When we are falling in love, we notice all the positive attractors in our partner. Over time, the inevitable negatives which were there all along become more noticeable. The key to long-term relational connection is to intentionally replicate that focus on the positive attractors over the negative.
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George Faller 00:02
Okay. Follow it up last time. I’m too sexy for my shirt. Right? We’re trying to talk and help, how do we feel sexy about ourselves and send out that positive, sexy vibe to our partner today. Laurie, I was hoping you could help me out. How can I see my partner as being too sexy? How do we start?
Laurie Watson 00:25
I think our listeners I think our listenership just went up Could you sing it again and then we’ll like double our listenership I listened
to six to six.
George Faller 00:38
People are feeling that way no one could have great sex.
Laurie Watson 00:44
Welcome to foreplay radio, couples in sex therapy. I’m Laurie Watson, your sex therapist.
George Faller 00:49
And I’m George Fallon, a couples therapist
Laurie Watson 00:52
and we are passionate about talking about sex and helping you develop a way to talk to each other.
George Faller 00:57
Our mission is to help our audience Develop a healthier relationship to sex that integrates the mind, the heart and the body.
Just as we began, please remember to check out Uber lube it really calm is where you can get this great lubricant and help support for playing radio.
George Faller 01:16
So we talked about how we could do this with ourselves and stop bringing in love and kind of some positive emotion, attach it not to these places of criticism and really open it up more space. And today I’m going to try to talk about how do we do that for our partner? How do we see them and not just see the things we don’t like, but to really celebrate these parts of them that turned them into these sexy beasts that we get away from
Laurie Watson 01:40
sexy V’s? Yeah, I have a patient here is falling in love with this guy. And she’s telling me all about it. You know how sexy he is how great and bad he is. And to me this incredible, long list of improbable parts to him that I think are Are you not seeing all that, you know, like, this guy is not partnership material. He’s you’re looking for a partner. He got it. And you know, there’s just this these things that she completely brushes over. Yeah, he’s got, you know, little children and I’m ready to sort of traveled the world now and, you know, all this stuff and I just listened in it. I’m incredulous that her focus, and what she can see is only the sexy parts, right? Only the parts that he’s such a great intense listener, he really really gets me. And I’m thinking yeah, and there’s gonna be this bitter divorce. This is his second wife, the first wife was a lunatic. You know, it’s like, you know, he has adult children now is young, chill, you know, just all this stuff. And what does she focus on? Just, you know, he sees me. And then I’ll listen to some of the things that she says he says about her and I’m just shaking In my head, right? This is so not it. But she can’t see anything but the good. And I think this is what is so great about falling in love, right? When we’re falling in love, we just have rose colored glasses, and we see the beautiful parts of our partner. And we screen out anything that might be a red flag or a warning. We kind of hear it. In fact, I tell I asked people after the fact like, Well, you know, when you look back on dating, did you see any of this present? They’re like, Well, yeah, I did. But I brushed over it. And actually, to me, that’s kind of the secret of keeping your focus on the sexy and your partner forever is how can we brush over some of the irritants I class things one to 10, eight, nine and 10 are important issues, but one through seven, you know, it just doesn’t mean a hill of beans. I mean, you could argue about all of that. And most people do. I mean, they spend tons of time arguing about stuff that really doesn’t matter, or letting it irk them or bother them. But if they were dating that person, they wouldn’t even see it.
George Faller 04:07
I so appreciate Laurie what you’re saying about being intentional and what you choose to focus on. Good john Gottman talks about 70% of the issues couples fight over will never be resolved in the history of their relationship. One person’s late ones early ones neat one sloppy, these issues probably aren’t going to change how much do you want to focus on these issues that are not going to change? And I love this isn’t just a state a honeymoon period? Yes, it’s helpful when your brain is high on the love cocktail of oxytocin and dopamine, right? It’s it’s easy to focus on the things you like and let those other things pass. But that intentionality How do you build that into your relationship for the long haul that says what I focus on is really going to determine how turned on I get, if I’m gonna focus on the parts of my partner I don’t like I’m gonna get turned off I make that choice to focus on the parts I do, like my brain goes down a different pathway.
