Transcript for Episode 238: Four Sexy Questions

Announcer 00:00
The following content is not suitable for children. Hello, Laurie. Hello, we got a good one for sexy questions to ask your lover. Ooh.

Laurie Watson 00:12
Welcome to Foreplay Radio couples in sex therapy. I’m Laurie Watson, your sex therapist.

George Faller 00:17
And I’m George Faller, your couples therapist,

Laurie Watson 00:20
and we are passionate about talking about sex and helping you develop a way to talk to each other.

George Faller 00:26
Our mission is to help our audience develop a healthier relationship to sex that integrates the mind, the heart and the body.

Laurie Watson 00:35
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 play radio. How do

George Faller 00:45
we communicate and have conversations around sex? I mean, our field is saturated with messages of different ways of communicating to your partner, you would think we’re all amazing at it.

Laurie Watson 01:01
Absolutely. And yet so many people are not talking about it with their partner, right? They’re doing it. But they don’t talk about it.

George Faller 01:11
What’s that about? This not talking about sex.

Laurie Watson 01:15
I like this guy, Justin Lee Miller, and he’s a researcher. He’s done research actually on EFT and sex and he says, you know, you are so much more vulnerable, talking about sex and doing it. What why I, that resonated with me. And I think that’s true. I think it is so much harder to talk about it, than just to do it. Why do you think that is?

George Faller 01:37
Because we’ve separated, the sex is so often the physical, and that’s all we’re paying attention to. And yet to talk about sex, you’re gonna have to really bring in the emotional, the spiritual and mental. I mean, all those components that there’s no way of separating that. And I think most of us want to protect ourselves and our partner from these difficult comments. I don’t want to criticize my partner, I don’t want my partner to feel bad. I don’t want to talk about my bad feelings. So it’s that avoidance, that really becomes the root of the problem. Because in that moment, we might protect which feels good or avoid something hurtful. But we don’t recognize the chronic costs of the avoidance of those conversations.

Laurie Watson 02:22
Yeah. The cost is that first, sexually, maybe we don’t have as rich a life as we could have. And I think you know, sex is also something that draws us closer. And so if we don’t discuss what that means and what we need, then we’re losing out on the intimate part of what sex could do for us as a couple.

George Faller 02:46
Exactly. And it’s tragic. The epidemic of loneliness during sex. Can you imagine anything worse than just being lost in your own head with your own pressures your own way? worries while your partner you’re inside of each other and yet you’re galaxies away emotionally.

Laurie Watson 03:07
That is pretty lonely. Yeah. And so many people have sex like that, right? They don’t communicate what it means they don’t even maybe they’re I mean actually I’m a big fan of having sex sometimes when you need relief but but by and large right what you just described they’re united they’re actually physically united and yet they’re not emotionally united spiritually united don’t even know what the other one’s thinking.

George Faller 03:35
And and usually the beginning where it’s excited there you’re okay exploring and not knowing and and missing spots and readjusted and getting redirected and as just that kind of dance that awkwardness but it’s it’s part of the magic of the process. And what’s so said is with success, we start to get the this the surest ways that we know our partner likes Before you know it, we repetitively are doing the same exact thing over and over again.

Laurie Watson 04:04
Mm hmm. Right? We shortcut the process. We just do what works. What works mechanically.

George Faller 04:11
I love Peggy kleinplatz is lying when she says the surest way to kill desire is to do what works relentlessly.

Laurie Watson 04:20
She is good.

George Faller 04:21
Yeah. So if you are doing what works, and now it’s no longer working, but you can’t communicate and get any feedback, you’re in trouble. Yeah. And that’s so often what we’re seeing with our couples, this this failure to have conversations from these loving places. And yet what most people don’t realize is the cost of that failure to communicate.

Laurie Watson 04:47
The loving place you mean when we protect our partner, because we don’t want to hurt their feelings. We don’t want to challenge them. We don’t want to tell them what we’re thinking and feeling that’s not working less they’d be offended. I’m crushed. Yeah.

George Faller 05:03
And then we start to slip into this conversation around quantity right in different levels of desire that discrepancy and how often we start to negotiate all around the act. We’ve become focused on the outcome instead of the process itself. Right, which is how do we look at the quality? Is that that quantity?

