Sex Comes First: 15 Ways to Help Your Relationship – Without Leaving Your Bedroom by Joel D. Block and Kimberly Dawn Neumann


7358aa90589bc90-261x361.jpeg Author Joel D. Block and Kimberly Dawn Neumann
Isbn 9781598699715
File size 3.7MB
Year 2009
Pages 256
Language English
File format PDF
Category sexuality



 

Sex Comes First 15 ways to save your relationship ...without leaving your bedroom Joel D. Block, PhD & k i m b e r ly Daw n N e u m a n n Avon, Massachusetts Copyright © 2009 by Joel D. Block, PhD, and Kimberly Dawn Neumann All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher; exceptions are made for brief excerpts used in published reviews. Published by Adams Media, a division of F+W Media, Inc. 57 Littlefield Street, Avon, MA 02322. U.S.A. www.adamsmedia.com ISBN 10: 1-59869-971-7 ISBN 13: 978-1-59869-971-5 (paperback) ISBN-13: 978-1-44050-431-0 (EPUB) Printed in the United States of America. J I H G F E D C B A Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available from the publisher. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. —From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their product are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book and Adams Media was aware of a trademark claim, the designations have been printed with initial capital letters. This book is available at quantity discounts for bulk purchases. For information, please call 1-800-289-0963. Contents Introduction.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......................... vii Chapter 1: Anger Gets in the Way.. . ............................ 1 Chapter 2: We Have Trust Issues.. . . . .......................... 19 Chapter 3: Jealousy Bugs Us.. . . . . . . . . .......................... 35 Chapter 4: We Need More Openness.......................... 51 Chapter 5: We’re Too Stuck in Gender Roles................ 67 Chapter 6: We Don’t Pick Up Each Other’s Nonverbal Cues.. . . . . . . . . . . .......................... 85 Chapter 7: We Don’t Compromise.. . ......................... 101 Chapter 8: Work Gets in Our Way.. . ......................... 115 v Sex Comes First Chapter 9: We Don’t Handle Change Well.................. 131 Chapter 10: We’re Reeling from an Affair. ................... 149 Chapter 11: There’s Too Much Criticism and Blame.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ................... 167 Chapter 12: There’s Not Enough Affection................... 183 Chapter 13: We Expect Each Other to “Mind Read” Our Needs.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ................... 199 Chapter 14: We Avoid Issues.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ................... 209 Chapter 15: We’re Too Caught Up in Ourselves.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................... 223 Afterword.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................... 235 About the Authors.. . . . . . . . . . . . .................... 237 Index.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................... 239 vi Introduction C opulation and coupledom. Coupledom and copulation. When it comes to a fulfilling relationship, these two, sex and coupling, are intrinsically linked. In many cases, the correlation is positive (happy couples frequently report healthy sex lives), but sometimes, it can be a double whammy. Why? Because the road to being a dynamic duo, for both men and women, is mined with potential issues that can taint romance. For example, lack of communication, unresolved anger, and mistrust are the kinds of problems that may result in a sex life that is mediocre at best and more likely distinctly unfulfilling. What it comes down to is that couples with relationship concerns don’t feel erotically connected. Maybe they have intercourse once a week, but complain the “spark” is missing. Maybe they haven’t made love in a month, several months, a year, or longer, in which case sexual awkwardness can be added to the problems that keep them apart. Whatever the case, there is no vii Sex Comes First doubt that relationship issues affect what is going on between the sheets as well. Typically, couples will go into therapy and work on their conflicts with the hidden hope that one day they will get along better and their romantic life will jump-start. And often this works. Passion is reignited. But it is usually a lengthy process. These couples are looking to improve their situation by enacting the typical “Feel something, and then do something” action plan. Not surprising when you consider that’s probably the approach most of us take when facing a challenge in our lives. We’re socialized to follow an isolate-the-problem/find-a-solution scenario. Trust us, there’s nothing wrong with more romance following better communication and relationship harmony. In fact, if that’s the outcome, fantastic! But there’s another approach that will add enormous power to a couple’s relationship and strengthen as well as hasten the gains made by talking things out. It’s characterized by “Do something to feel something.” And, it involves sex. Now, don’t get too excited. We’re not suggesting that you stop trying to communicate and just get busy. It’s not that easy. However, sexualizing your issue with a specific physical encounter that is consistent with your issue after working on it verbally can markedly enhance your chances of resolution, because there is a visceral/ muscle memory component that is closely linked to your emotional state. In short, integrating a “mind” solution with a “body” solution creates synergy and results in a powerful mind/body experience. We are suggesting that instead of leaving a problem discussion and