Exclusive Excerpt: Tongue Tied

 

Most of us have been there — caught somewhere between expressing our own needs and suffering in silence. It isn’t easy to talk to someone you care about, especially if the it’s about a sensitive topic, like finding new heights of passion in the bedroom.

According to Marriage.com, poor communication is the third most frequent reason for divorce and in a study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, it was found that communication and sexual satisfaction can independently predict marital satisfaction. However, if the communication was bad, sexual satisfaction did not contribute to a relationship’s overall health and success.

And that does not only apply to the married couples. Having solid communication skills is imperative to a person’s success in life, in work, and in the home. We’ve all read the articles, taken the advice, filled out the surveys, read the self-help books that promise you a solution, only to let you down when it comes to practical application. That is where Stella Harris, certified intimacy educator and sex coach, stands out from the crowd. She is not only informative and emphatic, but provides sound advice for improving communication skills in the home, with partners, and in kink play. But, even better, her advice has real applications in every type of relationship from love to business.

Below is an excerpt from Stella’s new book, Tongue Tied: Untangling Communication in Sex, Kink, and Relationships on one important key factor in communicating with your partner: setting apart time to have serious conversations in a safe space.

WHEN TO TALK: MAKING TIME TO TALK

This might sound silly, but we don’t always take time to talk to the people who are the most important to us. Maybe you chat about your day, what’s going on at the office, or the movie you just saw, but when did you last talk about your feelings?

Or maybe you and your sweetie(s) don’t get to see each other that often, and you feel reluctant to “ruin” date night by having hard conversations. You just want to enjoy your time together and not risk derailing the evening.

Either way, sometimes the most important things are the hardest to bring up.

Whether you’re simply giving your partner a heads-up that there’s something you’d like to talk about and asking if it’s a good time, or actually scheduling time to talk, it’s important to differentiate “talks” from simply chatting about your day.

You need to be in a different headspace to really share—and hear—heavier stuff about how you or a partner are feeling. That’s why it can be helpful to have a scheduled time on the calendar to talk about how things are going. Depending what your organizational style is, you can even make an agenda for these talks.

Whether you set these talks for once a week or once a month, it can be helpful to know that you’ve got a time coming when you can raise any concerns you’ve been having, set your shared schedule for the coming week or month, and make sure you’re on the same page about the relationship.

If you’re a note-taking type, like I am, you might even keep a running list for yourself of things you want to talk about at the next meeting. Putting something on the list and knowing you’ll get a chance to sort through whatever it is can help take it off your mind in the meantime.

When you have your first scheduled relationship talk, set some ground rules about how you’d like it to go. Are you agreeing on an agenda together? Are you each getting equal time? Are you tackling one big topic, then each adding your own smaller items that have come up since the last meeting? Knowing how the talk will go can be as important as the talks themselves.

Another thing to consider is location. Some people will be most comfortable doing this at home, and for other people having these talks in public is easier. Sometimes being out in the world is a good backdrop to keep things on an even keel, if you’re afraid the talk might get tense or emotional.

The bottom line is figuring out what it takes logistically to make it most likely that you and your sweetie(s) will get what you need from these conversations.

At a minimum, give your partner a heads-up when you want to have a difficult conversation, and check in about whether it’s a good time. Sure, sometimes things come up in the moment that have to be addressed, but if the issue isn’t immediate, you’ll get the best results if you have the conversation when everyone is in the right head space for it. It’s also another way to establish a consent culture within your relationship, by letting people opt in to serious talks rather than being surprised by them.

With clients, I often call these State of the Relationship talks. Just like oil changes, software updates, and putting air in the tires, everything requires ongoing maintenance, and relationships are no exception. Once you’ve decided to have these regular talks, here are some things you might want to cover:

  • Needs and definitions around sex.
  • Household logistics, chores, etc.
  • Vacation planning.
  • Big personal topics that affect everyone—job changes, moves, etc.
  • Your schedule for the coming week or month, depending how often you have these talks.
  • Scheduling date nights.

