PREFACE AND INTRODUCTION
Over the last decade, we have heard endless political debate about the issue of same-sex marriages. Perhaps as a society, it would serve us better to be more concerned about the high frequency of no-sex (or poor-sex) marriages! It's my experience that the human condition inherently includes a fair amount of pain. So why not take full advantage of all the capacity we have for pleasure? Sex is good for our health! If we do not take full advantage of our built in pleasure system, it is a tragic, unnecessary waste.
In twenty-five years of counselling practice, I have had many frustrated clients complain about the quality of their sex lives. Many had given up on sex unnecessarily or prematurely. Special thanks go to these clients who helped me see the need for this book. They taught me that, in general, people want healthy sex lives but often don't know how to begin to deal with their sexual issues. This toolkit is an effort to fill that need.
Although all the information in this book is based on specific scientific research, this is not meant to be an academic book. Rather, it is a practical guide for anyone who wants to make the most of his or her sexual experience but who might be reluctant to ask for professional help.
The topic of adult sexuality can lead to endless cultural, political, legal, and religious arguments. My intention in this book is to stay away from taking specific positions in any of these arenas and leave sexual choices between adults where they belong…with the individuals involved.
To write this book, I have drawn on my experiences: working with couples as a therapist since 1983, as well as my participation in a number of intimate couple relationships. I thank all my clients and lovers for what they taught me. As I head into my senior years and look back over my counselling experiences and four decades of sexual practice, I contemplate lessons learned and convey them in this toolkit. It is my hope that they will help you nurture and expand your own sexuality bringing you more pleasure and joy until the end of your human experience. After all, that is your birthright!
My gratitude also goes out to other key people who encouraged and supported me in this endeavor, especially my caring husband and lover extraordinaire, Keith Jeffery. Special thanks go to my son, Simon Daniells, who was present with me at the moment of this book's inception and for his meticulous production of the Timeless Pleasure CD. Finally, I want to appreciate my good friend, Cindy Fisher, who both inspired and encouraged me.
This book is set out in a workbook format and includes pertinent information for adults of all ages. It is not meant to be a complete encyclopedia on all sexual matters. Instead, other more comprehensive readings are recommended for information on specific topics. The goal behind this toolkit is to provide you with a means to examine your own sexual behavior and to help you determine ways you might be restricting your own pleasure. It is meant for either individuals or couples.
Each chapter discusses a different aspect of sexuality and is followed by experiential activities. If you are in an intimate relationship and you both want to expand your sexuality, you can use the book as a learning experience together. If you don't have a partner open to learning this way, or are currently single, you can do most of the exercises on your own. Our sexuality is not linked to a particular person. So the good news is that your sexuality can continue to develop regardless of your relationship circumstances.
Exercises in this book are designed to have you contemplate your sexual experience in order to provoke positive change. Many of the questions posed in the exercises are questions I would ask if you were a client wanting to expand your sexuality. But this book is not meant to replace therapy. Following these topics and doing these exercises may provoke the need for you to seek a sex therapist. If you feel stuck, please listen to that need, and seek professional help.
The Ageless Sexuality DVD which accompanies this workbook is a recording of one of my live seminars called Great Sex for Life . Its purpose is to provide a good role model for openly discussing sexual matters. It is my experience that most people are very awkward around sexual issues even with their most intimate partners. This fact alone leads to huge numbers of sexual problems. The seminar is delivered in a playful manner but the content is serious and treated respectfully.
The Timeless Pleasure self-hypnosis CD was included in this kit for the following reasons:
Some sexual problems stem directly from a person's inability to be relaxed enough to enjoy physical pleasure. Without being able to let go, we greatly reduce our capacity for pleasure. So Track #2 is a 10 minute self-hypnotic trance to train your body to surrender into deep relaxation.
Learning to be fully present in our bodies is another aspect of our ongoing sexual development. Tracks #3 (Body as Energy) and #4 (Chakra Connection) are designed to help you be more present and aware of your body as an energy system. Learning to monitor and manipulate your energy can greatly enhance your sexual experience.
And finally, many of us still suffer from unconscious Victorian sexual beliefs and attitudes which are still deeply ingrained in our culture. While the book deals with finding and changing those beliefs, Track #4 on the CD reinforces positive sex attitudes with healthy sexual suggestions. A list of these suggestions is located in Appendix A.
Some of the lessons in this kit will resonate with you personally, while others will not. Trust your own intuition as to which tools you think you need. I have created the template but the process is fully yours. Working with this book is a metaphor for your sex life. You decide what to do, how much, how fast, who with, and when you've had enough. Lessons which don't resonate with you now may have more meaning later.
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