ERP 315: How To Increase Your Comfort In Sexual Communication — An Interview With Dr. Tara

By Posted in - Podcast April 12th, 2022 0 Comments

Sexual infidelity is one of the biggest issues in long-term relationships and failing to address it will only make the problem worse.

Most people find sexual communication difficult. It’s easy to believe that we can’t do it because we just don’t have the necessary resources to do so. We understand the importance of communication, but how do we become more comfortable with it?

In this episode, Dr. Tara teaches us how to boost sexual communication comfort as she shares her personal journey from several monogamous relationships and unfulfilling sex to being a sexually powerful woman.

Dr. Tara is a tenured professor of relational and sexual communication at California State University Fullerton, an award-winning researcher, a relationship coach at luvbites.co, and a podcast host at Luvbites by Dr. Tara. She recently gave a TEDx Talk titled Become Sexually Powerful that highlights her 5,000-participant study examining factors that predict sexual satisfaction, and her journey from a sexually anxious girl from Thailand to a sexually confident woman.

In this Episode

5:02 Her transition from being a sexually anxious girl into a sexually powerful woman.

13:16 The two sides of sexual communication.

18:08 Why do people engage in affairs rather than fix their sexual undesirable issues and how important is sexual communication.

24:28 Dr. Tara’s top five favorite sexual communication practices.

35:09 Our need for affectionate touch explained.

Your Check List of Actions to Take

  • Compliment each other more.
  • Keep your partner in your thoughts.
  • Talk about sex more.
  • Do more nonverbal sexual communication outside the bedroom.
  • Do regular sexy check-in.
  • Do new things together in the sexual communication realm like sexual meditation.
  • Have a growth mindset.
  • Practice self-compassion.

Mentioned

Become Sexually Powerful

ERP 314: How To Work Through The Complexities Of Sexual Desire In Relationship — An Interview Martha Kauppi

Luvbites by Dr. Tara (*podcast)

The Outlander Series

Connect with Dr. Tara

Websites: luvbites.co

TikTok: tiktok.com/@luvbites.co

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tarasuwin

YouTube: youtube.com/channel/UCrbW6PCKjgcxkq3dTvjjeyQ

Instagram: instagram.com/luvbites.co

Connect with Dr. Jessica Higgins

Facebook: facebook.com/EmpoweredRelationship 

Instagram: instagram.com/drjessicahiggins 

Podcast: drjessicahiggins.com/podcasts/

Pinterest: pinterest.com/EmpowerRelation 

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/drjessicahiggins 

Twitter: @DrJessHiggins 

Website: drjessicahiggins.com  

Email: [email protected]

About Today’s Show

Dr. Tara, thank you for joining us today.

Thank you so much for having me. Dr. Jessica. 

Yes. And even just as we’ve been talking before recording this episode, I just really appreciate your combination of your education and professional background as well as your spunky and fiery energy. I love that you keep your material really relatable. And so, I think we’re going to have a ton of fun today.

Yes! I’m so excited. 

Yeah, me too. The topic we’re going to be really focusing on is sexual communication. Before we go into what you are referring to with sexual communication, I’m interested if you’re open to sharing what really got you interested in focusing on this particular area?

Yeah, for sure. So, like many people, I was in many monogamous relationships one after another. I would say I was always feeling like there was something missing. I was having unfulfilling sex life. I mean, to backtrack a little bit. I’m originally from Thailand. I grew up in a sexually conservative environment. I never had sex ed. And so, none of my schools had sex ed. My parents never talked about sex. Everything that I knew about sex came from porn and the internet, and my peers talking about it in a pretty sure, now I know, very misguided ways. Right? 

So, all of that was a culmination of my childhood and my teenage years. Fast forward to my time in the United States. I came here for graduate studies. In my Ph.D. program, which was four years, I studied with professors that were really inspiring professors that studied attachment theory that came up with affection exchange theory. I realized. I had an epiphany, “Wow, there’s research and theories that explain how I feel, my behaviors, and what’s been going on in my life.” That’s super interesting. 

In grad school, I decided I wanted to focus on relational communication, which is in my field—it’s really communicating in a relationship. So, that was my major. But really, getting into sex and sexual communication was when I started my dream job as a professor at California State University Fullerton, and I got to teach this class in college—sexual communication. 