letting the words exchanged fade, it will be more effective to reinforce those words with an experience that will literally viii Introduction get into your skin. In other words, involve your body in the process, and your mind will follow. The sexual experiences throughout the book are powerful. Consequently, fears, doubts, anxieties, shyness, and other apprehensions are likely to get triggered initially. These feelings are common but transient; once the experience proceeds the emotions will likely become strongly and positively bonding. Of the many forms of couple intimacy—a smile across the room, a kiss, a touch—sex has the potential to be the most powerful positive physical experience most of us enjoy. This is especially true if sex results in emotional fulfillment, better communication, security, reassurance, and intimacy—and that’s precisely the aim of this book. We want to teach you to capitalize on the power of sex not only to help enhance physical intimacy with your partner, but also to help connect you in ways that allow your conjoined emotional life to stay on solid footing. An important thing to keep in mind is that negative feelings thrive in secrecy and lack of acceptance. Integrating couple issues through positive experiences that feature skin-to-skin contact is the precise antidote for healing negative feelings. How so? Well, when you venture into these experiences, you will be sharing while in a state of naked vulnerability, literally. The result is that as you lose your clothes you will simultaneously be forced to strip away additional emotional layers that might be hindering your issue resolution. It’s more difficult to ignore or deny difficult feelings when your proverbial armor is removed. This means that your shared experiences while in a state of undress may be ramped up well beyond traditional interaction. ix Sex Comes First Sex Comes First is the first book to combine the traditional talk approach to strengthening couple relationships with sexuality. Not only will we discuss the most common couple issues— those that bug almost all of us and sap the erotic energy right out of our relationships—but we’ll also help you learn how to use sexual interaction as a means of issue resolution right now (instead of waiting until it’s “fixed” to return your sex life to redhot status). Yes, you read that correctly. The right sexual act at the right time can actually help resolve many of your issues as a couple . . . today. Think of yourself as an adventurous scientist who is interested in adding some punch to the usual way of approaching relational issues. The experiments you will be doing will help integrate the more traditional emotional tools that strengthen relationships in a physiological way. Or more simply put, the body is a powerful tool and involving your entire being in your relationship will get you further than ignoring the mind/body connection. And as an added bonus, your sack sessions will get more interesting at the same time. Get ready to take your sex life where it’s never been before. Your relationship will thank you. x Chapter 1 Anger Gets in the Way T he dramatic slammed door exit. The thrown glass. The infamous face slap. The exasperated flood of tears. Chances are you know the classic signs of an angry outburst. Unless you’re part of a couple for whom that kind of volatile back-and-forth serves as foreplay, anger probably gets in the way of your sex life. No doubt almost every couple will experience flare-ups in response to the sporadic squabble. However, little tiffs and even a fiery shouting match now and then can be helpful if it brings the real issues into the light for resolution. In other words, occasional arguments don’t lead to long-term sexual turnoffs. In fact, you’ve probably even had angry sex before, but the more likely result of anger in a relationship is that it simmers someplace down below the surface waiting to find a sneakier way to manifest than an outright verbal explosion. The bottom line is that anger is a complex emotion and straight-up angry sex where that raw feeling is present and recognizable only happens on occasion. More frequently, anger  Sex Comes First ends up masked as something else. That’s when things get tricky because subterranean anger is the deadliest kind, not only for your relationship but also for your sex life. With that in mind, the first step to dealing with anger in your relations with your partner is learning to differentiate between the different types of anger. That involves recognizing that sometimes anger may look quite different than, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Straightforward Versus Stealth Anger When it comes to anger, there are two types: the straightforward and the stealthly. Figuring out which kind you’re dealing with can really help you try to work through a meltdown in your relationship with your mate. So, how do you know the difference? Straightforward Anger Think about this: What makes you boil? What evokes anger to the point that you can’t contain yourself and all your feelings come tumbling out? Do you have that visual? That is probably the perfect example of visible anger. Usually when anger reaches that kind of a tangible state, the issue is likely on the table and ready for resolution. In many ways, the kind of anger that you see and recognize is easier to handle than other types. Why? Well, when you actually know what is causing dissension between you and your partner, then there is a marked improvement in the probability that you’ll be able to find your way to the core of the issue and  A n g e r G e t s i n t h e Wa y move forward (for better or for worse). In other