Charla’s Blog

How to be Sexually Healthy

With all of our years of sexual innovation and acceptance, some people still find it hard to talk about sex and to live a sexually healthy lifestyle. While being sexually healthy may seem like I’m referring to practicing safe sex, avoiding unwanted pregnancy and making smart decisions, it’s actually that and so much more.

Living sexually healthy means you have a positive framework for the way you view sex. It is not burdened with guilt and or negativity. It also means taking responsibility for your body by getting yearly physicals, using contraceptives every time and knowing what you do and do not like. Sexual health also means taking responsibility for your partner’s health by making sure they are taking all of the necessary safety precautions, that you are treating them with respect and not pushing their limits. And finally, sexual health means not doing anything you aren’t comfortable with doing.

If you find that you aren’t living as sexually healthy as you possibly can, it’s never too late to turn it around. The first step you can take is to talk to your partner and as the adage always goes, if you aren’t comfortable with talking to them about sex, you probably shouldn’t be having sex with them.

Sit them down and talk about your concerns. It’s time to say something if you feel like they haven’t been respecting you, like you’re pushing the limits in a way you’re not comfortable with, or if you’ve been engaging in high risk behavior, like not using contraceptives. Lay the groundwork there.

If you feel like you don’t know what you like or want when it comes to sex, then it’s time to explore with yourself and with your partner. Take your sexuality into your own hands and see what turns you on. Watch how your body reacts and then show your partner how to achieve the same response.  You’ll find that trying new things with them will make you feel closer to them and open you mind to other new ideas. You might feel vulnerable at first, but will grow more confident in yourself as you try more things.

Head to the doctor if you’ve fallen a little behind on your body’s sexual health. Get tested and checked out. There might be a few things you don’t want to hear, but avoiding them doesn’t make it go away. Plus, when you stop taking care of yourself, you put others into danger. Make this one a priority if it has slipped through the cracks and give yourself some peace of mind.

Finally, you should consider seeing someone if you have been dealing with any feelings of negativity or guilt. Sex should not be something that makes you feel bad about yourself or anyone else.

Being sexually healthy is something we have to work at every day. Sometimes we make bad decisions, some times we let ourselves go. If you feel like you’ve been moving in the wrong direction, simply turn around. It’s never too late to get back on track.

Sex After 60

This article first appeared in Liv Fun magazine and appears here with permission.

“Does sex get better or worse as you age?” my students ask me.  “Well,” I reflect, “that depends on what you mean by ‘sex.’

 

If you define ‘sex’ as one organ plumbed into another for a wiggle, wiggle…pop! Then ‘sex’ poses new challenges as we age. Older body parts don’t work the same as before.  And if you haven’t learn to talk with a partner about sex as you’re maturing, then it’s probably going to get worse.

 

On the other hand, if you define ‘sex’ more broadly, such as how we use the word ‘love’…you can love your mother, love your dog, love pizza, and love freedom.  Sex can mean more than just plumbing; it can mean the pleasure that comes when bodies meet and tangle in a place of mutual safety, respect, vulnerability, and transparency. With this expanded (and more truthful) definition of sex, aging opens a new sexual landscape–deeply textured with the precious recognition of mortality and divinity.

 

Maturity often brings an acceptance of our bodies, appreciation of our partners, and grace for enjoying each breath, touch and word.  If we define sex as an intricate web of attention and touch that expresses our innate longing to play, connect, belong and experience our bodies as sacred, then sex definately gets better with age.

 

An older client confessed to me, “Finally, I get to enjoy my arousal.”  With Maturity, men slow down, and genuinely seek more intimacy. They often rethink past conditioning which causes them to withhold their feelings, work too hard, and go for the goods–both in the boardroom and bedroom!  Women change too; they stop apologizing for what they want in a man’s world and start expressing their unique brand of sensuality. They become more confident, initiating and taking responsibility for their own pleasure.  With aging, a new playing field opens.

