Dawn Van Ness, Author at Engaged Marriage

All Posts by Dawn Van Ness

About the Author

Dawn Van Ness is a married 38-year-old with one child and is managing her own small marketing company, Shy Light Media, and an art and writing career, A Dawn Everyday. She writes for others more than for herself, and is passionate in everything that she does.

Wedded Mess Versus Wedded Bliss: How a wedding can more than throw libido

By Dawn Van Ness | Sex & Family Planning

The stress we bring to important moments like marriage is terrible.  And stress isn’t good for sex and intimacy.


In fact, Christmas stress is what inspired this article.


Stress breaks us down.  It breaks us apart.  It is bad for our health.  It is bad for our relationships.  We can’t even think clearly after prolonged stress, especially if it disrupts our sleep.


And a marriage ceremony, no matter how perfect, is stressful.  I’ve seen mother-in-laws who are particularly in denial about the stress they’ve foisted on the couples and instead are just focused on how the wedding was everything they wanted it to be.


Yet, in the end of everything, it is about the union of two, who are forging a life together.  And for the purposes of this column, I will focus on the obstacles of wonderful sex and intimacy for the couple.


Of the hurdles before the wonderful, there is the notable wedding ceremony.  Whether big or small, fancy or simple, fanciful or traditional, there is stress.  Stress seems to attract stress.


And stress breaks us down.


The high expectations of the honeymoon, with the high expectations of the wedding ceremony and the high expectations of the union means high stress.


Be aware of the stress and where it is coming from.


Then do something about it, even if it is letting go of the high expectations.  Be in the moment.  Enjoy the freshness of the flowers.  Enjoy the excitement in the eyes of friends and families.  Celebrate in your heart!


The temptation to stress is all around you and at once inside you.   But the shut off valve is ultimately inside you.  And if it is your partner who is stressing, pull them into your calm however you can.


Don’t focus on the perfection of your nails or your hair, but the human touch going into it, like the feeling of getting your hair washed or the lotion massaged into your hands and feet.  Remember the champaign coming?  The cold, crisp bubbles are fun on your tongue.  But if your mind is racing around about all that could go wrong or what is wrong, you are robbing yourself of the enjoyment and excitement of the ceremony and tradition.


You are amping up the stress.


I already mentioned the external stress brought by others’ expectations, but one of the biggest harbingers of stress is famously brought by the bride!

Isn't she lovely?

Isn’t she lovely?

For women I’ll venture that want, want, want mistakenly turns into the feeling of need, need, need.


Realty check!  You need air.  You need water.  You need food.  Stress and the perfect shade of pink for your six bridesmaids? Those are wants.  So the stress that is being hefted around?


Drop it.  Stop wanting. Stop needing.  Stop ranting, worrying, and whining.


Sorry, I’m more versed on the woman’s side of things and the pitfalls.  Hollywood has dramatized the craziness or made the event a fairy tale.  But hearing friends freak out over everything, and hearing more about the wonderful white sand of their vacations, I’m not particularly surprised that I don’t hear more stories about how great it all was and how it brought two people closer together.

Holding hands or holding each other accountable for our stress?

Holding hands or holding each other accountable for our stress?

I can think of one couple that claimed to have stopped talking so much to each other when they returned from their honeymoon that they had had two great big fights.


Be realistic about stress.


If you are not great at handling stress, you should wake up and face reality!  A wedding ceremony and expensive honeymoon with travel and time changes may not be good for you and your relationship.


Is your partner pushing you into something you don’t want?  Not that you don’t want to be together, but is the wedding and honeymoon out of control and are they not listening to you anymore?  Are you getting resentful?


If you can’t handle the stress, what kind of life are you two going to have?  How is the sex and intimacy?  Any faking?  Shutting down?  Avoidance?  Is this ceremony and honeymoon just a warning about the high stress household in the near future?


If the stress is coming from your partner, are you going to desire sex and intimacy from this person for very long?  Or will you learn to avoid one another?


How you handle stress separately and as a couple is connected to your sex life and intimacy.


And if your sex life and intimacy are faulty, and your life is stressful, and you have frequently been the dumper or dumpee of stress, you have just been given a chance.


If you make de-stressing your lives a priority, you will be rewarded in your relationship.  If sex and intimacy have been hurting, and you reduce the stress in your relationship and prioritize time to be intimate, you will succeed.


