In partnered relationship sometimes we struggle to have our needs met. In the fullness of life needs and desires can sometimes be neglected. Over time these wants can build up, consciously and unconsciously — our inner self notices. The soul has needs, sexually, spiritually, mentally, the desire towards self activation and fulfilment is strong. When we overlook our needs, or the needs of our partner, inner resentment and frustration builds. Then, when engagement does happen, competing needs can often clash making it difficult for anyone to get their needs met.
Set aside some time to identify your individual sexual needs and desires. Be expansive and in-depth. What sort of things do you enjoy in terms of touch? How do you like to be touched? Where? What kinds of fantasies to you have? What are your kinks? Spend some time getting to know yourself first — journal, observe your thoughts, the type of porn you watch, erotica you like to read. Identify some of your peak erotic experiences and what made them so. Do your homework! Once you have done so begin to sort through the needs and desires that you would like to explore, perhaps keeping some in the realm of fantasy only, what I call deep fantasy.
The next step is to spend some time sharing your discoveries. Commit to listening from a non-judgemental place. Remember that if your partner shares a desire that feels uncomfortable, funny or odd, to stay in a curious place — this type of sharing can create deep intimacy and trust. Having a loved one who can hear about your innermost desires is a real gift and can often strengthen a bond. If something feels really edgy you may want to share it with a confidant or counsellor first, especially if its something you’ve kept to yourself for a long time.
Negotiate. Determine which needs your comfortable exploring. Sort out together what is desire you wish to explore and desire that, for now, you wish to keep in fantasy — desire that you are comfortable exploring with your partner, and desire that will need more discussion and negotiation. Keep it simple at first. Once you have identified what you wish to explore try refining your wishes. Do I want to receive something from my partner or do I want to give something? Examples: “I would like you to give me some erotic touch”, I would like to give you some erotic touch.” Do I want to take something from my partner or allow them to take something from me? Example: “I would like to tie you up”, “I would like to be tied up.” Try to really determine what element turns you on — to give vs. receive, to take vs. allow. I’ll talk more about this in my next bog: who’s it for?
Practice. Schedule time for your play sessions. Be realistic about frequency and length of time but also make it a priority. Think of it as play. Aim to let go of expectations and stay in a curious place, simply noticing what you like and don’t like, what turns you on and what does not. Play time is exploration time.
Debrief. Take time to reflect together and separately about what turned you on, what you want to explore more and what you want to exclude. This will help you deepen self knowledge and help your partner really get to know you more. There is always more to learn about yourself and your partner. Opening up, sharing, being vulnerable and sexy with one another in a conscious and supportive way creates safety and deepens then bond between you.
Reach Out. We love to hear about people’s explorations and discoveries so feel free to write to us with your stories. If you’re feeling stuck reach out to us. We are happy to help guide and support you if you’re having trouble with any aspect of this practice — self discovery, communication, how to engage in conscious play. We can offer you lot’s of ideas for practice, and tools to help strengthen your communication and creativity.