In this episode, Shana James shares how men can talk about their desires and their vulnerability toward having a thriving sex life.
Shana’s drive to support and guide people into a healthier relationship stems from her younger self who was confused and wanted to understand what a healthy relationship looked like. Now, Shana’s work on communication extends beyond men and can be applied to all heterosexual relationships.
Communication Breakdowns in a Relationship
According to Shana, the most important part of communication in relationships that people need to improve is respect. Drawing on personal experience, Shana suggests that we reflect on the way we treat our partners. While trust is built on actions, words have the power to shake that foundation. Our emotional responses, like name-calling and blaming, are a part of that communication that needs to be fixed for a healthy relationship.
What Makes a Lower Desire Partner Say No to Sex?
A partner can push their lower-desire partner away from saying yes to sex when their conversation takes a turn into complaining and blaming. Instead, Shana suggests having a conversation filled with passion, excitement, and collaboration. Asking questions about what their desires are and talking about what you want to try is a good way to bring them around the idea of opening up about their wants. Depending on the tone of our conversations, lower desire partners can feel the blame and put off their desires. “Innately, there’s nothing wrong with our desires”, Shana says while urging people to work through their desires and initiate collaboration.
Shame Around Expressing Sexual Desires
Shame is one of the biggest hurdles people feel around their desires that makes them say no to affectionate advances or sex. Their partners can offer them a safe space to express those desires by fulfilling their desires outside the bedroom – to be seen and understood. Shana says it’s a collaborative effort of both partners to connect and form an intimate and emotional bond outside the bedroom. It enforces their trust to be playful and explore each other’s bodies, what they like and need, and what you like and need. It’s an experimentation-style approach of constantly being curious about each other’s desires and your own. It helps face the shame and fears with compassion and love.
How To Make Your Partner Feel Safe to Be Aroused & Sexual
Shana’s advice to make your partner feel safe and comfortable to be sexual is to be vulnerable and honest with your reasons for wanting that experience. Unlike many assume, men do feel the need to have sex to connect and bond on a deeper level or to express the love they feel. It’s a way to leave behind the stresses of the day and focus on being a good partner. Shana also points out that when we assume the best of our partner, we start to understand where they’re coming from and show more compassion towards their needs and our own, that’s how collaboration is possible.
Advice on How to Have Vulnerable Conversations
Having conversations about desires and needs can be difficult for many, and Shana advises people to communicate before having sex. The conversation could be about how we’re treating each other in terms of respect and acknowledging each other’s wants and needs. During the conversation, it’s important to hear what the other person is saying and instead of dismissing an idea, try entertaining the thought. You can brainstorm with your partner about how they can accommodate you in a way you feel safe and comfortable to try this new thing. This is where curiosity comes into play, says Shana. In terms of putting your desires forward, Shana suggests the ABC communication method. When you put an idea forward and get a “B” response from your partner that’s surprising, instead of walking away try asking what caused them to respond in that way and be curious to find out.
Shana leaves us with a reminder to have those vulnerable conversations in the moment and avoid the build-up of resentment and irritation. Having conversations about sex during a casual time other than in the bedroom can boost that habit of collaboration and teamwork. She also suggests making your pleasure your responsibility by getting to know your body better. She urges people to be playful with sex and not keep orgasm as a goal and be exploratory with it.
For 15 years Shana coached more than a thousand leaders, CEOs, authors, speakers, and people with big visions to find love, rekindle the spark, step into more powerful leadership, start and grow businesses, increase their impact, create a legacy, and become more personally inspired and fulfilled.
Referred to as a secret weapon, she cuts through distraction and provides direct access to confidence, power, and clarity. She is also a translator between women and men, providing effective tools to transform conversations and dynamics that have gone awry into connection and collaboration.
With an M.A. in psychology, DISC certification, Coaching training, more than a decade facilitating groups and workshops, starting multiple businesses, and helping hundreds of entrepreneurs start their own, her range of skills is unlike many.
Resources and Links:
TEDx talk: https://shanajamescoaching.com/tedx/
Training video – https://jessazimmerman.mykajabi.com/video-choice
Sex Health Quiz – https://www.sexhealthquiz.com
The Course – https://www.intimacywitheasemethod.com
The Book – https://www.sexwithoutstress.com
Podcast Website – https://www.intimacywithease.com
Access the Free webinar: How to help your partner want more sex without making them feel pressured or obligated: https://intimacywithease.com/free-webinar