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Play time!

There is a story that is often told of Gregory Bateson, an anthropologist and the husband of the Margaret Mead. He was asked to come observe a group of otters that seemed depressed to their zookeepers. Otters, if you didn’t know, love to play. You can watch them for hours as they leap, swim, wrestle with each other and get up to all sorts of antics. These otters, however, seemed listless and lethargic.

 

After watching the animals for a number of days, Bateson dangled a piece of paper on string into their habitat. Before long, an otter came over to the string and began to bat at it. Very soon after, another otter joined in and then both otters started to play with each other. Even when Bateson removed the paper on the string, the otters continued to play.

How did two otters – creatures that are playful by nature – stop playing? Simply put, they got bored.

 

It is very easy for couples to get bored and, by extension, stop playing with each other when they have been married for years.

 

I was recently chatting with a client, and she mentioned that her husband liked to pull out a stuffed animal, put on an alter-ego voice, and make silly comments. She didn’t have a clue how to respond. Naturally a very serious person, this activity seemed very confusing to her. When I suggested that she make a silly comment in return – something fun and playful – it made her stop and think because it had been so long since she had been playful in their marriage.

 

Are you playful together? Believe it or not, this can be one of the most effective tools to making your relationship last. If you are having a lot of fun together, it makes it much harder to split up.

 

What are you doing to be playful with your spouse? Do you need to introduce something new into your environment to remind the two of you how to play again? What will that something new be? (as a suggestion: you might want to try something different than a just piece of paper on a string!) How can you make your spouse laugh this week? Can you surprise your spouse with something that will completely delight him or her?

 

As you think about those questions, let me leave you with a video of two otters, taking a nap at the Vancouver Aquarium. They are holding hands so that they will not float apart.

Remember: Playfulness not only combats boredom, but it also engenders intimacy.

Happy Birthday to Me

When one of our friends was in his twenties and his son Adam was just three, his son saw him step out of the shower.

“Dad, when I get older, will my penis get bigger?”

“Sure, son.  It will.”

“Is mine going to be as big as yours when I am your age?”

The dad felt both awkward and amused by the question.

“Well, probably yeah.”

His son thought about that for a minute, and then with eyes getting wider by the moment said, “that means that when I am forty, it’ll be HUGE!!”

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Aging is just a matter of perspective. Many people dread adding candles to their birthday cakes, but this little boy could only think of the benefits of getting older. And, in such boy-like fashion too!

Today is my birthday.

I love my birthday. Not because I look forward to the gifts, or phone calls or Facebook messages – although those are wonderful and if you are sending them to me, keep ’em coming!

I love my birthday for two reasons. The first is out of sheer competitiveness. I am trying to beat my parents. You see, my mom died when she was 46 and my father died when he was 51. Neither of them lived for very long. I very simply want to outlast them. (I am hearing Billy Joel’s song Only the Good Die Young as I type this. What that says about my desire to be “good”, I will refrain from commenting on.)

But the second reason that I love my birthday is that every year, I have accumulated more knowledge, more understanding and hopefully more wisdom. The person who I am today is happier, has a deeper sense of self, has helped more people, is more comfortable with the body God gave me, has grown in courage, has learned more from mistakes and has had more adventures than the “me” of last year. I know “me” better. I like “me” better. I can’t wait to see who “me” is at the end of each year. I have to admit that, looking forward, the idea of turning 50 just thrills me to no end!

Why do I blog about turning older on a website which is devoted to passion, love and intimacy? Because I know – from personal experience as well watching the lives of the my clients – that when you are excited about getting better with each year, your sex life gets better too. There is a direct correlation between becoming more comfortable in your own skin and getting better at sex. Why? Because sex is one of the ways we express who we are on the deepest of levels. Our wants, our desires, our proclivities – they all emanate from a place of who we are. And the more we know and understand that, the better we will be able to express it in a truly authentic way. Trust me, when you get there, it is an amazing place to be.