Laurie Watson 05:05
Mm hmm. Absolutely. And, you know, when we are in a long term relationship, we see our partner in so many familiar circumstances, you know, things that remind us of our family, we literally know their family, and they know our family, and we’re doing family things and we see them vomit, we see them on the toilet, we see them in dirty clothes and dirty hair. And I mean, just things that it’s like, you know, are not that sexy, that are so familiar, but secure attachment. And this is I think, some of our goal is how do we get securely attached to our partner really resolves that we’re able to do both things we’re able to say, yeah, you were in dirty clothes five minutes ago, sweaty from the gym and look like crap. And you know, now you’re looking good and you’re hot and I can see the sexy vibe again, but we focus on the sexy vibe because we’re going out that evening, and we’re looking for too, and that’s where we put our energy. And so we resolve kind of what is more familiar that the horror Madonna’s split, right that the woman who’s matronly and mothering of the children, but also the sexy woman partner, the party girl. And I mean, we have to kind of resolve it inside ourselves too, because we take on these roles of suddenly we are the mom and the dad and all that comes with that knowledge of being in those roles reminds us of our parents who we didn’t see as sexy. And then we separate out from that role into the bedroom. You know, we to like personally have to resolve that we are both parts, that we are kind of mundane in some ways and taking care of business, and then give ourselves permission to enter the bedroom with joy and abandon and be that sexual part and we have to see our partner doing that. I like
George Faller 06:53
that you’re highlighting the importance of the outside the bedroom, we have way too much focus on the mechanics of what’s happening. inside and this is starting way before that when you’re taking that shower, that little encounter that little joke, that little eye contact the Wink of the eye that smile. And these things are incredibly important to start in those engines, right? And both people have to play their parts. How do I intentionally focus on my own sexiness and make some space for that to come out? And how am I also looking to my partner to see things that they’re doing that if even if the physical is not there, I remember a lady saying it’s a little hard to come on, you know, get turned on the first day he walks into the room, he farts, then he kind of takes out a beard he sits down and puts the TV on it’s like, what do you find attractive in that whole process? Right and it’s so easy to get your your attention in a different direction. But I love this intentionality of focus. Like we got to find something all we know what’s gonna happen if we allow our brain to just and there might be some behaviors that need to change. We’re not saying that’s not
Laurie Watson 07:59
absolutely I think I had my own therapist point out that even though in some ways I came out of a childhood insecurely attached and anxious for whatever reason, this pathways sacks I was able to feel security. And it’s, it’s been a joy of my life like to feel it that way. But and I, you know, my husband drives me absolutely crazy half the time. I hate parts about him, but I have always been really, really attracted to him. And, you know, he’s been at different weights and all kinds of things and I have just always seen kind of an essence in him that I find myself so drawn to him sexually. And I know that that is, you know, maybe I’ve just had a blessing that I do that unconsciously. But I focus on this part that feels so sexy to me, you know, he’s the hair on his arms. It just is like, this texture is just unbelievable to me. It’s so sexy. And it’s that kind of focus that, you know, yeah, he was I listen to this right now
George Faller 09:05
we got a chance to look at each other. But, you know, Lori’s eyes are closed and she’s going off somewhere. She’s talking about the hairs on his arms. To see how alive your body feels, yeah, that’s the beauty of connection. It’s not only that moment, we carry that moment forward. That’s what secure attachment is. Right? We carry that felt sense. It makes us we can retouch it whenever we want. We could be 2000 miles away, and you can just think about your husband and boom, your body gets the comfort all over again.
Laurie Watson 09:34
That’s right. That’s right. And, I mean, it isn’t that I don’t see him in all those other aspects. And then he doesn’t drive me crazy. It’s for me, I have that second conversation in my head, you know, but he’s so hot. And you know, and he knows my body and he wants you know, we’re going to be happy when we do this. This is going to connect us we don’t always have a hot sex. A lot of times we just have ordinary sex. You know, we just do it because it feels good. But afterwards, I mean, I think there’s this laughter and there’s this joy that carries us on. I, I listened to people and I, I remind my husband, I’m like, you know, so many people are talking about, I can’t do it with my partner because they irritate the heck out of me or are they don’t connect with me and, you know, and only when they connect with me, am I gonna have sex with them? Whereas I think we’ve both found that sex is this path of connection. So anyway, let’s come back and talk a little bit more or less about me more about
George Faller 10:36
that. I want to hear more about Lori. We got a lot more to cover here.
