These boots were made for walking: Fluevogs, Sex, Divorce and San Francisco.

I moved to California in 2004, from a homestead in the backwoods of the North Carolina mountains where I literally baked my own bread each week. I could never have imagined all the ways San Francisco would infiltrate my skin, my soul, and my sex.  It ended my marriage, and brought me into my true partnership.  It turned me queerer than I’d ever dared to express before.  It radicalized my life. San Francisco has been, and continues to be, my totally  hot transformative lover, like no other.

Today I’ve been pondering what it is that my child self wants.  Making room for the desires of that girl, and trying to give her space for play and trust.  This afternoon, she has called out for dress up. Boots, in particular.

And although it feels incredibly vulnerable to share, here’s a little post-holiday gift for you.  I wrote this poem in 2005 about the pair of Fluevogs I bought that eventually changed my life. When I wrote the poem, I didn’t know all that would happen, but you’ll notice that somewhere I had a strong inkling, or at least some forshadowing.

As it turns out, I’ve ridden those boots home to a sexuality that continuously expands and furthers my expression of my deep, animal nature.

Back in 2005, my then-partner told me I looked like a prostitute (he didn’t mean in a good way) the very first time I wore the boots.  I was heartbroken.  But something raw and powerful inside insisted I wear them anyway. Ultimately, that moment informed my decision to leave my marriage and reclaim myself.  I felt a distinctive “fuck you” to those threatened by my sexuality.  I continue to feel that way.

In the post-capitalist-frenzy of the holidays, may my humble offering remind you that we can always travel home again, and sometimes the ticket is even for sale.

Buying the Boots on Haight Street, 2005

These boots are San Francisco.

As the striding, heel-crushing totems work their black magic,

supple black leather, long lines, heels curving up like city streets,

I tell my companion I am not ready to ride these.

As the striding, heel-crushing totems work their black magic,

my fingers trace these routes.

I tell my companion I am not ready to ride these

She says I will not wear these boots until I wear these boots.

My fingers trace these routes

like streetcars of desire.

She says I will not wear these boots until I wear these boots,

and there is longing, coveting, desiring.

Like streetcars of desire

carrying a bad-ass passenger,

There is longing, coveting, desiring

to be the woman who owns these boots.

Carrying a bad-ass passenger

Up, up, up, up

Oh, to be the woman who owns these boots,

pouring my legs into the casings, making me taller, badder, readier.

Up, up, up, up,

supple black leather, long lines, heels curving up like city streets,

and pouring my legs into the casings, I am taller, badder, readier.

These boots are San Francisco.

The Day I bought my Fluevogs (looking a little apprehensive.)
The Day I bought my Fluevogs (looking a little apprehensive.)

Baby, Baby, where did our Sex go? Sexless in San Francisco Part 2

Recently I posted about how 20% of all marriages fall into the ‘sexless’ category.  Which, of course, begs the question “Why?”  Often people say “I’m just not attracted to my partner anymore,” but I don’t really buy it.  There’s something going on that has created this change, right?  There are underlying issues that can be addressed.  Sexual Conflict Resolution is possible!

This post examines reasons a couple might stop being as sexual as they once were, or stop being sexual together at all.  It’s not an exhaustive list, but a good starting point if things aren’t as hot in your sex life as they once were, and you’d like that to be different.

The good news is that the status quo of a relationship can shift if both partners choose.  Determining the causes of the break-down in sexual relations is a first step to determining how to rebuild sexual fulfillment within a relationship.

Level 1: Physical Causesstress in sexless marriage

  • Stress
  • Exhaustion/sleep deprivation
  • Physical malfunction, illness or injury
  • Adultery
  • Painful sex
  • Pornography addiction
  • Substance addiction
  • Depression
  • SSRI’s

emotional sexless marriageLevel 2: Emotional Causes

  • Adultery
  • Lack of intimacy skills
  • Lack of sexual communication skills
  • Power struggles
  • Desire Policing
  • Rejection stories
  • Fear of breaking the connection if things are discussed
  • Lack of connection
  • Shaming
  • Boredom
  • Lack of exploratory space/attitude
  • Unaddressed trauma or abuse
  • Boundary violations between partners/lack of trust

Level 3: Erotic Themes and Values

(For more great information on Erotic Themes, check out Jack Morin’s The Erotic Mind)

