Wonder Couples Class #6

Class Six: June 24, 2020 7:30-8:45 pm PST “Wonder Couples: Ready, Set, Spark!” How to maintain the mystery and interest in each other which will create the healthy and vibrant sexual connection you crave. 

 

7:35 Opening exercise:  [Jason Leads]

 

Tonight is about sparks.  Finding them, appreciating them and holding them together.  

 

Take a moment to settle into your connection through finding the spark of your partner by attuning your senses.  

  • Find the sparkle in their eyes.  

  • Hear their laugh in their smile.  

  • Taste their kiss in your mouth. 

  • Know the smell of their skin by taking a gentle inhale.  

  • Feel their body just by gently taking their hand.  

 

With your senses attuned here is a poem about spark.

 

If You Forget

A poem by Rob Fisher

 

If you forget how beautiful you are

I will remember

 

I will remember your barefoot connection to the earth,

The risks you have taken.

And the compassion in your heart

I will remember the courage of your questions. 

And the tiny wrinkles that make your bright and shining eyes 

 

I will remember how you shine in your enthusiasm,

Your delicate embarrassment,

The passion and serious intensity

Behind your words.

 

If you forget,

Come with me. 

There is a path I know

High up on the mountain

And deep in the core of the rich black earth

Where we can drink together

From the pool of your tears,

And listen as the mountains echo

With the sound of your laughter

 

If you forget,

I will taste,

One more time 

The deep dark sweetness of your soul,

That wonderful essence that belongs only to you.

 

If you are tired,

Come rest in the warmth of my hands

and I will whisper

Stories of your greatness

in your ears.

Oh, how I am intoxicated by the flavors of your soul.

 

7:45 Concept introduction:

 

JB: Hi Carolyn.

CS: Hi Jason.

JB: What do you say we talk about sex today?

CS: Sure, let’s do it.

 

Let's start with sparks, what are sparks?

• What do we mean when we say spark? Spark is that excitement and interest in each other. It’s the magic. It’s the attraction that brought you together and that over time, keeps things interesting. It evolves and transforms over time. What was the spark at day one and month one and year one will all be different. 

 

Spark is made up of shared interests and differences between you, shared experiences and separate ones. It has components of all the things we have talked about-our attachment, our neuroscience and our arousal regulation. It is sex and it is intimacy and is connection.  It is tension and ease and effort and ease. It’s the push pull. 

 

 A spark is anything that makes us feel alive, brings us a sense of vitality.  They are what makes us feel special and unique.  Part of being in a secure functioning relationship is being able to hold the romantic spark together and decide how  to best use that energy to benefit our relationship which then benefits the whole.  

 

For todays purposes, we are talking about how to best tend to our romantic sparks to build a strong and mutually satisfying sex life. Now, that can be sex in the literal sense of the word, but not all couples define their sex life that way, so we are talking about the romantic, intimate, sexy connections you share. 

 

We are always talking about putting your relationship first by putting your partner first.  How does that fit in with sexual and romatic sparks?

• We need to get really good at listening to our partner and to see them as having value and bringing an important view point to the relationship.  We also need to get really good at taking care of our partner when we deliver our love and energy to them so that they can see/hear/feel them with greater openness. We want to foster that romantic connection, those sparks between us, by balancing the shared interests and the differences. Both the safety in the long term connection and the mystery of another human. 

 

If that spark can bring us such joy, why do we struggle?

• There are lots of ways that we will understand this today.  The overarching reason is that we want to be loved, known and deeply cared for and this is inherently challenging.  That's what makes secure functioning principles so important is that they help us to maximize our potential to do this successfully for ourselves and our partners.

 

So what can we do to best care for the relationship spark within our couple bubble?

• The main idea is that we turn areas where we find ourselves on separate sides of power-struggles and we see the power of struggling together.  Miraculously, most of the time what happens when we come together is that the struggle shrinks and we recognize new powers that we share.

 

What are some common areas where partners find themselves on separate sides of power struggles?

  • Desire for connection vs. autonomy (Kit likes time along and Jane wants deep connection and frequent content. In their sex life, Jane wants long slow love making, while Kit wants a quick encounter)

  • Desire for adventure vs. security (Josh is a thrill seeker/mountain climber/bike racer, while Dan likes to spend quiet time at home. In their love making, Josh likes to mix it up and play within their sexual connection, while Dan likes deep romantic connections with lots of eye contact.