Sometimes just knowing that you have a built-in space coming up to raise issues can make things feel less urgent. Often it’s not knowing when or how to bring something up that causes the most stress. When you have these talks already on the schedule, you’ll also have a built-in time for bringing up new kinds of sex you’d like to try, or a fantasy you’d like to tell your partner about.

Most people think that figuring out how to start the conversation is the hardest part, so if you’ve got time to talk built in already, you’ve already done the hardest part and you can focus on the information you want to share, rather than worrying about how to bring it up.

Tongue Tied is available for purchase at all major retailers in print and digital formats. Or feel free to order a copy at your local independent bookstore! 

Amazon     iTunes     Barnes & Noble     Google Play     Kobo

 

 

 

Cleis Press Back to School Sale

 

It’s never too late to learn about pleasure…

And Cleis Press is here to help, despite some web design difficulties. I think we may have to go back to school for that one ourselves…

To help you discover the best instructional and sex ed titles, they are listed below by subject category. From learning the art of BDSM to mastering fellatio, we have you covered!

Sale ends 9/31/18.

 

BDSM/KINK

50 Shades of Kink: An Introduction to BDSM by Tristan Taormino

As Kinky as You Wanna Be: Your Guide to Safe, Sane and Smart BDSM by Shanna Germain

The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge by Tristan Taormino

The Ultimate Guide to Strap-On Sex: A Complete Resource for Women and Men by Karlyn Lotney

 

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Healing Sex: A Mind-Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma by Staci Haines

 

LGBT

The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Men by Bill Brent

The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians: How to Stay Sane and Care for Yourself from Pre-conception Through Birth by Rachel Pepper

The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners by Charlie Glickman, PhD

The Whole Lesbian Sex Book: A Passionate Guide for All of Us by Felice Newman

 

REFERENCE

The Cleis Press Sextionary by the Editors of Cleis Press

The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals by Stephanie A. Brill and Rachel Pepper

The Transgender Teen: A Handbook for Parents and Professionals Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Teens by Stephanie Brill and Lisa Kenney

 

SEX & RELATIONSHIPS

Better Sex in No Time: An Illustrated Guide for Busy Couples by Josey Vogels

The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex: The Most Complete Sex Manual Ever Written by Cathy Winks and Anne Semans

Never Have the Same Sex Twice: A Guide For Couples by Alison Tyler

Never Say Never: Tips, Tricks, and Erotic Inspiration for Lovers by Alison Tyler

O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm by Jenny Block

Opening Up: A Guide To Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships by Alison Tyler

Partners in Passion: A Guide to Great Sex, Emotional Intimacy and Long-term Love by Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson

The Smart Girl’s Guide to the G-Spot by Violet Blue

 

ULTIMATE GUIDE SERIES

The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Men by Bill Brent

The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women by Tristan Taormino

The Ultimate Guide to Cunnilingus 2nd Ed.: How to Go Down on a Woman and Give Her Exquisite Pleasure by Violet Blue

The Ultimate Guide to Fellatio: How to Go Down on a Man and Give Him Mind-Blowing Pleasure by Violet Blue

The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge by Tristan Taormino

The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women: How to Become Orgasmic for a Lifetime by Mikaya Heart

The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians: How to Stay Sane and Care for Yourself from Pre-conception Through Birth by Rachel Pepper

The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners by Charlie Glickman, PhD and Aislinn Emirzian

The Ultimate Guide to Sex After Fifty: How to Maintain or Regain a Spicy, Satisfying Sex Life by Joan Price

The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability: For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain, and Illness by Miriam Kaufman, Cory Silverberg, and Fran Odette

The Ultimate Guide to Sex Through Pregnancy and Motherhood by Madison Young

The Ultimate Guide to Sexual Fantasy: How to Have Incredible Sex with Role Play, Sex Games, Erotic Massage, BDSM and More by Violet Blue

The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex: All You Need to Know About Masturbation by Jenny Block

The Ultimate Guide to Strap-On Sex: A Complete Resource for Women and Men by Karlyn Lotney

 

<3 Cleis Press

The Eight Biggest Mommy Mojo Blocks

 

I am sure most Mom’s will agree that the fantasy of having a baby – all the oooh’s and aaah’s, and dreamy Pinterest-worthy visions of domesticity – quickly fade as the new reality of motherhood settles in: a crushed libido, unpredictable lactation, constant exhaustion, and an underlying identity crisis.