Laurie Watson 05:25
Yeah. But you know, without the quality without it meeting deeper needs and needs both sexually and emotionally, then people stop wanting to do it as much it isn’t as exciting.

George Faller 05:39
I think he’s sex therapists or as a couple therapists we’ve kind of fed into this this negative cycle right? We become so practically focused, let’s barter right? You want it every two weeks your partner wants or twice a week. Let’s negotiate and get it down to once a week. How does that sound on both ends?

Laurie Watson 06:00
Well, we’re not getting in enough and my partner’s getting it too much.

George Faller 06:04
That’s right, both losing or you can see the process is trying to get you to have those hard conversations. Yeah, right. It’s a way of getting to know each other a lot more deeply. When you could communicate, why do you want it every two weeks only once? And you want a twice a week? Like, what is that? Like when you’re not getting what you need? What is it like when you actually do have sex with each other? I mean, there’s so much good stuff to work with, if we’re just willing to face those those hard conversations.

Laurie Watson 06:35
Yeah, I have a client that I’ve worked with for a while and they’ve been hung up over what to do in sex. One person wants to do something more experimental, more breadth of what they do do and the other person, I think, actually wants more depth, wants more soul connection. And they don’t, they’re not. They’re so stuck. They’re not able to talk about it, but I think that Good news is they both have erotic ideas and feelings. And it keeps getting stopped in conversation. But they have it, they have their answers right in front of them. They just need a pathway for it to be really safe to talk about it to share what I say is the erotic mind with the other. And I mean, I think that what stops that conversation so much George is this sense of, I don’t want to know what you’re thinking because then you’re going to want me to do something that I’m uncomfortable with. But what our partner is thinking sometimes has meaning. And if you can’t listen past what alarms go off inside your own body and hear your partner all the way through. You never kind of get to what it means to them to have that.

George Faller 07:48
So, such a good important comment. I want to highlight that that fear of judgment from your partner, keeps you hiding yourself. But in effect, what you’re doing is you’re judging yourself. And your partner without even risking, right? You’re saying I don’t believe my partner will be able to understand this. And I don’t think I’m I deserve being able to say that or as a stand up for that. Right? And then there’s nothing we could do with those judgments that never even expressed. They’re never going to change.

Laurie Watson 08:18
We also have to manage not not just the fear of our partners judgment, but when our partner is speaking, I guess, the alarm that goes off inside us, you know that that piece like can you just tamp that down a little bit for a period of time? like think about it as a process of conversations? What’s the meaning behind this thing that my partner wants to do that that I don’t? And why am I so fearful? What is it in me that is causing this fear? It’s that curiosity and kind of that mindfulness, like just observing, okay, I feel really anxious about this right now. I’m going to see that I’m I’m feeling really anxious, but I’m not going to shut down I’m going to stay open to process and to see what happens. It’s a huge discipline to do that.

George Faller 09:11
I like the word discipline. Great lovers are disciplined. They put in the work, they’re very intentional. And dialing includes the importance of conversation. We need to really redefine the target. Again, as a therapist, I see often how I feed this negative pattern. It’s so focused on dysfunction and trying to get them towards something more functional. When How do I put my a my target for something even better than functional? Like what is great sex people are having great sex don’t aren’t interested in not having sex. They don’t even think about it. People that are having great conversations around sex, this becomes natural. They can’t imagine life without these compensations. If every time you have a conversation, it doesn’t end well. No wonder why you dread these conversations? So I think that’s our childhoods, like, how do we help people have success in their conversations? Both people need to be intentional in starting this off. Like, we don’t want this to end the way all these conversations and which is both of us feeling worse. Can we both work on the goal of having success in this conversation? I think that intentionality on the front end makes it a lot more likely that you can hit that successful target.

Laurie Watson 10:28
Mm hmm. And I know that I’ve got people listening who are sexual pursuers. And they’re like, absolutely. Let’s have these big conversations. That’s what I want to do. I still want to do this. And if you know that, asking your partner for a conversation about sex is is going to send them into a state of panic or into alarm. I mean, you’re going to have to do this really sensitively or you’re going to have to wait until there’s more safety in the relationship to have this. I know this is really useful. Deciding to do this, but but you also have to think about who your partner is, and what’s going on right now and your sex life. I mean, I’m thinking of a couple people, you know, and I’m like, I don’t want them to open this conversation right now with their partner, because it’s, it’s going to push them beyond where they’re ready. So we have to, we have to think about the timing of this to

George Faller 11:21
write it out. Both people have to buy in, you can’t just have one person buy into this one and have this conversation, otherwise it’s not going to be successful. So that is the really big question. How do you get the withdrawal or the avoider, who doesn’t want to have the conversation to see the value in having a conversation for themselves and the betterment of the relationship, not just out of obligation to your partner?

