My 15-year-old daughter told me that a friend was planning to try to get his first kiss when the fireworks went off last night. Talk about a romantic beginning…But even more than a romantic beginning is mastering the tools to keep intimacy vibrant long after the fireworks fade away. In light of that, I offer these five foolproof tips to get a spark to ignite and enjoy reliable, continuously improving pleasure with your heart’s desire….
Sustainability is the catch phrase of this generation… it means learning how to use current resources in a way that does not harm the future. Yet the wisdom of sustainability is rarely applied to love, which, I believe is the source of life energy from which all else springs. Love is an action verb and a developmental skill set which evolves with time and practice.
As we begin to appreciate that being in relationship, having a family and history with someone is a precious resource we begin the journey of creating a thriving ecology of love. The huge amounts of trust, time and loving intention that we invest in our early relationships are actually renewable resources and the currency of our future health and wellbeing. Sustaining your relationship with loving words and actions not only keeps your own intimacy vibrant, it becomes a living education of what love is for future generations.
Join us, as we learn together about the art of love through the skill based practice of creating a thriving Ecology of Love by addressing all of the aspects of intimacy that make love grow. Each post helps you to honestly address all the areas of your relationship that need attention in order to create the passionate connection that makes love thrive.
Ask yourself: How does the opening in your communication with your partner increase your ability to share passion? What does it feel like when your partner shows up for you and does it make you want them more? How do your good thoughts about loving your partner invite you into a kiss?
Years ago at one of the last adult shows I attended my Good Clean Love booth was next to the Angels, Buck the Transman porn star and his wife Elaine author of the Piercing Bible. At first glance, this couple who was literally covered from head to toe in tattoos and piercings selling huge glass pieces and giant posters of Buck: Man with a Pussy was as foreign to me as I could imagine. I was stunned. My judgments about who they were came upon me so fast that there was not enough time to recognize them as judgments, let alone question them. I was pretty certain that I would not have much in common to connect to my neighbors. That was the beginning of my summer of gratitude project when I was learning how to access gratitude and I was asking fellow vendors for prizes for the best gratitude entries. Asking Buck and Elaine about gratitude changed everything.
Yesterday, I interviewed Neil Biderman, the founder and CEO of Ashley Madison, the online affair portal that boasts 19 million profiles in 26 countries. Every day, the business of cheating generates 26,000 new users and over $91,000. His empire, built on what isn’t working in human intimacy, is booming. Our conversation was lively; he was accustomed to the push back and articulate about the challenges of making a fortune on the devastating betrayals that his website generates. Initially, he argued that it wasn’t the desire for sex as much as a longing for passion and attention that motivated so many of his female customers to initiating affairs. Only moments later he claimed that his website was actually helpful to marriage longevity because it allowed people to stay together and have their sexual needs taken care of elsewhere.
“Virtually all hyperosmolar lubricants need to be reformulated… Normally the mucosal lining of the vagina is a good barrier to infection all by itself, but when that barrier gets compromised, all bets are off.” -Richard Cone, biophysicist Johns Hopkins
My work making personal lubricants never seemed like the answer to a national health crisis until now. As many of you know, I was inspired to start Good Clean Love to solve my own intimacy needs. The burning and itching that followed my intimacy didn’t really leave me longing for more. Developing products that made loving healthier was a personal quest more than a business idea. Along the way, I have learned quite a bit about the business side, although still really struggle to understand the greed motive that drives so many large multinational corporations to do things that people individually they would never do on their own (Monsanto is practically synonymous with environmental destruction in my mind). Even though Monsanto’s genetic engineering and planting pesticides inside of food is well known, it seems impossible to stop them.
I have never been a good quitter in life and so it is not surprising that my relationship to endings is challenging. Still, this midyear cycle is always poignantly full of them with school year endings, graduations and all of the moving on that summer invites. This year, two of my children are graduating from college and my younger kids are completing their final years of high school. I am often struck by how the last day of anything, even the things we count down towards, can catch us off guard because, while it is easy to envision moving on from an activity like classes, leaving behind the relationships within that context carries a silent loss that we often don’t recognize until it is gone.
The ability to orgasm remains one of the most coveted and yet misunderstood human experiences there is- partly because we wrongly believe that it is an experience of the genitals, when in fact our ability to climax reverberates throughout the body and initiates deep in the brain. So here I present to you a user friendly guide to the order of operations that, with a unique blend of practice and letting go will move most everybody from arousal to orgasm.
I have been preaching the gospel of learning to stay in our relationships for close to a decade, but only recently have learned for myself how the lessons of staying with the hard places in relationship are most deeply integrated through the work of the body. Learning how to hold our selves in the Warrior/ Virabhadrasana 1 pose provides a powerful metaphor for the complex commitment necessary for our most intimate relationships to thrive.
I have been working on my capacity for receiving for some time. Teaching myself the ways of opening to love and affection, learning how to sense the feel of love in my body and noticing how it lasts or dissipates with my attention. The ability to receive manifests itself in everything from our capacity for sexual pleasure to our sense of financial security. It also lives in the endless human transactions that make up our days, not only within our most intimate relationships but in the ways we meet strangers, participate in groups large and small and generally experience belonging and isolation in our lives.
I have been making love with the same man for some thirty years, and although I can honestly say it has gotten amazingly and increasingly better over the decades, it is important to add that this improvement was in direct proportion to the work and willingness we brought to growing up sexually. To be fair and honest, my earliest memories of sex hold as much frustration as they did passion. I longed for the romantic, sexual combustion that would not only fill me up, but also unite me with my partner/ However, without any real skills to get there, much of our sexuality became an exercise in approach- avoidance.
“The only way that we can live is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.” -C. Joybell
I am coming to the end of an era in my life as my youngest daughter celebrates her 15th birthday this week. Mothering my four children has been my primary occupation for the last half of my life and now, as I near the end of this growth cycle, I am coming to see what has yet to grow in me. Somehow as I was having all these babies I never realized how old I would become when the job was done. I remember a few random moments pushing a swing, when I would calculate how old I would be when this last little girl would graduate from high school, but then the idea of this time so far in the future felt like fiction. Imagining my two–year-old at fifteen was as unimaginable to me as my then 37-year-old self turning 52.