Laurie Watson 10:40
Okay, we’ll come back and talk about how we can project on our partner the things that make us fall in love again, and make us feel sexy about them. We really want you to check out Uber live.com with the coupon for play. It’s a great lubricant. It’s the one that I’ve been recommending for Yours and I recommend it because it is a great glide it has no taste. It has no smell and so you can use it throughout your lovemaking experience that would be an awesome feel for you to try this if you haven’t already tried it. It’s also made from basically silicone and what’s good about silicone I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but it doesn’t get easily absorbed into the body. So some lubricants get gummy and actually create a drag and that is a not good feeling. But this one stays on the surface of the skin. It’s not absorbed so it’s always gliding. And that is great for touching great for sexual intercourse. Okay, so try Uber lube calm with the coupon for play. We appreciate our sponsors and they are also sending out free packages to the first 20 patrons who come and sponsor us on foreplay radio.
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Laurie Watson 12:02
George, you’ve got this whole new website with training materials and stuff. Tell me about it.
George Faller 12:09
It’s called success in vulnerability.com. Similar to what we’ve been talking about in the podcast, I’m really trying to train therapists on how to keep their focus in session. And two, if you’re going to invite couples and clients and families to risk doing countability, then it’s really critical that they have success when they do it. The reason why people don’t do vulnerability is it doesn’t work out so well for them when they do. So we really want to empower therapists to to know what to do in these critical moments to kind of usher in the transformation that could happen when people go to these vulnerable spots.
Laurie Watson 12:46
So therapists who listened to us can go ahead and check it out. And you’ll be doing trainings and all sorts of things and you have a team of people it’s success in vulnerability, calm. I’m excited about it. I get to learn a bunch more from George.
George Faller 13:02
I’m looking forward to it. And I appreciate any feedback and support. All right, Laurie. So if you had a little bit more about your sex life was interesting. And I think you are blessed. I think when you find yourself attracted to your partner, even though you’re doing a lot of things, right to earn that, right, what you’re focusing on what you’re doing, and there’s a lot of lessons to learn from that. I guess I’m curious, how do we help our listeners that don’t have that, right? How, if they see their partner and their brain goes to the places they don’t like, right, what is some practical things we can get them to last time we talked about practical things you could do for yourself to refocus, bring that positive in? How do we do that with our partner to really see them as the sexy beast they are,
Laurie Watson 13:54
you know, art is often so good because it really animates something that’s already Mary, right we we look at a table arrangement of bananas and oranges or something in in a piece of art. And it’s so incredible. And it’s the reason it’s incredible is because we see something that is ordinary in a new way. And I think it’s that purchasing and intention. You know what if we see our partner in a new way, it’s hard to do because I think we become afraid that well, if I see my partner is sexy and see them as this romantic figure, I’m going to be a fool because they’re going to go right back to driving me crazy. And I put myself at risk, when I take that leap to go ahead and see them and re animate them that way as a sexual being and creature. It’s really a vulnerable part of our heart to go ahead and do that. It’s almost like I really think it’s kind of psychotic. Because we know our our partner more than anybody in the world we see their flaws And they see ours Of course, but we see there’s and so it just does feel like, Am I going to put my body and my, my vulnerable experience of orgasm in this person’s hands? You know, am I going to surrender to them when they could torture me tomorrow with their flaws and the ways they don’t get me? I mean, I think it’s part of the way we do this is we have to take a huge risk that Yeah,
George Faller 15:33
I’m going to push it a little bit here. Okay. As I love that line, how do you turn see the ordinary in a new way? Right, because that is so critical to keeping a focus and having actually more control over a positive sex life. Right. So I want you to take that example. You’re talking to a wife who sees her far in be a drinkin TV husband sitting in that reclining chair. Huh. And how She do that. How did she see that ordinary in a new way?