Laurie Watson 11:42
Yeah. And we’re going to come back and offer you four questions that we’ve thought of that are just open ended and hopefully something with that will spur conversation that you can make safe and maybe even sexy looking forward. Okay. I’m doing a pitch on live on July 10, Friday night and I’m pushing it back because I think a lot of people could not join our first one. This is going to be at 8pm Eastern Standard Time for those who are our patrons please come and join me. We really want you to check out Oulu calm with the coupon for play. It’s a great lubricant. It’s the one that I’ve been recommending for years 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 this 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,

George Faller 13:20
Boone, North Carolina, August 28 29th and 30th. a weekend up in the mountains to talk about sex. Do we get any better than that? Laurie?

Laurie Watson 13:30
This is for therapists and it’s not for couples yet, although we are kind of in our mind’s eye thinking about how we can help our couples who are listening in a more intense way with a retreat. But this is a class that we’re doing for therapists so if you would like to check out George or my site or for play radio, we will direct you to that training in Boone North Carolina in August. Come join us George success and vulnerability calm your new training site. You have a new module.

George Faller 13:59
You So excited about this Laurie module to working with secondary emotion anger, withdrawal, protection, and blocks the way people really, for good reasons, put up these detours in session and most of the time it throws therapists off and therapists start to feel like they’re failing and getting really frustrated, judgmental problem solve, and they miss the beautiful opportunities blocks to really pivot and become flexible. And really, it’s the process telling us where we need to go. We just need to learn how to embrace these blocks. So I’m so excited about this module. So please, therapists listening, you want to get better at your craft, sign up and join us

Laurie Watson 14:36
George’s new module in success and vulnerability, calm, check it out, talking about secondary emotions and blocks. Okay, Laurie, all that talking about what’s stopping these conversations get me a little depressed there. So you got these four questions out, I gotta turn the Mojo on. Let’s see how to ignite Some of these conversations, you know, I think that many of our conversations, like we said, titrate, down to how much do you want to do it? What do you want to do? And it doesn’t really reveal much about what we’re feeling inside. So I think the best question and certainly you can make up your own, but they’re open ended questions. So the first thing I thought about was question number one, what happens in bed that means the most to you and feels the best. So so we’re talking about two parts, the emotional aspect of sex, maybe the spiritual aspect of sex, and also the physical aspect of sex and we’re just asking our partner to think about both parts.

George Faller 15:47
I love that question. It’s really getting to the heart of the quality, like what made this really work well for me, and my partner and their relationship where I’m becoming deeper in myself, and yet simultaneously more connected in a deeper way with my partner. Mm hmm. Yeah, absolutely. And how many of us never answer that question, right? We feel it. But we just kind of go on to the next day. It’s this is making it more intentional.

Laurie Watson 16:17
And I think what you just said, you know, some of us don’t answer it. I think this is a question not just for our partner, it’s a question for ourselves. And almost one of the best ways to inspire vulnerability is to offer vulnerability first. So maybe that’s how they begin this conversation to say, you know, I’d love to tell you and I’d love to ask you, you know what happens in bed for me, that means the most and feels the best. And start there so that you are vulnerable first, especially if you’re the one initiating this conversation, and saying, as I’m talking, you know, I’d love for you to think about it. You might even give these questions ahead of time to your partner, you know if they’re deer in the headlight when you bring up sex

George Faller 17:00
I want to just add to this first question, I don’t want to get too narrowly focused on just what’s happening in that bedroom. Because so often what happens before the bedroom is so critically important to that, right? The non genital kind of signals that you’re sending to each other, the playfulness, the curiosity to doing the dishes, whatever those things are, like, how does that set the stage for what’s actually going to work now in this bedroom?

Laurie Watson 17:24
And what do you think those things mean? When those go wow, what does that mean?

