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Why Radical Acceptance Is KEY To The Incredible Sex You've ALWAYS Wanted

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It may not be easy, but it's SO worth it.
Sex

It may not be easy, but it's SO worth it.

Creating an incredible sex life with a partner requires intense vulnerability. To become completely open to someone requires high levels of trust.

Our best sexual connections are with those who see us fully and with those who we see fully. 

But how do you do this? 

It is frightening enough to share your body or parts of your body with someone. But to share all of you? This can be petrifying. 

And yet, if you can do this, the intimacy and the sex can be incredible.

Radical acceptance invites us to be fully open, to see someone as they are and to be seen as we are. 

It invites us to actively invoke that positive space, to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and to give to our partners.  

It requires us to know and be known.     

When we practice this, we give ourselves and our partners the gift of the deepest sexual intimacy and the equally precious gift of lasting intimacy.

To be able to do this, you must know and accept your own desires, your own sexual needs.

In my 32 years of working with clients as a psychologist and latterly as a sex coach, self-knowledge and self-acceptance are amongst the most common issues brought into my consulting room.  

Many people struggle to figure out their sexual identities and sexual needs. It is not unusual for me to ask someone about their desires to have them tell me ‘I don’t know’.   

When people do know what they desire and what they need, the next issues that arise is accepting the desires and then the fear of sharing the desires with others.  

If you are heterosexual and have only ‘usual’ sexual desires, you may think that these observations don’t apply to you. 

You may believe that the people who have trouble exploring and accepting their own desires are those who have less ‘usual’ desires (including people who are bisexual, homosexual, kinky etc.). 

This is not so. 

I have seen many people over the years who have been raised in environments where the attitude towards sex and intimacy has been extremely repressive and almost hostile. People have been taught that sex is only appropriate for procreation and that enjoyment does not enter into the equation.    

These people have presented without knowing how to explore what they desire, without accepting their bodies, their sexual feelings, their sexual desires.    

Some people who have come to see me experienced sexual trauma that left them rejecting many sexual feelings, confused about their own sexual desires. 

They found it difficult to accept themselves and felt it even harder to share themselves with others.

The common denominator in all of the stories I have heard over the last 32 years where self-acceptance of desire and the fear that others will not accept their desires is shame.   

Shame is the toxic emotion that radical acceptance sets out to defeat. 

First, we must set out to combat that shame and accept all parts of ourselves.

In my ideal world, all children are born to parents who love them and make sure that they know from birth that they are valued and loved. 

These same children are taught about their bodies in ways that promote self-discovery and acceptance not shame and learn about sexuality and sexual orientation in the same types of ways. 

Unfortunately, my ideal world is not prevalent yet. Which is why so many people find themselves having to learn that they are valuable and loveable as adults and why so many adults have to re-learn their bodies and spend so much energy fighting shame.

How do we begin this journey of self-love? 

We start the work by learning our bodies and accepting our bodies. 

Learning about our bodies is the easiest part of this journey. You can do the exploration yourself or use books or videos as reference. There are wonderful workshops devoted to self-exploration as well.   

The more difficult task is learning to accept the bodies we live in. 

Western culture teaches those of us living in female bodies that we are not acceptable unless we are either extremely slim with almost no female features or have large breasts, tiny waists and some hips

Women work to be able to fit into a size 0, which is something I will never understand. Why would we want to work to become nothing? That is what zero is — nothing. 

And yet, that is what we are told we should strive for.

Accepting yourself as you are is essential to moving beyond shame and essential to any form of radical acceptance practice. Mary Lambert’s work Body Love inspires many who struggle to claim their bodies. The deepest message one of self-acceptance.

Next, we approach understanding our sexual selves.

Part of understanding your sexual desire and accepting your sexual needs is wrapped up in accepting your body in all its imperfectness.  

Learning to give yourself pleasure is an integral part of this journey. So many of the people I see and speak to find masturbation problematic. Most of them masturbate yet most still approach masturbation with some amount of shame. 