Laurie Watson 16:03
I think some of it is what Dakota says he’s a philosopher who’s fantastic. Did you get that? I sent you something on him.
George Faller 16:15
Thank you for that. Like growing stack of lorries, books you need to get
Laurie Watson 16:19
the video George likes videos. I do. Okay, I sent it to you over Facebook. But you know, he talks about basically, in a TED talk on sex. He says, you know, we need to turn our lover into a lovable idiot. You know, the same way that we have mercy on our children. They do something bad and we’re like, yeah, you know, they’re growing they they’re learning how to act and behave correctly. And we kind of our love for them overrides our anger, even if we do discipline them or restructure things. You know, we have love for them. And we we know that they’re growing and so I think part of it is You look at your partner and you go, you know what, maybe I’m not gonna jump into bed with him this second, but you know, he deserves a break. You know, he’s worked really hard all day, he needs to relax and sit down and have that beer and do whatever and let go. Hopefully in a couple hours, he’ll be more present and able to be with me, and then we can sex it up, you know, so maybe it isn’t in that moment, but I think it’s looking at him as my lovable idiot. You know, he’s, he deserves this for right now. And there are other times right, that he’s more present tuned in to me, looks good. You know, maybe drinking wine with me instead of drinking a beer by himself watching the game? Well, you know, sometimes he needs that. I think it’s, that’s the familiar and the erotic integrated into one mind. That’s like, sometimes, yeah, our partner needs, their independence, their autonomy, they, they can’t be present with us and they do need their own time and some sort of mercy for that. And not only just accepted But this is what’s best for them right now that love extending it to them. I think that’s how we do it.
George Faller 18:06
I really enjoy what you’re saying, because we don’t have to get this stuff right all the time, we probably going to miss the lock more often than we hit it. But while you’re building it is, is what the best to add any field, right? It’s deliberate practice. You’re saying to yourself, I have to focus on more of the positive if I want to have a good connection and good sex. Right? So in this moment, I see my husband is not a lot positive that it’s bringing on me. But if I’m intentional, and I can say, Hey, you know what, he’s worked hard. And look, he’s really good at relaxing. He knows how to take space that he needs. Right? He’s not worried about everyone else. He can kind of just be who he needs to be that like there’s something about what he’s doing that I could focus on positively. That shifts my body’s response to that moment,
Laurie Watson 18:56
right. Like thank God he farted now instead of when he was in bed with me
Got it all out. Now I listen.
George Faller 19:03
There’s some things you can’t get around and put a positive frame around. That’s okay to some things, you know, you could keep to yourself.
Laurie Watson 19:13
My poor husband when we were dating, I think he was sick to his stomach and we had to drive all the way to nearly exploded trying to keep it all in. We’ve always loved about that. He’s like, you know, my gallbladder is gonna explode. I keep it. Anyway. It’s funny. I think that’s how I get over it. Right? There’s, there’s a funny part
George Faller 19:35
or space. I mean, look at what we’re doing here. We’re having that image of the lovable idiot. It’s easy to laugh with lovable idiot. Instead of feeling contemptuous about this person who has no respect and doesn’t think about you and it just leads us down that rabbit hole of just negativity and distance. Right. So again, I want to highlight to our listeners This, this, I don’t care if you’re a golfer, you’re, you’re a professor or whatever. profession is people who are deliberate, that keep trying to get better. And keep improving. Keep thinking, you know that that is what sets us up for success focusing on the things you can control. Yes, you can focus on what you don’t like in that chair what you say. Or you can make a deliberate choice to try to find something you do. And whichever direction you go is going to heavily influence how turned on or turned off. You are.
Laurie Watson 20:28
Yeah, one last point, I think is gratitude. You know, this person wants to open their body to us, I mean, that is so vulnerable. And it’s not just physical but it’s psychological. Right? When they’re opening their, their body to us that they are becoming vulnerable in their mind and body in both ways to tell us what, what they want to do in bed. That is just, you know, it’s such a special place that they are letting us into so I guess I think about it as having Gratitude that were with somebody during COVID. Right? There were so many people that were single, that didn’t have partnerships that would have given anything to have a lovable idiot with them. That is a sex partner. I think when we’re married or when we’re in a partnership, you know, we Yeah, sometimes it’s so familiar that we don’t value it as much. But in times of stress like that, just thinking, God, you know, I’m, I’m so fortunate. Yeah, I’m, I’m stuck at home, and I’m stuck with a partner who will have sex with me, thank God. You know, I mean, there’s, there’s something to be said for appreciating that partnership that is available to you.
