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Thursday, February 3,2011

Mindful love-making

By Dr. Jenni Skyler



Dear Dr. Jenni,

The only way to comfortably have sex is when I’m drunk. My boyfriend complains that I’m not really engaged, but I actually feel more in touch with my body when I drink. Who is right?

—Drinking to Drive the Love Boat


When it comes to your body, you know it best. Many people enjoy sex during altered states of body and mind. This has been a common practice for centuries. Still, an altered state is just that — altered. When your boyfriend states that he feels disengaged from you, it’s because he’s getting an altered you. You may want to ask yourself how many times you are having sex in your altered state versus how many times you are making love sober. If you are mostly, or only, having sex in an altered state, you may want to ask yourself if you are escaping from something, be it intimacy with your boyfriend, or ghosts in the bedroom from times past. Try the practice of conscious love-making. Breathe deeply and connect with how each body part is feeling. If this is foreign to you, pick just one body part and focus on that. Next time focus on another body part. The time after, add them together and proceed until you are really feeling sensation in and through your whole body. Don’t worry about how long this takes you. Just enjoy the journey of waking up to yourself and your partner.

Dear Dr. Jenni,

I apologize for such an outlandish question. I’m a 48-year-old man, and over the holidays I accidently walked in on my parents (77 and 80 years old). I’m sort of aghast and also terribly curious if other people that age still have sex?

—Curious George Walks in on Elderly Parents


Oh, yes! Sex doesn’t stop at 60, or 70, or 80 or even 90. Expanding what qualifies as “sex” may help you accept how people of all ages are able to be sexually intimate. Sex can be sensuous cuddling or massage, genital caress, oral play or intercourse. Of course, witnessing your parents have sex at any age can be difficult, because we are socialized to consider our parents as non-sexual beings. However, if you can deconstruct that idea, you might feel joyful that they are happy and connected!



Dear Dr. Jenni,

I have a crush on my boyfriend’s best friend. I love my boyfriend deeply and don’t want to leave our relationship, but I don’t know what to do with this crush. I’m too scared to tell him, or do you think I should? What do I do with these feelings?

—Crushing On Another Man

Dear COAM,

It’s really common to have crushes!

You are certainly not alone. What you do with these feelings is another matter. If you have an agreement to be sexually exclusive with your boyfriend, then acting on these feelings will obviously breach that trust. But if you have both agreed that friendly flirting is a permissible activity, then enjoy yourself.

Ask yourself why you are scared to tell your boyfriend your feelings. Will he get mad? Will he leave you? Once you can settle into your fear, you may want to tell him just that — that you are scared to share these feelings, and though you love him deeply, you also find yourself attracted to his friend. He may surprise you and say the same about one of your friends! It may become a joke with the two of you where you tell each other how hot soand-so looks, then use that fuel to get your own bedroom activities roaring.

If you don’t want to share, that’s fine, too. Do what feels right for you. And always feel free to fantasize. Many people make monogamy work by getting their sexual variety through fantasy.

So take a trip or two in your brain, and have a little fun!

Send questions for Jenni Skyler, PhD, to drjenni@theintimacyinstitute.org. Skyler is a sex therapist and board-certified sexologist who runs The Intimacy Institute in Boulder, www.theintimacyinstitute.org.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

Questions Send questions for Jenni Skyler to drjenni@ theintimacyinstitute.org.]

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