 

Mature lovers don’t expect the other to read their mind. They know forgiveness is the lubricant of love.  The number of orgasms, or even having an orgasm, isn’t the main attraction.  Sex that used to be ‘destination-bound’ with a predictable beginning, middle and end (boring), transforms into ‘meandering sex’, where each moment, each wisp of hair, fingertip on the spine, lick on the ear, or laughter–surprises and delights.

 

Sure our bodies change, whether you’re twenty or eighty you are aging. For both men and women orgasms become less muscular, tissues thin and dry, and the vascular system relaxes. To counter these physical changes, we can choose to enhance the mental aspects of lovemaking–heighten our focus, deepen our attention, and learn how to receive pleasure! The skin is the only organ that increases in sensitivity as we age; we can learn to slow down to drink in more pleasure.

 

I’ve ask a room full of women, “Does size matter?”  Overwhelmingly they say the size of a man’s attention and caring is what they’re most desiring.  Mature lovers throw away the old scripts: there is no right way–just this way, with this person, this time.  They stop trying ‘to do’ or perform, and start noticing sensations.”  Beyond the thinking body–is the feeling body.  Beyond controlling–is the noticing body.  Beyond doing–is the being body.  Why does it take us so long to discover this?

 

Does sex get better or worse as we age?  You get to choose. And choice is what makes us human.

 

My mother at age eighty-five was sitting naked in a hot tub with me at a nudist resort–our first time!  I asked her about whether she still had orgasms.    She smiled at my question. “Remember when I visited China with the University Friendship group–before President Nixon “opened’ China to the West?” I smiled at my globe-traveling mother who brought me back a Mao jacket and acupuncture needles from her journey. “I got a vibrator at a Chinese medical clinic for back pain,” she told me, “and discovered putting it elsewhere felt great. I still have that vibrator (she was holding back a big smile), and I can tell you my orgasms are as strong now as they were 40 years ago.”

 

Shame that we don’t raise our kids to understand that yes, sex is great when you’re young, but for the real turn-the-universe-inside-out kind of sex, you’re just going to have to wait–no way around it!

Touch Me: Age Bring More Sensation

This article first appeared in LIV FUN magazine  and appears here by permission.

I may not remember what you told me or even your name, but if you touched me, I’ll remember that moment forever.

 

Touch captures us at the deepest level, more profound than words.  Remember when someone touched your shoulder while asking you, “How’s it going?” Or, a time when someone  thanked you and placed their warm hand over yours–even for a few seconds? Casual, non-sexual touch, is a powerful connector…and we’ve lost the art of it.  With our busy lives, important jobs, and endless stuff–we all are touch-starved.

 

Touch is our most treasured, yet least utilized sense. Loneliness is rampant, and most of feel isolated and shameful. We know babies need constant touch, or they fail to thrive. Have we forgotten we are just grown up babies? Do we think we out grow our need for touch? Somewhere after childhood touch gets confused with sex (and shamed) and we stop casual touch within families and between friends. We don’t learn how to offer and receive non-sexual, mature touch.  We forget to make casual touch can feel safe, comfortable, and consensual.

 

Our skin is our body’s largest organ.  Of the five senses, touch is the only one that grows more acute and heightened as we age.  We may not see, hear or smell as well, but our skin–thinned, transparent and translucent–drinks in more sensation than ever.  We can actually feel more than when we were younger because we are willing to slow down, notice more, and live with more gratitude and appreciation for life.

 

Introducing casual touch into family visits.

 

Since a touch is worth a thousand words, why not include more of it in visits with family and friends? Your visits will feel more empowering and endearing. Start small if touching is not a habit in your family.  Use good eye contact, focus your attention, smile and when you compliment someone, reach out a place a hand for a few seconds on their upper arm or shoulder.  Feel how your hand is an extension of your heart, and see how your touch open both hearts.