De-stress is easiest sought by simplifying.

De-stress is easiest sought by simplifying.

Do I believe people are by and large going to embrace this movement of de-stressing their lives and relationships?    No, but I can still hope it happens.


But I do want to stress that by de-stressing you will be able to improve your sex life and intimacy, and it will further de-stress you and your relationship.


Simplifying and de-stressing rewards your relationship, making wonderful sex and intimacy that much more attainable.

Simplifying and de-stressing rewards your relationship, making wonderful sex and intimacy that much more attainable.

It is wonderfully cyclic.

Feeling Thankful? Or Do You Enjoy A Bad Sex Life?

By Dawn Van Ness | Sex & Family Planning

Being appreciative of your spouse, the intimacy you do share, and the sex you are currently having is obviously one of the best things you could do for yourself.  Being appreciative is so important, I’ll repeat myself:

Appreciating what you have is good for you.

Idealized Coupledom

Being appreciated for what you bring to your spouse, the intimacy you share, and the sex you have is also critical.  If appreciation and gratitude is unbalanced or just one sided, this is not good for you as an individual or as a couple; this is unhealthy.


So, with Thanksgiving weeks away, can you and your partner express thankfulness for each other, the intimacy, and the sex?

Can you express thankfulness and feel grateful without embarrassment or inward flinching?

Can you or your spouse understand if there is inward flinching?

Are you both aware of any unbalance or lack of fulfillment?

Is there acceptance and peace with the state of your sex lives?

Are you working on improving your sex lives or state of intimacy?

Or is the state of your sex lives and intimacy something that is just festering with resentment?

Not Feeling Thankful

If you are not feeling thankful, if your spouse is putting off feelings of thanks or is the source of frustration or hurt, it is ok to acknowledge and accept the negative state of things.

If sex is important to you, and you feel like you are going without unjustifiably, or if the intimacy is not there before, during, or after, your spouse may be denying you.

You may be denying them.

Be realistic about your assessment if you want things to get better.

Thankful Versus Grateful

Thoughtful Assessment 2Be thankful for your partnership, but not grateful in a way that subjugates you and not arrogant in a way that subjugates your partner.

If either person is made to feel less or unworthy or undesirable, by their own state of mind or by their partner, this is not good for emotional health and sabotages sex and intimacy – instead of getting to feel high and euphoric, a person will be left feeling high and dry.

You shouldn’t be so grateful “he even wants you” or that “she allows me.”  It is important to start leaning into these issues.  You are worth it.

Sharing With Others

Now when you do acknowledge your bad sex life or when someone you know shares details about theirs, it is important to understand something that we may not realize in this post- Plath, confessional, Tweet-throughout-the-day, celebrity-look-at-me talk show, and everybody-is-a-star reality show society.

Here it is:


Why is it inappropriate and suspicious to share your sex problems, even with brothers or sisters?  And why is it highly suspect to share with a member of the opposite sex? Even if they are your best bud in the whole wide world?

Because you are supposed to work this out with your partner, and exposing them to judgement or ridicule is irresponsible and mean:  it is unloving.

And it makes sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table WAY uncomfortable for your partner.

No matter how little or how much you are “getting,” what the quality is, or how it makes you feel, taking it outside of the relationship to share and vent is a deal breaker.

Because you can’t build intimacy on a foundation of betrayal.

And if you need to tell people all about it, people have a pretty good idea why you are doing it.  Here is just what I’ve observed.

Married Men Sharing Sexual Disappointment Outside a Relationship

Freebee I’ve heard enough from husbands and popular male comedians to realize that complaining openly to others is a red flag, especially if it disparages the woman who is a working mother, who may even make more money than her husband or whose career or social standing is increasing, surpassing and threatening her husband’s ego.

More often than not, the husband is not pulling his weight of responsibility, and this is a way of leveling accountability.

Another reason for claiming sexual dissatisfaction is you have an adult trying to extort through guilt something they can’t get, and most times shouldn’t get – emotional dominance and power over the relationship.   It is the grown up version of the parent child relationship that mothers know very well.

