In this week's episode of the Epic Couples Podcast, Low Risk Initiating and Midnight Sex, Shaun and I brag about having middle-of-the-night sex where there was a little bit of sensory deprivation, fumbling, and an element of wildness.
It was a big payoff for Shaun's low risk way of initiating sex.
It was only possible because of the ways in which Shaun and I dismantle society's influence on our sex life and continuously work at our setting our own rules.
Here are five things I want you to know before initiating sex, even in a low risk way:
THING ONE: Sex Drive Isn't A Thing
In her book Come As You Are, Emily Nagoski says, "A drive is a motivational system to deal with life-or-death issues, like hunger or being too cold. You're not going to die if you don't have sex."
And when that impulsive desire to have sex arises, you're actually feeling spontaneous desire. It happens, for example, when a stray thought about sex makes you want to have sex.
THING TWO: Spontaneous Desire Isn't The Only Form of Desire
Not everyone experiences spontaneous desire. While it's fun to think about sex and then to be physically ready to have sex, it's the primary desire style for only 10% to 20% of women.
Responsive desire, another desire style, is when you experience something that is physically arousing like when your partner starts kissing your neck and then your body responds.
Desire can come first and then arousal -OR- arousal may come first and then desire.
Each person is different.
THING THREE: Consent is Fluid and Required
Consent is evolving its boundaries.
It used to be that as a society we didn't value or believe women needed to consent to sex. Women were property to be used as men saw fit. Slaves, prostitutes, wives...it didn't matter.
Then, at some point, if one "yes" was elicited labels like "rape" and "predator" and "forced" were thought to be avoided.
Now we need to evolve to understand consent as fluid and required. A "yes" can turn into a "no" at any point during a sensual or sexual encounter. A "no" can be given space to transform into a "maybe" or a "yes." A "maybe" can be honored by asking, "What do you need to come into clarity?"
Honoring your body, your sexuality, and your partner can be as easy as tuning in and asking, "What are you experiencing right now?" or "What do you desire right now?" Start bringing these questions into partnered sex and see how it becomes okay to come as you are and for consent to be fluid and a tool for empowerment.
THING FOUR: #metoo Is In Loving, Long Term Relationships
Power structures affect sex even in loving, long term relationships. Maybe you're someone who says yes to sex, because you think it's the loving thing to do. Maybe you're someone who says yes to sex any time you can get it because you're afraid the opportunity may never show up again.
Whether you're afraid of losing your partner for honoring your boundaries or live in fear of sex scarcity, the dynamics at play in your relationship may mean your partner and you may convince yourselves to have sex when you're not a full-bodied yes.
THING FIVE: Know Your Full-Bodied Yes, No, or Maybe
Many of us have become numb to our bodies' desires, wisdom, and consent...especially around sex.
How do you know when you want to have sex? Do you know what your full-bodied yes feels like?
For me it's a feeling of expansion, a leaning in, a warmth, a tingling, and unmistakable excitement. When I know my yes, it's so much easier to recognize my full-bodied no and my maybe.
My hope for you is that you have the sex you want and the intimacy you desire...and it all starts with these five things.
Sending you so much love,