George Faller 21:41
And imagine expressing that appreciation. Right? Instead of coming home and shaking your head, which sends a really clear signal to your husband sitting in that chair, drinking beer, watching that TV. That’s what’s right to comment and say hey, not for nothing, right? Yes. So much better at this than I am of taking the space that you need after a long day’s work. You know, I just really just want to let you know that I appreciate that. I know I complain a lot about it. But there’s something really important about taking what you need. What do you think that would be like for the husband here?
Yeah, I think it’d be wonderful.
George Faller 22:20
Let me turn off that TV. I want to hear more you have to say?
Laurie Watson 22:23
Tell me some more baby. Tell me some more about how you like me.
George Faller 22:27
We’re having some fun with this. But it is really the difference between a positive cycle and a negative cycle. Right and you’re not always going to get this right and sometimes you don’t have the capacity. You’re a little fried yourself and you just want to shake your head because your partner’s behaviors aren’t helping and that’s okay. I mean, we’re gonna miss it too and, and fight and miss each other. But that differences can you get back to what works what works is being more intentional appreciating, not taking it for granted. This connection is relationship that you’ve worked so hard for
Laurie Watson 23:00
I have somebody I know right now is deliberately healing her sex life. And she’s had a lot of just physiological struggles and stuff and her partner kind of turned off. And she’s making up in her head. You know, he’s just not attracted to me. And that’s totally not true. She’s very, very attractive. And I know from his perspective that he finds her attractive, but he de eroticized the relationship, really out of insecurity. He thought she wasn’t sending enough messages that reassured him. And so now she has to kind of do all the hard work of seeing him as a partner who she can be vulnerable again to and seeing him as sexy, even though he doesn’t give her some of what she needs to feel sexy. You know, he doesn’t give her that reassurance and stuff like that. So she’s stretching. You know, she’s she’s sending love letters and she’s she’s listening, like in a new way what hurt him instead of only hearing I don’t think he thinks I’m attractive, she’s beginning to see his world and see him as sexual. And it’s, I mean, it’s really beautiful her vulnerability in this and her work I love. It’s really hard work and hard work.
George Faller 24:23
What’s her choice? It’s such a beautiful example because it’d be so easy for her to get resentful. And to say, you know what, this isn’t fair, you know, you’re not doing your work. And that resentment just continues to send that vibe, that negative critical vibe. So yes, she’s being deliberate. And she’s saying, I’m going to try to find something else that I can focus on. Right? And that really starts to change the energy. Right? It starts to help this guy, take this space that’s starting to open up instead of just always sense and I’m coming up short. And, you know, I’m disappointing my partner, how we view our partner and so often We want to highlight the criticism is trying to motivate it and change but it actually does the opposite. It causes them to want it less. So the opposite of criticism is focus in on exactly what you’re saying, being deliberate and focus it on something positive. Something I can like about my partner, you’d be amazed at how that could start to turn your partner on.
Laurie Watson 25:20
And also believing I mean that they have a sexual erotic part. I have had so many people come in and say, You don’t know my partner. They are really not sexual. And then I meet the partner. And there’s all these certainly hurt parts, rejected parts, broken parts, but there is so much in them that actually has libido they’ve been identified as the low desire partner, but they have libido. They have a part that is really quite sexual it. It’s almost like it needs to be freed by their partner seeing it again.
George Faller 25:53
Sounds like a future podcast.
Laurie Watson 25:56
Okay. Thanks for listening to foreplay radio.
George Faller 25:59
Keep it out everyone. On
Laurie Watson 26:01
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George Faller 26:09
We appreciate you joining us to spread this really important message
calling your questions to the foreplay question voicemail dial 833 my four play that’s a three three, the number four play, it will use the questions for our mailbag episodes. All content is for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for therapy by a licensed clinician or as medical advice from a doctor.