Sometimes married men are looking for sympathy to either 1) justify an affair to themselves or 2) preemptively justify an affair to their circle of friends or family. Let me break it down for you from a researcher’s perspective. Cialis treatment is called “dose-dependent” because the results obtained are conditioned by the chosen dose. It all becomes quite clear from the results of one of our studies on the percentage of patients who experienced an improvement in their erectile function. These are as follows: placebo (35%)/ 2,5 mg (42%)/ 5 mg (50%)/ 10 mg (67%)/ 20mg (81%). Sure thing, placebo effect is vividly present, but it’s the dose dependency here that indicates the range of drug efficiency. That is how you really know you take something that works.

So, in my experience, the reasons men often share bad sex lives:  dominance and control, insecurity and ego, affairs and absolution from guilt.

Married Women Sharing Sexual Disappointment Outside a Relationship

Attracting Bad AttentionWomen, I’ve noticed, use sex and the lack of their husband’s ability to fulfill their needs as a way to cover up their own guilt, sometimes because she is lousy with her finances or acts like a spoiled brat to get her way.

So a red flag for me is a woman claiming repeatedly that her husband is a monster or completely inept, making her a chronic victim, especially if she needs to tell the stories over and over, reliving the pain and the drama.

Women will also tell friends about how inept her husband is so they may justify their own affairs, often times emotional affairs or even just crushes.

Another thing I’ve witnessed is women are comfortable with being passive in their sexual lives, while they have no problem rallying against their husband’s other bad habits right to his face, so they share their sexual frustrations with their friends, undermining and hurting him in a way he can’t defend himself against,  then berating and even abusing their husbands to their faces about other things.

So for women, the reasons they share outside of their relationship:  1) mask or relieve guilt for something they’ve done wrong 2) justify an emotional crush or affair 3) self-enjoyment in their own victimization 4) extort sympathy for emotional dominance and 5) demonstrate their sexual passivity that relates back to their identity as a victim.

Healthy and Fulfilled People Do Not Share Intimate Matters That Do Not Concern Others

So my observation is that happy healthy people don’t expose their partner to the judgment of others or share their frustration with others unless they are trying to gain sympathy that covers up or distracts from how they are mistreating their partner.

To make a sweeping judgment on the human race, I’d say we were all at some level trying to avoid our own accountability because we are all trying to enjoy a prolonged adolescence and need to grow up.

Like I’ve said before, you don’t need a sex life where you are swinging from chandeliers, and intimacy can be at its peak if you are simply snuggling at the counter waiting for the coffee to perk.

And if you go through a checklist and realize you are justified in your disappointments and frustrations, take it to your partner, not outside of your relationship.

If they don’t want to deal with it, there are consequences for that that doesn’t have you playing the victim.

But this month I certainly hope you are feeling very thankful for your partner, the comfort and release they provide, and the intimacy, security, and comfort you build together.

You can’t be thankful unless you first reflect thoughtfully, take accountability, and take credit.  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Masks: How they help or hurt sex and intimacy

By Dawn Van Ness | Sex & Family Planning

MH900305720Halloween is a time of disguises, searching for a costume for yourself or for your kid, and the the idea that to try on different personas for escape as  terrible fun is terribly obvious.

We get to be whoever we want to be and we get to be super creative expressing that persona.  Dressing up and pretending is a thrill.

Some of us will go by a script:  stringy haired witch, caped vampire, a superhero, a supervillian, or a cartoon or toy idol.  Some of us will get inventive:  zombie mermaid with ich,  the Mona Lisa, or a Venus Flytrap.  Masks or personas are donned for a day and night, then disappear.

However, there are masks and personas we put on everyday: super attentive receptionist,  severe sixth grade teacher, no nonsense police officer, sympathetic manager, dispassionate town worker.  We adopt the personas to help us with our jobs.

And not to say that sex and intimacy are  jobs, but they can take some concentration, intent, and work.  Choices are made, sometimes in opposition to what is felt.  And at times some people may have been tempted, in times of stress and difficulty, to adopt a complete persona rather than being their authentic selves.

"I would take you right there, right now if I could."

“I would take you right there, right now if I could.”

Masks for His or Her Pleasure

Some masks are fun.  Normally non-aggressive or fully self-controlled people can release themselves in the throes of passion.  All the heavy breathing, worked-up heartbeat, and thrill of endorphins crashing and cascading leave partners feeling wonderful.  Frustrations are gone, if only for a time.  People feel reset.  People sleep deeply.  The next day, they can go back to dealing with the life that requires quiet, professional restraints.

