There's a way to infuse your sex life with depth and meaning; with sweetness and heat. –and the results can radiate out and enrich your entire life. Stay tuned to the Deeper Dating podcast to learn how.

Episode Table of Contents

Embracing Your Shadow Self

Hello, and welcome to The Deeper Dating Podcast. I'm Ken Page, and today we're going to be talking about how you can make your sex life, whether you're single, coupled, or anything in between, more meaningful, richer, more emotionally powerful, and more sexually hot. Every week, I'm going to share with you the greatest tools I know to help you find love and keep it flourishing and heal your life in the process, because the skills of dating are nothing more than the skills of love. The skills of love are the greatest skills of all for happy life.

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You can also find the whole transcript to this episode on deeperdatingpodcast.com. And if you're more interested in applying these ideas and this approach to your intimacy journey in a deeper, richer way, you can learn more about this by going to deeperdatingpodcast.com. You'll receive a free ebook, learn lots more about what I'm doing and what other people whose work I really respect are doing, as well.

I also want to say that everything I share in this podcast is educational, not medical or psychiatric advice, and not treatment for any emotional, physical, or psychological condition. And if you're experiencing any serious psychological or psychiatric conditions, please seek professional help.

Finally, if you like what you're hearing here, it would be a fabulous thank you if you subscribe on Apple Podcast and left me a review. People are leaving such beautiful reviews that are just incredibly meaningful. I thank everyone who's done that. Thank you everyone who plans on doing that in the future.

The Questions We Should Ask

The Questions We Should Ask to Have Depth and Meaning in Our Sex Life
Photographer: Dan Gold | Source: Unsplash

Often, the questions that we ask of ourselves about our lives are what finally carve the shape of our futures. A really great question excites us, opens new doors, and invites compassion and curiosity. I've got two questions like that about sex. And your answers will teach you rich, rich lessons about your own sex life.

This is for everybody, single, coupled, any relationship status at all, including asexual and anybody kind of wherever you are. These are rich questions about eros, for you, whatever that means. Because our sexuality is like an x-ray of our being, it teaches us so much about how we're organized. It teaches us so much about our mystery spots, our points of depth, the things that touch us and move us.

Our sex life is kind of like a metaphor for our whole life, and we'll talk about that more. But, these two questions are simple. In fact, they're obvious. They're gentle. But like a lot of gentle things, they have the power to change us deeply. I think that's why we spend so much time avoiding questions like these.

But, what I want to say is, just like with any adventure, the first consideration is safety. What I want to say to everyone is these are fabulous questions, but there's a primary foundational question. And that question is, "do I feel safe?" For people that have experienced sexual trauma, as you listen to these kind of really deep questions, be aware if there's a trauma kind of reaction and take care of yourself. You might want to stop listening if too much is triggered. You might want to get support if too much is triggered. I just want you to kind of honor the importance of safety.

Inherent Safety Is Important

Because without an inherent foundational sense of safety, nothing really works in deep intimacy, and nothing really works in really truly wonderful sex. So, here's the first question that I want to ask. The first question is, assuming that there is a sense of safety in the relationship, which means that you know you're not going to be forced to do things that you don't want to do.

You know that you're going to be able to speak up and that there'll be space for you to speak up – during sex, after sex, or before sex, you know that there'll be space for that. You know that you won't be forced to do things that don't feel right to you and don't feel safe to you. Those are some of the prerequisites to a safe connection. Of course, the other one is just a general sense of safety, of deep safety with the other person. So these are really the foundational prerequisites to truly rich, wonderful, fabulous sex.

You can have recreational sex that doesn't necessarily have those things, although I would absolutely say don't have sex unless you feel inherently and basically safe. But, those deep kind of safety things are not necessarily essential for recreational sex, and many people like to have recreational sex. I just want to make that clear and just say that inherent safety still is important. But for those of you who want depth and meaning, deeper emotional safety is necessary.

So, here's one question, assuming this safety that is very powerful, and it's this: What touches you most deeply in sex? When I say what touches you, I mean what fills your heart? What makes you feel peaceful? What makes you feel full of love? What makes you feel loved?