But how do you get past all that in order to feel playful and inspired as a woman again, satisfied as a loving mother, and more importantly, to discover a renewed enthusiasm for sex? How do you learn to reconnect with your “new” body? How can you marry your new identity as a mother with the woman, lover, and boss babe you were before?

Thankfully, Dana B. Myers, founder of Booty Parlor, has written an exciting new book meant to help all Mamas dealing with these questions: The Mommy Mojo Makeover: 28 Tools to Reclaim Yourself & Reignite Your Relationship. After encountering this postpartum sexual and identity crisis herself, Dana set out to help Mamas everywhere. Her first recommendation is to take a look at the most common obstacles you’re encountering – the mommy pains that are draining you of desire, lowering your self-esteem, and leaving you wondering if passion will ever return to your partnership. Before you can begin whipping your Mommy Mojo into shape, you must uncover your blocks. If you start by shedding some light on what’s been holding you back from being the alluring and inspired woman, mother and partner you’re meant to be, you’ll be taking the first steps on your path to rediscovering your sexual self!

Here are the eight biggest Mommy Mojo Blocks according to Dana:

1. The Mom Zone

You have a super-busy life balancing the many responsibilities of motherhood. Between schoolwork and activities, cooking dinner and tending to your kids’ every need, the pressure to parent perfectly is burning you out. Whenever you see your friends (probably on a play- date), your conversations revolve around kids and are constantly interrupted by them. Sometimes you feel overwhelmed by the demands of motherhood and that you’re lacking the personal freedom you desire. You might even feel bored to tears with your domestic load, and left wondering where the real you went. Sex has fallen low on your priority list, which is not that surprising considering how much energy you give to your kids. Since you don’t have the energy to nurture the sexy woman within, you feel stuck in the Mom Zone.

2. Low Libido

Since becoming a mother, your desire has been on a slow and steady decline. From hormonal shifts to sleep deprivation, chronic stress, and physical exhaustion, your sexual appetite has waned. It’s also possible that after a long day of the kids hanging from your every limb, you’re “all touched out” and just want to be left alone once they’re asleep! Mother- hood requires being 100 percent “on” all the time, and so you’re always thinking about the safety, well-being, and development of your little creatures. This constant mental multitasking—and likely a lack of self- care—leaves you feeling physically and mentally drained, and sexually uninspired. It’s no wonder you’re too tired to make love after the kids are in bed.

3. Body Confidence

Some moms feel just as amazing as they did pre-baby, regardless of whether their bodies changed, but many more moms view their body in a very different way post-baby. If you’re one of those moms, you may feel depressed about your appearance, or even hate how you look. Your inner vixen doesn’t give you a wink when you look in the mirror anymore. Maybe you’ve started to reject your spouse’s compliments, or you turn o the lights during sex to hide your body. You might find yourself talking trash about your thighs, tush, or tummy. There’s never enough time to exercise the way you like or get your favorite beauty and self-care treatments, all of which leaves you feeling less than thrilled with your post-baby body.

4. Time 

You’re short on it. Short on me-time. Short on kid-free time with your spouse. Short on time to do what you love and to see your girlfriends. You feel like you’re barely getting through your to-do list, let alone finding a moment to decompress and leisurely think about sensual things or get busy in the bedroom. The carefree bonding time you once shared as a couple has winnowed away to nearly nothing. Not only are you desperately short on precious together time, you and your spouse may be prioritizing time in different ways—causing your busy schedules to feel out of sync and driving a wedge between you.

5. Identity Crisis

There is a very real identity crisis that happens when you become a mother—and no one seemed to warn you about it! Perhaps you once a social butter y, with seemingly unlimited time and freedom to explore restaurants, hang out with friends, or take trips. Maybe you were an ultra-productive rock star at work, and then slipped on sexy heels and went salsa dancing at night. You defined yourself by your accomplishments, your passions, your talents. And then you became a mom: “So-and-so’s mom.” Perhaps you chose to take a break from work to raise them. And then you question, Am I just a mom now? And, Am I a good enough mom? And perhaps the biggest one of all, Why aren’t I having more fun with this?! The sudden lack of freedom and the enormous responsibility of caring for a child is a big deal, and it can make you feel like you’ve lost yourself. You might sometimes wonder: Where is the fun, social, sensual woman I used to be?