How easily we adopt the wild persona is related to how good we feel about our sexuality and in tuned we feel with our partner.

Masks That Hurt

Other times, we adopt masks to protect us rather than enable us to operate at a higher level of competency.   At work, there is always one or a few people who play clueless to what is going on around them, or a worker will appear happier or pleasing so he or she may get along with a larger number of difficult, stressed coworkers.

In a relationship, however, someone may act more elicit, chronically, to be the pleasing one, while desiring something more nurturing or gentle.  One dominating, sometimes overbearing or aggressive partner, decides positions or times, while the other person accepts what is decided so they don’t have to risk being forward or risk being rejected.

If the relationship is completely unhealthy, one person may fear harm will befall them if they don’t comply.

More often in the regular world of reasonable, rational, and functioning individuals, what I’ve learned about is one person will willingly sacrifice their wants or desires and submit to their partner’s desires in order to just be as pleasing as possible.

What I’ve witnessed with a few friends is a person mistakenly has ingested the following erroneous belief:  asserting themselves in a relationship is a form of betrayal in a union; this is not true at all.

In another relationship I witnessed another erroneous belief:  if a person asserts themselves in a relationship, this will lead directly to a divorce or chronic fights, just like their own parents;  this too is not true at all.

"If I please him, he won't leave me."

“If I please him, he won’t leave me.”

No matter what the the case for the mostly healthy person and couple, one person pretends to be what they are not in order to hide their wants and needs.  The why is complicated, rooted in the past.  The outcome is sex that isn’t intimate and in some cases isn’t really wanted at all, or is just dissatisfying.

Why Would Someone Cheat Themselves Out of Great Sex?

It is too complicated a question to gloss over, but if you are cheating yourself out of the sex and intimacy you want, then you need to delve into that question for yourself:  why are you cheating yourself out of great sex and intimacy?

Maybe you have unfairly accepted that the person you are with is not capable of delivering what you desire.  Maybe you just have given-up on yourself.  Maybe you have desires that scare you.  Maybe you never got over what your parents said about sex.  Maybe some of this and maybe some of that.

But if you are pretending and not enjoying yourself, even faking pleasure and orgasms, you are cheating and lying in what is suppose to be THE CONSUMMATE INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP, and you are doing it while in the very act that is sometimes called intimacy.

Theatrical Masks

I am not going to touch all the other fun things other people do which involve theatrics, some of which are involved and call for acting.  I will say, however, a lot of actors and actresses in leading roles are falling for each other, so there must be something to the theatrical scene.

However, given the short stints of some relationships, maybe theater should be introduced after intimacy is established for real, and not the other way around.

Primitive Masks

Much like the first set of masks I mentioned, there are things we can do with our partners we would never want to be seen doing, and these things can probably be attributed to “lizard brain.”  If you don’t know what “lizard brain” is, it is a layman’s way of saying that some compulsions, acts, and desires are just our least complicated, most basic part of our make-up that ensures the continuation of the species.

However, “lizard brain” sex for humans is not the 10 second experience of a primate or lizard, but rather an extended, heated, amoral sexual experience.   Ironically, this lizard brain behavior is something we will share with our partner, and the act of sharing is incredibly intimate and full of trust, but the acts themselves are not about emotional, nurturing intimacy;  they are raw un-theatrical sexuality, thoughtless and full of ripe pleasure.

"I don't need you to bring me champagne and roses."

“I don’t need you to bring me champagne and roses.”

Make the Most of It

There will come a time when sex will be a memory, and if you are fortunate, you may be able to kindle intimacy by recounting the time you braved letting yourself go as soon as you both secured the least bit of privacy.    And maybe there will be other times when you braved a hotel room, champagne, and expensive lingerie knowing everyone in the world must know why you went out for date night and left the kids at home with some friends.

But whatever the time or place, or how you manage to excite each other, making the most of it is what counts.

Marry the whole person. Sleep with the sex machine.

By Dawn Van Ness | Sex & Family Planning


Love goggles.  Rose tinted glasses.  Seeing the bright side.

We are all aware of the cliches and metaphors.

Chemistry. Chemicals of love.  Addicted to love.