I find that most people who are afraid of turning older feel that they have something missing in their lives. There is something that they want to do which has not yet materialized. Perhaps it is a relationship that they are seeking. Perhaps it is career they have always wanted which has not turned out as planned. Perhaps they don’t even know – they just wander around with a vague sense of aimlessness in life. For those people, the thought of years rolling by is terrifying.

But if you are actively searching for the very best you that you can find, when you are taking the time to listen to that inner voice that acts as your compass to direct you to the reason you were put on this earth and then go after it, the years merely become a companion as you pursue what you were destined to do.

We have another friend who is 62. He was recently asked what he was going to do with his “last 18 summers”. The question was so jarring to him that he spent hours thinking of his answer. And then he made some radical changes in his life.

Can you say that every year you get better? Do you like yourself more? How many summers do you have left? Are you doing what you were meant to do in this life?

If not, you have some work to do. But it will be worth it.

Today, I am going to begin my year by having a ridiculous amount of fun with family and friends.

And, my husband turns forty this year. So, thanks to Adam’s perspective, I have that to look forward to too!

Perfectionism

I meet a lot of perfectionists in my line of work. Perhaps there is an unusually high correlation between perfectionism and sexual hang-ups.

Perfectionists do not like mistakes. They like to be correct all the time. There is no tolerance for error in a perfectionist’s world.

However, this is a problem in sexual relationship because good sex takes practice. Inherent in the concept of practice is the understanding that there is room to make mistakes. When you are “practicing”, mistakes are acceptable, permissible and even expected.

I have noticed that when perfectionists become extremely fearful of making mistakes, they give up all together. Perhaps they try a few times, realize that they are not living up to their own internal standards and then they give up. The worst culprits give up without even trying. They are terrified of mediocre and so they twist the old adage of  “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well” to justify their inaction. And in doing so, they completely miss the value of battling through the awkward learning stage.

To combat the threat of perfectionism in our own household, I have a saying that I give to my young daughter, “We learn more from our failures than our successes.” Our failures are not just a vivid reminder that we are not perfect (which, as it turns out, is really ok); they also give us valuable clues as to the areas we need to adjust, change and grow in our lives so that we can be successful.

People who can grab onto this concept are high achievers.  Like perfectionists, high achievers have very high standards of what they want to accomplish in their lives. But unlike perfectionists, they embrace mistakes and failures as part of the normal learning process they must endure to get to greatness. They elicit and heed feedback because they can use the information to move past the awkward learning stage onto the skilled phase.

I met a high achiever this weekend at one of my Passion Salons. This woman shared that she had wanted to become better at oral sex. Now, I have met many women who realized they were not good at oral sex and so they just gave up. Instead, this woman asked her husband for feedback. What do you like? Is this working? What can I do to get better?

Unfortunately, her husband wasn’t particularly skilled at giving her the feedback she needed. Maybe he was embarrassed, maybe he preoccupied in the moment or perhaps he didn’t know the answer to her question! However, she wanted more information, so she rented a “how to” video and practiced her new learnings on her husband. He was thrilled. And when I met her, she had a confidence that emanated from her.

Here is a suggestion for you: try some “practice sex”. Set aside time when the two of you agree that you are going to practice something that you are not good at but you want to become more skilled. Allow for mistakes and mediocre sex during this time with a view that you need to go through the awkward to get to great.  Let go of your need to be right, or perfect or flawless.  Enjoy each other and the process and you’ll find that you really start to enjoy each other and the process!!

Top Ten Technology Flirts

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Yesterday was a crazy day. You know the type where you have to carry a colour-coded schedule just to make it through the day without doing something foolish like, well, forgetting your kid at school??? (Don’t laugh too hard. We did that earlier this week) It was bonkers. Eric and I were flying in different directions, Riley had places to be and needs to be met. We ended the day flopped on the bed together, eating pizza and watching a kid’s movie about enchanted princesses and undying love.

After we put Riley to bed, Eric and I ventured downstairs with ambitious plans to work some more. This is one of the significant pitfalls of working from home. The lines between work and home life get completely blurred and it becomes exceedingly easy to work all the time. There is no such thing as a 9-5 work schedule. That could be a blog post in and of its own!