6Romantic Disconnect

When you brought your baby home, you immersed yourselves in the blissful experience of becoming parents. You swore that having kids wouldn’t change your relationship, but it did anyway. You became 
incredible partners in parenting, and maybe even better friends than you thought possible, but the sex went from hot to obligatory—and the desire and erotic tension you once had for each other began to fizzle out. The steadiness and routine that helps family life run so smoothly has zapped all spontaneity, flirtation, and adventure. Your conversations with your partner are now mostly about the kids, and your once-a-week date nights have turned into once-a-month outings where you’re home by nine. Perhaps you’re even feeling a genuine loss of sexual attraction, and worry he feels the same. The loss of romantic connection is one of the most gut-wrenching and pervasive pains of motherhood!

7. Resentment

Many moms have shared with me that they resent their spouse because they feel unsupported. Moms tend to take on more of the childcare and domestic responsibilities, and can feel like we’re just not getting enough help, appreciation, or acknowledgment. Working moms, SAHMs, ultramodern progressive moms, hippie moms, it doesn’t matter: moms just take on more. But the resentment creeps in when he 
rarely-to-never takes charge of the kids’ activities. or when he leaves for the gym, hangs out with friends, or works on a passion project without considering family responsibilities. It seems like you’re always the one who has to secure childcare while you squeeze in your “other” life (work, hobbies, friends, self-care, etc.) between errands and playdates. Maybe he’s the breadwinner and feels entitled to relax after his workday, while yours just keeps going. Nothing kills the desire for intimate, connected sex like simmering resentment; when it goes unchecked, it can lead to intense hurt and anger, which can (surprise!) result in less sex.

8. Unsatisfying Sex

There was probably a time in the not-so-distant past when you couldn’t imagine using “bedroom” and “boring” in the same sentence. In the pre- baby phase of your relationship, your sex life was hot, heavy, passionate . . . and you expected it to be that way forever. But now, your lovemaking has slowed down to a predictable, uninspiring once-a-week a air: you know exactly what’s coming because it’s always the same. Worse, your 
sex drives often feel way out of sync: maybe he wants more, you want less—and you might even feel pressure from him because of it and struggle to turn o your brain and let go during the act. or maybe you both are stuck in a cycle of sexual fatigue from the relentless emotional and physical stresses of parenting. You’re both spending your energy just getting through another day, and little is left over for feeling turned on together.

If you have nodded in agreement more than once, there is a good chance that you will find a friend in Dana and in The Mommy Mojo Makeover. Books and ebooks are available at all major retailers: Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo, and many, many more.

Exclusive Excerpt: The Mommy Mojo Makeover

 

Hey, Mamas!

Feeling like you can be a sexier version of your current self? Missing that extra bounce in your step that comes with feeling sexually fulfilled?

Dana B. Myers, founder of Booty Parlor is here to help with The Mommy Mojo Makeover: 28 Tools to Reclaim Yourself & Reignite Your Relationship. This practical and actionable guide is meant to help you rediscover and redefine your post-baby body, post-baby relationship with your partner, and post-baby sex life. Yes, there is such a thing!

Lucky for you, Dana is here to restore your hope and start to reignite the passion in your life and partnership with an exclusive sneak peak from one ofDana’s mojo-boosting tools!


From Tool No. 6: Choose Fun over Obligation

When was the last time you used the word “fun” to describe your daily life as a mom? Is it fun to clean up toys, be thrown up on, prepare meals and snacks, potty train, teach manners, run errands, carpool, help with homework, wrangle wild things into bed, and monitor a teenager’s social media account . . . all while juggling a career and your relationship? The short answer: Not so much.