And we are all aware of the science behind love and sexual attraction.

People all have their philosophies and beliefs about love and sexual attractions, based
on nothing more than their own wishes or on the latest front page article of a major magazine.  I haven’t been a believer, unless my experiences and observations were to lead me to believe that love and sexual attraction, due to brain chemistry, are highly combustible, leaving human wreckage behind.

BAM!  HINDENBURG!  TITANIC!  LOVE CANAL!  Sound the sirens!  It’s going down!

Thinking too little.  Thinking too much.

A friend of mine, who I’ll refer to as Poughkeepsie, HEATEDLY disagreed with me, so much so that when I broke off a relationship with a man, she was disappointed in me because I didn’t let “love lead the way.”  Then when she started a relationship with a questionable person, she shut me out, because I saw “chains of love.”

Poughkeepsie was disgusted by the idea that love was chemical, and in no way did she want to believe that love driven by chemicals was ultimately bad for a person.

But for me, the love drug, love potion number 5, the mojo, was purely nature’s deceptive way to get people reproducing.

And Poughkeepsie loved the drug and all its promises of men on white horses and castles and children.

(roark… excuse me)

She believed that the love drug could remake people.  Love potion number 5 could get people to see their partners’ real selves.  The mojo took away inhibitions and freed the inner self.

Woo hoo… saddle up!

I on the other hand saw it differently.

The love drug could remake people’s images.  Love potion number 5 could get people to see what they wanted their partners to be.  The mojo blinds reason, binding and gagging a significant part of the inner self.

…great…bind me, blind me, whip me, punish me, disappoint me…no thank you.


So, so, so…. who is right?!

These days, I would say neither of us.

While I was ready to throw away the baby with the bathwater, she was ready to embrace a million babies like old mother Hubbard.

Neither of us could deal with the reality of love and intimacy.

Yay for being in your 20s…

But love surely has chemical components, and those chemicals help loosen us up for intimacy and sex, and what a wonderful thing that is!

And if you try love and sex without the chemicals, you get makeshift mannequins married with children, and how sad is that!?

Put A in slot B.  Place C on L1 and L2.  Gyrate in ¾ turns.

So what is a homo sapien to do?  This thinking upright human?

Master the chemicals.

Have you ever driven by a restaurant and smelled the grilling meat? Or past a produce stand seeing the bright, shiny tomatoes and watermelons?  And then your mouth watered and stomach growled?

Your body screams, “Pull over!  Pull over!  Yes! Yes! YES!”

If you DO NOT indulge these urges even a little, say, you are  broke and can’t, eventually your body quiets down.

You body whispers, under its nature, “What does it matter… can’t have any anyway.”

But if you let yourself see,


                                         imagine the the first bites…

Isn’t the anticipation wonderful!  And then the actual first bites practically explode in your mouth!

“Oh, yeah baby!  Yes!”

BUT if you are ethical, before you start anticipating, you’ll slow down and think:  Is this something I want to support?

A road stand can be a farmer.  It can be a family  It can be non-GMO.  It can be organic.

Or maybe not.

A restaurant can be fair/equal employer.  It can be organic.  It can be free-range and grass fed.

Or maybe not.

Wouldn’t it be perfect if all worked out perfectly… without having to think?  Like the white horses and castles?

But not thinking will get you food poisoning at worst. Or perpetuate unethical business practices.

Thinking too much now?  About everything?

The problem with being a thinking thinking upright human about love, sex, and intimacy can be restarting the primitive sex and intimacy.

Too much thinking before before in delicto is bad, bad.

So where thinking and reason got you a great marriage relationship, too much thinking can crack your rose tinted glasses and bust your love goggles!

A serious relationship is indicative of thinking too much.  I’m not going to list the concerns.  OK, I lied.

Laundry List

AND THIS IS JUST HOME!!!!!!!!  Maybe even just one person.

And if you don’t consider thinking, you can be sure you’ll have cavities or gingivitis, a cracked foundation from water damage, a car with a damaged engine, a rabid pet, overgrown yard, clogged arteries, high blood pressure, and a stinky utility room.  And I didn’t even touch paying bills, renegotiating financing, reassessments, college savings, and investment portfolios.

Putting on the Rose

Learning to reduce the thinking stress to find the on switch is important.  So find out how to put on the rose.