  • Partners have different doors to access erotic energy (trance, partner engagement, role play)
  • Partners do not share the same morality/values around sexuality
  • Partners desire different frequency of sexual encounters

What might have started as a strategy to address a certain issue may have evolved into a habit.  It’s my belief that good, connected sex is strong glue that can help hold relationships together through the hard times.  If a couple isn’t having sex, and they are both truly okay with that, great.  But often that’s not the case for one or both partners.  Here’s where seeking guidance from a somatic sex coach can be beneficial.  The difference between a sex therapist and a sex coach is that sex therapists offer talk therapy, and couple explore at home.  A sex coach offers somatic, body-based work that includes talking.   Working with a sex coach, couples practice with guidance the needed intimacy and communication skills.  A therapist might look at root issues, whereas a coach deals with what’s happening in the present as well.  We make such a big deal about sex, and people are often so triggered and reactive to the topic. But really, if you had a tooth ache, you’d go to the dentist, right?  Right?

So what’s missing from this list?  I welcome your additions and comments.  Would you take a moment and share your thoughts?

Sexless in San Francisco

A city just doesn’t get more sex positive than San Francisco.  Here one can indulge any proclivity, explore and desire, and learn every sexual technique possible through the abundant variety of classes and workshops offered on every theme imaginable.  We have naked runs, naked bike rides, naked parades.  We have Folsom Street fair every year, dedicated to public BDSM and Kink. The Castro district is the Mecca for gay tourists and locals.  We are a sexy city.

And yet.  According to Newsweek, 20% of couples are living in sexless relationships.  Yes, even here in San FranSexual.  My next few posts are going to explore the sexless relationship, discuss reasons it happens, and how we can get our sexy back, if it’s fallen by the wayside.

I come to this work as a somatic sex coach through a long journey of reclaiming my desire, libido, and sexuality.  It’s been my primary personal growth work for the past six years.  Today, I’m at a place of feeling free and uninhibited most of the time around sex.  I’m exploring pleasure at new levels, and finding unexpected treasures as I survey what my body is capable of.  And it wasn’t always like this.  It’s been committed work, albeit often joyful, but always work.  I am only capable of leading others on this journey because I’m on it myself.

Rewind ten years.  I am married, living in a long-term heterosexual monogamous relationship.  We never talk about sex.  We rarely have it, and when we do, it’s the same as it ever was.  There is no sense of exploration, curiosity, playfulness.  Often, I feel really disassociated from my body.  I don’t have much sense of libido.   My masturbation is completely private, not even discussed with my partner.  I have shame about it.

At that point I’m tracking my ovulation, and thus have to also track sexual intercourse.  So I know that for years that having sex twice in a month meant a good month.  There were months we had no sex.  There were stretches of months we had no sex.  And again, it was never, ever discussed.  We didn’t even fight about it, just pretended it wasn’t a thing.  Because it wasn’t.

I knew this was problematic.  I knew I wanted more from my most intimate relationship.  And I hadn’t the slightest idea how to get it.  I bought some Chinese medicine to increase libido.   I bought a vibrator.  I got a subscription to a polyamory magazine. These were all band aids.  I didn’t feel like I could talk to my friends about it, because I was sure they were having way more sex than I was, and I was ashamed.  I can only guess that these experiences were also painful for my partner, and that he felt a sense of loss and disconnection.  Living in a sexless relationship was lonely, sad and shameful.

I write this brutally frank sharing now (I feel really vulnerable) to offer that there is a way back from the disconnect.  I wasn’t able to attain that with my spouse.  Perhaps if we had had support things would have worked out differently.  Ultimately, it took leaving the marriage to begin the journey of reclaiming passion and sex.  I don’t think it has to, though.  At least, that’s the premise I’m operating under when I work with couples.

There is much gratitude I feel for my sexuality.  Sexuality has refocused my life.   It has been my road home to myself.  And it creates a bridge of connection with my current partner.   I won’t lead a sexless life again, especially within my intimate relationships.  Sex energy is life force energy.  I was dead.  Now I’m alive.

Breaking silence about having been in sexless relationship is tough.  It’s often wrenching for couples to admit things are not okay, and to seek sex support

Rising from the Dead!

In the next post, I’ll write about some ways sex goes away in relationship.  How about you?   Is sex a constant in your relationships? Does it ebb and flow? Have you ever been in a sexless period? Speaking truth is the antidote to shame.  Can I get a holla?