One of the many things that I’ve learnt from this year is to be authentic with everything I do and with myself. To celebrate and honour myself and those around me. And when it comes to Balancing Act, I want it to be even more real and be relatable to everyone without the extra sugar coating.
That’s why my next topic is all about sex in a long-term relationship.
It’s a topic that tends to be unspoken… yet I know many people are keen to learn more. I actually had a workshop on this topic, and once it was done everyone was asking me when is the next one.
There are many questions that came up in the workshop such as:
Why do some couples have much less sex? Is it possible to sustain a strong sexual connection over the long-term? And how can you experience more pleasure when life feels stressful and overwhelming? How do you keep up the desire? They’re tough questions, but my guest Belinda Wiley has some answers you will find very interesting.
Belinda Wiley is a sex and relationship coach; her mission is to teach women to live with confidence and joy inside their bodies and minds. Her energy is contagious, she has so much wisdom and she is really genuine which makes her very relatable.
I put the following questions to Belinda:
Can you tell us a little more about you and how did you become a sex and relationship coach?
I married when I was 26 and had three children. I was a stay at home Mum. I did assist my husband in our family hospitality businesses up until 2017.
Our relationship started full of passion and lots of sex but I noticed as babies and stressful businesses came into the mix, our sex life seemed to be routine at best.
We didn’t really know how to talk kindly to each other about our frustrations, without it ending up in arguments and irritation and plain hurtful comments
I started avoiding having sex, although I felt a sense of responsibility – as in being a dutiful wife, living an amazing rich life provided for by our businesses.
I started searching for meaning in my life and after studying yoga and teaching yoga to the corporates part time, still our sex life was the same. I even suggested going to a councillor because I wasn’t happy. He didn’t want to because he said he was happy!
It wasn’t until I found Layla Martin and one of her online courses on women’s sexuality that I realised I wanted to do something about how I was feeling myself, instead of moaning and groaning about what he wasn’t doing or how he wasn’t making me feel like this or like that!
It was so empowering, but it also felt a little weird to be doing daily self love pleasure practices, whether they were using a jade egg, doing breast massage, self pleasuring or loving meditations. I noticed my body responded and I got super curious about my sexual pleasure, what turned me on, and how I noticed the numbness in parts of my body and the places I just could not connect with, like my cervix, which made sense to me after 3 births.
She then offered her certification programme which felt like a full bodied YES! This then became the journey I took my clients on in order to find their true sense of sexuality/identity. It is something that many women feel they lose once they have children or are in long term relationships.
What are your top two strategies you give to your clients for a healthier and happier sex life?
Agree to prioritise your intimacy with yourself FIRST and find your own desire for yourself and your marriage, and how you want it to look and feel
With daily self love/pleasure practices like for example, Body Meditation, breast massage and Honey Pot Meditation, just to name a few, they guide you through parts of your body that have somehow been forgotten about. This can really enhance your sensate focus, your ability to connect to your sensitivity in your whole sexual area.
What are your top “techniques” that couples should use to sustain their connection over the long term?
Communication practices like:
- listening to each other
- giving each other time without being interrupted
- I always teach my clients how to do “The Recap” – after sex it makes such a difference to communication if you make space straight afterwards to check in with how each other is feeling. What you loved and would you want anything different. When you are in the glow both of you can feel vulnerable and often more willing to share at a deep level.
Connection practices to deepen safety and love between each other that can be used daily to be playful, and intimate with each other. I usually give:
- “Eye Gazing” which helps a couple slow down and truly be present with each other
- Another favourite is “Desires, Fears and Loves”, which is a space for each partner to be honest about what each other wants, is afraid of and then loves about their partner.
You talk a lot about the women doing the inner work first vs. the man, can you explain more?
Women go first and lead the way!
Women tend to be more interested in making changes to their relationship. Often men are too frightened, not that they would admit that Men have been trained to make sure their partners are happy, and provided for, and getting pleasure. This is the conditioning most men have experienced from a young age! So if they are unhappy or so at the hint that their partner is unhappy and wants more, men tend to take it personally.
Generally their hearts really feel it as a deep criticism, But they rarely admit it. The way they show this is by being avoidant and reacting with busyness at work, they are stressed, feeling under pressure, and the idea of learning something new can feel super scary for a man
I work with women so they get back in touch with their sexuality, learning how to pleasure themselves and in turn feeling empowered to speak lovingly about their needs and when they work with me with my signature programme their confidence builds and their husbands can feel something the shift and respond accordingly.
It is much easier for women to introduce any of these above strategies and techniques to their husbands when they have first done the inner work for themselves, because they feel confident and empowered. Men love this and are way more responsive when they can be in the discussion and don’t have to come up with the answers
Scheduling sex – can it work?
This is a great way to start prioritising sex if you are a busy couple. It doesn’t always work for every couple. Some men just want spontaneity so planning feels super foreign to them.
You can have a conversation agreeing that you both miss sex and would like to agree on how often. When you are feeling sensual and truly empowered in your own sexuality, it feels way easier to start the conversation.
If you add in a couple of connection practices where he feels seen and has a place to be heard, agreeing to take turns to diarise a sex date can be super fun. If you get playful and text each other or whatever turns you on about it, it can build up some desire for you both.
What do you think of gender roles and how they manifest in sex?
If you are referring to the masculine and feminine gender roles. There are many schools of thought on this. I like the view of John Wineland that when you have the polar opposites at play in a relationship, where one person plays the feminine role and the other plays the masculine role, this creates a spark of erotic magnetism.
Men and women can both play feminine and masculine roles during their days. But for amazing erotic sex you need each person to play one of the roles, doesn’t matter who. But often it is men playing the masculine role and women playing the feminine role.
To create this, the feminine role needs to transition using a ritual that feels good to her like:
- taking a bath
- dancing in the bedroom
- singing in the shower
- caressing your skin
- wearing a piece of clothing that feels pleasurable, like a silk robe.
Then feel the energy of offering your heart energy to your partner, this can be done using breathing together, maybe sitting belly to belly or similar. The man commits to his masculine by setting up the framework so the woman feels held and seen and loved and safe so she can relax and feel soft and feel the essence of being open to be loved and ravished or whatever you may have already talked about.
Unfortunately men expect their intimate relationships to serve all purposes – wife, mother, lover, housekeeper, taxi driver, bill payer, etc. This often veers the relationship into practical and useful, rather than sensual and sexual. Sadly by constantly talking about finances, work, household issues, and children, women turn into a neutral companion.
You become so familiar with each other that the mystery of sexual enchantment becomes standardised into a repetitive ritual of what seems to work, which you then repeat over and over and there seems to be that sexual spark missing, even though you both, or at least one of you, has a happy ending! Domesticity replaces mystery, and talk replaces tumble!
This is where the connection and communication practices can do their job – you have already discussed what each of you desire, want to experiment with, your deepest desires in your sex life together, all the while holding loving space and presence for your relationship together
How to handle differences in desire with your partner?
Communication with loving presence is the way through so you can agree to a compromise about how often and what each other is desiring.
What is the best way to talk about sex with your kids?
With honesty and lightness – make sure you feel comfortable about your own body and sex life as it helps you to explain about sex to your children. Children learn a lot from their parents’ emotions around their own sexuality. Do you know the names of all your own sexual parts? Use the actual names of their sexual body parts ie vulva, penis, scrotum, labia.
For info on Belinda, head over to her Facebook page where she shares regular and insightful posts and videos.