  • Desire for novelty vs. desire for reliability (James likes to travel to new places and seek out new couples, while Karen wants to have weekly dinners with their best friends and take family vacations to the same places. James plans elaborate dates and surprises Karen for romantic connection while Karen wants to have their dates and their sex life predictable). 

  • Desire for privacy vs. self disclosure (Ursula is shy and prefers a small group of people around them, while Richelle shares openly with friends and neighbors. Similarly, Ursula wants sex talk, while Richelle is more quiet and reserved.) 

  • Desire for reason and thought vs. desire to be passionate (Polly reads books and likes to discuss and analyze both their life and their sexual interests, while Philip wants to be spontaneous and be swept off his feet.)

 

Okay, so what do you do when you get into a power struggle?

• The main thing is to see these divides as part of the whole.  We want connection and autonomy, we want novelty and reliability. 

• Focus on the process not the content (some examples here: instead of fighting about how many times we should be having sex per week.  The conversation is really about connection vs. autonomy or reason and thought vs. desire and passion. The question returns to “What is your partner trying to communicate to you about what they want and need?”) 

• Self Disclosure

• Honesty

• An environment of safety

• AND Recognize how rare it is for two people to have identical or closely aligned desire levels that line up at the same time.

 

Wait, why can't two people have closely aligned desires?

• It's great when it happens but life is full of twists and turns.  Here are a few of the reasons that our desires change over time and why we may have different desire levels: 

◦ Age

◦ Gender and hormones

◦ Health

◦ Sexual preferences that will change and evolve over time

◦ Diet

• Also life things

◦ Stress

◦ Tiredness

◦ Housework, regular work

◦ Children

• Not to mention the cultural factors

◦ What it means to be a woman and be sexy

◦ What it means to be a man and perform

◦ Pressures on what a “healthy couple” should be doing/how often they should be doing

 

That's a bummer.  How do we possibly build on maintaining the spark with all of these challenges?

• It's all about attitude and approach.  The attitude is what we have been describing-  that we are on the same team and when we find ourselves getting divided it just means that we need to see the opposing forces as things that we both actually want for our sexual connection.  The approach is about humor, humility and caring deeply for our partner .

 

Let's do an exercise that demonstrates this and we can talk about it more in the Q&A.

 

8:05 Exercise:

 

Beckoning: We are going to play with non-verbal behaviors that will help you get each other to come and play with you. (Do this piping in game show music (the newlywed game) to make it light and fun.)

[C does first round- J Second Round]

 

Decide which one of you is going to be partner A and partner B

Go to separate ends of the room

Listen to instructions first-  then go.

 

Straight Beckoning

  • Partner A (Beckoning partner), get your partner to come to you without using words or sound.

  • Partner B  move only if the Partner A uses a gesture that works.  

  • When you have succeeded, stay in a hug until your partner wants a release.

 

Comfort Beckoning

  • Partner A- Call your partner to you with comfort in mind. 

  • Partner B  move only if the Partner A uses a gesture that works.

  • When you have succeeded, stay in a hug until your partner wants a release.

 

Passion Beckoning

  • Partner A - Call your partner to you with passion in mind. 

  • Partner B  move only if the Partner A uses a gesture that works.

  • When you have succeeded, do something to show your partner how attractive they are to you.

 

Love Beckoning 

  • Partner A- Call your partner to come to you with love in your mind; 

  • Partner B-  move only if the Partner A uses a gesture that works.

  • When you have succeeded, hold your partner’s gaze and share a favorite memory.

 

Now switch


 

8:20 Then right into this discussion: 

Points to (possibly) cover that address the approach to sex:

 

  • When it comes to spark, the non-verbal is so important!  That’s the point of the exercise.  We want you to work out some new moves.  To Quote Funkadelic- Dance your way out of your constrictions.  

    • Did you notice any frustrations during the exercise? 

    • Did you learn any new moves?

  • Maintain curiosity and focus on making your partner feel loved and wanted in the ways that they feel loved and wanted, not the ways you wish they did. 

    • Does anyone have an example of how they successfully make their partner feel loved? (pg-13)

  • Maintain play and fun in it always: this is a special thing that you are meant to enjoy. It should be fun (however you define it). Keep that as the focus.

    • Anyone have suggestions for how to keep it fun?