words, volatility may promote velocity when it comes to anger resolution. However, that only holds true if the reason for the anger is authentic and not an exasperated attempt to deal with another issue lurking beneath the angry surface. Stealth Anger The other kind of anger is the silent and deadly stealth anger that can absolutely undermine a couple’s emotional and sexual connection. The reason this emotion gets so complicated has more to do with these hidden huff-makers than the obvious outbursts. With that in mind, let’s look a little closer at each of these types of anger. Unvoiced Anger With this type of hidden anger, the problem stems from the fact that one or both partners in the relationship are harboring resentment but do not bring it to the other’s attention. It’s the everyday equivalent of you saying, “What’s wrong?” and your partner answering, “Nothing.” You still have a nagging feeling that something isn’t kosher with you two. Or the opposite, your partner will start to sense that something is off-kilter in your relationship and will keep prodding you for affirmation of her suspicion. But instead of just speaking up, you put on that happy face you’ve learned to wear and say, “Everything is fine.” The problem with the word fine is that when someone uses it, things usually are not fine. Think about it. When things are fabulous between you two, do you use the word fine to describe your state of affairs?  Sex Comes First Not likely. But if things are strained and you’re not speaking up, the word fine pops out of your mouth. The problem with unvoiced anger is that it can be sensed. So, one partner will keep asking and the other will keep denying, while getting more and more annoyed that his partner just can’t figure it out. Remember this: Except for a very few possibly psychically gifted individuals, most people aren’t mind readers. If you don’t speak up and say what you’re thinking, your partner may never figure it out. Remember that little thing called communication? Like it or not, you pretty much have to have it if you want your relationship to survive. The other problem with unvoiced anger is that it tends to grow over time. It is a mistake to not bring up the issue for serious discussion. Avoiding issues that are troublesome is anything but benign. If not worked out, even if it is difficult, resentment will build up and create a major obstacle to openness. After some time of this behavior, the underlying anger gets between the couple in small increments that eventually become insurmountable. It is as if she is adding another brick to the wall between them each time until the wall is impenetrable. When you or your partner finally voice frustration, it may come tumbling out in decibels way beyond typical human vocal production. Unrecognized Anger Sometimes, the maelstrom brewing inside you is so craftily concealed even you aren’t able to recognize it as anger, which adds another layer to unspoken anger. Accordingly, not only do you keep your feelings from your partner in this scenario, you keep them from yourself through denial or minimizing (e.g.,  A n g e r G e t s i n t h e Wa y “I’m not angry, I’m just annoyed.”). Another example would be that oftentimes what couples call “boredom” is actually code for a long-harbored hidden resentment. The key word here is hidden. All too often, individuals don’t recognize that the root of the emotion they’re feeling towards their partner stems from fury. Many times people are taught to suppress anger. In so doing, with practice they get very good at shifting their emotions or learning to classify what they’re feeling as something else entirely. This may seem like a prudent way of dealing with extreme emotions like anger. The only problem is that when you are mad about something and can’t figure out that the emotion you’re feeling is anger, it will continue to fester. Eventually, like with unspoken anger, it will have to reach a level that is above boiling point before it is recognized, and by then, the damage may be insurmountable. This is especially true if the ramifications of unrecognized anger start to spill over into other areas (e.g., everyday life and in bed), and the relationship starts to suffer on many fronts as a result of this hidden emotion. Unrecognized anger will brew—that is guaranteed—until it is recognized. It’s extremely persistent, so don’t think you can outwit it just by fooling yourself into thinking you’re happy when you’re not. It will all come out eventually—be prepared. Unresolved Anger Negative feelings do not simply evaporate if left unattended; they tend to swell and permeate the relationship, sapping positive energy that could be directed toward romance. We know you’re thinking: Well, duh, if I’m mad of course it’s going to permeate the relationship. It’s really not that simple, however. In this scenario,  Sex Comes First anger may have come up and there might even have been a fight. So, you’d think that this was no longer in the “hidden” category. However, if you walk away from a fight still feeling deeply hurt, uneasy with the resolution that was discussed, or even without a solution to the issue, then the feelings are still unresolved and the anger attached to this issue will resurface. It’s not enough just to get mad and move on. There has to be some sort of progress towards resolving the anger (and the issue) or there will be a rebound effect. How so? Well, there may be a slight respite in the feelings once the issue has come to the surface, but as soon as either party has had some time to reflect, she will likely realize she is still angry. But there will be a hesitancy to revisit the issue with her partner because things will probably already be a bit tenuous and unless the couple has thrown in the proverbial towel, they will likely be trying to rebuild from their disagreement. