, fascia, and the energetics of the body, Dr. Opal’s unique approach is directed at unraveling old patterns of disease, both physical and emotional.  Ami’s work helps women connect with themselves through their pelvic space, abdomen, and heart.  Ami enjoys helping her patients find more space in their bodies, more room for joy, and greater ease and depth of self expression.  Dr. Opal graduated from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2001 and is the co-owner of Yew Medicine, a clinic in North Portland.

JulieJeskeWebSmallJulie Jeske, M.S. is a sex and relationship counselor who helps people increase intimacy, passion and sexual satisfaction. She loves helping women uncover their sexuality.  She is skilled at helping couples spice up their sex lives and deepening their connection.  She frequently contributes to online articles, magazine articles and TV segments. Her forthcoming book is titled: You Don’t Have to be a Sexy Tiger: Discover YOUR Sexual Self.  Julie received her MS in Couples, Marriage and Family Counseling from Portland State University.  She has a private practice in NE Portland and believes we all deserve a healthy, fulfilling sex life.

Filed under: Groups, Live Your Best Life, Relationship, Sexual Being, Sexuality, Support — admin @ 8:31 pm

August 21, 2012

Clear Your (Sexual) Clutter

clear your clutter

When things are cluttered in your external world, do you feel clutter internally too? You might notice that when things feel messy or chaotic you feel that way inside as well.  Perhaps you’ve felt peace when you take the time to sort some things out or do some spring cleaning.

What about your sexual world?

If things are cluttered there, can you actually relax and show up and be present sexually?

Here are some things that might be causing chaos in your sexual landscape.

  • Poor body image
  • Worries about desire, arousal or orgasm
  • Uncertainty about your relationship or partner
  • Anger or resentment toward your partner
  • Unspoken desires that are on your mind
  • Discontent with your sexual relationship
  • Guilt or shame about sex
  • Injury or pain in your body

If your sexual world is feeling a little cluttered, take some time to sort things out. If your space is physically cluttered, it might be time to do some spring cleaning in your bedroom or in your toy box or drawer.  Perhaps it’s time for some new sheets, new lubricant or a new toy.

If your mind is cluttered, take some time to get clear on what you want. If you are having some difficulties with sex, talk to your partner or a professional.  If you are having problems in your relationship, do the same.  If you aren’t sure what you want, do some writing and listen to your inner wisdom.

Take a little time now to sort through any sexual clutter so you can show up unencumbered the next time you want to connect with your lover!

Filed under: Sexuality — admin @ 8:46 am

August 15, 2012

Make Your New Relationship Work!

The honeymoon phase…that ooey-gooey, lovey-dovey phase that so many couples remember fondly.  For some people the beginning of a relationship isn’t so blissful. They worry about doing something that will blow it and end the relationship.  They try to figure out what they need to do or how they need to be to make the relationship last.  There are books and magazine articles dedicated to helping you “get your guy.”  There are step by step instructions on how to date any girl you want or turn your boyfriend into your husband.

I’m not a fan of “rules” or “guidelines” when it comes to dating.  I’m not a fan of pretending to be someone in order to get a relationship (I mean what do you do once you get the relationship and it doesn’t match up with who you really are???).  There are some things to keep in mind when you are dating.  I sat down with the ladies at KOIN Studio6 to talk about some New Relationship Dos and Don’ts.

You won’t find any “tricks” or “traps” here.  The most important way to actually make your relationship work is to be clear about what you want in a relationship and really show up as you are.  Be yourself!  If you pretend to be someone else, are you really in the relationship?  And what happens when one day you get tired of pretending?  If your new guy or gal doesn’t like you as you are, then you shouldn’t be in a relationship with them. Once you’ve established your relationship, there are all sorts of things you can do to make your relationship work.  Set yourself up for success by starting your relationship based on honesty.

Looking for more ways to focus on your relationship – check out these posts.

Negotiate with your partner.

How much work should you put into your relationship?

Make your relationship a priority.

Validate your partner.

Filed under: Dating, Relationship, Video — admin @ 8:24 am

August 10, 2012

How Can I Improve My Marriage – Part 2

Improve your marriage

Earlier this week I wrote that you can always change your mind.  While that is true, there may also be times you don’t want to change your mind, but rather want to make things work.  When it comes to your relationship, it might feel easier to just change your mind.  Before you walk away ask yourself, “How can I improve my situation?“  (This question doesn’t just apply to your relationship but can be useful for any decision you are making).

It might be easier to think about how your partner can improve your relationship.

  • If only he would listen to me.
  • If only she initiated sex.
  • If only he helped out around the house or with the kids.
  • If only she didn’t nag so much.

The reality is that you can’t change your partner.  And your partner might not want to change.  What can YOU do to improve your relationship?  How might you interact or connect differently?  People can change, but they have to be willing.  If your partner sees you making an effort he or she may do the same.

Get clear about what you really want (in your relationship or with any decision you are making).  Is it possible to get what you want in your current situation? If not, is there a way you can get it?  Or do you need to leave? (leave the relationship or the job or the living situation etc.)

Pay attention to your relationship expectations. If you assume relationships don’t take any work, then you might be tempted to leave the first time things feel hard.  Marriage is not easy. Being single is not easy. Relationships are not easy. My June Newsletter - Some Thoughts on Marriage offers more information about different aspects of marriage.

There is no recipe or road map for the perfect relationship. It’s up to your to define what you want and then strive toward it.

Filed under: Change, Communication, Marriage, Newsletter, Relationship — admin @ 11:55 am

August 6, 2012

You can always change your mind – Part 1

How do you make big life decisions?

  • Do you worry that you always have to make the “right” choice or have it all figured out?
  • Do you hem and haw and stall and fret?
  • Do you make a pro and con list?
  • Do you sleep on it? Or trust your inner knowing?

Over a decade ago I remember sitting across from one of my favorite professors asking him if he thought I should go to grad school or go out in the world and try to make my fortune. I had weighed my pros and cons. I really wanted to go to school, but I wasn’t sure about the program. I worried that I would make the wrong choice. My professor then said something that I still think about today, “Julie, I’m going to tell you the same thing I tell my kids, you can always change your mind.” When I was making my decision I felt like it had to be forever. I had to KNOW, be certain and stick with it even if it didn’t feel right. It turns out my decision didn’t feel right, I did change my mind and moved to a different state and then 2 years later moved again (and thank goodness otherwise I wouldn’t be here, be in my relationship or have my practice).  Changing my mind was the best decision I ever made.

You can always change your mind.

Will it be hard? Yes. Is it sometimes inconvenient to change your mind? Yes. Can it be expensive (moving somewhere and decided it isn’t working out then having to move somewhere else). Yes.

Certainly the level of commitment impacts the ease with which you can change your mind. It’s easy to decide to wear different shoes or go to a different restaurant. It’s a bit harder to change your major in school or decide to end a long-term relationship that isn’t going anywhere.

By feeling like you always have to “get it right” you can sometimes be so paralyzed by fear of “messing up” that you don’t take any action. Life isn’t always about getting it right the first time. Trust yourself. Learn from your missteps and allow yourself to become clearer about what you want in this world.

What about those really big life decisions? What about marriage? Should you just change your mind if it isn’t work? Before throwing in the towel first ask yourself “How can I improve my situation?” Decision making isn’t black or white or one-size-fits-all. On Friday I’m posting about ways you can look at and improve your relationship before you decide to walk away.

Filed under: Change, Live Your Best Life, Relationship — admin @ 9:56 am