This letter submitted to my website, from Abby, a mom of one, illuminates this issue perfectly:

Dear Dana,

Having a loving husband, my own business, and a baby girl is truly my dream come true, but if I’m honest, it doesn’t always feel so dreamy. My girl is three, and I thought I’d be so much more in-the-moment with her. Instead, it feels like I’m robotically “plugging in the pieces” of our day. I’m always looking ahead to what’s next—a meal, activity, bath, bedtime, etc.—so much so that I miss out on the sweetness of “what’s happening now.” I see other moms having FUN with their kids and it makes me sad. I’m even ashamed to admit that I often feel angry about it. I was also raised to believe that you have to nish your work before you play. And my work—both as her mom and as an entrepreneur growing my business—is never done, so I never allow myself to fully get to the “play part” of motherhood. This leaves me feeling stuck in stress mode and isolation, and it’s certainly not making magic happen in my relationship with my husband either.

Please, please tell me . . . how can I enjoy motherhood more? I desperately want to be a happier mama, woman, and wife!

xo, Abby

I could totally relate to Abby’s predicament. I often struggled to experience the joy “in the moment” with my kids—my mind would inevitably drift to work deadlines or other domestic obligations. While I hate to admit it, I often found the minutiae of motherhood boring, which only made me feel guilty. on top of that, I was mentally and emotion- ally exhausted from constantly shifting between the roles of mother and businesswoman. For me, trying to be everything to everyone at every single moment, meant that I missed out on the joy of being in the here and now. What’s worse is that this inner discord also affected my marriage and sex life. I was often restless, resentful, and unhappy at the end of the day, and my husband was getting the bare minimum

from me—whatever was leftover. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved being a mother, but there were times I was downright irritated and overwhelmed by the endless obligations that came with it. Let me tell you something: obligation is So. Not. Sexy.

I wanted to unearth bliss within the chaos, rediscover delight in the precious moments with my children, and find a way to make my life a whole lot of fun again! Something had to shift and I had a hunch it would have to be my attitude. That’s when it came to me in a flash, like a light bulb going o in my brain:

♥ I decided I would CHOOSE FUN, whenever possible.

♥ I would choose PLEASURE over a sense of obligation.

♥ I would choose SILLINESS over boredom.

♥ I would choose AMUSEMENT over irritation.

♥ I would choose MY MOM TRIBE over isolation.

♥ I would choose to SEEK SENSUALITY over strict scheduling.

This radical change in mind-set was a revelation. I realized that, amidst all the chaos and sleeplessness, there is magnificence to be had in motherhood. Why miss out on it? Why not squeeze the pleasure and bliss out of every single moment?

Even with this new attitude, I still had to run the household and get my work done, change stinky diapers and operate on less than six hours of sleep, but I decided I would do it with more merriment. I’d listen to more music, find the humor in the madness of it all, and eat more chocolate along the way. I’d abandon my strict by-the-minute schedule and opt for a more spontaneous family ow. I’d attend more playdates with friends, even if it meant I had to leave work early and finish up once the kids were in bed. Fun would be my choice. And it worked! Motherhood 
became much more fun. I became much more like my old self again. The moments spent doing the simplest of things with my kids became so much sweeter, so much more amusing. I began to get my glow back, and feel like me again. I freed myself of the unnecessary feelings of anger and obligation that were plaguing me, and my Mojo began to steadily rise. Motherhood became more joyful, and that newfound happiness carried right over into my relationship.

I shared this personal success story with Abby and, inspired by my process, she began to focus her attention on finding more fun and plea- sure, and her experience of motherhood changed for the better.

Mama, pleasure and fun are your birthright—they are yours for the taking. That’s not to say that holding onto this lighthearted mind-set is always easy, but it is worth it. When you’re having more fun within the daily grind of motherhood, your whole life will become happier. Fun o sets exhaustion; fun is a way out of feeling blue. Fun melts away fear, doubt, and stress. Fun can keep you from unleashing your inner tyrant upon your kids and husband. Fun makes room for present moment magic with your kids, opening your eyes to the possibility of more plea- sure in all areas of your life—including in the bedroom! Choose fun every day, and you will access your glow once again.


Available wherever books and eBooks are sold:

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and more!