 

You may want to tell an aging parent (or spouse!) you are experimenting with touch and would like to hold their hand for a few minutes while you talk about your day, if it’s OK with them. Notice how getting permission and giving a time frame makes it feel safer. Notice how this simple gesture effects what you say and how you say it. Or, you may ask if you may gently rest your hands on their knee while they tell you a story–such as about a time they felt loved. Treasure the warmth of their knee under your hands as you quiet yourself and feel the fragileness of life pass between you.

 

Make your hello and goodbye hug more ‘user friendly’–not a quick habitual gesture.  Move into the hug more slowly, refrain from patting them on the back, instead hold still, notice your breath–notice their breath–notice the warmth and ‘inspiration’ moving between you.  Allow your body to be aware of their presence without trying to change anything.  Hold the hug loosely for several breaths, if they pull away fine, but refrain from doing it first, and slowly your hugs will grow.

 

Your Touch will lingers past your words.

 

We are touched with love so rarely that small gestures take on gigantic proportions.  Routine medical touch does not count, we all need heartfelt touch that’s volunteered by loved ones. Here’s some ideas for simple touch you may try on your next visit: brushing hair, massaging feet (even with socks on), putting lotion on their hands, rubbing their back, shoulders or neck, giving a face caress resting their head in your lap while you lightly explore their face with your fingertips. Ask for permission first, make a time frame like a couple of minutes, and only offer what you can give with a full 100% heart.  And be ready to receive some touch too!

 

If someone doesn’t want to be touched remember we’re creatures of habit and all quite shy. We are breaking a mold here and need to go slowly.  Being vulnerable about your own insecurity may help, you could say, “I’m on new ground here, but I know I want more touch in my life and hoped I may practice with you.”

 

At the end of life, our sense of touch becomes the most poignant of all.  My girlfriend actually crawled in bed with her dying mother. It must have felt very much like the beginning of life when we ate, slept and breathed within the heartbeat of others, bathed in touch–instead of being isolated and alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Viewing the Nudes Nude: Stripping for Art

How often do you get an invitation to strip in public and call it art? So when my local nudist club suggested to artist George Krause that we attend the wine and cheese opening of his life-size nude photographs and strip naked while we do it, he jumped at the chance. Performance art. We were making history, people stripping at a public art opening!  Well, NYC and LA eat your heart out, come to Austin if you want weird.

 

“Viewing the Nudes Nude” is what members of our Hill Country Nudists Club called it. I had butterflies all day about my performance. I was excited about attending the show and reserved the right to change my mind about stripping, ha!, just like I teach intimacy students, “You’re allowed to change your mind.”

 

Unfamiliar with George’s work, I was amazed upon entering the exhibition how the beauty of his life-size photos effected me. Dozens of photos, tastefully hung in a maze pattern, allowed you to view the photos

Krause's Sfumato photographs of nudes

in a random pattern, connecting eye-to-eye with human nakedness. The free hanging, suspended nudes looked right into you, though your clothes and into your soul. George photographed all kinds of models–tattooed, transgendered, sensual, young, old, scarred–and some with missing parts.

 

At the appointed time, about eighteen of us ceremoniously took off our clothes while standing eye-to-eye, heart-to-heart and genital-to-genital in front of our chosen nude photograph. I picked a saucy, sexy, tattooed girl to strip in front of; I knew she would approve. I left on my high heels though, the cement floor was just too cold.

 

I was out there. Exposed. What happens next? I gingerly glanced around and sensed some ‘textiled’ folks with a hint of a smile. I read camaraderie and  approval into their polite, striving-to-be-natural faces. This was no time to sit down and hide. Naked and tall, I initiated conversation with folks about the show and how it bared the human soul. I found that Austinites don’t blush easily, and they step up to new experiences with a sensitive curiosity. The Clothed and the Naked viewed the nudes together, circulating and conversing with ease. I love this town.

 

A fully dressed woman approached me, “Oh, I love your shoes!” she exclaimed. I looked all the way down my naked body to my feet, and we shared a good laugh!  One particular photo captured me. It was an older woman with only one breast and a scar where the other had been removed. Her expression exhibited such dignity and acceptance for the remnants of life we courageously hold together.