A lot of my students’ parents are like, “What class are you taking?” Especially the last two years. We’ve been on Zoom, so some of them are home. In it, I talked about dirty talk, pillow talk, and BDSM. They’re like, “What are you taking?” 

And so, through reading a lot of research, prepping for my lectures, and also doing my own research for the last two years collecting data from over 5000 subjects on sexual communication and sexual satisfaction. Doing all of that had helped me embark on my own personal sexual awakening journey because I thought, “Okay, I am in my 30s.” I was really wanting to shift my life into something that’s very fulfilling and really inviting all of the good things in life to come in, including sexual well-being and flourishing. 

I was really interested in, personally, right, like, how do I do that? And so, through learning about all kinds of methods of sexual flourishing and academic research and talking to experts, doctors, and psychologists like you, yeah, I came up with all of this sexual wellness advice that I have for people. So, I started my sex coaching business two years ago. And then, I started Luv Bites by Dr. Tara Podcast last year.

Thank you for sharing just some of the journeys you’ve been on. I’m wondering if you’re open to sharing, as you described, having very little information, very limited access, and then just the journey of really understanding the theory and the research that helped give language in identifying what you were feeling internally and then what you’ve been able to develop in your study, in your research, in your teaching. 

I come from a framework that sexuality, like every aspect of ourselves, is always developing, and it’s never this static arrival. However, I’m curious. Have you felt like you’ve been able to expand? I imagine so. Otherwise, I imagine your passion wouldn’t be so strong for this topic. 

But I’m wondering if you’re open to sharing because you almost spoke about feeling bored and really uninterested or feeling uninspired around what you experienced sexually because of those narrow confines and limiting structures, and then now what you’re exposed to and what you’re really teaching. Have you been able to open up that terrain for yourself?

100%. You put it so well through all of that journey, and I guess like in that confined space, and not just like physical space, but my mind was confined. I would say for the last five years, I have grown from a sexually anxious person, and I’ve grown so much already since I was like 21. But in the last five years, it’s been just an amazing ride. Literally, an amazing ride of me growing into someone who—I mean, this is a title of my TED talk last year, like, I’m someone who is sexually powerful. 

I feel I am sexually powerful because I embrace my sexuality. I feel I have flourished. I feel like I was a flower that wasn’t bloomed for multiple reasons. And now, like I am, yeah, a fully bloomed flower. I feel really good sexually. Talking about sexual satisfaction, I rate myself every month how do I feel sexually from 1 to 10. Being the nerd that I am, I have been doing this for the last two years, tracking my sexual satisfaction. I honestly would say even in my difficult times in life where other difficult things have happened, like health stuff, family stuff. I never scored anything less than 7 out of 10. 

Wow. Yeah. And you’re keeping a pulse. 

I take it playfully, seriously. 

Yeah, right? There’s a lightness here that you’re really wanting to be playful even as you’re playing with, like, it’s been a ride, right? Like, I didn’t get it right away, and then I got it. But just your willingness to play and giving yourself that freedom and that liberation to just be so empowered and powerful in your sexuality. 

I really love as you’re talking about the kind of like, I geek out here a little bit, but you’re keeping a pulse, right? You’re keeping that temperature gauge on what’s real because I think a lot of people get into habits, and they get into almost this automatic way of being in their sexuality. And so, this probably keeps you honest.

Yes. Oh my gosh, yes. This “data collection” has been huge for me because it keeps sex in my mind, in my thoughts every single day. In my belief, sexuality is a huge part of my identity and millions of people’s identities. So, to me, keeping it in my thoughts once a day where I write it down and talk about these things—it’s been really helpful. 

I mean, through this journey, I’ve tried so many things. I could talk about being a guinea pig. I have tried so many things. There’s OM (orgasmic meditation). There’s sexual meditation. There’s affirmations, visualization, and orgasmic breathwork. There are so many things out there that are both spiritual and/or scientific. I’ve tried almost everything.

Thank you for just being honest and willing to share that. I just love your openness. Well, as much as I am curious about what you want to share about what you’ve been experimenting with. I also know the topic of sexual communication in your research is so important. So, let’s pivot towards that. Can you help people? When you’re referring to sexual communication, what does that mean for you?

Yes. So, sexual communication. There are two sides to sexual communication. One is macro, which is about sex and relationship and how you feel about it and your history, right? It’s communication about sex and sexuality. So, any kind of communication that’s about sex and sexuality that’s like the macro view. 