But on this occasion, we were just too tired to work. Instead, we ended up sitting right next to each other with our computers out. Then we found each other on Facebook. And we starting flirting. Outrageously. Which led to hearty laughter. Then our friends and family started to chime in on the discussion and we giggled even more. At last count, we were up to 32 comments and one “like”. I’m not sure what the record for comments on Facebook is – I am sure that we fell far short of that record – but that was a lot for us!

This interaction led me to think: who is your spouse flirting with on Facebook today? If it’s not you, there is a problem. This is a skill set you might want to pick up.

Realizing that this is a significant issue, I consulted one of my techy guru friends for his hottest tips on ways to use technology to flirt with your spouse.  Around here we call him JDog.  I think you’ll find him to be as refreshing and enlightening as we do.

J-Dog’s Top Ten List:

J-Dog’s Note: Ok, so Eryn-Faye asked me to come up with ten ways to flirt using technology, and I thought, “Oh, that’s easy!” Turns out that with the steady march of this thing we call ‘convergence’, the lines between various technologies are becoming less and less clear. Some of these suggestions will obviously cross over to others, and some won’t as much. The one commonality should be creativity – as long as you can think of something fun and creative to say to your lover, the technology can help you convey that message. I managed to come up with ten, although the last one is illegal, so don’t do it, ok?

Also, I’ll add the standard disclaimer that I’m a guy, and in spite my attempt to balance this with tips for both sexes, my own biases will show. Whatever.

1. Texting. Most people have mobile phones these days, and many couples each have their own. Texting is usually free, especially between family members (check your rate plan before going crazy with the texts, though!). Send your spouse a short, badly-spelled note informing them of just how hot you think they are. If you’re female, include details about your underwear. While this is quite effective if they are at work, it can be even more fun to do when you’re in the same room as each other. It’s a very good way to build the sexual tension between you when you’re at a party, for example.

A sub-genre of this is known as ‘sexting’, and is generally more risqué (and risky!) and involves sending sexy photos of yourself to your spouse’s cellphone or email. A couple things to keep in mind if you want to try this are that you shouldn’t be stupid and include pictures of your face, because it’s pretty much guaranteed these pictures will not remain entirely private (especially if the recipient is a guy!). Also, be very careful when selecting the recipient from your address book, as a slip of the finger on that tiny keypad means the wrong person gets to see your naughty bits! Again, check your rate plan to make sure it’s not going to bankrupt you to send that picture.

If you don’t have a mobile to send text from, most carriers allow you to send texts from their website, or via email. For example, for Telus Mobility customers, you’d send an email to tendigitmobilenumber@msg.telus.com. Check your carrier’s website for details on how to do this.

2. Skype. This would include other kinds of real-time text chat as well, such as MSN, Yahoo! Chat, or Google Chat. Whatever network you both use, put it to good use by turning up the heat now and then. If you are apart from each other during the day, try to get online at the same time now and then, and just talk about how much you love each other, or how much you miss them. Tell him about your underwear. If your network of choice supports video, use it! It’s amazing what a turn on it is just to see your lover’s face while you talk to them. And if you have the opportunity, live video can spice things up in other ways too!

3. Music. It’s long been known that music is a great way to romance a woman. Dudes, fire up iTunes and buy her a gift card or use the Gift This function to send a specific song directly to her inbox. Browse the Latin and Jazz genres, or find a new mix of one of your old favourites. Girls, just send him a song about underwear. There’s lots on there, trust me.

4. Twitter. You can say a lot in 140 characters or less. Tweet about your lover. Let your followers know how much you appreciate them. Just for fun, start a hashtag with their name, and use it lots. And use the private message capabilities to add some spice!

5. Facebook. Eryn-Faye mentioned this one in her post, and I have to say it was a lot of fun watching that conversation go on! Facebook is a great way to publicly flirt with your lover, and letting your friends inject their own humour into the process can result in some hilarious moments. Use your status updates to brag about how great your spouse is – making oblique references to their sexual prowess not only tells them you think they are ‘all that’, but it is a great self esteem booster to have one’s praises sung in public. Doesn’t hurt the libido, either – which is what we’re going for here!