George Faller 17:30
I think that’s high levels of interest. Yeah, I think there’s, there’s intentionality. That’s that saying, your state of mind or being is really important to me. And I want to make a difference with that.

17:45
You’re important, you’re important. I

George Faller 17:47
also think there’s a lot of playfulness in that. Right? It’s like, you don’t know what’s going to happen, right? And it’s just this kind of anticipation. It’s so important to build in that that climax. Seen, right? If you think about your first dates, not knowing when the kiss is happening and like, how do we build that, that that anticipation into it? Like, if it’s like, Yeah, I know eight o’clock what’s comment for me and you know, you’re gonna hand me the vibrator. I mean that that’s not really gonna kind of build up that that scene that we’re looking for. Right. I like that.

Laurie Watson 18:21
And I thought as I was thinking about this, I thought, you know, one of the things that means the most to me, is our laughter between my husband and I, like there’s, there’s, it is always fun, and always filled with laughter. Even when we’re when the sex is not the best in the world. I mean, there’s just this sense that we come together with joy and, and that’s what I was thinking. As I was developing these questions like what means the most to me? Definitely that right. Okay, question number two. How can I I just did

George Faller 18:55
one last, because I’m trying to just break this down in my head. Want to listen is thinking about pre sex, the sex act itself and post sex? Like these are three different elements that are really important. And if you could start identifying, like, Where am I really strong? Which ones can I work on? I mean, the goal is to have strengthen all three. Right? If you’re building up that anticipation in a pre act, that’s probably setting up the act itself to be more successful. And then how intention you afterwards that afterglow kind of staying in that really installed in a positive emotion that comes in these moments? I mean, I think that intentionality I find helpful. Mm hmm.

Laurie Watson 19:36
You’re asking people to think about it on different stages and different levels. The question what feels the best? You know, that can be a hard one to answer, right? Because so many times that one is where people get snagged. You know, it’s like, oh, I don’t want to actually say those words out loud. That feels so vulnerable to say that out loud That can be tough.

George Faller 20:01
Yeah, I’ve just laughing to myself saying I could see a be having a conversation with my wife. Well, what do you want to talk about the pre the journey and the posts that give it scores and like just seeing her roller, I said, Oh, by this belt, the last thing I’d want to do is to have that conversation.

Laurie Watson 20:17
You’re gonna have to up your game here, boy.

George Faller 20:19
All right.

Laurie Watson 20:20
Okay, question number two, how much of your erotic imagination Do you feel like you’ve shared with me? And what encourages you and discourages you from sharing more? So, this one I, I will say, you know that the sexual pursuer is always after the sexual withdraw to tell them what they think about what turns them on what’s sexy, but one of the things I’ve noticed is that sexual pursuers often don’t share their own mind as well. Not in a full way. I mean, maybe they share Hey, I want to do this tonight. But that’s different than sharing like I’m No, just your fantasy, your imagination, the contents of what’s inside,

George Faller 21:06
right? Hey, we got a lot of training too hard on imagination around sex. And we don’t get a lot of training to know how to share it with other people. For the most part, we’re hiding it our whole lives. So no wonder why we wind up doing the same thing in our relationships. So I couldn’t agree more. It’s such a rich area to to grow in. But you have to have the courage to see the benefit in doing that. Right? Just because you have a fantasy doesn’t mean you’re acting on anything else. But there’s something about that energy and that curiosity and what it opens up and what it turns you on. And if you could have that non judgmental, kind of accepting playful place, it just opens up so much more energy in your relationship. And yet most of us do not know how to do that. I mean, I think that’s a great question, because most of the couples I’m work with have very little sharing of fantasy with each other.