The Kind of Sex That Makes You Vulnerable

What makes this mysterious thing happen in sex just has no words where you feel like your heart is filling. They are these deep emotions that don't have names or even words but you know you're deeply touched. Those fabulous things that you can experience in sex. I think that this question about what touches you most deeply in sex is one that every sexual adult should think about, reflect on, and relish.

Interestingly, for reasons that I talk about in some greater detail in my book Deeper Dating, often the question of what touches us with depth and meaning in sex makes us more vulnerable than anything. Have you been emotionally touched during sex in a way that took you by surprise? Or have you been moved in sex to the point of tears or almost tears, or felt like a kind of sense of love that just overtook you?

Have you ever had the feeling of lust and love fused together? Have you ever had the experience of sex leaving sex far behind?

If you haven't experienced these things, imagine what it might be like. If you have, let yourself hold onto those memories because they're portals into what touches you most deeply. What allows that incredible synergy where you feel like something vast and deep is being touched in you, something really big. Your heart's being touched, you're also very turned on and in the moment with your partner. Try to think back.

What happened to create those experiences? What could happen to create experiences like that? When you let yourself reflect on that, it's going to tell you worlds about who you are, what your deepest sexual gifts are. In another episode, we're going to use these questions to help you find out what your sexual core gifts are.

Sex That Has Depth and Meaning

Sex That Has Depth and Meaning
Photographer: Marcelo Matarazzo | Source: Unsplash

Are there parts of your body which when they're touched in a certain way just trigger very deep emotions for you? Is there a pacing in sex that moves you deeply, that touches you? And if you're partnered, what touches your partner, that you've noticed, most deeply in sex? These are all, as I said, questions to be relished.

I'll share a story with you of a couple who are married now and at the time were boyfriend and girlfriend. The first time they had sex, the guy did something which felt really odd to the woman, which was they were having very enthusiastic sex. And in the middle of that really enthusiastic sex, he started slowing down, and then he stopped moving altogether. He just wrapped her in his arms, and he lay on top of her perfectly still.

She was pretty sure that he hadn't climaxed, so she was confused, but she kind of went with the moment and they just lay motionless. Then, she felt something begin to kind of shake inside her, and she felt moved to tears. They held each other without kind of really knowing what hit them. That became like a hallmark that they had in their sex life for a lot of years to come.

I think that in sex, just like in life, most of us are more wild and more tender than we really feel comfortable with. We're crazier. We color outside of the lines more than we're comfortable with, and we're tender and soft way more than we might want to admit. Those parts of us are where our glory lies. Both aspects of your sexuality are portals to your deepest self, your wildness, and your vulnerability, and tenderness.

What Turns You On?

The other question that I encourage you to ask is …

What turns you on the most fully in sex?

This is a wonderful and powerful self-discovery question. I think that the first kind of ring of this is just what turns you on, and you kind of know that already. The activities that turn you on, the things that excite you. We all know that to some degree.

But then there's a deeper honesty about what would be the next step in exploring what would really turn us on. What ways of touching, of being touched, what kind of things? That takes a deeper level of bravery and self-truth. What is it that super excites me? That's something to think about even right now.

What's the next level of richer, deeper turn-on? Does that have like a kind of forbidden fruit quality for you? Often, our sexual turn-ons don't match our self-image. We might fantasize about being sexually submissive, but that doesn't match who we think we should be, or maybe we feel humiliated by that desire.

Maybe we think about being sexually dominant, but we feel afraid of who that makes us. Maybe the things that really excite us are a little embarrassing because we feel like they're just so vanilla, so universal, uninventive, and basic. We have these kind of shames around this stuff that really is the most deep turn-on for us.

The thing is, when you're with someone and you can enact the things that turn you on the most in an atmosphere of love and care, and you know that that stuff excites the other person, too, it's just such a wild mutual gift. Whether our deep turn-ons are exotic or vanilla, it doesn't matter because they're portals to a deeper experience of sex and of self.

Embracing Our Wild Side

Embracing Our Wild Side
Photographer: Andrik Langfield | Source: Unsplash

The thing about sex is it captures our shadow self. So often, the things that really turn us on are poetic depictions of shadow parts of ourselves, parts of us that we haven't claimed yet. Very few of us have really been taught how to handle our most evocative sexual fantasies in a celebratory, nondestructive, sober, creative way. Often, we judge our colorful desires as odd or even perverse.