  • Remove pressure from the equation

  • Highlight fun and relaxation

  • This can be the full meal deal, or it can just be kissing, tickling, teasing. Everyone defines sex differently. Everyone defines FUN differently, Can you make it safe for your partner to like what they like without judging them or yourself if you are different. 

  • Open communication-being able to say what you like and don’t

  • Feeling safe to be yourself’

  • Time together AND time apart to nurture each of you and the relationship

  • Play and fun

  • Find ways to make it safe for honesty and transparency. How do you know when your partner REALLY likes what you are doing? 

  • It does take work.  It’s tricky though because it can’t be a chore.  One thing that can be helpful, is saying “yes” to having special time together.  That doesn’t mean that you are having sex when you do not want to, because that causes problems. It means that you say yes to being in a place where you can share special, intimate, romantic time that may lead to sex. If you are both fully accepting and tending to the other, it increases the chances that both will be excited for sex, however that looks for the two of you. 

 

8:35 Then closing exercise. [Carolyn]. We hope this discussion has brought fun and interest to this topic and given you a few ideas in how to bring some spark back. We will be closing again leaving you in each other’s care and we will fade out. You can stay as long as you like after we leave. 

 

So, now (Brandi Carlile in the background again): Take a moment to get comfortable facing your partner, with your feet in each other’s laps or holding each other’s hands. IF with feet in hands, you will each be massaging each other’s feet. If holding hands, you will take turns giving each other hand massages. 

 

Take a few deep breaths together and share with your eyes your appreciation for taking the time tonight to work on these things. 

 

Now as you massage each other’s hand or feet, pay attention to the firmness of your touch, the speed of your massage and the motions you are making. Does your partner like it harder or softer? Faster or slower? Play with this. 

 

Can you take a minute and trace a message with your fingers. 

 

Now, just settle back in and wonder at this person in front of you. All the mysteries of them. All the things you continue to learn about. Maybe some of these are differences between you. Can you let them be something that creates that spark. 

 

Now breathe together again and let all that go into the background and again settle back into appreciation for the life you have together. Share with your eyes your love for each other and your commitment to making things both safe AND exciting together. 

 

--------------------NOTES GO HERE---------------------

 

I think we could all use a little fun.  It’s an extremely tough time and this class is a reminder of super power that we have as a couple which is our intimate connection.  While in most places in the world we can’t go out dancing or for a massage, we wanted to start with a little fun.

 

Camera on or camera off - dancing: we play music. Different songs for 2 minutes each. One slow, one fast, one slow with us introducing concepts through the directions. 

 

First song:  Close your eyes. Imagine for a moment you are back in 6th grade. Not your real 6th grade experience, but the best one you could have had. You were cool. People were nice. The girls or boys (or both) were cute! Now imagine yourself at your 6th grade dance. Wearing your seetest outfit you’d been saving for this. There are balloons and punch and kinda gross homemade cookies that you pick at because you are nervous. Music starts. You turn and across the room is the girl or boy you’ve been waiting to dance with all night. Now open your eyes. Dance like you did at your 6th grade dance or with your crush. HOPELESSLY DEVOTED TO YOU from Grease

 

(They said yes! They agreed to dance with you! It’s a little awkward but you are so excited bc you are doing something youve always wanted to do. You don’t know what is going to happen. ) Slow early 80s tune-CHEEZY.

  • Newness, fear, excitement. Uncertainty, mystery, intrigue. Hormones! Hormones! Homeones!

 

Second song: Dance like you did in your 20s when you wanted to dance with someone you thought was cute and wanted to get with. SUPERSTITION, STEVIE WONDER. 

 

(You are making your way across the party. You lock eyes. You are playing it cool but trying to let them know you are interested). Early 90’s tune that is familiar to everyone. 

  • Confidence and fear! Interest and curiosity. Excitement and fear. Hormones! Hormones! Hormones! 

 

Third song: Close your eyes. You’re an adult now. You have found your person. You’ve been out a few times, but they are cute and smart and sexy and fun. You want to spend all your time together. You want to make it last. 

Start music: YOU BELONG TO ME, Brandi Carlile.  You invite them to dance with you because you love them and want them to know. You feel so lucky and happy and in love and want to take this quiet minute to be together.   

Love and attraction. Joy. Safety (delusion). Passion and connection. Hormones!