But then there’s also the micro view, which is communication during sex. Right? What are you saying in terms of your verbal and nonverbal during sex? Before sex, like in foreplay, what are you communicating verbally and non-verbally? And then, after sex, what is your behavior after sex? How do you communicate and interact? Do you do pillow talk? Do you do aftercare? Right? So, there’s that micro sexual communication view. And then, there’s that macro communication view.

Thank you for just spelling that out because I think perhaps people might have more comfort in one than the other. Are you open to sharing what you kind of gleaned from some of your research about what’s common around sexual communication for people?

Of course, yeah. There’s a lot of research that shows there is so much sexual communication discomfort. There’s a whole line of research on sexual communication discomfort and sexual communication anxiety. 

The fact is not a lot of people are sexually communicating. The fact is people find sexual communication difficult. That is not something that you can just naturally easily do, like going up to Starbucks and ordering a drink. Right? Most people find sexual communication difficult. 

And when I say sexual communication, I say more likely the macro, the talking about sex, about preference, about desire, about lack thereof. That taps into the insecurity, the anxiety of the unknown, the not having the capacity or skills to have this kind of conversation because, again, let’s backtrack to my childhood, right? I never had sex education. And from my studies of prepping a lesson on sex ed in America, there’s not that good of sex ed here either. 

So, most of us journey into, if you believe in soulmates, into our soulmates or relational partners and sexual partners. We journey into each other. We found each other. Now, we’re together, and we’re just expected to know how. And a lot of us don’t know how. 

We were never taught how to do it. There’s no television program that teaches you how to do it. In sex ed, it was mainly sexual health, which is also very important. But there was never a guide to healthy sexual communication for people who are dating, who are in long-term relationships, people who are married, and people who are parents. So, I think that it’s, of course, natural that we can’t do it. Or do we feel like we can’t do it because we just don’t have the tools?

And even as you’re describing this, I imagine for people listening that it just even might be a resonance around, yeah, I can see this, or it is difficult, and there is discomfort. And if we say we’re going to do it, we want to do it. There’s a really great intention there, but it can feel really scary when we do have those anxieties, and we do have whatever pressures we put on ourselves. It can be the unknown like you’re describing. It can be a huge risk to take.

Right. Yeah. Yeah, I would say self-compassion is really important. No need to be pushing yourself too hard and asking the really difficult question right off the bat. I think incremental changes are good. Like, baby steps are good. I mean, we can talk about this in terms of like, my, like, top five things to do when it comes to sexual communication. But I think baby steps, thinking that it can be baby steps, is good. There’s no need to jump fully into the ocean. There’s a way to test the waters and develop the confidence to do it.

Yes. Okay. Well, let’s pivot in just a moment. Because this is the big question in my mind is like, where do people start? Where do you encourage this? And I’m sure what you have to offer in your Five Sexual Communication Practices will be really good if you want to speak to any other value around how this is important for long-term relationships and just how essential this is.

Oh my gosh, yes. I would love to first share about why it is so important. I feel like it’s almost a cliche by now for our society, for our modern times to say communication is key. Right? I think we’ve all been preaching this for a long time, and people before us. Psychologists, therapists, and researchers before us have been saying communication is key to a long-lasting healthy relationship. I think this has been said many, many times. 

So, we all know it. But it’s the doing. How do we do this more? How do we get comfortable doing it? That’s the important part. What I want to talk about is why sexual communication is necessary for happy long-term relationships. 

Free Man in Gray Crew Neck T-shirt Lying on Bed Beside Woman in White Tank Top Stock Photo

“Sexual infidelity is one of the biggest issues in long-term relationships.”

Number one, statistics suggest that sexual infidelity is one of the biggest issues in long-term relationships. And when the dark side of relationship researchers look into sexual infidelity more, and of course, like therapists and psychologists as well, when you look deeper into this issue, you find the issue of feeling unwanted and feeling undesired in a relationship, feeling invisible in a relationship. 

And instead of communicating these issues and working with each other, a lot of times, people find it easier to engage in these affairs. Right? They find it easier to just like go on Tinder, post ambiguous photos, so they don’t get caught, and then go on dates and feel wanted, feel good about themselves because they don’t feel good at home.