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to recover relationship equanimity when one or both partners are still holding on to some tension. See how this becomes a deadly cycle? When the anger is not resolved, it will continue to loop around until the issue is finally addressed in a way that allows the couple to break the cycle and move forward. Until that fateful day, however, this type of hidden anger is bound to repeat itself. Issue-Confused Anger Frequently a couple may find themselves having a major argument over something that’s not really the issue at the crux of their anger. In this case, the real issue causing the anger is the hidden part. You might also call this “Sneaky Anger.” What would be an example of this? Well, consider the couple that is really having issues about finances. Perhaps they are trying  A n g e r G e t s i n t h e Wa y to save to get a bigger apartment but the woman can’t seem to stop buying pricey new outfits for work, or the guy is spending a lot of money playing in several fantasy football leagues. Over time, these little shopping or play habits may start to really bother the other partner especially if he is curbing spending habits in order to try and make the mutually set goal of getting a bigger domain in which to live. But, instead of addressing the issue about finances, the offended partner starts picking on his significant other about something inconsequential and unrelated such as how much time they spend on the computer in the morning checking e-mail. See the disconnect? The problem with this kind of issue-confused anger is that the real issue doesn’t get addressed and in the meantime, all these petty little complaints get added on top of it. The anger will not be effectively dealt with until you’ve then removed all the other issues to reveal the true problem. The result is a lot of confusion. Retaliatory Anger Another variation on the hidden anger theme, which may undermine a relationship, is when resentment has built up and it leads one partner to consciously or unconsciously retaliate against the other partner either by doing something that the other partner doesn’t like, or by not doing something that is desired by the other partner. Usually, this leads to less cooperation and more hidden anger. In contrast, if the partner whose actions are retaliatory simply disagreed with the request instead of striking back (explaining the basis for that dissension), or offered an alternative solution—“I will get a job to support my extra spending,” or “I will not use a housecleaning service, but I want to keep my gym membership”—there is basis for an open  Sex Comes First discussion. Even if one partner admits to going overboard—“I just couldn’t resist those Jimmy Choos at that Sample Sale, it was a great buy and I have a weakness for killer pumps”—it would be better than insisting that there was full cooperation when clearly there wasn’t. While most inconsistencies between word and deed (or the manner in which a message is conveyed) may seem minor, they can have a powerful impact. If one partner tells the other, “You are the most important person in my life and my top priority,” but in daily behavior is selfish, inconsiderate, and irritable, the message that is conveyed is something like this: “Your feelings and wishes are not as important to me as my own needs, and you can’t really rely on what I say.” The partner who is conveying the loving message but is not being loving is actually setting up a confusing situation for her significant other. When actions don’t support words, over time it may lead an individual to feel underlying resentment without even realizing why. Intimacy-Avoidance Anger Fact: It’s difficult to get closer to your partner if you’re fighting all the time. As a result, many people who start to fear intimacy will find themselves starting intentional disagreements to feel safe. Sometimes anger is also used intentionally to keep intimacy at bay. A signal that this is occurring is when things are going along well in the relationship, then suddenly one partner starts to pick fights over mundane things that previously had not caused any strife. However, when tension caused by a fear of 

Author Joel D. Block and Kimberly Dawn Neumann Isbn 9781598699715 File size 3.7MB Year 2009 Pages 256 Language English File format PDF Category Sexuality Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare “He works too much.” “She expects me to know what she’s thinking.” “We don’t trust one another.” There’s a lot that gets in the way of a happy relationship—work, jealousy, and communication issues, just to name a few. However, one thing definitely brings a couple together: sex. Relationship experts Dr. Joel Block and Kimberly Dawn Neumann teach couples how to use sex to build and strengthen their relationship. This new approach shows couples how to use sexual intimacy to conquer obstacles outside the bedroom. The authors identify fifteen of the most common problems couples run into and offer their sexual solution to each one. Sex Comes First will leave everyone satisfied—in every way possible.       Download (3.7MB) The Sex Bible For People Over 50 Sex Matters for Women: A Complete Guide to Taking Care of Your Sexual Self Erotic Massage: Sensual Touch for Deep Pleasure and Extended Arousal Unleash Her Bad Girl…and Get Her To Do Anything You Want In Bed What Your Birthday Reveals about Your Sex Life Load more posts

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