Meet Allie Andrews, Sex and Intimacy Coach
MY CLIENT Steve sat down in my virtual office. I could feel his anxiety in my body as my belly tightened. I let the chair take my weight, took a deep breath all the way down into my vagina, and listened as he nervously told me about his sexless marriage.
He really wanted more sex (even some sex would be great), but they hadn’t had it in over a year. And it wasn’t just that – emotional intimacy also felt so far out of reach.
Later that day, I checked my phone and saw a message from another client Mike: “Is there a trick to getting more blowjobs from my wife? I feel like I’m always begging and it barely happens anymore.”
This theme of bland, infrequent, even obligatory sex is common in my line of work. I’ve certainly experienced it myself. And while it’s totally normal for sexual urges and connections to ebb and flow, most of us feel better when desire is flowing within us and our relationship.
As a sex and intimacy coach, my first step when an individual or couple brings these types of concerns to me is to do a little digging:
Are they disconnected from their sexual selves, so busy that they aren’t prioritizing their own pleasure (let alone their partner’s pleasure)? Do they know what they really desire sexually, and how to ask for it in a way that their partner can connect with? Is there a mismatch in sexual desires? If so, can we merge their desires or introduce turn taking (or outsourcing in some cases) so that both people are more sated?
Many of us are taught that love means sacrifice, and to some extent this is true. But do we really have to sacrifice the intimacy and sex life (no, they’re not the same thing!) that makes us feel most empowered, supported and ourselves? What do you think?
You might have guessed it, but my answer is HELL NO! Nor should we, because doing so for too long can lead to disconnection, resentment, infidelity, divorce, or perhaps worst of all (and all too common) the commitment-rich, connection-poor marriage.
Next time you and your partner talk about sex (hopefully soon), I invite you to try a new approach. Rather than focusing on the sex acts you do or don’t want to try (this is a fun convo too), try to understand each other’s desires.
Erotic desires are not the sexual acts we want, but the feelings those acts create in us. We all have core erotic desires, or feelings we want to experience in sex, that are unique to us. Yours are the very reason you seek sex (and like what you like). And the very same words, gestures or sex acts will sate different core desires (feelings) for different people.
For example, you don’t just want more blowjobs because they feel amazing, you want them because they make you feel some sort of way: powerful, dominant, received, totally accepted, in control, worshiped, relaxed, loved, consumed, exposed…the list goes on and on (for a more comprehensive list of core desires click here).
When I know that blowjobs make my partner feel powerful, accepted and loved, I am way more motivated to give them to him. After all, I really want him to feel those things! Your core desires live deep in your psyche, often influenced by childhood wounds, missed experiences, and even trauma. Exploring them is not a one-and-done exercise.
Rather, it’s an ongoing process of being present for not only what turns you on most, but how it makes you feel.
The following questions can provide a starting point for exploring your core desires. You can reflect on your own first, or have a conversation with your partner (perhaps over some pillow talk tonight?):
- What was the hottest sex you’ve ever had? This may show up for you as a single experience/ memory or a montage of clips from your sex life.
- What kind of porn turns you on the most? (If in a couple, you can also watch it together.)
- What do you fantasize about while you’re masturbating?
- What makes this experience, memory, or fantasy particularly hot for you? Get really specific on the moments and circumstances that turn you on the most.
- Lastly, how do these things make you feel?
IF you’re having this conversation with your lover, it’s totally natural for one or both of you to feel a little triggered (jealous, unwanted, scared).
It’s important to acknowledge and honor this. What are you feeling? Needing?
Depending on what you find you might say something like: “I really want to know about your fantasies and desires, but I’m noticing I’m also feeling a little insecure [share what you’re feeling]. Can you reassure me that you…love having sex with me, are attracted to me, don’t want anyone else [ask for what you want to hear].”
Remember, as uncomfortable as this may feel at first (I know talking about sex can be hard!), this is in pursuit of deepening intimacy and you both getting more of what you want (dare I say need), both sexually and emotionally.
Your core desires don’t just inform how you want to feel from sex, they inform how you want to feel in the day-to-day of your relationship, too. Intimacy requires a willingness to investigate your desires, to teach your partner what turns you on the most, and to be open to their needs and desires – even when they trigger you or challenge what you think is “healthy” or “normal”.
And if you feel embarrassed, dirty, ashamed, insecure or like you don’t know where to go from here, this is exactly what a sex and intimacy coach can help you with. Exploring your sexual desires and asking for what you want might not only save your marriage, but it will bring you closer to yourself — not to mention lead to some of the hottest erotic moments of your life.
Whether it’s through boutique coaching, intimate groups, transformational workshops or her writing, Allie Andrews helps individuals and couples have better sex and feel happier and more secure in themselves and their relationships.
Allie is a Somatica® trained Sex and Relationship Coach, Certified Yoga Teacher and Certified Holistic Health Coach with her Masters in Education. She recently moved to Portland, Maine from Boston with her partner Ryan and tabby cat Bindi.