By: Danika Larkin
February, a month to celebrate love, intimacy, and relationships! Concurrently, it is also teen dating violence awareness month. From our carefree teenage days, childhood, and beyond, we shoulder our misconceptions and ill-advised guidance; without intervention they can inhibit incredible romantic connections. What do we do when we are not yet exposed to healthy dynamics that encourage fulfilling romantic links? How do we get out of our heads and truly appreciate physically and emotionally intimate moments?
‘I can’t believe how long we waited to get help!’ is one of the most common phrases Laurie Watson, Sex Therapist and podcast host noted in her Psychology Today article. Sex and Intimacy therapy is often more stigmatized than general cognitive counseling but equally important when considering intimacy, sexuality, and pursuing personal fulfillment. Societal, cultural, and community standards craft our context; they also introduce values and perspectives that circumvent us maintaining inner peace.
No matter how we process mental imprints from a mosaic life lived, we can all benefit from tips and tricks from a Sex Therapist to access our higher selves. As you venture through self-discovery remember what Dr. Misty Smith noted in a ‘Crimson White’ article entitled ‘Q&A with Sex Therapist Dr. Misty Smith, "sexuality is a spectrum; and an exploration of that array coupled with a deep intimacy cultivated within ourselves can truly unlock new ways to pleasure."
Here are some tips and tricks to expand your scope of bliss in intimate exchanges or even by yourself via the folks who are the credentialed experts; Sex Therapists!
- First and foremost, be playful! Sex and intimacy don’t have to be an Oscar winning dramatic film.
- Go full Carmen Sandiego to unlock the mysteries of your pleasure hot springs and possibly a consenting partner(s) as well!
- Especially in this month of love, be mindful of your own and other’s love language. The extra thoughtfulness can buoy intimacy through rough patches.
- Simply, make the time.
- Utilize space to affirm with physical touch without escalating to anything more. Releasing expectations relieves pressure but also maintains a physical connection.
Quality sex and intimacy is rooted in intuition and freedom. Casey Green of Buzzfeed spoke with several Sex Therapists including Dr. Madeleine Castellanos, author of Wanting to Want and Ian Kerner, Ph.D., founder of GoodInBed.com who also recognizes that “like your job, your family, your mental health, your relationship history…your sex life doesn't exist in a vacuum." Castellanos supports this notion by stating “some of the issues may be related to other anxieties…sometimes it seems like the session has nothing to do with the actual sex act, but the therapist is actually dealing with how that person deals with sex."
With support we can limit our anxieties and be guided and freed by the trust we have built in ourselves and others. So, burn some BLK+GRN (sustainably sourced) Sage, clear the air, and enjoy the ‘ride.’