 

“That’s me,” I heard a small voice from behind. I turned to see the same woman as in the photograph, now clothed and in real life. “I wanted to give others the courage to be who they are, whoever that is. Do you think it works that way?” her eyes begged an honest response. “Yes,” I said without hesitation, and we hugged.

 

When we offer small acts of courage–who knows how they may land. Who knows, by being brave and taking a risk, we may encourage another to do the same.

10 Sex Mistakes Men and Women Make

Good sex is changing bad habits that don’t get us what we want.  Most men and women do these 10 things that kill good loving, or cancel out good touching and kissing. Avoid these pitfalls and turn your sex life into timeless and treasured moments!  Charla Hathaway

10 Sex Mistakes Men Make

1) You kiss her too soon

2) You kiss her too hard

3) You kiss her too wet (mouth mauling)

4) You go for the nipples, not the breasts

5) You go for the ‘goods’ not the whole body

6) You try ‘to do’ too much instead of ‘be’ with her

7) You have an agenda

8) You don’t ask for directions or permission

9) You forget to be vulnerable

10) You talk about yourself and forget to ask questions about her

 

10 Sex Mistakes Women Make

1) You expect him to read your mind

2) You resent him when he can’t

3) You don’t tell him what you want

4) You don’t trust your own desires, timing and rhythm

5) You say yes when you mean no

6) You say no when you mean yes

7) You avoid sex because you’re afraid it won’t go your way

8) You are afraid to lead, initiate and pursue

9) You’re at war with your inner slut

10) You think sex is about him, not you

Phoenix Goddess Temple Raid; a call to legalize prostitution

Several of my colleagues were arrested and jailed last week in a police raid of the Phoenix Goddess Temple. This event begs us to face the fear, misconceptions and judgments we have against  sex workers in our country. All sex workers–be they erotic educators, tantrikas, shamans, prostitutes or anything in between–need legal status in order to better serve the consenting adult population who seek their revolutionary services. Hundreds of my sex educator colleagues stand in solidarity against our country’s laws that criminalize prostitution.

 

It is not the place of government to regulate how, when, where or with whom people have sex. It is not the place of government to regulate how, when, where or with whom people practice religion. Sexual and religious freedom is our birthright–as long as we are consenting adults and don’t hurt anyone (no religious wars, please).  And how we spend our money, whether it on sex or religion, is our call. We get to decide how we spend our dollars on education, training, healing, and enjoyment. Hallelujah! Our body; our money; our choices.

 

When do Americans grow up and admit that prostitutes—willing, grown-up working girls, not trafficked sex slaves—have great value in a civilized society?  We need to recognize that those who willingly work with human sexuality–whether it be to heal, empower, pleasure, teach, or find God!–are doing valuable, life-changing work.  Sex workers deserve respect, protection, benefits, taxation and dignity just as any other career.

 

We are a nation tormented and conflicted over sex. Think of all the wasted production caused by lies, worries, and unfulfilment over sex. What if sex workers were the modern day mystics who could save us from silence, isolation and shame, and usher us into a new era of freedom, connection and wholeness?  Erotic Entrepreneurs–the new intimacy coaches and relationship gurus–could be credited with saving marriages and building a strong nation.  Sexual wellness and wisdom–a world peace issue!  Whores could be our heroes!

 

Let’s hope the arrests of sexual healers at the Phoenix Goddess Temple will spur a sex positive social movement. Let’s open dialogue and further define the need for people to experience and learn about sexuality in safe, consensual and transformational ways. Let’s legalize prostitution and the myriad of sex hands-on practitioners so we may get down to the business of healing, pleasing, educating and serving to make the world a safer, better place.   Legalize prostitution.