For some, this is connected with the use of pornography. For many others, it is simply the act of masturbation that feels shameful.    

Yet how can we know what we enjoy, how our bodies response, what kind of touch is most exciting without exploring ourselves, our bodies, our fantasies?  

 

We start by trusting ourselves. 

We start by understanding that there is no shame in feeling pleasure. Our bodies (including our brains and the neurotransmitters and hormones that are part of all of our bodily functions) are designed to provide us with pleasure. 

Pleasurable feelings are part of our attachments to each other. They deepen relationships, solidify relationships. Pleasure increases our physical and psychological health.   

Touch is essential to bonding and attachment.  

There is plenty of research that highlights masturbation’s health benefits. 

We know that orgasm reduces blood pressure, pain, and stress levels. Masturbation is the quickest way to have an orgasm and gain access to all of those wonderful hormones (endorphins and oxytocin) and also to lower cortisol levels (stress hormones).   

For men, masturbation increases sperm quality. For women, masturbation increases body love.

Knowing what you desire by exploring your fantasies means you have a much better chance of getting what you want. 

You have to trust yourself to know which desires can be enacted and which should remain fantasies. If you are practicing radical acceptance, you are clear and honest about your own needs.     

Here are some questions to help you begin to explore sexual desires and needs if you are not already aware of them.

Grab a pen and some paper, your journal (if you journal) or your favourite electronic aid to note taking. Write down your answers, feelings and thoughts:

  • What was your earliest sexual fantasy?  
  • If you remember it, how does it feel when you think about it now?  
  • If it causes you shame, you would do well to explore why that is (which may be easier with a therapist or sex coach than on your own).  
  • If you are still excited by this desire and you are not getting it fulfilled, why not? Is it a desire you wish to enact?
  • Are you comfortable sharing this desire with a partner? If not, explore why not (again you might want to pursue some help exploring).
  • If so, make the commitment to sharing this desire.

After you identify a few desires this way, you should begin to build up a picture. 

Explore further by looking at the sexual experiences you have enjoyed, scenes in movies (non-pornographic and pornographic) that turn you on, written erotica you find exciting. 

All of these will help you to map your desires.

Accepting your sexual self and desires is increased through self-love

Masturbating regularly helps you to fully accept your desires and increases confidence so that you can share these desires fully with your lover and deepen your sexual satisfaction and lasting intimacy.  

Make masturbation something that you take time to engage in, rather than something furtive you are hiding. 

Take time to enjoy and explore. 

Break the link between shame and desire using radical acceptance practice to do it.    

Step 1: Just love yourself (all of yourself, your body, your desires included).

Step 2: Create that safe space for yourself — a space where you are willing to see all of you and accept yourself completely. (This can be done with help or by yourself.)

Step 3: Do the internal work to combat shame based emotions, anxiety and fears. (This can be done with help or by yourself.)

Step 4: Embrace all of your desires, even the ones you don’t intend to enact.

Step 5: Create the safe space to talk with a lover about your desires.  In this space, you commit to seeing and knowing each other. This is the space where you begin to negotiate your sexual life together. Keeping the space safe can be a challenge. 

A safe space is one in which trust exists, negative judgments are not entertained, personal choice is valued and consent is essential. (This can be done with help or by yourself. Many couples come to coaching at this point.)

Remember that these steps are not just done once.  If you want that stellar sexual and intimate life, you have to integrate these strategies into your life.  More practice = more acceptance.

"Radical Acceptance: The Secret to Happy, Lasting Love" by Andrea Miller is now available to order online.

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey, The Intimacy Coach, is a Sex & Intimacy Coach, Registered Psychologist, Speaker, Educator and Author.  She helps individuals, couples and polyamorous groups to find and create their ideal lasting intimate relationships and helps individuals heal any past relationship wounds breaking those negative patterns.  She has an expertise in healing trauma, and is Kink knowledgeable. Follow her adventures here and on her website. and enjoy her podcasts The A to Z of Sex and Sex Spoken Here.  Write her at drbisbey@the-intimacy-coach.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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