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on long-term relating

As a sex coach, I encourage couples to try things they didn’t before, reaching outside of their comfort zone to look for new levels of intimacy and connection together

But being so used to exploring new things in workshop and professional training settings, I perhaps underestimate how challenging this can really be in the ‘daily grind’ of long-term relating I invited my own partner of 5yrs to try a relating exercise with me on the weekend, a ritual for couples from Margot Anand’s ‘The Art of Sexual Ecstacy’, which involves lying back on pillows while facing each other as you self-pleasure, bringing the energy up to the heart when hitting a peak arousal instead of going for climax My partner wanted to support my excitement to explore but, like many of us, isn’t so used to this style of self-pleasure involving the conscious movement of energy. I tried to ‘coach’ him through but he ended up feeling he was being ordered around - not very sexy! I felt so vulnerable and open facing him in the nude while experiencing discomfort - tears came. We stopped the practice and lay together in an embrace for a long time feeling through what had come up for us The next morning, my partner offered to give the exercise another go after not completing the ritual as it was described. It hit me how tough my clients must find this process - how scary and challenging it can feel to put yourselves out there and open up new ways of relating with your partner I understood suddenly how beautiful this encounter between us had been in its rawness, it’s intimacy - awkwardness, being unsure, insecurity, tears - we have plenty of ‘seamless’ sexual encounters but this felt different. So real, and so very touching It became clear to me that even if we hadn’t completed the exercise as planned, this was as tantric an experience as we could expect to have!

Right up there in terms of truth, intimacy and connection

I felt so much closer to him having seen each other in this way Here’s to tears and to fears... to getting underneath the easy bits

To feeling safe enough with your partner to go into the uncomfortable - now that’s sexy


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