It may be a glass of rose and a pretty piece of lingerie.

It may be a glass of mint julep and a slow dance to “Isn’t it Romantic?”

It may be a set of push-ups and some flexing in the mirror.

It may be an alter ego… and pictures.

What brings your sexy back?

Music is awesome.  A good drink is relaxing.  Some stretching and posing in a mirror works.  Some self sex talk.  Now bring in your partner.  Whisper sex promises or make them make promises.

Imagine your favorite sex scene.  Allow them to imagine theirs.

Open your senses.

Feel your body.  As sexy as putting your hands on your partner may be, how does it make you feel?  Tell them.

The next day, share how pleasured you were.  Not “pleased” – there is a tactile and graphic difference.

Don’t just call to say, “Hey, can you pick up the kids?”  Call and say, “I need you, and I’ll keep it warm for you no matter how late it gets.”

And reflect on it all.   In traffic, with the radio on, a good song, take yourself back to you and your partner, and remember highlights.

And let yourself feel.  Embellish.  Get a little flushed.

Your imagination is your produce stand, and those ripe tomatoes are yours, homegrown.  That steak you enjoy at home is all natural.

You marry the whole person.  Responsible.  Invested.

You make love to the sex machine.  Uninhibited and oh so juicy.

And best of all, in a marriage, you two are only sharing it with the person who means the world to you.  This is the diamond you made together, your intimate relationship.

And diamonds are meant to be admired, just like roses, just like lovers.

The Anticlimax of Marriage, Brought to You by the Media and Your Own SEXpectations, not an SC Johnson Family Company

By Dawn Van Ness | Sex & Family Planning

The Anticlimax of Marriage

Despite how your family set the stage for your ideas about sex and intimacy in marriage, and despite all the cultural cold water used to rinse away the Disney-fied ideas, I have to say, it didn’t prepare a generation of women and men for the real sex and intimacy of marriage.

It appears the overload of media (online, print, television, radio) injected people with lots of SEXpectations.

Somewhere after the 80s and in the 90s, sex became the endgame for relationships, and sex in marriage (lack of frequency, dulling of passion) became another reason not to tie the knot. This was followed-up by the next media “sex and marriage” gabfest, setting the conversation about marriage as a means to:

The GREATEST SEX OF ALL TIMES! Frequency! Quality! Comfort! OH!

When attention waned regarding quality sex, strange sex of the rich and famous went viral, due in part to the 24/7 media cycle, the gossip blogs, and paparazzi frenzy.

Oh oh oh! Uh-oh…

Media outlets started to feature couples’ saucy little deviations from missionary, and moved into…. well… everything! Tricks, whips, and nipple clips. Fetishes.  Even the front page of the sports section  got a dose of sex:

“Baseball Coach Plays Footsies With Woman on His Cell Phone – His Wife!”

“Baseball Star New Madonna Boy Toy.”

The media trawled for it all. Pamela Lee’s sex swing.  Huff’s triplets.

Sex was mainstream, so then things had to be taken to the (imagine monster car rally voice)




(end said imagined monster car rally voice)


Ok, the word play is too easy, but so was all the media hype around sex. It was easy to catch the five second attention span and get the online world to click and share – or just react -so they could get numbers to sell advertisers.

Unfortunately, or rather, obviously, now I have a gaggle of 30 something and 40 something friends who have to have piercings, sexting, and parlor tricks to feel they are somehow sexually adequate in marriage.      ?! what happened ?!

Worrying About Measuring Up to One's Own Sexpectations is the worse.

Worrying About Measuring Up to One’s Own Sexpectations is the worse.

In the last 10 years, I’ve even had co-workers share their use of toys, powders, gels, and what it had to do with ceiling fans in the bedroom.

And if they weren’t swinging from the ceilings, some friends thought something was wrong. If there was a lull, something was wrong.  If they weren’t feeling it, something was wrong.

Ok, so if you are not feeling IT, down there, then you might have nerve desensitization from overuse of those sex toys, gels, and powders.  Overuse!  You broke it!  So I’m told…

But joking aside, all the media selling of sextremes has done some real damage: SEXpectations


Everyone has them. From 20s to 30s to 40s, committed girlfriends and guyfriends have let it slip that they aren’t getting what they thought they were going to get or that they are unable to give what they thought they would be able to give.