Adult Summer Camp: It Takes a Village

For most of human history, we lived in rather small tribes gathering the bounty of an abundant, relatively uninhabited planet. Our ancestors spent most of their day playing, grooming, cuddling, napping, conversing…and having casual sex.  For safety and perseverance, human groups thrived on sharing and bonding.  Touch was the social glue.

 

My experiences at Network for a New Culture  Summer Camp is a remembering of this natural human state.

 

In the lush, cool Oregon woods, about a hundred people camp for ten days every August.  NRNC camp is modeled after the Zegg Community in Germany. Camp is about expressing your authentic self and exercising choice. Each day starts with Forum, a magical hour, masterfully facilitated, which celebrates our communal human experience.

 

After Forum, the camp day slides into chatting, cuddling, reading, eating together in the make-shift Lounge under a huge oak tree–complete with couches and rugs. Campers often shed clothes as the day warms (sometimes all of them!), hike in the woods, swim in the stream, and take hot outdoor showers. People can attend a multitude of workshops offered by their talented peers such as contact improv, compassionate communication, Thai massage, etc.  Or, you can choose to do nothing.

 

In the Transformation Tent campers may dress up in costume clothes, wigs and props, which adds to the zany and playful atmosphere.  Some campers play with ‘gender roles’ for fun and frolic. Before evening events the tent is often full of ‘transforming’ campers busily zipping up each other and playing ‘dress up.’

 

The Aphrodite Temple of Love, situated in the woods close to camp is decorated with flowing silks, satins, and sexy lighting. The new culture camp invites sexuality to be a natural, shared part of the whole community experience–for those who choose. People who choose to go to the Temple attend an orientation where we acknowledge our natural desire to witness and be witness by others as sexual beings, and our desire to participate in exploring our sexuality in the presence of others. Temple orientation covers taking care of yourself with a working yes and no, how to have safer sex, hygiene protocol, how watching and being watched can be done respectfully, and rules for inviting or being invited into sensual/sexual play with others.

 

The Temple taught me that we’d all be better lovers if we could learn sex the way we learn everything else–by watching, experimenting, being witnessed, failing, laughing, and being together in a supportive environment.  I had no idea how much my Temple experiences would transform me.  I no longer saw my tribe in the same way–friends who share safe and conscious sexuality together, experience a deep communal bond. Hearing the sounds of others, so like my own, seeing others, so like myself–made me feel natural and good.

 

My shame, isolation and separateness shattered.  I was hurled toward a new astonishment. Being alive and human was a thousand times more fascinating than I’d ever expected. The integrity, attention and care people exhibited for one another astounded me. Sexual communities bond on a deep level by sharing their most fragile, transparent, vulnerable and celebratory moments together.

 

So you can see why NFNC Summer Camp is way more fun than camp was as a kid–more consciousness, compassion, hugs, communication, touch and LESS drama. And can you believe that I was the only one there from Texas?  We got to change that.  Maybe if some of you experience camp, someday we’ll have our own Texas Summer Camp and do it even bigger and better.  See you can’t squeeze all the old culture out of the girl!

Sexy Aging: When in doubt, Eat a Gaggle of Greens


Being trim and healthy is a big part of feeling sexy. Keeping extra weight off keeps us sexually on! About age forty I noticed I was gaining weight, and at age fifty I was shocked to see the scales. I took action and now at sixty, I’m back at my forty’s weight and LOVE it.  Here’s the 10 steps I took–and feeling sexy is just one reason to do it!

 

1) Cut food portions. Yes, after menopause, I eat about one-half of what I used to.  You loose weight at the table and not on the exercise machine.  I take a to-go bag with me to restaurants and bring half my meal home. I also eat less often in restaurants.

 

2) Chew longer and slower. My acupuncturist told me, “Chew your drink and drink your food.”

 

3) Get daily exercise, like morning yoga (20 minutes) and or a walk.  Try doing some exercise before eating in the morning.

 

4) Read all labels.  I cut down on boxed foods with sugar and preservatives.  I cut down on wheat intake because we get too much of it.

