Excerpt from Love in the Time of Corona: Advice from a Sex Therapist for Couples in Quarantine
by Dr. Ava Cadell
It’s my pleasure to share an excerpt from my dear friend and colleague Dr. Diana Wiley’s new book, Love in the Time of Corona, Advice from a Sex Therapist for Couples in Quarantine.
It’s all about how couples can make the most of their time together by having more and better sex to relieve stress and strengthen their relationship.
Here are Dr. Diana’s Seven Secrets for Sensational Sex—the kind of sex that keeps you curious about what’s going to happen next, and keeps you coming back for more.
“My husband Bryan and I developed these guidelines over the course of our now almost ten-year love affair. The secrets are simple, and they can help you continue to evolve toward your sexual potential. Plus, you’ll have lots of fun and pleasure along the way.
Dr. Diana’s Seven Secrets for Sensational Sex
- Take Care of Yourself First. This means taking responsibility for your own well-being during a sexual encounter. If something hurts, say so. If something is happening that you don’t like, say so. Don’t assume that your partner will know these things. If you each make a commitment to speak up for yourselves, it frees up both of you to be more present. Neither partner has to be overly concerned about the other, because you trust that your partner will tell you if there’s a problem.
- Respect Boundaries. This is essential for creating and maintaining a safe “container” when the two of you are engaged in sex. If your partner has told you that a certain activity or body part is off limits, then simply don’t go there. “No” means No. Of course, you’re always free to renegotiate boundaries, but have that conversation at another time.
- Communicate Openly and Directly. Don’t play games or be coy when you are communicating something important about sex with your partner. Don’t hold back or use vague language. It pays to be open and direct. If you have trouble talking about sex, revisit some of the guidance I shared in Chapter 1.
- Don’t Take Anything Personally. A common response when we hear rejection or criticism is to become defensive, which can be a real buzzkill in a moment of passion. Assume the best about your partner’s intentions and, if necessary, act on their feedback. If a comment does strike a defensive chord with you, resolve to address the issue at another time. Chances are, the comment is not really about you but is instead a reflection of something else that may be bothering your partner. (Of course, if the comment is about something that hurts or feels bad, then stop doing what you were doing.)
- Focus on Your Partner’s Pleasure. Some sex therapists advise clients to focus on their own pleasure first. This approach has some merits, in the sense that you are the one having the experience in your own body, and thus you know best what feels good. But if each partner remains engrossed in their own pleasure, sex can devolve into little more than mutual masturbation. You would be missing out on the wonders of pleasuring each other, which can set up positive feedback loops of sensual delights and intimate connection. My husband’s motto is: “Worship your woman and the Goddess will reward you!”
- Express Gratitude. This secret is so important that I devoted all of the previous chapter to the topic. But don’t limit your expressions of gratitude to exercises or daily rituals. Tell your partner how much you appreciate their actions in the moment when you are enjoying sex together. It’s another way to generate a positive feedback loop!
- Let Go. The first six secrets help establish a physically safe and psychologically healthy environment, which allows you to abandon yourself to the throes of passion. Surrendering control in the moment opens the doors to higher levels of pleasure and ecstasy where you can explore the promised land of your sexual potential.
Here again is the list of my Seven Secrets:
- Take Care of Yourself First
- Respect Boundaries
- Communicate Openly and Directly
- Don’t Take Anything Personally
- Focus on Your Partner’s Pleasure
- Express Gratitude
- Let Go
I encourage you to practice these principles with your partner. They can serve as simple touchstones to guide you in the process of finding deeper meaning as you recommit to the intimacy and sexual abundance of your relationship.
May these secrets guide you and your partner to newfound depths of love.
Author of Love in the Time of Corona: Advice from a Sex Therapist for Couples in Quarantine