Right. And this speaks to perhaps, Dr. Tara, the discomfort, right? It’s that uncomfortable that we would seek someone externally to validate that rather than have those conversations with our significant other.

Right. Oh, my God, I’m so glad you said that. That leads me to my second point. A lot of men in heterosexual long-term relationships would rather fix their undesirable sexual issues by watching porn and masturbating instead of having a conversation and shifting their sex life.

Free Woman Sitting on a Car's Hood Kissing a Man Stock Photo

A lot of men in heterosexual long-term relationships would rather fix their undesirable sexual issues by watching porn and masturbating instead of having a conversation and shifting their sex life.”

I remember reading years ago. I think it was anecdotal, but it was from someone who was like a sex worker, someone who some people might call a prostitute, or someone who offers sex. There were some discussions. 

Basically, I think in the interview, she was saying, I can’t tell you how common it is that men, in her experience, obviously, being heterosexual, her clients were men and that she would be hearing from her clients that these men were having these deep longings and intimacy and wanting to feel seen, wanting to feel known, wanting these deeper parts, and the sexual desire to be desired, but really couldn’t vocalize that. 

They were like, “Have you talked to your wife about this?” And they’re like, “No, never.” Basically, she was like, all of these things are so important, and yet, there’s such a gap in being able to communicate with their spouse.

Right. I’m so glad you shared that. Mainly straight men would prefer dealing with this issue on their own through various methods, like, through a sex worker, through a cam girl, through porn and masturbating, rather than talking and working with their wife, right? 

I mean, I can’t just blame one person. There’s never one person to blame, right? I’m not saying this in any way to justify infidelity. Infidelity is shitty, and I’m not justifying it at all. But what I’m trying to say is there is always a reason why there is infidelity. Right? It’s not just, “Oh, he’s a bad person.” Like, okay, maybe he has bad morals as a part of it. But that’s not my job to judge. 

But what is that deeper reason why this man would prefer reaching out to this other woman, for example, like a cam girl, right? There’s a lot of research on cam girls. One of my professor friends at Cal State Fullerton researches Cam girls and why it’s so successful. It’s all these men, they just want to come on here and be given attention by an attractive woman that talks to them, that looks at them even though it’s online. And there’s no real sexual face-to-face interaction. They would rather do that than rekindle intimacy with their partner. 

If I’m hearing you, you’re normalizing this need to feel seen, to feel wanted, to feel desired. It’s absolutely normal. And you’re also really speaking to how significant these anxieties and insecurities can be as well as the incredible discomfort. You’re just spelling out that there’s a large degree of this happening.

Large degree. Yeah. So, one of the reasons why sexual communication is necessary is to prevent people lose passion for too long, and there’s no coming back.

Okay. I’m sure it says so much more about how essential, and I love that you’re underscoring it’s necessary. It’s not even just beneficial. 

No, it’s necessary. 

Okay. Great. Well, while we have you, let’s talk about your Five Sexual Communication practices.

Yes. And these are my favorite top five to do as a couple mainly. Number one is to compliment each other more. This is through verbal communication. Right? So, you can say it face to face. You can text it to them. You can even write a little post-it note, but people in long-term relationships can get into a habit of just having each other and forget to compliment each other. Right? 

Free A Couple Kissing Each Other Stock Photo

A compliment not only makes the other person just feel good for the day, but it also reminds them that they are wanted.”

And this is not for naivety by any means. It’s for the fact that a compliment not only makes the other person just feel good for the day, but it also reminds them that they are wanted, right? Remember, we talked about feeling unwanted being a huge issue. Just complimenting can help them feel partially better about feeling sexy, feeling good about themselves, and feeling wanted by their partner, which is something that they should feel anyways.

Yes. And I have also understood that on the receiving end, and I’ll just raise my hand here and say, you know, as far as love languages, I love the words of affirmation that just feels so so good to me. So, on the receiving end, it supports that as you’re describing feeling seen, feeling wanted, and appreciated. And the person that’s giving the appreciation, it’s cultivating the inner experience of feeling gratitude and acknowledgment. 

It fuels perhaps that desire, instead of getting into this, perhaps taking someone for granted or thinking that you know them when your partner is growing and changing every day. So, if I can have a beginner’s eyes or see you anew and cultivate that appreciation, I’m actually having an emotional experience in that process of appreciating.