6. Telephone. Sure, it’s old-school, but sometimes, it’s just what the doctor ordered. The ability to hear your lover in real-time, with no delays, jitter, or dropped packets can be very refreshing. Call her up and let them know exactly what you’d like to do with her when you get home. Or, call him up and tell him about your underwear.

7. Voicemail. If your lover works in an office, you can call the switchboard and ask the receptionist to transfer you directly to their voicemail, rather than ringing their extension. This way, you can leave them a surprise message – be sure to preface it with “Darling, please make sure your speakerphone is off”!

8. Email. Even those of us without mobile phones have access to email, and this can be put to great use in the flirting game. Guidelines involve not using corporate email accounts for naughty exchanges (get a gmail account – it’s free, already!), and remembering to be careful about sending incriminating photos. Underwear shots are great, as long as your face isn’t visible.

9. Video. The availability of video recording technology such as camcorders, cell phones, and webcams means that it’s easier than ever to create a visual delight for your lover. This can be a lot of fun, especially because it’s so very ‘naughty’. You know what makes your lover tick, so include those things in your video. As with other forms of electronic flirting, it’s very important that you ensure the privacy of your material: no faces or identifiable markings such as tattoos; don’t use workplace networks to send private files (most log everything, and copies can be made for auditors or investigators upon request); and make sure that your personal computer is secure, both from outside penetration (hur, hur) as well as from family members (especially children, for heaven’s sake!). I would suggest getting PGP encryption keys and using them to lock all your private files.

10. Hack one of those roadside construction signs with the big digital displays. Replace the warning message about the bridge washing out or whatever with something that tells passersby how amazing awesome your lover is. You have fewer characters than Twitter, here – so use shorthand! And wear gloves so you don’t leave fingerprints, ok? I’m just sayin’…

As with all types of flirting, it’s important to remember that the most effective methods will employ your lover’s Love Language. Once you have that figured out, technology and gadgets can really help you push those buttons!

Eryn-Faye’s note: Ladies, for what it’s worth, underwear seems to be a consistent theme!

Awareness Regarding Sex and Menopause

In this short Q&A, Eryn-Faye, Canada’s Passion Coach, answers an audience member’s question about the major issues regarding sex and menopause.

Download this file as a .mov file for your Quick Time player OR as a .m4v file for your ipod OR as a .mp3 file to listen to the audio on itunes

The Most Popular Man at a Nudist Colony

Who is the most popular man at a nudist colony?

The man who can carry two cups of coffee and a dozen donuts.

Wow! Not only is that guy well endowed, but he has a pretty strong erection too! Oftentimes we talk about kegel exercises for women, but overlook the fact that men derive great benefit from doing these exercises as well. As men increase the strength of their PC muscles they will find that it:

  • Helps with premature ejaculation
  • Increases the intensity of their orgasms
  • Increases the strength of their erections
  • Helps increase over-all control in the pelvic region
  • Increases their odds of having multiple orgasms

Advantages of Kegel exercises: These exercises do not take a lot of time out of your day, and they can be done without anyone noticing that you are doing them. Do them in your car on your commute to work, sitting at your desk at the office or while you are watching TV.

Finding the PC muscle: Go to the bathroom. As you begin to pee, stop the flow of urine. This muscle that you use to halt the urination is your pubococcygeus or PC muscle. (If you want to isolate this muscle to ensure that you are using the correct one, you can insert your finger in your anus. As you flex your PC muscle, the anus will tighten.)

Basic kegel: Once you have identified your PC muscle, you can begin doing kegel exercises. The goal is to squeeze your PC muscles as tight as possible and hold them for 10 seconds. However, when you are starting, hold them for as long as you can and work up to 10 seconds. After each kegel, rest for the same amount of time that you squeezed. For example, if you contracted your muscles for 5 seconds, then rest for 5 seconds. Work up to 10 reps, 3-4 times a day.