My dear friend, David Schechter, who's a theater director and the lyricist for the Broadway musical Soul Doctor, kind of rescued the word perverse because he proposed a kind of twist to it. He said,

"What if perverse means per verse, or through poetry? Because when we explore our wild side, we play in a landscape of sexual poetry. It's a world of inner personal symbolism that might never make conscious sense, but it still feels gratifying and it still feels meaningful."

And the majority of us need help in embracing our wild side in sex like we need help embracing our most tender self in sex, and also in distinguishing between behaviors which are really harmful to us or our partner and those which are simply and wonderfully perverse.

Take a moment to think about this. What kind of sex excites you the most? What actions? What body parts? What behaviors? What outfits? I always have had this fantasy that somebody could go to all different parts of the world, people of all ages, all backgrounds, the most traditional people, the most wild people, and ask them, on camera, which of course they wouldn't answer the truth, but in my fantasy they do, what really excites them and turns them on.

An Experience of Mutual Delight

I feel like you would see elderly people and people who seem like you would never expect this to come out of their mouth saying the most wild, fascinating, poetic, and crazy things because sex is built for that. Sex is built to hold our shadow side and kind of turn it into something. Just really want to make space for the beautiful juiciness of all the things that are kind of your colorful, sexual loves.

As you do that, as you allow yourself the freedom of play in your reflections, you're probably going to hit some waves of discomfort. When you do, just track them. And if they're too disturbing, it's really best to get help and support from a skilled, credentialed, nonjudgmental psychotherapist or from a coach who's highly trained, safe, and skilled.

If your fantasies just feel kind of embarrassing, surprising, or out of the pale, see if you could just imagine embracing them. I promise you, whatever they are, there are other people who share those turn-ons and with whom sharing those turn-ons would be an experience of mutual delight.

Definitely our partner, and if we're single, our future partner, has hidden desires of his, or her own. When we follow our deeper turn-ons and let ourselves put words on them, including ones we've been timid about exploring, we not only deepen and enrich our sexual experience, but we give permission to our partner to do so also.

When you take the most tender desires, the most emotional desires, the hottest, sexiest desires, and you let them blend, that's just such joy. And you know what it feels like with someone you're in a relationship with, if it's a safe good relationship, what it feels like is love. So, I encourage all of you.

Embracing Your Shadow Self

Embracing Your Shadow Self
Photographer: Martino Pietropoli | Source: Unsplash

I'll say something else, too. When you embrace the stuff that you have had as shadow self, because of its vulnerability, its tenderness, its originality, its difference, and I'm talking in both of these questions what moves you and turns you on the most, when you claim those parts of yourself, something amazing happens. A completion of self that makes you more desirable, more attractive, more embracing of the world. It gives you this feeling of, "Oh, yeah, that is who I am." Then when you do that, you get to be that in love and you get to be that in sex, as well.

This is something that I've seen in my work as a psychotherapist. When you begin to own your answers to these two questions, you go into the inner sanctum space about this stuff. When you admit and acknowledge it, a wholeness of self emerges that is fabulous and radiates to the other parts of your life and makes you more romantically, sexually, humanly, creatively desirable, generous, and somehow calls in the right people for you.

In physics, the more mass there is, the more gravity there is. The more you own and embrace the mass of yourself, the more self there is. It's like the more mass there is, more authentic self. What gravity does is it pulls outside objects into the center of the object that has the gravity. So as you embrace these secret parts of who you are, you will have more gravity pilling in other beings who kind of unconsciously hear this call closer to the center of your being. It's just something that's true, something that happens, and is part of what I call the deeper physics of dating.

Ask Ken

Once again, if you enjoyed this episode, I encourage you to please leave a review in Apple Podcast. Go to deeperdatingpodcast.com and sign up for my mailing list. Like my posts on Facebook. All of those are wonderful gifts. Thank you so much. I'm excited to hear your adventures with these actions. And if you want, you can go to deeperdatingpodcast.com, go to Ask Ken, and you'll be able to actually record any thoughts, questions, or experiences you have, which I will respond to on the show to the best of my ability. Thank you all, and I'll see you next week on The Deeper Dating Podcast.

Grab your copy of the Deeper Dating book by Ken Page
Grab your copy of the Deeper Dating book by Ken Page

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