Turn-ons aren’t just what happens in the bedroom
[Transcript of video]
I want to talk today about turn-ons.
This is a subject that I’m thinking about a lot right now, because I am going to be talking about it tomorrow night in a class that I’m doing called Tune In To Your Turn-Ons. I’d love it if you joined us!
But today, I want to talk about why it can be so difficult to talk about these things, and even to recognize what our turn-ons are.
I’m going to tell you this from my perspective, having been raised and socialized in a little girl body, and hopefully you can relate to it from whatever your experience was.
So in my experience, I was socialized to be the little girl who paid attention to what everybody else needed, and to make sure that I did whatever I could to help them get their needs met.
That was absolutely my role in the family. And it felt like my role in any other space that I was in, I was always paying attention to everyone else, and making sure they got their needs met.
So put me into a bedroom situation. And everything in my brain is a tuned to what is it that my partner needs? And how can I make sure that my partner gets those needs met?
And you know, you could turn this into you could think about this in you know, a heterosexual, male, female, normalized relationship. But the truth is that I have done this when I’ve been involved with women as well. This is just my behavior pattern that I believe comes from how I was socialized.
So the other person in the partnership is not necessarily like their gender is not so important as what I learned, which is take care of them. Make sure they get what their needs, what they need. need, and my needs were never really particularly on the table.
You know, when I was a kid, if we were in the car on a long drive and my dad was driving and I said, Daddy, I have to go to the bathroom or I want to stop and get some food, can we go to McDonald’s, he would get super, super irritated, if it didn’t fit in exactly to his schedule. And when he wanted me to go to the bathroom, or to get food, like it was so important that things be done on his schedule in his way to get his needs met.
I bring all of that conditioning into my adult relationships. So I’m paying attention to what my partner needs. I’m really not paying attention so much to what I need.
And then my partner looks at me and says, “What do you want?”
My brain goes, “Oh, I don’t know!” My brain goes into lock-down. I imagine an engine seizing – my brain can’t process that question.
What I have realized is that there are a few problems going on here.
One is that it’s being asked in the moment in the bedroom. In the heat of the moment, if somebody asked me that question, I have no access to that part of my brain whatsoever. (This has changed over time. I want to say to you that this gets better because it has gotten better for me, but I’m talking about where I was a few years ago.) That part of my brain could not activate while I was in the bedroom.
So if that conversation had happened outside of the bedroom, while we were sitting and having brunch or whatever, maybe it could have gone differently because maybe I my brain wouldn’t have been so wrapped up in Taking Care Of My Partner in that moment.
It could have thought about what is it that I want. But once we’re inside the bedroom, and we’re in that sexual space, my brain was not going to engage in that way because it was too invested in taking care of my partner.
The second thing is that very often when that question was being asked, what was being asked of me was to give them a tip, or a trick, or a switch that they could flip, a thing that they could do to make me feel good. But what I really needed was to feel seen, feel heard, to feel like there was a kind of connection between us. I couldn’t give them a quick tip or trick about how to establish and nurture that connection in a thing that they could do in 30 seconds or less.
That’s really what I think they were asking for when they would say, “What do you want?”
What am I going to say – “I want you to lay here and talk with me and have a conversation”?
In the middle of the sexual act, that was just not gonna fly. I wasn’t going to be able to say it then, but it also wasn’t going to fly with my partner either.
These conversations about turn-ons, I would suggest they need to happen a in a really different way, and be in a really different place.
So the first thing is: if you really want to connect with your partner around what feels good, to be more specific with them about what you need and want, .the first thing to think is don’t do it in the bedroom. Don’t do it in the bedroom.
I feel like I harp on this a lot. But for the people in back, DON’T DO IT IN THE BEDROOM!
There’s nothing good that can come about having these conversations in the bedroom, especially the first few times that you do it. You’re just too raw and too vulnerable.
Second, recognize when you and your partner are having a conversation where the request is for a 30-second trick, but what you need is a deeper conversation and a deeper connection. I’m not saying that that’s going to be super easy to figure out how to say the first time, but we’ll talk about this more in the class tomorrow night.
But open your eyes to the possibility that what you’re trying to expect of yourself By saying to your partner, oh, I want you to do this like that. The reason that you may be having a hard time coming up with that is because it’s not actually what you want. And beginning to tease that apart and recognize when what you’re trying to give your partner is different than what you actually need. That’s going to cause some internal discomfort for you, and potentially cause your brain to seize up.
So, I hope that was helpful!
The class is Tune In To Your Turn-Ons. It’s happening tomorrow, Wednesday, November 20. It’s an online class, so you can join from anywhere in the world. And there will be a replay available if you can’t join for live.
I would love to see you there! And if not, that’s great. I’ll keep making videos and you keep getting what you need out of them.
I’ll see you again soon. Until next time, here’s to your better sex life!