Laurie Watson 21:55
Ah, yeah, I was reading Alain de futon. I don’t know how you say it. Very well. And he’s, he’s a philosopher, I love him, you know, and he talks about how most of us have crazy thoughts about sex. And we judge ourselves. And you know, sex is just not something that can be easily bridled our sexual mind some of the reasons we don’t share it as we think our partner would be disgusted if they knew all the things I think about. So it’s, it’s really scary to, to bring it out. But the reality is, it turns out, most people have crazy thoughts. You know, I mean, it’s kind of human to have all kinds of things that turn us on and all kinds of situations and to feel different things about sex. I mean, it’s just

George Faller 22:45
to balance that message. Okay. If some of these fantasies, you want to put restraints on, because they don’t capture your values, then that’s, you know, that’s your choice to make. But we’re saying is maybe some of these fantasies that are appropriate. That feel it’s just I think so many of us are trained to restrain it all, that there’s no nothing we then can send over to our partner and it just becomes this huge divide wall. Yeah, right. So if your faith or your spirituality is hugely important, and some things feel like you don’t want to go down a certain road, because that’s a slippery slope. I mean, that’s your call to make for what are some of these other types of fantasies, and maybe the fantasy is going to be about your partner, or maybe it’s going to be about a time early in your life with your partner, whatever it is, like how do you kind of just share these parts of you that you are in your own head with, but often not communicating?

Laurie Watson 23:46
Yeah, and I’m, I’m certainly not advocating for a carte blanche, tell your partner everything and that’s good. But I think I think that’s one of the things that discourages us sometimes from sharing is Our own judgment about ourselves. It’s not even our partners resistance to it, but we look at it and we go, you know, I never could say that. And certainly we don’t want to say things that are hurtful or threaten our partner. I mean, that’s just dumb. Right to open up and say yeah, you know, thinking about bad your best

George Faller 24:19
friend really looks good.

Laurie Watson 24:21
Thanks a lot, you know, no, that’s that’s dumb. But I think there’s a way to bring in the energy like you said from the things we think about and the things that turn us on and and some things that turn us on might be able to be shared and we just don’t we don’t share them.

George Faller 24:39
Hey, listen, if you want to share a fantasy about King author and whatever his queens name going to be, or why did you want to be them? I mean, that’s not really going to be to threaten a great to anyone on the other side, and how do we break more of that energy? I love it. Question three before I lose These questions I’m writing them down.

Laurie Watson 25:01
Okay, what things can I do or say, to encourage you to have your fullest experience? I mean, so first one of my commitments in life has been as a sex therapist, to listen to my patients. And think about how does that challenge me? I mean, within my own moral frame, which is monogamy? How do I learn from them in a way that stretches me? Right, right. So first, it’s for myself that question and second of all, how do I get my partner to, you know, have a better experience? Is it? Should we say more? Should we vocalize our responsiveness? Is it compliments? Do I give permission to them to just to let go? Or do they need certain touches at certain times when they’re having trouble? Like, I want to know all that.

George Faller 25:54
Also, just that awareness of your partner. That’s what love does. It’s just trying to grow And recognize in too many of us are lonely because we’re just in ourselves in the act. Right? It’s that awareness of your partner and become a part of something bigger than yourself. Really cool. All right, well, you got on the last one.

Laurie Watson 26:12
Okay. Our last question is, tell me a couple of things about our sexual experience that you don’t think I know.

Announcer 26:19
Ah,

George Faller 26:24
you feel the energy a little risky It is so you could see how that’s good. It’s turned up those levels of engagement. That question alone, I could feel myself working out.

Laurie Watson 26:36
Okay, so, so I mean, it could be good and bad, could be things that are exciting, and things that maybe your partner doesn’t know. I’ve had a lot of women who have sexual pain, and their partner doesn’t know that. All their partner sees is that they’re turning off. Whoo. But good exciting things. I appreciate your response.

George Faller 27:02
I’m looking for the opportunity here. And if it’s not, that’s one of our huge messages. If you’re in pain if you’re trying to protect your pawn or whatever the good reasons why you’re keeping yourself hidden, the cost of keeping yourself hidden is going to be further distance and lower levels of engagement, right, which is going to head us towards Horace x. Great lovers are fully engaged. That’s our target we keep aiming for. So those four questions is such a good way of really getting people to be much more intentional about noticing what’s working, what’s not working and communicating with their partner. Awesome, Laurie, I love them.

Laurie Watson 27:40
Okay, thanks, you guys. Remember to check out our sponsor Uber lube calm with the coupon for play. And thanks for listening to foreplay radio. Yeah. And PS please tune in to our Patreon page so that you can catch the next exclusive episode and our next Facebook Live.

George Faller 27:59
We appreciate you joining us to spread this really important message.

Announcer 28:03
calling your questions to the foreplay question voicemail, dial 833 my four play that’s 833 the number four play and we’ll 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.