 

5) No bad fats (anything hydrogenated), and eat good fats like flaxseed oil (in your smoothie) and fish oil (liquid spoonful is a better deal than capsules and taste fine–Nordic Naturals.)  I grind up Chia and Camelini seeds in my coffee grinder and add to food.

 

6) Food combining–I eat meat with veggies–cheese with veggies–carbs with veggies–but not meat, carbs and dairy together in the same meal.

 

7) Cut down on sugar and baked goods.  Eat sugar separately–several hours apart–from other foods. Use agave as a sweetener. It’s low on the glycemic index and won’t spike your insulin and wear out your pancreas.

 

8) Fermented dairy is best, like yogurt or kefir. It’s easy to digest and remember don’t eat dairy with meat or carbs.

 

9) Drink lots of water.  Especially in the morning when we’re naturally dehydrated from the night.  I try to drink 6-8 cups a day, in tea kombucha, fresh lime aid (no soda).

 

10) Lifestyle:  I don’t eat much after 7 pm, go to bed early, and get up early. A Chinese proverb says, “One hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after midnight.” Daylight and dark have a strong effect on our healing rhythms: organs rejuvenate on a schedule during the night. Cleanse for a week or two every spring.

 

With these ten steps to good health, your sexual health will thrive too. We’re all connected. We can’t single out one thing from the other. At sixty, I look and feel great. You can take ten years off your age just by not getting fat. I like being light on my feet, quick to action, flexible, and enthusiastic about life.

 

Why don’t people talk about how great aging can be? Menopause was the best thing that happened to my sexuality–I’m at the top of my cycle every day–without the dips!  Why don’t we tell young people the truth about sex and aging–there’s so many negative myths out there. Sex, like life, just gets better as we get smarter, more compassionate, more truthful and more appreciative.

 

Kissing is a Lover’s Signature

No matter how well you kiss or not, you can take your kissing skill to the next level.  If you don’t get kissing right, things will not progress. Kissing is the testing ground for going deeper.  You can learn to navigate juicy kissing territory with greater confidence, success and passion.  Great kissers are not born, they are made.

 

You need to learn the difference between kissing (doing) vs. being kissed (done to)–and why the difference is important.  You will expand your pleasure if you learn styles of kissing that are female-based vs. male-based (the norm and often over done).  Learn kissing that gradually heats up on a scale of one-to-ten on the ‘Touch Scale.”  Your kisses, with these simple lessons, will surprise, delight and dispel old routines.

 

Start out Slowly:  Know the difference between Male and Female Touch.

Kissing tests the waters for going further, so don’t make to the mistake of kissing too hard, too fast, too wet, too soon. If a man is too eager and rushes past the subtle and whispery beginnings with me, I step back.  Immediate too-much-tongue-mouth-mauling misses the point.  Discovery by kissing is a tender, playful journey.

 

Start out slowly and leisurely with your kissing.  On a scale of one-to-ten male touch is five-to-ten.  The much softer and gentler female touch is one-to-five on the scale of pressure, wetness, and speed.  For the female side of the Touch Scale, think feathers, eyelashes, hair, cheek or lips brushing–almost dry–over the skin. Think warm breath and pauses between nibbles.

 

Remember ‘stillness’ is a stroke, number one on the Touch Scale, and play it to your advantage.  Any musician knows without playing the rests, there is no music. Female touch is more like lightly caressing of the surface of the skin, not manipulating the musculature.  Most men rush by or never even experience this slower, softer kind of touch which women adore.

 

How lightly can you kiss?  With a relaxed, soft mouth, graze over her cheeks and facial features barely touching the skin.  With an almost dry tongue trace the eyebrows.  Tenderly kiss the tip of her nose and the corner of her lips.  Explore her contours with your mouth, make it up as you go, moment by moment.

 

Breathe lightly into an ear and lick its contour.  The mouth is so sensitive that less is often more.  Your lips and tongue are exploring and discovering each nook and mound.  Your attitude is inquisitive, like a child playing a new game with each kiss.  Once on her mouth kiss lightly without your tongue at first.