Yes. Yes. Oh, my gosh. Well recapped. That’s a really great point about the sender also getting so much benefit from it. It’s not just something you do for the other person. It’s something you engage in together. Right? Both people are benefiting from these compliments. And like you said, it’s keeping the other person in your thoughts. And what’s really cool about this is it keeps that desire and passion in your thoughts. 

When I teach people what you can compliment, of course, you can compliment them on various things, right? Work ethic, being one. Being a kind person being one. But I also remind people don’t forget to compliment them on sexual things like keeping that naughtiness and playfulness in your relationship. Keep it light-hearted. 

“Your butt looks really nice today.” Or like, you know, “You’re looking so sexy. What a pleasure to have you in front of my eyes.” Right? Compliment on sexual things allows you to continuously have this desire, passion, and feelings throughout the day.

I would wonder too that, you know, for people that might not know what language, right. It just might feel that awkwardness or uncertainty, like, I don’t want to sound too raunchy, but then I don’t want to sound too silly. And they tend to find their voice with this, that perhaps just even experimenting with it, you’ll find more resonance or bring more authenticity.

Yes. Yes. And there are so much resources on the internet. 

If you want examples. 

How to compliment my partner sexually. Something will come up, including my Instagram, but definitely think about complimenting your partner more.

Yes, well, I love that you have resources. I’m going to make sure to put that on today’s show notes because I think having really substantial resources that are well-informed is really helpful.

Thank you. Yeah, I have all kinds of compliments, from sweet and delicate to really naughty and very dirty. 

Nice! 

All kinds of things for you.

You can find your zone.

Yeah, find your zone. 

Love it. All right. Do you want to go to number two?

Yes. Number two is to talk about sex more. What do I mean by that? Anything about sex. Anything about sex. It could be a movie, right? For example, if there was a movie on TV. Maybe they’re playing 50 Shades of Grey. Like, “Oh, have you seen that? Have you seen that scene?” Right? Or like, “Would you think about what she did?” So just talk about sex in general, not necessarily an issue or something negative. Just talk about the topic of sex.

I love it. Years ago, I worked at this job in between. I was getting ready to go to college. It was at Blue Cross Blue Shield, and I was doing some phone answering. I was just so bored. And they had this shelf, and it was all these like romance novels. I read a couple. It was like, “It’s the exact same thing.” 

And then someone, a co-worker, was like, “Here, read this.” I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Diana Gabaldon, and she wrote the Outlander series. And now, Starz has the series made after her books. Anyway, there’s lots of sex in there. 

My husband has been interested, and so we’ve been watching, and there’s tons of sex in there. So, it’s to your point about shows and sex. It’s just having that in your mind and topic and part of the discussion. It sounds like it keeps things a little bit more activated.

Yes, activating is a good word. Activating, yes. Because if you have literally not talked about anything related to sex for, let’s say, ten years, it’s going to feel very difficult. It’s going to feel like, out of the blue difficult, unnormal, and just hard to do. 

Right. A bigger reach. 

Yeah, if you just start with all of these things first, like talking about sex in general, maybe romance novels, maybe movies, maybe TV shows, and then go into a little bit more personal topics about YouTube or more. Things like, would you think about trying new things? I think that’s a good thing to talk about. 

Why do you think your partner turns you on? Right? I think that’s a cool thing to talk about. Definitely talking about frequency and what you feel comfortable with for the month. I think it’s really good for people who are in a relationship because one of the biggest issues in long-term relationships is mismatched sexual desires. Not communicating about it will only make it worse. So, I think communicating about what you feel like your desire level is for the week, for the month, and why is that. Right? I think all of that is necessary. 

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“One of the biggest issues in long-term relationships is mismatched sexual desires. Not communicating about it will only make it worse.”

For example, last year, there was a time when my tenure profile was due, right. It was stressful. So, it was like a stressful two weeks. I communicate that to my partner. I feel like my mind hasn’t been on sex so much because I am worried and excited and nervous, all kinds of things about my tenure profile for my university. Even just communicating that, it allows him to know like, you know what, like, let me give you a massage and let’s cuddle. Yeah. That is because I communicate my desires and what I’m feeling at the moment. 

Beautiful. 

And so, I think that’s really important. Anything that’s related to the frequency and what is going on in your life and how that is maybe affected. 

Totally. 