Import Pre-Marriage/Commitment Questions

Reflecting on what I’ve been told, and what I myself have worked through, I’ve come up with a few important questions that I did not see on my minister’s relationship scoring sheet before getting married.

In the interest of great sex and wonderful intimacy, what are your expectations for you and for your partner? Where did you get them from? How are they working for or against your RELATIONSHIP?

Commonalities in Couples with SEXpectations

Sometimes, girlfriends seemed to want to be Pamela Lee on the sex swing with some rock god serenading her.  And sometimes it was a guyfriend wanting to be Denzel Washington and Vin Diesel rolled-up into one studly attraction.

The couples had sought out and entered committed relationships, but now their sexpectations and insecurities were surfacing.

Another commonality I noticed was that they were NOT wishing those stereotypes on their partners.

It was their partner’s REACTIONS they were seeking.

It was about them. It was their insecurities. When it came to wanting their partners to be different, they didn’t have anything on their list. No complaints about bellies or thighs, hairlines or hairiness. Complaints were about their partner’s lack of reassurances.

Of the couples and individuals I have in mind, when it came to the sex, they wanted their partner to make them feel like a rockstar celebrity sex idol.

This is too much of a burden to put on a partner.

Another commonality were the complaints. Funny how “I don’t feel sexually adequate” can then come across in a relationship as “You don’t spend enough time with me!” or “You don’t clean enough in the house!” or “You like your friends more than me!”

Just fill in the complaint, then hit =, and then put “I’m my own problem.”

Own The Problem

If you love your partner, and you want a wonderful relationship with great sex, the best thing to do is establish your own feelings of sexual adequacy and stop looking for it in them.

They can enable or hinder this, but ultimately, your feelings about yourself is about how you think.

You don’t need piercings and feathers, edible gels, or all night rock and roll sessions.

You need to not be obsessed with yourself, IN A HEALTHY SELF-OWNERSHIP WAY, open up, and think of your partner and the sex and intimacy you are creating (or destroying) together.

Step Away From the Blame Free Narcissism and Step into Self-Ownership

Oddly enough (sarc!), when you start fixing YOURself, YOU give YOUR partner less work, and they can deal with themselves!

Get away from the media, and concentrate on your lover. See them. Feel them. Touch them. Heart. Body. Soul. Open up and give them the opportunity to experience you completely as well. That is intimacy.

Sex can start with touches passing a cup a coffee, some flirtatious texting, and then the kids sleeping over at grandma’s! But it is ok if your lifestyle doesn’t allow for more. Life is full of responsibilities.

And joy of joys! You can be flabby together. You can droop together. And if this is a committed relationship, you will! But the best sex ever comes from this walless give and take and time together. No batteries required. Stripped bare of media and cultural expectations. Maybe some gelly once you get a little older. It happens kids. I’m told. That is ok too! Our life eXpectancy as well as seXpectancy has changed since colonial times!

In short…

Questions to Ask Before Marriage/Commitment

What are your sexpectations for you?
What are your sexpectations for your partner?
What are your sexpectations for the relationship?
Are they harming the relationship?



Own your sex-self-image.
Own your problems.
Free your partner from supporting your sexpectations.
Get real about your love life.
Let love and reality rule.


Commonalities of Couples Suffering From SEXpectations

Imposing high SEXpectations on themselves.
Not imposing high SEXpectations on partner’s appearance.  
Seeking reinforcing reactions from partner to feed their needs.
Growing dissatisfaction and need to blame partner for their own inadequacies.


Love and Let Love

What I’ve come to realize through personal experience and from friends is that the best sex from a relationship is not the Pamela Lee sex swing kind, or the Vin Diesel biceps of love types, it is from those who have gotten over their egos and insecurities enough to be a great couple.

It is nice to be able to be shaved smooth and shower fresh (even for the ladies) but the comfort and level of satisfaction is highest if it isn’t a requirement. The couple that knows they have morning breath, and knows how to breathe away from their partner while they curl their toes, are having the


And guess what, the media was right!

The greatest sex ever is from committed relationships! 

Being a real, happy couple is one of the most satisfying experiences in the world.

Being a real, happy couple is one of the most satisfying experiences in the world.