 

The Kissing Game: Separate the roles of giving and receiving.

Once I had the most wonderful kisser for a boyfriend, so I was surprised when after time I got bored with our kissing.  Then I discovered why.  He was always kissing me (do-er) and I was always receiving (done-to).  It just got routine.  As soon as I realized I needed to trade roles occasionally, things cooked up.  Instead of the predictable “his way”, we began to share the lead. Culturally women are shy to lead, but men love it.  They really want to please us and are thankful when we show them how.

 

Here’s a non-verbal kissing game to try with your partner.  Take turns being the active “kisser” and receiver of kisses or “kissee.”  When you are the kissee offer a soft, slightly open mouth for the kisser’s exploration and do not react by moving (not easy to do!).  Close your eyes and tune into your sensations.  Breathe.

 

When you are the kisser find new ways to explore the sensations of your mouth and tongue for your pleasure on your lovers face and body.  Tune into your sensations and breathe.  Decide on a time frame like five or ten minutes for playing each role of kisser and kissee.  Play the game with a sense of adventure and a clear intention for discovery.  Keep the time frames tidy so interest holds.  Then without talking, reset the timer and switch roles.  Afterwards, offer the highlights of the game and share what you liked about your partner’s kisses.  Each time you play the game you learn. Keep your feedback positive.

 

Nothing will spice up your kissing more than relaxing into receiving what your partner is giving you without needing to take over (not easy to do, but worth it–especially for guys).  Let the woman be in charge, and if she doesn’t volunteer, suggest it.  We are in a culture that tells her not to be bold or lead, so ask her!  You’ll be so glad you did. Experiment with kissing, not only trading roles giving and receiving, but experiencing the whole gamut of male and female on the Touch Scale 1-10!

 

Are we talking about Improv Acting or Good Sex?

I showed up for my first improv acting class feeling like a fish out of water.  What was I doing with all these brave, hip youngsters who ‘stream consciousness’ from iPhones and now, the theatre stage?

 

I feared I didn’t share the same TV shows, movies, music, or pop idols–how would that work for improvising together?  Our two improv teachers (not yet thirty, I guessed) were enthusiastically sharing the rules for theatre sports at our first class.

 

Be willing to FAIL!  “Fail Big, and Succeed Big,” they chanted.  “Take a risk and trust your instincts, they may be smarter than you.”  They taught us fun games to help us “pay attention, commit to the game, and bring out our deeper physical, vocal and emotional energy.”

 

Wait a minute, I’m a sex and intimacy coach and these chicks were stealing my lines. “Don’t worry about the rules or being concerned with GETTING IT RIGHT,” they went on, “Be willing to give up some control.”  Whoa, I thought of my men coaching clients here.  “Don’t self-censor,” whoa, here I thought of my women clients seeking more intimacy.

 

These neat young teachers spilled out their passion for improv, “Make eye contact, open your awareness, say yes, and make your partner look good!”  Hooray, I thought, are we talking improv acting or good sex here?  Then they landed what I thought was the clincher, “Listen to the group mind, and get quiet…you’ll know what is needed of you.”  Now there’s a golden lesson for a good time on stage or in bed.

 

OMG, these two groovy teachers could be great sex and intimacy coaches just teaching the principals of improv theatre!  This class was right up my alley. For the next two months, we had fun with improv games that reminded us to give up control of ‘what-we-thought-should-happen’ and go with the group mind.  Again and again, we practiced being in the moment, knowing that the last thing said or done was the most important, co-creating, supporting and connecting with each other.

 

I’m a cheerleader for Shana and Lauren’s SEX 101–err, I mean, Beginning Improv Acting class. In class…like in bed, I trust that my partners and I always have what is needed in each moment, and SHARING the creative process is spontaneous, spunky, and never routine!  Check boredom at the door.  And check out these chick gurus and their improv classes at www.merlin-works.com  You may even become a better lover!