If you are enjoying a thriving, inspired erotic life with your long-term partner, congratulations. Passionate sex is rare for couples that have been together for some time. Typically, passion fades after the honeymoon period. That’s why people more often will ask me: “I still care about my partner, but our sex life is boring (terrible/absent/on life support). Can a Passion & Presence Retreat fix this?”
Both questions share the assumption that our sex lives are either functioning or malfunctioning. If they don’t need repair or are too far gone to be repaired, there’s nothing we can do for them. I’d like to reframe this concept, which has a goal-driven, performance-oriented quality to it, into something that is bigger and more vital.
In reality, our intimate relationships are ever shifting and growing. They are living and breathing, continuously unfolding. Many of us (although sadly not all of us) were told that sex grows naturally, like the germination of a seed. But just as a seed is more likely to become a flourishing plant through careful tending, we can all benefit from a continued cultivation of our erotic lives.
Why does my erotic relationship need tending?
I can think of at least five benefits of tending your erotic life together, even if you have reached the sexual summit and regularly return to that peak.
#1. Fun is good for your sex life!
Most of us have been steeped in cultural messaging that fun is optional, trivial even. The word “commitment” is often equated with “getting serious.” Yet, playfulness and joy are at the very heart of our most vital, engaged erotic connections to each other. As Esther Perel put it in Mating in Captivity, “Eroticism, intertwined as it is with imagination, is another form of play.”
Even the most passionate relationships can benefit from leaving domestic responsibilities behind for a while. A lot of fun, laughter, and joy bubbles up during our retreats. As Yvette told me during a break, “I was petrified to come here, but if we did the fun stuff we are doing here on “date night” at home, I would pay for a sitter, no matter what!”
#2. You can befriend your Erotic Energies
Couples who have been in a relationship for only a few years can enjoy the heady passion cocktail that creates a temporary arousal spike. Eventually, however, this cocktail will run out. Even if sex feels great right now, sex becomes more predictable and less alive over time. At our retreats, we learn to tend to Erotic Energies. While in full immersion we have the chance to notice how to move with, and be moved by, our intrinsic energies. So, even if you currently enjoy a passionate sex life, you can make this an ongoing practice.
#3. You can grow deeper roots
Our personal histories affect the extent to which we can be fully open to our Erotic life. We all develop protective blocks, subtle or not, to receiving, trusting, letting go, and responding to our partner that become more visible through the practice of Passion and Presence.
We teach you how to look into these blocks to keep growing and deepening as a couple. These skills can bring freshness and vitality to your relationship even if you already feel loving, passionate and close.
#4. Future problems won’t be so scary
Even in the best relationships, couples start to hit erotic bumps eventually. Some bumps will be due to physical challenges, such as aging, or various illnesses, such as cancer. Physical changes may diminish your levels of arousal or orgasmic potential, or restrict the movement and positions that are now possible.
Perhaps the demands of being a parent will eventually take center stage. Or perhaps having sex in a committed relationship starts to reveal inhibiting childhood internalizations about sexuality. Of course, there is a host of competing preferences, expectations, roles, demands that can interfere with your Erotic Teambuilding as a couple. In the face of all this, the sex life of once passionately-bonded couples can become moribund.
At our retreats, we offer couples skills and perspectives to meet these inevitable challenges so that Mindful Sex becomes a portal to transformation. Even if you have a thriving erotic life, the process of growth and decline involves change. You can be ready for that by choosing to embrace the impermanence and uncertainty that runs throughout our lives, including our erotic lives. As Stephen A. Mitchell argues, “…the preservation of the capacity for joy depends on, and supports, the ability to tolerate surprise and unpredictability in one’s life and one’s partner.”
#5. The skills you learn can enrich other areas of your partnership
While we know that sex is a portal for growth and transformation, the skillsets we teach at our retreats can be applied to any area of life. Couples who attend gain an understanding and awareness of the states they go into that create conflict or make it difficult to stay open to each other. In our retreats, couples learn how to work with these states to come back into loving connection..
When Tiana and Josh showed up at a retreat a few years ago, Tiana told me, “We have a great relationship, but so many of our friends who started out happy and passionately in love divorced only a few years later. Of course, we did not want that for ourselves. After attending the Passion and Presence retreats, we feel confident that we can tackle the hard stuff –like our very different parenting and spending styles, as well as our different sexual styles– and stay connected.” She looked over at Josh and added, “Josh doesn’t go into automatic shutdown mode now. He recognizes when he is getting triggered and can explore what’s happening and tell me about it a while later. His openness helps me open up too. We are so much closer, overall. I’m so grateful for this work.”
What’s next for you as a passionate couple?
Are you a passionate couple who wants to keep it hot and form a strong alliance for both now and the future?
Do you want more fun?
Are you longing for even more energy- Erotic Energy?
Post your comments here or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts.
We’ve put together videos, webinars, as well as talks and interviews so that you can learn more about how to do that. Even if your love life is rich, we’re confident we can guide you to an even deeper place. Let’s connect at the next Passion & Presence couple’s retreat