And then, number three. I would say do more nonverbal communication outside the bedroom, sexual nonverbal communication outside the bedroom. What does that mean? Maybe you’re cooking together. Maybe a little, like a tiny slap on the butt. Or maybe caressing the neck, maybe just twirling the hair, massaging the forearm, massaging the thigh, touching more, and other nonverbals like smiling, like flirting, smiling, more nonverbal stuff outside the bedroom. 

The eye gaze. 

Yeah, the eye gaze, the hand holding. Everything. More nonverbal stuff outside the bedroom. 

Beautiful. 

Free Side view of affectionate young couple lying on bed under cozy blanket in bedroom and cuddling while smiling and looking at each other Stock Photo

“If you don’t continuously communicate about sex, then sex and desire and satisfaction might slip out of your mind, and then it’s no longer a repertoire of your relationship.”

And then the next, I would say, this I make sure that everyone understands. If you don’t continuously communicate about sex, continuous can be subjective. But like, let’s say once a month, or once every quarter, then sex and desire and satisfaction might slip out of your mind, and then it’s no longer a repertoire of your relationship. So, number four, very important, is to do regular sexy check-in. 

This check-in is a symbol. I do it quite often because I just enjoy asking him. “How are you feeling about our sex life right now? 1 to 10.” And because my partner and I have sexual communication in our repertoire, if he’s feeling not so good, like for the month, for example, or like, life’s just been so overwhelming, this and that, he will say, “Well, I’m feeling kind of like 6.5 – 7. Right. And then I may ask, like, “How can I support you right now? How can we feel more sexually intimate?”

I’m even wondering if even it makes that question around what would help you go from a 6.5 to a 7.5? Right? And then, it gives them a little bit more room for these incremental rather than it being super binary of like, “Are you sexually satisfied or not?” That’s a good question to ask that gives a lot more room for mobility. Not an improvement, but just adding more to that satisfaction scale. 

Yeah, totally. Baby steps, too, right.

Yes. I know we don’t want to go backward, but I just wanted to comment on the nonverbal that that can also just create. I don’t know if you would agree, but a sense of real safety and welcoming when there’s that tenderness and that warmth and that affection being expressed that there’s so much that’s getting communicated and received. Even in the nervous system, the neuroception around this softness. Would you agree?

Yes, 100%. There’s research on that. Haptics research like touch and how powerful touch is. As human beings, we need affectionate touch. We need it. It can contribute to social isolation and loneliness if you don’t get touch. 

It’s huge. 

It’s huge. Yeah, it’s a huge part of being a happy human.

Yeah, and I wonder too if this also supports people’s learning styles, or perhaps how they process or even introversion/extroversion. Like I’ll say for myself, I tend to be more verbal than my husband. He’s a little more kinesthetic and a little bit more introverted. And so, I think those nonverbals actually communicate more weight. It’s more weighted for him than even maybe the words are.

Yeah, you’re right. I think my hypothesis would be that there are a lot more men that are more in tune with nonverbals. And a lot more women are more in tune with verbals. This mismatch maybe needs some teaching within a relationship. I think the founder of the School of Happiness in London often talks about teaching your partner how to love you, teaching your partner how to give you affection. 

And so, I was going to share too, Jessica. My partner, when we met, was very much a nonverbal person and very low in verbal sexual communication skills. And through the years, I taught him through me verbally teaching but also modeling. I show him the behavior. 

Nice. 

I speak about it. I asked him questions. Therefore, he feels like he can do the same. It takes time, for sure. I don’t want to say this as like, “Oh, my God, you should totally do all of this tomorrow. It took months.

Years, probably too. 

Months and years. 

Yes. Okay. Well, I want to hear number five, too, before we run out of time.

Yes, before we go. So, number five. We can all agree like doing things together is communication, right? You’re communicating effort. You’re communicating a connection. You’re communicating, “Hey, you’re important to me, and I want to do this with you.” So, doing new things together is communication. And when it comes to sexual communication, doing new things together in the sexual communication realm that I want to recommend is to try sexual meditation together. 

Sexual meditation is my favorite thing to do. I’ve meditated every single day for many years now, but sexual meditation is something I started trying two years ago. It’s amazing. I swear by it. There’s lots of experimental research from a lab in Canada. I think research by Dr. Lori Brotto in terms of how these mindfulness practices influence your sexual desire and arousals. So sexual meditation is the practice of meditation with a guide that talks about different topics of sexuality.

