Like Kristen Bell, I'm still a little emotional from a recent visit with a sloth. Maybe it's the memory of his warm furry body nestled up against mine, or his funny curved claws latched onto my arms, but I cannot get this little guy out of my head.
Sloths move more slowly than any other mammal on this planet. As I sit here, pondering this fact and simultaneously procrastinating writing this month's blog, I realize... "Holy Crap! Nearly every article I've ever written about sex and relationships is about slowing down! Like a sloth!"
Now, I understand you are probably thinking, "Oh Pam, you've just got sloth brain." And maybe you're as right as you would be if you told me that no one knows whether three-toed sloths evolved from two-toed sloths or vice-versa. But let's review some of the sex and relationship lessons I've experienced and written about:
1. Slow down and breathe. There are awesome things happening around me all the time. Like the fact that I get to drink coffee every morning. Or the fact that I get to wear soft fuzzy sweaters anytime I want. But I'm going so fast I don't always notice these things. Slowing down and enjoying these little pleasures is a great way to get in touch with my body... before I reach out to get in touch with my husband's body.
2. Slow down goodbyes and hellos. We all lead busy lives. It can be easy to get so caught up with the things we are trying to get done that we forget to take the time to connect with our partner before leaving them, and to reconnect with them when we return. I feel so much closer to my husband, and him with me, when we give a big goodbye and hello smooch to each other!
3. Slow down to increase awareness of sensation. When I skip over the tactile, auditory, olfactory, gustatory and visual aspects of sex and just focus on the act or my partner's reaction to the act, I miss many components of what makes sex so good. But when I focus on the sensations, sounds, smells, tastes and sights around me, the entire experience becomes much more rich.
4. Slow down and look at each other. Did you know that most couples don't look at each other when they are having sex? When I coach couples, some of the most intimate and hottest sessions are when we practice eye-gazing. Though it's vulnerable, I feel the most empowered and bonded with my husband when we are looking at each other during sex and especially during orgasm.
5. Slow down to let the pleasure in and tension build. Whether I am touching my partner, or he is touching me, I have a tendency to be focused on the next step as if the current kiss or caress is merely a transitional moment. However, when I surrender to the moment for the sake of the moment itself, my whole body becomes alive and I get so much more out of that moment, which ironically leads to an even more incredible next moment.
Maybe less really is more. This list could literally go on and on, because as this Hoffman two-toed sloth who is happy eating a single type of leaf his entire life reminded me, improving intimacy doesn't require something new and different. More often than not, it simply takes slowing down to get more enjoyment out of what we already have.
So as we begin a new year, I'm going to take a page from my sleepy South American friend. I'm going to be a sloth. I'm going to slow down and enjoy my partner. I hope you'll do the same.
This blog reflects my real-life experiences. I'd love to hear about your experiences, so let's continue the conversation in the comments section below.
You can also check out these resources or email me at email@example.com if you are interested in classes or coaching to explore your own sexuality. I am a sex and relationship coach and if I can't personally help you, I'd be very happy to connect you with other wonderful sex educators, coaches and therapists.
New to this blog and want to start at the beginning? Check out this post about why I started a blog about sex.