Advanced kegels:

  • Squeeze and release rapidly for 10 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Do 3 sets. Work up to sets of 1 minute each.
  • Squeeze and hold. Hold for 2 minutes. Do one set. Work up to 3 sets, resting in between each.
  • Squeeze and release your muscles 50 times. Do one set.

You might want to note, however, that just like building your 6-pack takes time, so does building your PC muscles. Work on them daily and you will definitely see an improvement in the next couple months or so. You will reap all the benefits of a strong erection, but won’t have to clean up after sticky donuts!

Laughing About Lingerie

This past weekend, our family attended a wedding of a dear friend. Since my husband was the master of ceremonies for the reception, we were invited to the all the festivities which lead up to the big event. During the rehearsal dinner at a local restaurant, several of us ended up in the bathroom to have a last minute discussion about sex. Two things might jump out at you about that last statement:

  1. public bathroom; and
  2. sex talk.

It just goes to show you that women will talk about sex anywhere! The environment was less than stellar, but I am always willing to work with what is available, and it was a follow-up to a more thorough discussion that the bride and I had had earlier in a much better setting.

As toilets were flushing in the stalls behind us, the bride mentioned the amazing lingerie shower that she had been thrown and all the new items that she was going to get to model for her new hubby. We all laughed that most men won’t even remember what you had on because it ends up in a pile on the floor so quickly! One lady mentioned that she wore an outfit three times before her husband recognized it as part of her wardrobe.

Over the years of marriage, however, we often stop trying so hard to look enticing for our husband. Maybe we gained a little weight and so now we feel self-conscious. Maybe we spend our money on clothes for our kids instead of ourselves. Maybe we are just so tired at the end of the day that we just want to crawl into our favourite sweat pants. Maybe we don’t feel like we deserve to get something that is so flimsy and worn for such a short period of time. Maybe we have just forgotten about how much fun it is to wear something sexy.

Here’s my question for all of you who have been married for a while: When was the last time you donned something special for your spouse? If it has been a while, then what is stopping you? How can you overcome that obstacle?

Need some great ideas?

  • Get a lacy bra with matching panties – this is a somewhat practical suggestion as you can wear them all day but still look hot for hubby later!
  • Purchase a teddy – if you don’t like the way your stomach looks, this is a very sexy way to cover it up!
  • Try some silk or satin – they feel great against your skin!
  • Check out this great blog post on crotchless panties

Now, in the words of that great American poet Justin Timberlake, go bring sexy back!!

Eryn-Faye on Marriage Uncensored with Dave and Christie

On March 15th, Marriage Uncensored with Dave and Christie asked me to come on the show and talk to them about my role as Canada’s Passion Coach. They wanted the discussion to revolve around the kind of questions that I get asked “behind closed doors” by women and men. The episode is only 24 minutes long (half-hour show) but we cover a lot of ground! You can watch the entire show here. Hope you enjoy!



Watch Eryn-Faye on Marriage Uncensored in Celebrity & Showbiz | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Reigniting Excitement

After our first child, my husband and my sex life seemed to slowly die. We weren’t unhappy with each other, just tired and busy and exhausted when we fell into bed. Passion was a wonderful but faded memory for us in our marriage.

Then I got introduced to Eryn-Faye. She brought perspective back to us. She taught us such simple and straight forward thinking. Suddenly we had passion back like never before.

Our 2 year old had been destined to be an only child – until now. I guess we should have realized that having sex again would up our chances for pregnancy, but honestly we were just enjoying each other too much to think about it!!

~ Soon to be Mom of Two

Enhancing Experiences

My husband and I have really nothing but positive things to say about Eryn-Faye.

Ever since we communicated with her, we have found that we experience more pleasure during intercourse. It also adds an element of excitement to know that your husband is thoroughly enjoying himself.

Her expertise, non-nonsense coaching and support allows me to relax and know that I will experience intercourse without any discomfort. Going to Eryn-Faye and even just talking with her is well worth it!

~ New Mother