Can you say more? I will love to hear if you’re open to sharing just a little bit more about that.

Of course, yes. So, it’s basically guided meditation where the guy talks about sex. For example, I have a list of my sexual meditations on YouTube. If you want to go check it out and do one of them solo or with your partner. There are also many other people out there that also produced these sexual meditation videos. But basically, you get comfortable. Sometimes you get naked, but you don’t have to go there if you want to just be in your robe or something comfortable. Sit together. And then, close your eyes and follow the instructions. 

Beautiful. 

It’s really great as a mindfulness practice by itself, but also so great at cultivating connection with each other and inviting sexuality into your relationships. I would say my number five—great sexual communication practice is doing new things together. I recommend sexual meditation.

I love that. I mean, just backing up in the doing new things. I mean, the dopamine, like, hit that we might get from doing something new or going to a new location together with your significant other. I mean, people forever have known just like a vacation, and being in a new place can really spark a lot of arousal and desire. And so, I think there’s some more clear kind of brain science around that, but also what you’re really inviting people into, and this suggestion of the sexual meditation. 

One of the things that I find in just my life is so much of the demand of life or even, would feel so linear or fast-paced, or pressured schedule, and feeling my time is not always a huge resource. And so, I think that I can run the risk of getting too in my head and not being as embodied. I do my practices for sure, like yoga, hiking, volleyball, and all these things that helped me stay really connected and the sexuality, that vitality of the inner reaction. 

I think this meditation with that focus, specifically on sex and that energy, is really. I mean, in some traditions, right. Whether or not it’s Taoist tradition or other traditions around how this is just part of our lifeforce energy.

Oh, my gosh. Yes! You are speaking my language. Yeah, I’m a fan of both. I’m a fan of learning about and studying and cultivating energy, but also like learning about brain science. I think there’s a happy medium intertwined with all of these great things.

Yes. Well, this has just been amazing. Would you be willing to recap the five just so we have that quick summary with you? 

Of course. I would say, though, with all of these, I want to start by saying it does take a growth mindset to be able to do this right. Some people may feel like they’re listening to this and like, “Ah, I can’t do that. That’s not going to happen.” Well, I mean, if you believe you can’t do it, and you believe it’s not going to happen, then it won’t. 

Right. 

So, number one is to have a growth mindset. But yes, here’s a recap of the top five best sexual communication practices. Number one is to compliment each other more. Number two, talk about sex more. Number three, do more nonverbal communication outside the bedroom. Number four, regular sexy check-in. And number five, doing new things together as communication. For example, sexual meditation.

Thank you for just laying that out briefly again, just for our recap. And also, just the invitation to approach this from a growth mindset, giving ourselves permission to be in practice and hopefully the safe learning environment that this does take time and the incremental baby steps that you’ve been referring to that really help us expand and get acquainted and perhaps take risks, but also grow ourselves. And that it’s not about failure or success. It’s about being engaged. 

Beautiful summary, Dr. Jessica.

Well, this has been a pleasure, Dr. Tara. What would you like to invite people into or direct people towards?

Yes, so my website has all of my information and my projects. So that’s LuvBites.co, as well as my Instagram and Tik Tok. They’re all LuvBites.co.

Wonderful. And I will make sure to have those links on today’s show notes. What might people find on your website?

You can find my podcast as well. It’s Luv Bites by Dr. Tara. It’s on my website. They can find my TED talk that I did last year on my website, lists of products that not only I recommend I use, and then other resources like articles to read about desires, articles to read about sexual fantasies, and all kinds of resources.

Wonderful. Do you do any groups, or is it mostly just the products and the podcast and the different information that you’re offering?

Yes. So, I do individual and couple’s coaching right now. Towards the summer, I’m going to be producing an event in Los Angeles that’s related to sex-positivity. So, definitely, if you’re on my website mailing list or my Instagram, you’ll see the news. 

Perfect. 

And you can attend.

Nice. Yes. Okay. Well, I will make sure, again, as I said, to have these links easily accessible on today’s show notes. And Dr. Tara, thank you so much for sharing your valuable time with us here today.

Thank you so much for having me.

Signing Off

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Dr. Jessica Higgins ~ Relationship and Transformational Coaching